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mountain bike category - road race(12 posts)

mountain bike category - road raceflowmd
Jun 24, 2002 10:43 AM
We just held a road race which included a separate mountain bike category. Is there a general rule that defines what is a mountain bike? Flat bars? 26 inch tires? etc. We had two people show up with 700cc wheels on their mountain bikes. Not only did they win the mountain bike category but they also won the overall in the short course. What's the general consensus on how best to handle awards? First in the mountain bike category only, pull them from the mountain bike category and give them first overall?
As I'm scratching my head, I'd welcome your input.
26 inch tires?Wayne
Jun 24, 2002 11:23 AM
except Gary Fisher is making mountain bikes with 29 inch wheels now, is this the same as 700cc or close (I don't know?)? We're they hybrids? I'm not sure I can define a mtn bike but I know one when I see one. What do you mean they won the overall in the short course (as in Dirt crit like they do at Norba)? What other kinds of bikes we're racing that they beat?
Easiest answer is that if they signed up for the mtn bike category and no-one stopped them from racing then it's too late now and that's what they won, if they wanted to be considered for some other category then they should have signed up for that one.
26 inch tires?flowmd
Jun 25, 2002 4:16 AM
I like your easiest answer. These weren't hybrids. We had a 25 mile race with a seperate mtn bike category. They did beat the rest of the road bikes but were entered in the mtb category. We had Tour de France yellow jerseys for the overall male and female winners and that's where the problems started. The mtb folks wanted a yellow jersey.
Well, if the jersey was for the overallWayne
Jun 25, 2002 5:30 AM
winner and they were first then they won both the overall and mtn bike categories. How many people were in this race? How did a guy/gal on a "mtn bike" with knobbie wheels beat people on road bikes? They should have had trouble finding big enough gears to keep up if there was any elevation changes.
Disk Brakes Maybe?James A
Jun 25, 2002 6:08 AM
You can fit a 700c wheel in a MTB if you have disc brakes. The wheel physically fits into the bike, but standard brakes do not line up. There is some sort of a converter for canti-type brakes and 700c wheels, but I do not think they are common.

I bet they changed their gearing to road gearing as well.
Disk Brakes Maybe?flowmd
Jun 25, 2002 6:56 AM
You are correct. They were running disk brakes. I'm not sure about the gearing but that wouldn't suprise me.
Well, if the jersey was for the overallflowmd
Jun 25, 2002 7:00 AM
As the other reply noted, they were running 700cc road wheels on a mtn bike. To be honest, no one expected a mtn bike to take overall and the results had the mtn bikes in a separate category. We weren't aware this had happened until after awards when it was pointed out to us. There were about 50 people in the race.
how does NORBA define mountain bike?off roadie
Jun 27, 2002 11:20 AM
IMO, you should use the same defintion. I don't think NORBA has ANY restriction on what you can enter in thier races, as long as its a bicycle that they figure meets certain safety standards.

Mountain bikes are (or originally were) defined by USE. You can ride anything on dirt, but if it breaks or you crash, well, chances are it won't win you the race. So most folks use 26" wheels, heavier frames, fatter tires with knobbies and low pressure...

That said, the idea of a MTB catagory for a road only race starts to look pretty silly- there's even some recumbent MTBs on the market, I'm suprised nobody put sliucks and a fairing on one and entered it.

The MTB catagory should have included some (hopefully technical) off road portions, at least enough that a cyclocross rider would be challenged to keep up on foot. THAT would automatically define whater people rode as a "mountain bike". And hey, if the winner happend to ride a faired recumbent with slicks, maybe you'd start seeing those out on the trails.
how does NORBA define mountain bike?flowmd
Jun 28, 2002 4:32 AM
I looked at NORBA's rulebook and didn't see anything. The intent of having a mountain bike category in a road race was this, we had two lengths - a 55 mile and 25 mile race. This was a fund raiser for two groups. A number of people said, "I don't have a road bike but I could ride 25 miles on my mtb and I'd like to race". So we said sure and created a seperate category. After dealing with one or two "special" individuals after the race, it wouldn't suprise me to see a faired recumbent mtb show up at the start line.
more thought- tire pressure?off roadie
Jun 28, 2002 8:17 AM
After some thinking, I guess if you are set on having a seperate catagory of road-only riding mountain bikes, tire pressure might be a useful determinant. You could have the judges drop all tire pressures to below 50psi when they check in the bikes and put some sort of tamper-evident sticker on the valve.

Anybody who gets a flat probably isn't gonna place in a 25 mile race anyhow, and 50psi is enough to prevent any real MTB from flatting on the road. Sounds like a PIA, but it would probably prevent the worst abuses while keeping things fun for other riders.
good idealonefrontranger
Jun 28, 2002 2:02 PM
That tire pressure thing is a really good idea. This is a similar idea to the gear rollout the official does prior to a limited-gear roller race (don't ask, it's something bored Midwestern roadies do in the middle of the winter).

We used to have a "cruiser / MTB / hybrid" cat in the local RR we promoted, and we had quite a few entries but no one ever pushed the boundaries. Our official (who came up with the idea) was prepared to disallow bikes that looked like "ringers", fortunately he never had to argue the point because we never really defined what a "cruiser" bike was. The participants either showed up on stock MTBs or your run of the mill POS that most folks have sitting in their garage. As long as it was safe to ride (brakes worked) and the rider had a helmet, we let them race. We didn't have a prize list for that cat, just ribbons and bragging rights, so the "fred" factor may have discouraged the sharks.

On the other hand, while we were promoting that spring series, the following phenomenon would occur. Every week a few of the local Expert MTB types would show up to race their stock hardtails (really nice hardtails, but MTBs nonetheless) in the Cat III field, usually following the bar-end removal ceremony at the start line. They considered this a good ramp-up for the regional MTB series, which followed onto the end of our training series. These cats were amazing, at least to me. Their handling skills were decent enough that they didn't cause (much) griping; they certainly never instigated a crash, and they typically finished in the bunch sprint. A certain dude even made the lead break in 2 races. If they got bit hard enough by "the bug" they eventually invested in road bikes. So I'd have to say that 26" semi-slicks aren't a major disadvantage when powered by the right engine...
re: mountain bike category - road raceflowmd
Jul 1, 2002 5:41 AM
Thanks for the replies. I like the "fred factor" comments. The riders I'm having to deal with both have road bikes. Maybe with a little "fred pressure" they'd race with the rest of us and leave the mtb category the way it was intended.

Thanks again.