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Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5(17 posts)

Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5ChicagoCyclo
Jun 14, 2001 10:04 AM
I'm looking to get into racing and I'm going to buy my first road bike. I really didnt want to spend more than $600, but it seems that you need a $2000 bike just to compete in these events. I was looking at a Giant OCR2 for $550 or a used bike if that wouldn't be fast enough. I know its more me than the bike out there, but is there a minimum level of bike needed to be competitive?
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5Lazy
Jun 14, 2001 11:08 AM
I saw a Giant OCR2 underneath a CAT III rider a few weeks ago. It's pretty amazing, but I would wager that the $$ per bike average is higher in CAT IV and CAT V than in higher levels. As long as you aren't riding a boat anchor you should be fine IMHO.
I;ve raced everythingColnagoFE
Jun 14, 2001 11:36 AM
from a HEAVY Bianchi eros (triple) w/ 28cm tires (gravel road race) to a Merlin XL. Once you get cranking it really doesn't make a difference unless there are lots of hills. Cat 5 racing is more for fun that anything. ride what you got.
go usedishmael
Jun 14, 2001 11:10 AM
id be glad to see a beater kick ass but it does seem to be true that the bikes in even cat 5 seem to be expensive...i would go used, its deffinately a buyers market
reason for expensive bikes in cat 5?ColnagoFE
Jun 14, 2001 11:38 AM
i imagine a lot of these cat 5 riders have a 8-5 40+ hour a week job and can't train as much as needed for a higher cat. still they have lots of disposable income because they don't wrench at a bike shop so they can afford the high zoot stuff.
reason for expensive bikes in cat 5?jbrown2036
Jun 15, 2001 6:58 AM
This is true, however I would add that maybe a cheaper mid-end bike is the way to go if your are just starting to race. Racing is not if you crash, it's when you crash and I would rather crash something that I didn't take a loan for. On the first race of the year I watched a guy on a brand new Colnago Dream eat a curb. He was ok, but the bike was not.
I totally agree, I have a nice bike........WorkingClassPoseur
Jun 16, 2001 5:42 AM
....used, yes, but nice. There are alot (most) of people in my local club with "lesser" bikes than mine that can whip me like a rented mule.

"It's not about the bike."
I do agree...Canidraftyou
Jun 22, 2001 7:35 PM
Most new racers buy the $2000+ bike so they can feel as they belong. I did...LOL. Like at the local gym, you gotta wear tank tops to show off your stuff, a long sleeve shirt, crap! Anyway, I would suggest saving your money, and buy a grade above the $500 bike, your not going to get much. Like a prior post stated, its all in training.

Peace out,
anything with two wheels is fineDuane Gran
Jun 14, 2001 11:39 AM
I knew a guy years ago that rode his sisters bike (with major sloping down tube) and used carpenters gloves. He looked like a total misfit, but he won the race. A kind cat2 racer loaned him a roadbike and he did pretty well that year.

If you *know* that you will be racing two years from now a good bike is a good investment. If you are just getting your feet wet and giving it a try, anything will do. Trust me, you'll be hooked. It is a rush.
Whatever worksMass Biker
Jun 14, 2001 12:33 PM
Don't blow a hole in your bank account to get started in racing. You DO NOT need a $2K bike just to compete in these events. Get a bike that meets your needs (used is a great way to go), learn to ride/race effectively, and then use your superb results as a good excuse to upgrade. And keep the original bike as a foul weather/winter/fixed gear steed. - MB
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5casati_rider
Jun 15, 2001 6:48 AM
It's not so much how much the bike cost, but a bike that's strong enough to hold up to what you want to do. What it really boils down to for the most part is the lighter the bike the higher the price. Sure a nice expensive bike would be nice, but it's not going to win any races just because it cost $4000. Make yourself the investment in racing, train hard and learn all you can about the sport.

When I first started in cycling 25 years ago, there this guy Tom that didn't have much money and was racing on an old low end Peugot that had been given to him. The only thing he had done to the bike was added toe-clips to the pedals. He raced this bike for two years, had won state mountain climbing champion and was whipping everyone in TT's & RR's. Bike vendors and local shops got tired of seeing him beat all the guys on their $2000 bikes (which was bad for their business) and give him a new Colnago full Campy record just to keep him off that old Peugot.
re: Awesome.(nm)WorkingClassPoseur
Jun 16, 2001 5:43 AM
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5JimAAA
Jun 17, 2001 7:29 PM
I started riding in '88 on a Miyata 312, cost about $300 and was about 2 steps under Shimano 105, heavy box rims, weighed about 23lbs, man i rode that thing for a long time, my buddy on a similar equipped Gitane, logging 400 mile weeks...our first race we were pretty unsure what to make on all the guys on the Trek 2300's and such, and it was only like 8 miles long ..$1000 plus bikes..which got you quite a bit back then..and still does now..lo and behold.he finished 3rd, I finished 5th..and the only guys who beat us were sandbaggers riding in the then Citizen cat, no Cat V back in that time...and we finished ahead of quite a few other IV's to OCR will be more than enough to get you started..but hey..ride or race because its fun..not because you have to
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5Dougal
Jun 18, 2001 9:32 AM
The guy who won the BAAR last year in the UK rode an OCR1 with tribars and aero wheels. This guy can do a sub 20 minute 10 mile TT. Next time somebody tells you that an expensive bike is important remember that.
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5CFVeloDan
Jun 18, 2001 7:17 PM
I too just bought my first road bike, I took a different approach though. I wanted to buy a bike that would last a long time. Got a loan from a friend(only 17, can't get one from bank) and went out and bought an Aegis 2001 Aro Svelte w/ Campy 10. Never ridden a road bike before. Expext bike in a week. Will let you know how it rides.
i did the same thingishmael
Jul 4, 2001 9:12 AM
bought a 2700 dollar bike...its a bit worried when i race though and always keep to the side of the pack..having a 17 or 18 pound bike with fancy wheels does go faster...ive gone done while riding twice now and its just slightly scratched, bikes are pretty durable, even if you do brake something the majority of the bike i imagine will be fine..
re: Level of bike needed to compete in Cat 5Dog
Jul 4, 2001 10:48 AM
Any bike that fits, works well, and is under 20 pounds is raceable. For flatter races (are you racing around Chicago?), the weight won't matter much. For even extremely hilly races, like out West, the difference between a 20 pound and 15 pound bike might only be a few seconds up a long, steep hill.

I'd recommend a good used bike. Check ebay.