Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-24-07, 12:47 PM   #1
jwarf
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Upgrade from 5 to 4 or stay where I belong?

I'm 40 years old, second year of riding road bikes, I have enought mass starts for an upgrade, rode 10 races this year and a handful last year. Best finishes have been 10th and 12th this year. Is there glory in the upgrade and moving up the ranks or should I stay in the cat 5 ranks where I belong til next season?
jwarf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 12:55 PM   #2
ElJamoquio
Burning Matches.
 
ElJamoquio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Bikes: Motobecane Le Champion SL, Cervelo P2SL
Posts: 9,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
For me, the biggest deal is that you get longer races - sometimes 3X as long - in the 4's.

Longer race = better finish position for ElJamoquio.
__________________
Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

Bikeforums 'Group Buy': Kinlin Rims, Sapim/DT Spokes, Formula/Bitex Hubs


"The only good race pace is suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die."
-Steve Prefontaine
ElJamoquio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:11 PM   #3
substructure
RustyTainte
 
substructure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 28012
Bikes: zilch
Posts: 12,343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't massed as many starts and was thinking of upping early next season. Just add a few more races under the belt.

But, if you feel comfortable then by all means: up!!
substructure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:16 PM   #4
within
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Az
Bikes: Scott cr1. Scott Plasma.
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Same age. I moved up in general to gain experience riding with "better" riders to be able to hang in the masters events. Meaning, even if I'm average strength wise, I wanted to have a little experience so I wouldn't get in the way or be dangerous to those around me. Us older guys are more fragile and take longer to recover, period. Maybe you could do the same staying a 5, but IMHO, you'll learn more riding with more experienced riders.
within is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:23 PM   #5
pelikan
Two wheels is two wheels
 
pelikan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brisbane, CA
Bikes: Pee Wee Herman Special
Posts: 875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I upgraded solely to decrease the chance of being in a race with sketchy people. I'd like to win a race at some point, but getting home in one peace is way more important to me. Of course, percentage wise I wonder how much safer cat4 is. 50 riders in a cat5 race and X% are sketchy VS 100 riders in a cat4 race and Y% are sketchy (and there are quite a few). Hmmmmm, seeing as it only takes one. Anyhow, to further complicate it in the end, a lot of races are combined 4/5.



Now hat I think about, I should of downgraded to cat6 based on fitness levels.
pelikan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:37 PM   #6
GatorFL
I miss my bike.
 
GatorFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Jax, FL
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, S-Works Transition
Posts: 408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think that cat 4 is any less sketchy....just faster. That said, just do it. Either you suck in cat 4 now or you suck in cat 4 later. But if you do it now, you'll get better at them sooner.
GatorFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:37 PM   #7
cacatfish
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Californ-aye-ay
Bikes:
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did because you can do more races as a 4. You get to do the 4/5 races and the 3/4 races (just for kicks). There are also a couple races that dont even have a 5 race (like the Berkeley Hill RR).
cacatfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:40 PM   #8
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Everybody wants to move up cause of the "crash 5's". Since everybody moves up and the races are faster its now "crash 4's" as well.
wfrogge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:51 PM   #9
MDcatV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 6,760
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Upgrade. You'll become a better rider and racer by competing at a higher level.

Cat 5 results can be random and dont necessarily translate to success at upper levels. I think my best finish as a cat 5 was 10th. As a cat 4, if I would have done more races or hadnt upgraded to Cat 3 when I did, I would have won the BAR.
MDcatV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:56 PM   #10
Robobo1
Transplant
 
Robobo1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: A good one!
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some of the guys in my team say to win a few in the 5s before moving up, so you know what it feels like and know how to win... I'm not in a position to move up yet (couldn't race much this year), but next season I'm committed to training hard and am going to give that plan a shot. Do my 10 races, try to win a couple, and then move up.
Robobo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 01:58 PM   #11
YMCA
starting pistol means war
 
YMCA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Cervelo R3
Posts: 3,148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Absolutely move up. The category was designed for "beginners". It took the place of citizen races starting in 1992 (used to start at cat4). You are no longer a beginner, especially after 10 races. Best of times ahead for you.
YMCA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 02:43 PM   #12
WCroadie
Senior Member
 
WCroadie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Bikes: 2010 Trek Madone 5.5 CAAD9
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
Upgrade. You'll become a better rider and racer by competing at a higher level.
+1
And just be aware there are as many crashes in the 4's. Out of the 20+ races I've done this year I think only 1, maybe 2 did not have a crash.

But the races are longer and more fun.
WCroadie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 02:56 PM   #13
urbanknight
In beaurocratic limbo
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Bikes: Specialized Allez, K2 Razorback
Posts: 22,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unless you're placing in the races, the only reason to upgrade (imo) is to get away from all the squirrelly noobs.
__________________
"Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)
urbanknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:03 PM   #14
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection
Posts: 26,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Move up. If you want to experience bike racing, get into the 3s as quickly as possible so you can start to see consistent team behavior, and the races play out much differently. Alternatively, depending on age, you can just upgrade to 4 and start masters racing -- which is even more team-heavy.
waterrockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:33 PM   #15
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Bikes:
Posts: 8,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Unless you're placing in the races, the only reason to upgrade (imo) is to get away from all the squirrelly noobs.
Yeah, but most of them end up in 4s. Still can't ride their bikes worth a dam, but now they are going faster and think they can.
UmneyDurak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:33 PM   #16
DrWJODonnell
Slow'n'Aero
 
DrWJODonnell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Driving the pace in the crosswind
Bikes:
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
another consideration. Master's races often do not allow Cat 5. If you want more racing options (ie get shelled in the masters races) then upgrade.
DrWJODonnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:36 PM   #17
jwarf
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There seems to be a fair amount of sand bagging that goes in the cat 5 races, for some unknown reason, so I figured it made sense to stay there for another season. I think I'm making the move however, sounds like a good way to improve quickly, even though I'll get shelled for awhile! Thanks for the encouragement.
jwarf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:46 PM   #18
calhoun1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silverdale, WA
Bikes: 2004 Cannondale R600
Posts: 564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would say upgrade. You get fitter by chasing and pushing at or above your level. If you always hang with the slow group you will never improve. After 9 more mass starts I will upgrade to Cat 4. I want to have clear goals. I have 1 race and 1 2nd (though doesn't really count, Greenbelt 'C' race) but still that in and of itself was a learning experience.

But anyway, upgrade. How else can you get better without pushing?
calhoun1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 03:50 PM   #19
cmh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes:
Posts: 2,524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
You have raced more than 10 mass start races. The 4s is where you belong.
cmh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-07, 04:33 PM   #20
grebletie
NorCal Climbing Freak
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 872
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Definitely upgrade. Speeds won't be too different, but the fields will be bigger and more competitive.

And isn't the point to be challenged? No point in staying around in the 5's to get some wins. Big fish, small pond kind of thing.
grebletie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-07, 10:06 AM   #21
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwarf View Post
There seems to be a fair amount of sand bagging that goes in the cat 5 races, for some unknown reason, so I figured it made sense to stay there for another season. I think I'm making the move however, sounds like a good way to improve quickly, even though I'll get shelled for awhile! Thanks for the encouragement.
Way more sandbagging in CAT 4s.

Proof?

http://www.usacycling.org/rankings/i...=RR&cat=04&age=

*take the top half of the list, look at the races they have won, add up points they got going for "forced upgrade" and notice they are still 4's (most of them are)

Last edited by wfrogge; 08-27-07 at 10:13 AM.
wfrogge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-07, 10:23 AM   #22
rizz
I'm that guy that I am.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Maryland
Bikes:
Posts: 1,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The fact that cat 4s do 55 minute 40k TTs still makes me boggle. The whole category system is flawed, so just push on to higher cats so you can improve as you are challenged by progressively more advanced peers.
rizz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-07, 10:44 AM   #23
Duke of Kent
Senior Member
 
Duke of Kent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Bikes: Yeti ASRc, Focus Raven 29er, Flyxii FR316
Posts: 4,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rizz View Post
The fact that cat 4s do 55 minute 40k TTs still makes me boggle. The whole category system is flawed, so just push on to higher cats so you can improve as you are challenged by progressively more advanced peers.
Just because a Cat4 can do a 55min 40k doesn't mean he can race his bike competently. I know plenty of guys who are miserable TTers but just know how to RACE. Maybe it's the solo mindset of a TT, and they just don't have it, but these guys will work in a break, bridge solo for 15 minutes, or take off with 2 laps to go in a crit in a perfectly timed move. Racing is more than your FTP.

I also know plenty of guys who can ride a sub-55 who suck at racing bikes. Some of them happen to be triathletes who dabble in the 4s and 5s, but just can't handle the accelerations of a crit.
Duke of Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-07, 03:22 PM   #24
deyendznyr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Unless you're placing in the races, the only reason to upgrade (imo) is to get away from all the squirrelly noobs.
Staying in Cat 5 until you place isn't really good logic. Cat 5 races are short, and therefore suited to a certain type of rider. If you like to end your races in a group sprint, then by all means stay a 5. If you like a race that has attempted breakaways, is longer, and may actually benefit racers with better overall fitness, then upgrade. Not that cat 4 races don't often end in group sprints, they just have a few breaks that are loosely organized (And most of those fail).
deyendznyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-07, 09:50 AM   #25
blaronn
Senior Member
 
blaronn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Way more sandbagging in CAT 4s.

Proof?

http://www.usacycling.org/rankings/i...=RR&cat=04&age=

*take the top half of the list, look at the races they have won, add up points they got going for "forced upgrade" and notice they are still 4's (most of them are)
Keep in mind that a lot of races don't count for upgrade points because they either aren't long enough (Cat-4 races must be at least 20 miles for crits and 25 for RR's to count) or don't have the 30 racer Cat-4 minimum. If you look at my USAC history you'd think I had over 30 points but in reality I've only got five due to non-qualifying events.

To the OP, about the only time I'd definitely suggest waiting beyond the ten mass-start requirement is if you aren't currently finishing with the pack. If someone is getting dropped by the 5's, upgrading will just result in getting pulled from a lot of crits, and turning RR's into long solo rides. Sounds like you're ready though, although around here nobody would complain if someone hung around in the 5's beyond the ten unless they were consistent top-5 finishers.
blaronn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:56 PM.