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Old 05-04-07, 11:45 PM   #1
YATES
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Entering first race with sora.. yay or nay?

Yeah, so i'm seriously considering entering my first race on my entry level specialized allez.. with sora shifters . I've been biking for a little over a year and if i could go back in time i def would have bought a more expensive bike (hindsight is 20/20). I know that i won't be a contender to win the race, but i sure as hell would like to get some experience under my belt. And next season, when i believe that i can be a contender.. i will purchase a more expensive bike.

But anyways, down to the question... do yall think i'll get dropped in a heartbeat with my heavy, inexpensive components.. or will i be able to hang around with the peloton and get some needed race experience?
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Old 05-04-07, 11:54 PM   #2
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It hasn't as much to do with equipment as you might think. It mostly has to do with the engine. The best way to test yours is to try some group rides that have riders of varying abilities. You'll not only get a sense of whether or not you're ready for both fast speed and changes in speed, but you'll learn valuable bike handling skills which should really be there before you start racing.

If you've been out on some group rides and can hang when the pace goes up, and can follow attacks, then I think you're ready. If not, try out some group riding first. Bottom line, don't fuss over your bike and components just yet. An Allez with Sora will do just fine to start.

Just my .02. Good luck with it whatever you choose, and have fun!
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Old 05-05-07, 12:00 AM   #3
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Go. race. NOW.
Sora will be fine, it has way more to do with you than the bike.
I got a bike with 105 because I did not want to regret not spending the money in a year. 2 months laterand I am happy as could be. My first race should be next month.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:06 AM   #4
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thanks for these tips.. I'm just always confused when i go into the bike shop and the guys describe each bike as "raceable" and "nonraceable".

And i have gone on group rides.
Unfortunately the largest group ride i have been on was 12 people, but due to narrow roads and traffic, we are never able to do more than a single, and an occasional double paceline.

However these group rides are the "b" team rides. and are 24 miles at near an 18 mph pace. Fortunately i have never been dropped.

How much of an effect does the larger peloton have on the draft?
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Old 05-05-07, 12:07 AM   #5
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Yeah, basically, the shifters do most of the work during a race, not your legs. There might still be enough time to go get some Ultegra stuff put on, that'll get you a pack finish. And if you put DuraAce on, you pretty much don't even need to pedal. And Campy Carbon Record? Sheesh, you basically just need to drive your bike to the race, it'll remove itself from your rack, mount you upon itself, do a complete warmup, win the race, do a cool-down, drive you home, and give you a *******. I don't care what those other guys say, components are *everything*.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YATES
How much of an effect does the larger peloton have on the draft?
Some. Go find out.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:13 AM   #7
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Sora won't hold you back at all, trust me. Bike handling and power are way more important, like 95% of the game. Just go in, try to hang in the back until you feel comfortable, and practice sharp turns before race day.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
Yeah, basically, the shifters do most of the work during a race, not your legs. There might still be enough time to go get some Ultegra stuff put on, that'll get you a pack finish. And if you put DuraAce on, you pretty much don't even need to pedal. And Campy Carbon Record? Sheesh, you basically just need to drive your bike to the race, it'll remove itself from your rack, mount you upon itself, do a complete warmup, win the race, do a cool-down, drive you home, and give you a *******. I don't care what those other guys say, components are *everything*.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:35 AM   #9
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I love it when fat guys ride on Record bikes. Guys with small peckers drive big trucks and fat guys ride the lightest groupo money can buy.
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Old 05-05-07, 04:03 AM   #10
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Enter your first race with Sora, and after the race ask yourself honestly whether those components were what held you back. I can predict the answer.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:34 AM   #11
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Yeah, I'm racing with old 9-spd stuff right now, and I feel about one gear slower than everyone else
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Old 05-05-07, 07:31 AM   #12
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I've kinda changed my tune on this issue after being in several races and watching many more in person.

In the past, I would say in a heartbeat...just go race.

But now, I really do think there are some benchmarks to consider, so as not to make yourself a hazard out there, which I can easily see happening. No one wants you to be 'that guy' on the road.

In the place my head's at now, I would say there should be a couple of factors to think about first:

--You asked about speed and the peloton. Of course everything is different on a race by race basis, but it seems to me that in general, you'd better be able to ride 25-30 miles averaging at least 20 mph to be in the ballpark.

--You better have some experience with group rides and/or pacelines before mixing it up in a race

--You better have practiced cornering and holding your line

--And perhaps practicing intervals would help too....being able to jump when needed in a race to hold a wheel or out of corners.

....just some general guidelines and thoughts before just throwing caution to the wind and jumping into the fray.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:30 AM   #13
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thanks for the helpful info.. yeah i do admit that i need to get more group ride experience.. i'm going on three group rides per week at the moment.
I still can't convince myself that i won't be the laughing stock of the race if i go out there with sora though haha.. not that it really matters.. just a self confidence issue.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:38 AM   #14
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I would not worry about getting laughed at in your first race. Most likely, you are going to get dropped faster than a pail of donkey manure on a hot day, and it'll have nothing to do with your components but rather your fitness and experience...no one will even be around you to laugh.

Really...don't stress about the components. The most important thing on your bike is *YOU*.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:52 AM   #15
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I spent the first half of the 2006 racing season on an Allez with Sora. It'll be fine. It's more about the engine, than the equipment anyways.

And there is nothing more satisfying than passing and dropping people on bikes that are three times the price of your bike.
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Old 05-05-07, 09:28 AM   #16
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I had a pretty old base allez for my first road bike. That bike can get dropped out the back in a hurry and that bike can win races.
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Old 05-05-07, 11:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YATES
thanks for the helpful info.. yeah i do admit that i need to get more group ride experience.. i'm going on three group rides per week at the moment.
I still can't convince myself that i won't be the laughing stock of the race if i go out there with sora though haha.. not that it really matters.. just a self confidence issue.
You can't get race experience without racing. Just go and race. Dr. Pete speaks the truth, it won't be the bike holding you back. Prepare as well as you can, then race. Alot. Old guy used to tell me "when you are consistantly in the top 5, talk to me about upgrading your equipment." We all have been off the back one time or another.
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Old 05-05-07, 11:47 AM   #18
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I started racing on a motobecane with tiagra/sora mix and I have to be honest I never thought about it and nobody ever noticed. they did notice if I was strong, weak, an a$$ or just a nice dude racing. I've seen a guy with bar-end shifters that was as fast as everyone else.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:27 PM   #19
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Components are not the limiting factor. The engine (you) is the real factor. Go race and have fun.
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Old 05-05-07, 12:57 PM   #20
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The only thing I could think of with components being a problem (and this includes higher end components that are finicky or need repair) would be that if you're on a hilly course or need to do a lot of shifting, between rings in particular, you might create some dangerous situations if you drop your chain or skip a gear. A sudden drop in speed could be dangerous in a pack. If you can't shift up cleanly, then maybe you'll be behind on some surges, but I'd worry more about the first part.

Example: My teammate was doing a hilly RR in WV. She came around a corner in the middle of a pack not expecting to hit a wall of a hill. Because of the gear she was in and some major problems she's been having with her rear derailleur, she was worried of skipping a cog in the downshift getting to a good position to change rings. So she tries to power up as much as she can in this huge gear, lets the pack go by, makes her jerky downshifts, and unfortunlately a big gap formed and her legs were worn out. That's still better than having someone slam into her back wheel. She was running good Campy components, but she's been having a real hard time getting them tuned properly because of damage done in a crash. If you have a lot of issues with your components, then worry about it. If it's been fine, then don't.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:36 PM   #21
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My first 10 races were done on sora w/ a triple. Got my wrecks out of the way without worry about breaking stuff. Go race and have fun. Its even more fun when you beat dura-ace guys with your sora.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canonball
My first 10 races were done on sora w/ a triple. Got my wrecks out of the way without worry about breaking stuff. Go race and have fun. Its even more fun when you beat dura-ace guys with your sora.
the worse your bike, the sweeter the victory.
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Old 05-05-07, 03:16 PM   #23
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I have the bottom of the line allez with a triple and I raced it fine. I have another race tomorrow too. The only sucky part is im a junior, and after they block out my 12 and 13t cogs in the back im really only running 6 speeds. Sora wont make a huge difference in your race, go out there and do it up!
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Old 05-05-07, 05:50 PM   #24
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Yay.
Racing is about having fun - not about worrying about ANY of your components [p3nis included].
Some people spend their money, some spend their time, some both - be a good accountant.
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Old 05-05-07, 05:56 PM   #25
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Why not buy a junior cassette and get 8?

Things that might hold you back:
- poorly dialled in derailleurs. I saw lots of fluffed shifts and dropped chains because of poor maintenance.
- brakes you don't feel comfortable with (especially on hilly courses).
- a Schwinn 10 speed.

A lot of collegiate cyclists ride Sora. The D category in the ACCC was won on a basic Allez. Enjoy!
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