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special race report.(26 posts)

special race report.flyinbowlofmilk
Apr 28, 2002 4:22 PM
Today I went to my second crit as a Cat 5. I still have some work to do. To make a long story short I did the same thing I did at my 1st crit ,anding the fact there was a 15 to 20 miles per hour wind. So for your laughing expertise and humilation,I will keep it short. I got a good start in the Cat 5 crit, and manage to hang with the group for 4 to 5 laps with a strong headwind. But my big mistake was letting a gap form with a headwind. But overall I am getting better at racing. Considering I am a new Cat 5 racer. But let me get to what makes this a special race report. I got a chance to see Marty Nortenstein and other world champions at the crit today in the Pro 1,2. It was a privilege that I will cherish. As for me speed interval mixed with endurance. Sorry if I mispelled his name.
Made the same mistake last weekend...RockyMountainRacer
Apr 28, 2002 4:40 PM
I did the same thing you did last weekend. Was racing a crit in Boulder where we had a hurricane force wind coming around one corner of the course. The problem was that sometimes the wind would hit the pack in huge gusts and slow us down to about 11mph, and sometimes it wouldn't gust and we'd blow through the corner at 25 mph. About five laps into the race I was near the back, decided I wanted to move up while going around this corner because the wind wasn't gusting. So I swung out to the right of the pack, started passing people, then the wind hit my like I crashed into a wall. Before I had a chance to do anything I was gapped and off the back, struggling into the wind as the pack slooowly pulled away. Race over. Better luck next time! Wind sucks.
Practice makes perfect!BigLeadOutGuy
Apr 28, 2002 4:55 PM
Keep at it FlyingBowl!!!
your fitness will grow exponentialy with your first bunch of races...as with your learning curve!!!
Good work
stay stoked =)
Practice makes perfect!flyinbowlofmilk
Apr 28, 2002 5:07 PM
As soon as I get a better Road bike. The road bike I have sucks. It a Raleigh R500 w/Shimano Tiagra and Sora components. Got to get a bike with Ultegra or 105 components to compete. But I agree with you on the subject of fitness and the learning curve
Too bad they cost so much...RockyMountainRacer
Apr 28, 2002 5:11 PM
I have a Cannondale with 105. I thought it would be more than enough for training (and it is), but I always have the worst bike at every crit I go to! Everybody has decked out titanium this and super-light Italian that. I bet 3-4 pounds will make quite a difference over the course of a whole crit. I'm saving for a new road bike too, but realistically I won't get my hot little hands on it till early next season!
Too bad they cost so much...lread
Apr 29, 2002 8:21 AM
I dont think you're gonna get much weight saving going from 105 to Ultegra . maybe 1-2lbs max. Cannodale CAAD4/105 is already respectable in weight. Get some light wheels instead-the bike will feel much lighter while riding.
I doubt weight will matter much at all for critallervite
Apr 29, 2002 10:25 AM
some would even argue that the inertia of a heavier bike can be beneficial. One thing for sure, it is a bit harder to accelerate a heavier bike. However in one of the components where weight matters most (wheels). You will see more of the heavier aero versions in a crit than the ultra light versions.
I doubt weight will matter much at all for critda cyclist
Apr 29, 2002 11:41 AM
I would argue that anybody who says a heavier bike/wheels is better for a crit is wrong. A crit is all about acceleration out of corners. For that, you want wheels that you can spin up really fast, ie Zipp 303 tubulars. All things considered, lighter wheels can make a big difference in a crit. Having aero wheels are only going to make much difference if you decide to take a flyer for a prime or the win.
now wait just a daggoned minutelonefrontranger
Apr 29, 2002 12:39 PM
I raced a 26 1/2 lb. bike all last year. I race a sub-15 lb. bike this year. I'm not doing significantly better at this stage in the game than I was at this time last year. My fitness isn't quite up to par yet, and I'm focusing specifically to peak in mid-June, meaning I'm training "through" more races and using them as throwaways instead of trying to win them, but that fancy bike hasn't made a twit of difference in where I'm finishing.

My Cat IV teammate races an old late 80's Bianchi mid-level steel bike with Campy's bottom-of-the-barrel 6-speed friction down tube shifters. Her wheels weigh 2 lbs. more APIECE than my Zipp 303's. She's crushed me at both of the last 2 races we've both been to; at this point I am merely pack fodder and her leadout wheel.

There's a bunch of really, really fast collegiate guys out there racing on a shoestring, and most of them are racing junkers as far as I can tell.

It ain't the bike, it's the motor. Focus on your fitness first. When you can do a non-wind-assisted sub-26 minute 10-mile flat TT on your current bike, THEN come talk to me about upgrading equipment.
now wait just a daggoned minuteda cyclist
Apr 29, 2002 1:08 PM
I absolutely hate it when people jump into a discussion about compenents/weights/aerodynamics and start up all that "it's the motor" crap. Of course it's the motor.

But why should somebody be prevented from upgrading their components just because they aren't a particularly fast rider? With your logic you probably shouldn't be riding that sub-15 lb bike.

The bottom line was that somebody implied that a heavier bike was better for crits. I disagree. Like I said before, a crit is all about acceleration and lightweight wheels (rims in particular) help you accelerate faster.

As for you not being any faster this year, there are way too many variables that go into that equation to be able to state that the lighter bike isn't an advantage. You named one in particular when you stated that you were training through races.

If you have something to add about whether or not a lightweight bike (and or wheels) is better for a crit, then please feel free to do so. As a matter of fact, I invite you to go out to your next crit on your old 26.5 pound bike and see if you do just as well as with the 15 pound bike. But if all you're going to do is huff and puff about how it's all the motor, then please keep it to yourself because we've all heard it before.
It's not about the bikeRockyMountainRacer
Apr 29, 2002 1:10 PM
What are you people ragging on me for? I simply expressed the desire to buy a new bike at the end of the season, a goal toward which I am saving diligently. Who the hell doesn't want a new bike? If any of you roadies tell me you don't you are lying. Yes I am racing the bike I have now all season long and of course I know that racing is about fitness not equipment. But I haven't seen a single person at the crits this year on the so called "junker" bikes you describe, unless your opinion of junk is a $5000 Serotta.

That being said, I have been training about 12 hours a week since January and improving my fitness steadily. After putting in that much time, if I want to treat myself to a new bike at the end of the season I can damn well do it if I freakin' want to! And I will darn it!

P.S. You're telling me you dropped 11.5 pounds off your bike and it didn't help your performance at all??!! Did you gain 11.5 pounds on your body? Allright now take it easy that's a joke!
my point (for FBM's benefit)...lonefrontranger
Apr 29, 2002 2:01 PM
And perhaps I should have replied this directly to FBM, since that's who it was directed at (my bad)

... is that I hate to see guys getting caught up in up-grade-itis after their first or 2nd race. Their percentage of improvement from the fitness and learning curve hasn't yet even begun to scratch the surface of the percentage of improvement they'd see from an equipment upgrade. If you understand what I'm getting at.

Go to any collegiate race (there have been several here on the Front Range lately). Watch the guys on the old early-90's steel and entry-level Treks-with-mongrel-grouppos in the Collegiate B and A; then watch the same guys race again later the same day in their USCF category; they can definitely hold their own if not hand it to those of us with more money than fitness.

Geez you guys are lucky grzy doesn't lurk here often; he'd really take youall to task for this kind of thing ;-)

I agree that a new bike helps, psychologically and somewhat physically. My teammate would probably be winning rather than finishing top-3 if she could actually shift in the middle of a sprint. "New-bike-itis" is also a great motivator to get out and ride IMO. But don't be disappointed to find at the end of the day that even on your new machine, you're still getting beaten by the same people.

I personally don't see the benefit of going from a Tiagra-equipped bike to a 105-equipped bike. At that price point they'll probably both still be fairly heavy. I agree with the poster who said upgrade the wheels; they're where you'll feel the benefit most. But unless the shifters don't actually work properly, you won't see or feel any functional benefit in an upgrade of components at those level.

And no, the fact that "it's the motor, not the bike" is painfully NOT that obvious to many of the newer racers I've coached, talked to and seen on this forum over my course of experience. Sorry to have bored all you experts out there, maybe you should just skip over this stuff.
New Bike...allervite
Apr 30, 2002 8:16 AM
There is nothing wrong with that. I have one, love it and would still like another. BUT if you want to win races, the new bike just won't bring you up from mid pack fodder to race winner, Nope, NA AH, NO WAY. Now if your goal is not the most efficient way to get faster, but to lighten your wallet and impress your friends with a new, shiny, ultra aero, illegaly light, crotch jewel, then by all means.
I'll take the red one please.

But if you want to learn to spin like Lance or Sprint like Marty then ya gotta sweat. Right?

To boil it down, equipment does offer an advantage, and there is a lot of difference between Tiagra and Dura Ace;
but disciplined, intelligent training offers a much more significant advantage.

A good friend of mine races a 25 lb full suspension MTB. I race a 20 lb. hardtail. In a crit, weight is an issue, but not nearly as much of an issue as in a MTB race with a few thousand feet of climbing. I have never beat him. If you are thinking, "Yea, but you probably Suck. Dude!"

That is exactly my point.
I WANT A NEW BIKERockyMountainRacer
Apr 30, 2002 8:43 AM
I want a new bike simply becuase I want a new bike. I bought my road bike 3 years ago when I decided to get serious about mountain bike racing. I used it as a training bike and for the occasional group ride. It has been excellent for those purposes, but I did not buy it with competition in mind.

Now this weekend I raced my 4th cat 4 crit ever, and got dropped with 5 laps to go. Now I know that was becuase of my fitness, not my bike. Actually I'm quite happy with that result because I'm improving rapidly, training smart, and enjoying the improvements in my fitness as they come. But I can't help thinking that if my bike was 5 pounds lighter (it weighs 20 pounds) that maybe I could have finished the race. Now I know that if you put the winner of the race on my bike, and me on his, he would still kick my ass. But even when you're training right, you still have to be patient for improvement. It takes time. Is it so wrong to want the best equipment even for the small improvement it will give you? Next season I will have a whole season of road racing experience under my belt, and I will be starting it with a shiny new road bike!
I WANT A NEW BIKElread
Apr 30, 2002 9:21 AM
For a crit, I would never use my good (light)bike. Too risky for crashes ruining my high dollar steed. So, I will race crits with my 1997 Specialized with 105 and fairly heavy aero wheels.
I WANT A NEW BIKEda cyclist
Apr 30, 2002 4:19 PM
That's what insurance is for.
Insurance?lread
May 1, 2002 11:24 AM
Are you talking about homeowners' insurance? I dont think they cover damages related to racing, do they?
Right on!allervite
Apr 30, 2002 12:03 PM
I bet you improve quicker than you think as though MTB legs begin to fill up with all that speed endurance. Just remember that even the really fast guys get dropped when they do something stupid or are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have been dropped in crits I should have won because I am flying and get overconfident thinking I have somehow turned into Jonas Carney and can chase anyone down anytime.
Jonas Carney?lread
Apr 30, 2002 2:02 PM
Isn't he a field sprinter? I dont recall reading/hearing about him chasing down all the breaks singlehandedly. Now if you say Chris Horner, that would sound more believable.
He is also a pretty handy track rider besides a fierce critter.allervite
Apr 30, 2002 3:10 PM
although Chris Horners does seem to be the beast this year. As for fast domestic fastmen. I would put my money on Todd Littlehales of Prime Alliance.
I WANT A NEW BIKEFender
Apr 30, 2002 12:31 PM
hey.. if you want a new bike and have the money go for it!!!! hell, I sure did a few months ago. I used to ride a steel ciocc with shimano 600 8 speed components, with my climbing gear a 39x21, and I still won several collegiate races, and yes, those races had hills, one of them even had hail coming down on us as we raced. Just like a riders from UC DAvis said after the race, "its not about the bike". now your probably asking why did I buy a new bike?? well, cause the old one was a little too flexy during sprinting and a the extra weight made it hard for me to stay with the group on the hills after I upgraded. the point is, if your not in good shape, no matter what bike you buy, you will still suck!!! but if your in awesome shape, you'll kick ass in any bike, as long as it works properly!!!!
Too bad they cost so much...lread
Apr 29, 2002 8:23 AM
I dont think you're gonna get much weight saving going from 105 to Ultegra or even DA. maybe 1-2lbs max. Cannodale CAAD4/105 is already respectable in weight. Get some light wheels instead-the bike will feel much lighter while riding.
Practice makes perfect!weiwentg
Apr 29, 2002 10:20 AM
yes, and you can use your current one as a beater bike when you get the new one. but the most important thing is your attitude, and the second most important thing is your fitness. you're not giving up, and that's what counts. the fitness will come. just hang in there, yes?
Brick City Crit was hard.str8dum1
Apr 29, 2002 9:57 AM
i did the Pro am. finished 7th but was chasing gaps all day.
Yup cant let those gaps open up, esp on windy courses. Get ya shelled everytime
New Bike (For FBM)RockyMountainRacer
Apr 30, 2002 9:20 AM
I will give you some advice on your new bike purchase from my bike shop experience. First of all, going from Tiagra/Sora to 105/Ultegra is HUGE upgrade that should help you a lot.

I think you should take your time on saving for the new bike while you continue to race, learn, and gain fitness on your current bike. Then buy a bike that has the manufacturers top of the line frame, with whatever gruppo you can afford (105 at the minimum). All of the big manufacturers will offer their best frame with a 105 gruppo on the low end, and you should be able to get a bike like this for around $1600. I would recommend that you save a little longer and get Ultegra (with this upgrade you will ussually be getting lighter wheels and some other nice light stuff like cool stems and headsets and seatposts and stuff). You are probably looking at around $2000 for this kind of bike assuming it is steel or aluminum. If you lust for titanium or carbon, expect to drop another grand on the bike.

The reason Sora to 105 is such a big jump is mainly in the crank/bottom bracket interface. 105 is the lowest level of Shimano that gives you a hollow crank and a splined BB spindle. This saves about a pound. Shifting performance will also be vastly improved in addition to the lighter drivetrain. 105/Ultegra/and D/A are all compatible with each other as component groups, meaning you can mix and match these groups together in any way you like so you can upgrade individual components. And then of course the frame--when you go to 105 as a minimum component spec you are getting a big upgrade in frame quality. The biggest thing I can stress is get the best frame. It is your foundation for the bike, you can always upgrade the other parts later. I have 105 with a top-end frame, and it is excellent for reliability and moderate-weight performance (but again I recommend to save for Ultegra--best bang for the buck).

I'm sorry to be talking about wanting a new bike while already owing a pretty good one, but as I've said I don't necessarily think that new bike lust is such a bad thing. As long as you don't put it on the credit card that is!!
New Bike (For FBM)allervite
Apr 30, 2002 12:13 PM
Good advice, the drivetrain components are the first to wear so they are an automatic upgrade with time. The frame is conerstone of the build. Speaking of building, that is my favorite way to get a new bike- a piece at a time. It is an easy build because you have to take it so slow. Also, you can get a better bike for the money if you wait for the sales and clearances. It's like christmas once a pay day. This method is also easier for those of us without the fiscal discipline to keep more than a few hundred in the bank account at a time.