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Old 08-27-07, 01:25 PM   #1
Briareos
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Anatomy of a Criterium Bicycle 101

I'm curious what constitutes a pure criterium racing bicycle, if you were to build one exclusively for crits?

Tighter geometry, super-light wheels (or super-light bicycle in general), all metal construction considering the higher number of crashs in crits?

Or is standard road-bike the way to go?
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Old 08-27-07, 01:34 PM   #2
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Even though I have no clue in terms of experience.

My best guess would be first and foremost, a bike you are comfortable on and know how to handle.

After that, I have no clue.
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Old 08-27-07, 01:37 PM   #3
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Crit bikes have steep seat and head tube angles, usually 74-72 in the seat tube, and 73-74 on the head tube, it's also got a smaller rake on the fork, maybe 43mm or 41mm.
The bottom bracket area and head tube area are reinforced with extra carbon or different shaped aluminum. They ride a lot stiffer than your average bike, and you might not want to ride it for a century.
The wheels are light, but more importantly aerodynamic for when you break away, you want to save watts of power while being fast. They also need to be incredibly stiff so all of your power gets through to the road during a sprint or break.
Most crit bikes aren't spectacularly light, stiff ness is more important.
Also, if you crash in a criterium, chances are, you're replacing your bike.


And yes, and bike, bar a TT bike or USAC illegal bike is suitable for a criterium.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:06 PM   #4
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Also, if you crash in a criterium, chances are, you're replacing your bike.
I've got at least 4 crit crashes on my all-carbon bike. Still going strong.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:22 PM   #5
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+1 The idea that a steel bike will be more durable in a crash is wrong.

Get a bike with the geometry described by Crimson above. And then practice the skills that are required in a Crit: intervals, cornering. Learn to adjust in corners without panicking, learn to read a race so you can anticipate when a crash might occur. (And don't simply say "stay at the front". That's not realistic.)
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Old 08-27-07, 02:25 PM   #6
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People have specific crit bikes?
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Old 08-27-07, 02:54 PM   #7
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Are you new here?
We have....
rain bikes
road bikes
climbing bikes
track bikes
'cross bikes
dirt road bikes
cruisers
mountain bikes (several sub-categories thereof)
fixed gear
single speed
and bikes that we never ride but never get rid of because they carry sentimental value.

Yes, we have crit-specific bikes.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:05 PM   #8
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You can't forget about "the rain-race bike" or the "commuter bike"
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Old 08-27-07, 03:18 PM   #9
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strong motor that can accelerate quickly.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:25 PM   #10
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XC Bike, DH Bike, All Mountain Bike, the rain XC Bike, the pratice DH bike.

Yup, that's why I only do XC MTB stuff... And I don't have a rain bike.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:27 PM   #11
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How can you two forget the TT bike

I think of a crit bike as the same dimensions as my road bike(can hop on it and feel the same as far as reach/saddle height etc.) stiff frame and more durable components like aluminum shift levers instead of carbon and a frame that is cheaper to replace
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Old 08-27-07, 04:00 PM   #12
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Crit bike = $2K Carbon Wheels that will make you cry if/when you get crashed out. Or atleast that seems to be the trend up here in NorCal.
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Old 08-27-07, 04:14 PM   #13
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Crit bike = $2K Carbon Wheels that will make you cry if/when you get crashed out. Or atleast that seems to be the trend up here in NorCal.
404's are pretty much standard equipment if you're a cat-4 in Florida.
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Old 08-27-07, 04:27 PM   #14
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Freudian slip to forget the TT bike.
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Old 08-27-07, 04:52 PM   #15
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Do any companies market a crit-specific bike these days? I think some manufacturers did back in the 80's, but I haven't seen any around recently.

Back then they had high BB's to increase pedaling clearance and short wheelbases.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:33 PM   #16
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A Cannondale CAAD 5/6/7/8/9, along with their crash replacement program, is hard to beat for a crit bike IMHO.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:47 PM   #17
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Another thought based on recent experience - a replaceable derailleur hanger is an important feature on a crit bike.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
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A Cannondale CAAD 5/6/7/8/9, along with their crash replacement program, is hard to beat for a crit bike IMHO.
I'd agree. Super stiff, around 1300g for the frame, cost a lot less than a Pinarello and looks good. Though I've never seen a Cadd 6 before for some reason. Pre-dating the CAAD series was the Criterium series, I actually have one with full 105 and everything, sweet ride.

And for those of you who talk about wheels like whoever has the best wins, I race and train on a set of Fulcrum 5 Evo's. They're North of 1800g, and wind up slowly, but I can school guys on 404's and 606's.

Crit racing is about the engine and a big starter helps even more.
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Old 08-27-07, 06:02 PM   #19
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Seems like a crit bike is basically a track bike with a rear-derailleur hanger and all the appropriate braze-ons.

I have an aluminum GT Strike road bike (triple-triangle; teeth-chattering stiff) that may fit the bill. Too bad the TIG welding is absolutely fugly beyond belief, I may have to take a file to them.
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Old 08-27-07, 06:15 PM   #20
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A Cannondale CAAD 5/6/7/8/9, along with their crash replacement program, is hard to beat for a crit bike IMHO.
whats the crash replacement program? on the cdale site, it says that the warranty is only for manufacturer defects
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Old 08-27-07, 08:23 PM   #21
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At my dealer, you trade-in your crashed frame, and get 50% off on a new one.
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Old 08-27-07, 08:25 PM   #22
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It's a crappy plan where if you crash, you can get a little bit of money off of a new frameset, which Cannondale thinks is worth $1000. You can get a new one on Ebay for 60% of that.


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At my dealer, you trade-in your crashed frame, and get 50% off on a new one.
No way, 50% off would mean that the dealer is losing money. Dead cost isn't even half not even if you're a platinum dealer. So unless you're LBS is owned by the nicest guy in the world, then I think you've been misinformed.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
And for those of you who talk about wheels like whoever has the best wins, I race and train on a set of Fulcrum 5 Evo's. They're North of 1800g, and wind up slowly, but I can school guys on 404's and 606's.
Incorrect.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:12 PM   #24
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For what its worth when Davis Phinney left 7/11 for Coors Light he made some minor changes to his bikes. IIRC his Coors Light Serottas were built with a slightly higher bottom bracket and he went back to 170mm cranks because the US domestic circuit was primarily crits. He may also have moved his saddle forward a few mm. The changes werent radical.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:15 PM   #25
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No way, 50% off would mean that the dealer is losing money. Dead cost isn't even half not even if you're a platinum dealer. So unless you're LBS is owned by the nicest guy in the world, then I think you've been misinformed.
Where did I say the dealer is the one giving the discount?
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