UPDATED WAX TIP: 2016 American Birkiebeiner

Race day waxing can be hectic, so rest easy the night before the 2016 Birkie by waxing in advance.  Above, the author helps classic racers at the Mora Vasaloppet apply the structure of the day.

Following is the UPDATED Cyclova XC Racing Service 2016 Birkie Wax tip for the 3 major wax brands of the region. Note that these are not officially endorsed wax tips by the wax companies, rather these are tips that I have personally created based on my 17+ years of professional experience in creating race wax tips.  Please also note that these wax tips will be updated, should they need to be.

Note that the forecast changed significantly from the several long term forecast models we were looking at when the original wax tip was published on 2/11/2016 - so here is the official update.

For the full scoop on how to follow wax tips, check out MY ARTICLE on the topic. 

If you would like Cyclova XC's waxing guru's to wax your skis up for the fastest skis of your life, CLICK HERE for the full scoop!

Event:  American Birkiebeiner, from Cable to Hayward, WI.

When:  23k Classic/Skate, 52k Classic, or 50k Skate. 9 waves, with the elites starting at 8AM at Telemark on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Forecast & Conditions: 
LEADING UP TO THE RACE:  Thursday & Friday will be very warm and windy, with intermittent rain & possibly sleet.  Thursday daytime highs of roughly 35', Thursday night low staying just above freezing at 33', and Friday highs in the low 40's will drastically change trail conditions.  Snow conditions will be transforming from a cold packed powder mix to slushy & granular slush/ice crystals by race morning.  According to head the Birkie trail groomer, the trail will be closed starting Wednesday night and will not be groomed until Friday night (in an effort to keep the snow pack cold and preserve the base).   Expect considerable dirt & tree sap in the snow, as snow compacts and the wind blows debris around.

Friday night's low will be about 31'F, with a temp of near 34'F at the start.  Daytime high will be close to 40'F, with a mostly cloudy sky and a westerly wind. Early waves can expect firm  & glazy machined track conditions comprised of mostly tilled up old snow.  Later waves will see the firm glazy track changing progressively to a soft/slushy track.  Considerable dirt will be present in the snow - particularly on the final 15 k of the Birkie course on the south facing hills - as well as in the vicinity of road crossings.  Classic tracks will be firm & very glazed for the first few waves - gradually becoming more and more washed out for later wave skiers.

Ski Flex Tips:  Moderate to slush flexed skate skis for glazy to slushy track conditions will be critical for skate skiers.  For classic skiers, a klister flexed ski or skin type ski (such as Atomic Skintec) will be a very good call for the day.

Structure Tips:
Structure (Elite through wave 3):  Corn Snow Stonegrind OR a medium structure (2 passes with the Red Toko Structure-Rite tool). 
Structure (Wave 4 and back):  Corn Snow Stonegrind (very coarse linear) OR a coarse structure (2 passes with the Yellow Toko Structure-Rite tool).  

Glide Wax Tips:
Fast Wax (Elite through wave 3): HS-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSF-30 Salmon, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Warm (Red) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver), brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad.
Fast Wax (Wave 4 and later): HS-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSF-30 Salmon, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Warm (Red) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver), brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Elite through Wave 3):  LF-8, Scrape, Brush, HF-8, Scrape, Brush, FC-8 (Warm Cera) ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Wave 4 and later)  LF-8, Scrape, Brush, HF-10, Scrape, Brush, FC-10 (X-Warm Cera) ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Elite through Wave 3):  Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Yellow/HF Black Mix (1:1 ratio), scrape, brush, Jetstream Yellow ironed, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Wave 4 and later):   Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Yellow, scrape, brush, Jetstream Yellow ironed, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad.

Grip Wax Tips:
Swix:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Swix KX-20 Base Klister, iron, and smoothen with thumb.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.    The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 1 smooth layer of Swix KX-65 Red Klister.  If snow falls on Friday night, carefully cover your klister with a very thin layer of Swix VR-60 hard wax.
Toko:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Toko Base Green Klister, iron, and smoothen with your thumb while still warm.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.    The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 1 smooth layer of Toko Yellow Klister.  If snow falls on Friday night, carefully cover your klister with a very thin layer of Toko Yellow hard wax.  


Should you have any questions on Birkie ski prep, feel free to stop by or contact the expert ski technicians at Cyclova XC.  If you're interested in having us wax your skis, ensuring lightning fast skis, check our our Birkie Ski Service Program HERE.  Give a fun shout out to all of the Cyclova XC Team Skiers on the trail - as well as everyone wearing the Ski Like Landgraf Hats!

Want More Details???   There is also a wealth of ski tech info on the Cyclova XC Ski Tech page.

 

2 comments:

  1. Hey Frank---What do you think about Start Grip Tape?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Doug,

    Start Grip Tape is a great product with an enormous range and aggressive grip characteristics. However, in our experience, it's not good in wet / slushy conditions (it slips).

    If it were going to be a few degrees colder overnight, I'd say it would be a great call - but with as warm as it will be both leading up to and during the race, it's definitely looking to be a klister (or Skintec) day.

    Keep the comments coming or call Cyclova with any further questions you have - we're here to help!

    Have a great Birkie!
    -Frank

    ReplyDelete