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What makes a good crit bike?(5 posts)

What makes a good crit bike?Spin Cycle
Oct 18, 2001 10:01 AM
In the past few years I have become a pretty successful mountain bike racer, and have recently started doing stage races on the road. As I get more comforatble at the races, I am beginning to discover that I really love crit racing. Next spring I'll (finally) be getting a new road bike, and am thinking about getting a bike set up more for criteriums than anything else. What should I know about frame geometry? Wheels? Handlebars? Since there is so much acceleration, I imagine that (surprise) lighter is better... How about tires? Gearing?

Any information that anybody could give would be really cool. Thanks.
Crit bikes...TJeanloz
Oct 18, 2001 10:15 AM
What makes a criterium bike?

1. Stiffness- there tends to be quite a bit of sprinting and aggresive riding out of corners. A good, laterally stiff, frame will help in such sprints.

2. Geometry- traditional crit bikes tend to have shorter wheelbases, slightly higher bottom brackets (1-2mm), and sometimes a steeper seat angle to get more power out of your legs.

3. Wheels- again stiffness counts. Light weight will also help when it comes to acceleration. I dare say the Mavic Ksyrium is the best crit wheel out there- except that it's an expensive one to repair.

4. Gearing- 11-21, maybe 23. If there is a hill, it's usually short and steep.

Everything else, like tires, are a personal preferance that you need to determine based on your own experience with different products.

Keep in the back of your mind that the Litespeed Ultimate was designed to be a crit bike- ultra stiff (too stiff for some tastes) and a short wheelbase (look at the seattube cutout).
pretty much it, and adding...Dog
Oct 18, 2001 2:05 PM
I'd add:

*maybe not too expensive - high likelihood of a crash

*pedals you won't pull out of - there will be lots of sprinting and maneuvering - lock those babies down

*good brake surface - keep it clean so it won't be grabby

*sticky tires - I'd suggest Axial Pro Lights or Conti Supersonics for clinchers, or Vittoria Corsa CX for tubies

*extra set of wheels to swap out in the pits; they can be cheap training wheels (although if you flat you are pretty much out of it unless can get to the pits quickly and they have the free lap rule)

*wide handlebars for control

*low handlebars for aero-ness - comfort is pretty irrelevant

*aero wheels if you can ride at the front, light wheels if you suck wheel in the pack - Ksyriums are a good compromise

Oct 19, 2001 11:31 AM
you'll want a 16 cog with your rear cassette..... that's found on a Shimano 11-21 and 12-23, but not with an 11-23
the person on it. :) nmraboboy
Oct 18, 2001 10:16 AM