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Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...(15 posts)

Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...MVN
Jan 1, 2004 3:06 PM
I'm going to do a time trial on January 24th and I've only recently started training seriously (diet, intervals, climbing work, etc.). I joined the local team this year and am planning on racing Cat 5. I just want to find out how my times compare to other Cat 5's. I went out and did the course this afternoon. It's a 20k course, flat, smooth road. Here are my times:
20k - 39 min. 37 sec.
Max. Speed - 22.3 mph
Avg. Speed - 18.3 mph
I did this on my Trek 5200 which has a 53/39, 12-25 cassette, standard road setup, no TT bars or anything. I'm not trying to get my ego stroked or anything. I really have no idea how my time compares, I just want an idea of where I stand. On my normal 20-miler I can do it in approximately 1 hour and 13 minutes, depending on traffic, but that's not going all out. I usually weigh in at 195, but the holidays have bumped me to 199 (as of this morning, lol). Working on losing 10 pounds before the event. So am I at the bottom of the barrel, or somewhere above? Thanks in advance for all replies. (I am going to post this on the racing board as well).

re: Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...ORdirtydown
Jan 1, 2004 7:55 PM
I am no math expert but your figures seem questionable. Based on the time, I think you might have faster speeds.

Last year was my first year racing Cat 5. I did a few TT. I think they were 15 miles. My goal was to maintain a 22.5 mph average. I was able to do a little better than that on my last one. I was only breaking into the top 25% of the Cat 4/5. There was a tri-athlete that was kicking ass. He was placing in the top 5 overall going at least 25 mph average.

I expect to do a lot better this year. My solo riding pace for LSD rides is up over 20mph. And, I have a brand new bike that I have yet to use.

My experience is that unless you desire to be a top competitor, comparing to others can kill the passion. Take each TT as a learning opportunity and focus on progression.
Jan 1, 2004 8:32 PM
My local TT course is 20K - 3 laps of a very flat course. I'm a mid-pack 53 yr old racer, who just upgraded from Cat 5 to Cat 4 a couple of weeks ago. With a road bike with semi-deep wheels (Shamals) and aero bars I rode a little under 31:00, avg. speed a little over 24 mph. Competitive times in my class (50+) would be around 29:00, for someone with aero frame, disc wheel, etc. On a 20K course, aero bike vs. road bike probably won't account for more than 2:00 or 3:00 difference. The faster you go, the more difference the aero gear will make. The biggest single thing you can do for your bike is a set of aero bars - they'll definitely make a difference.

One thought - in a TT, you shouldn't see such a variance between av speed and max speed. You might want to drop that max speed a little to bring up the avg.

Cat 5 covers a wide range of abilities. Locally, there's one 5 who regularly beats some 1's and 2's. He doesn't have enough pack races to upgrade, but he's strong as heck.

Don't worry about how you do compared to others; go out and go as fast as you can. TT's are a great way to measure your improvements. Keep riding, and you'll definitely see your times come down.
re: Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...Breakfast
Jan 1, 2004 11:00 PM
I'm giving you a link to a website and results for a TT that is not especially easy. It's a 20K out and back with a tough slightly uphill finish. Check out the rather fast Cat 5 times that day.
re: Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...rogue_CT1
Jan 1, 2004 11:01 PM
I plugged your times into the calculator and came up with an average speed of 18.82 MPH.

I'm a Cat 5 and I do the 40K TT in about 57 minutes +/- which equals between 25-26 MPH.

I also use a full TT bike with tri-spoke wheels too so don't get discouraged. Just keep plugging away and your speeds will increase.
Where are you racing? I know some very competent Cat 3's whobill
Jan 2, 2004 11:44 AM
consider it a big deal to have broken an hour for a 40k, and I don't think that our area (DC Metro area) is consdered an easy, non-competitive place to race.
I don't have times at hand, but breaking an hour will get you a win or a top three, at least, in most any Cat 4 or 5 TT around here.
Where are you racing? I know some very competent Cat 3's whorogue_CT1
Jan 2, 2004 12:52 PM
I race in Missouri. I won the Cat 4/5 TT by 2:30 sec. My time was a little over an hour in that race but we had extremely bad winds in the 30 mph range. My time in that race would have placed me 6th in the Cat 1/2 race.

To be fair, I raced back in the 80's on a very good junior team that produced a very well known pro. I used to be a Cat 3 until I stopped racing in 1989. I returned back to cycling/racing in 2003 and had a pretty good season. I want to make it clear that I'm not some Aaron Toy phenom- I've worked hard to get stronger and I have a record that I'm pretty proud of- I've never placed out of the top ten in any time trial.

My biggest problem is that I weigh 210 lbs now and I can't beat the smaller guys in the sprints in road races or crits so I can't manage to gain enough points to cat up. That leaves me stuck placing in the top 20 of every race and winning the TT's.
To be fair53T
Jan 2, 2004 7:22 PM
downgrades to Cat5 are never allowed, check your rulebook.
To be fairrogue_CT1
Jan 2, 2004 7:44 PM
I went 14 years without racing or having a license. When I called the USCF they were not able to find my records because they computerized their files sometime in the early '90's. They told me I would have to be licensed again as a Cat 5.
I just checked TT times for two championship 40k's -- 57 min'sbill
Jan 2, 2004 12:22 PM
would place in the top 10 in all but the Pro, 1,2 categories. Top Cat 5 times were more in the hour plus one or two minutes range. In the 30+ field, which is almost as competitive as the 1,2,3 field, a 57 would have been 7th place.
Look, I don't know you and you don't know me, and I wasn't there when you posted this time, but just don't go telling this guy that three minutes less than an hour is a sort of run-of-the-mill, unexceptional Cat 5 time. It's HIGHLY exceptional.
Get the Aerobars nowbimini
Jan 2, 2004 7:46 AM
Your body and muscles will need time to adapt to a good aero position. You want the bars low as is tollerable. Also, your seat should be as high as is comfortable. Just below where your hips are forced to rock when pedaling. You need to have the arms close together and ride with your shoulders and head tucked in.

Aerobars, when used properly can have up to a 5-10% improvement in times on a rider with relatively low power output. Wheels, frames, etc have a much much lower effect.

Don't worry about where you fit in, just get out and have fun. Cat 5 riders averaging 25+ MPH in TTs need to upgrade.

Weight is not a significant factor on a relatively flat TT.

On TT you need to supply constant power to the bike for the duration of the course. Don't focus on short intervals. Focus on long intervals. Say going for 5 minutes as hard as possible and gradually increasing the time. Do this at most every other day. You need to find at what intensity your legs start to burn, this is lactic threshold. You need to run the TT and training just under this point.
Which Aerobars?Will Ross
Jan 3, 2004 6:43 AM
Any opinions on best clip-ons? I've got a Fondriest road frame with oversize bars and am in the market for a new set of clip-ons- which ones work best? I don't do many time trials, so I don't need/want an expensive TT rig.
My lbs owner told me...MVN
Jan 3, 2004 7:35 AM
about Profile Design's Airstrike bars. The forearm pads flip up out of the way so you can ride the tops if you want. They are clip-on's. He's giving them to me for $80 but they retail for $99. I'm going with those because I don't want a dedicated TT rig, just something I can use when the opportunity arises.
re: Need some opinions about Cat 5 TT times...mondo
Jan 2, 2004 11:50 AM
This is all i can give you.

5 k TT time, 7:25 5 min rest and a 7:20. This was done on
my mountainbike with 700c slicks. ( I have a 29er ) Done one
going southwest, then back northeast using the same road.

10 mile TT time. Done on my roadbike without aerobars, just
fliped my stem and moved the seat forward,. 25 min.

This was done on an out and back layout.

Peace Mondo
Depends on your courseKerry Irons
Jan 2, 2004 4:58 PM
If this time is for an accurate distance on a flat, out and back or loop course, then your time is not very competitive for someone who wants to race. If the course is hilly, then it' pretty hard to estimate a competitve time, since the length and steepness of the hills can drastically affect your time.