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  1. #1
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    5-4 Upgrade question

    At what point do you HAVE to upgrade from a 5 to a 4?

    I know you can upgrade after 10 mass start races, but are you forced to at that point?

    I did 4 races last year in my first year of racing. Went from being lapped my first race, to 20th, to 9th, to 5th place finish. I feel twice as strong as I did last year starting out the season, and feel I should do pretty well in the 5's this year. I may do really well, maybe not.

    I'm planning on racing every weekend coming up, then doing a stage race in march. At that point I will be ready to upgrade.

    My problem is I really dont want to upgrade till I can win a 5 race. Or at least be in the sprint every time, consistently, for a few races. At that point I feel I will have the confidence to get into the 4's.

  2. #2
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Varies by district and upgrade rep. I'm sure there's something in the rulebook, but how that is interpreted and enforced is what matters.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  3. #3
    Irvine Rider
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    Upgrade before you can win a 5's race. The point of 5's are for people who are just starting bike racing. At the same time some people who are new can be pretty fit. For example triathletes usually do well in the 5's but still should be there because they are new to it.

    Firstly, if you can hang with the pack in 5's races and can do it consistently you should move up. You will only get faster by riding w/ people faster then you. If you keep riding w/ people who are the same speed you will stay the same speed. Secondly by the time you are strong enough to win a 5 race, truth is you should be a 4. As long as you aren't getting dropped every race I think you should upgrade when you get a chance.

    If I were in your situation I'd probably do a few races this year as a 5 and if i did well I'd just upgrade later. Also just be warry though. If you upgrade later you will have to pay a fee on your license to get the upgrade.
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  4. #4
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Plus there are rarely/never any purses for winning a 5's race.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  5. #5
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    As said above, cat5's are for beginners, not for guys trying to win bike races.
    Get your experience (ten races) and move on.

  6. #6
    i got nothing. Crash716's Avatar
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    why wouldn't you want to upgrade?....winning a cat 5 race is like getting a free bag a chips out of the vending machine, sure it's nice but nobody really cares.

    you stay in the 5's in keep winning you're a d-bag sandbagger so.....

    not trying to bust your chops but you'll only get better by racing against/with faster riders. I am a Cat 4 and haven't won a race but i can't wait to get into the 3's. It's just more fun with better riders and faster races, and it's nice to have team work, racing is all about teamwork and when it's starts happening it's allot of fun.

    Don't fool yourself about the 4's or the 3's for that matter, they aren't much faster than the 5's, they're just a little bit smarter on how they use their power. if you are finishing in the top 10's in the 5's you'll be more than fine in the 4's.

  7. #7
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    don't be a d-bag. everyone wants to win before they upgrade, and then what happens? In the 5s on any given day some new dude with semi-pro mtn biking legs or hardcore triathelete background can show up and be that guy. Then you, who should be a 4 stick around until you're that guy, but it takes even longer.

    Here's a secret - fast 5s are faster than mid/fast 4s b/c the 5s will be 3s (and/or 2s) very soon.

    If you're comfortable in a pack and got 2 top 10 finishes, as soon as you get your 10 starts, GET THE **** OUT.

    edit: didn't refresh before I typed that, apparently crash and I think more or less alike
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    Alright, alright......I just wanted the glory, haha.

    Honestly I should try and upgrade early when I think about it. I actually have teammates in the 4's unlike I do in the 5's.

  9. #9
    i got nothing. Crash716's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1loudz View Post
    Alright, alright......I just wanted the glory, haha.

    Honestly I should try and upgrade early when I think about it. I actually have teammates in the 4's unlike I do in the 5's.
    it's really nice to be in a race and see 3-10 guys in the same uniform as you, trust me.

  10. #10
    umd
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    I don't believe there are any mandatory upgrade rules out of the 5s. That's why they don't allow cash prizes...

  11. #11
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash716 View Post
    not trying to bust your chops but you'll only get better by racing against/with faster riders. I am a Cat 4 and haven't won a race but i can't wait to get into the 3's. It's just more fun with better riders and faster races, and it's nice to have team work, racing is all about teamwork and when it's starts happening it's allot of fun.
    Word

    And longer races too...

  12. #12
    Foot + Mouth = me aperez8264's Avatar
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    Upgrade to 4 when you get your 10 races in, you'll get stronger in a field w/ better racers. I know it sounds like everyone is saying the same thing, but if you don't move up you'll never improve.
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  13. #13
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    Furthermore, the higher cat races start later in the morning (around here anyway). I believe they start the novice/5 race around 6am, or something like that...

  14. #14
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyzackery View Post
    Furthermore, the higher cat races start later in the morning (around here anyway). I believe they start the novice/5 race around 6am, or something like that...
    I want my 3s upgrade so I don't have to get up before 6 or 7 on the weekend.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    As said above, cat5's are for beginners, not for guys trying to win bike races.
    Get your experience (ten races) and move on.
    There you go.

    There is one guy around here who's been a 5 forever - he probably weighs 275, gets shelled in every race. Unless you're that guy, do ten races and get your upgrade.

  16. #16
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    I'm starting to feel a little guilty. I've got over 10 races, although at least 5 are unreported. (One series is bad about not reporting results.) The only reason I didn't upgrade was because I wanted to do a few of the 6:00 pm C races early this spring so I could be home earlier. If I had upgraded, I wouldn't have gotten home before the little one went to bed. This makes the missus a little more understanding.

    I know I shouldn't let family get in the way of my meteoric ascension in cycling but hey...
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  17. #17
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    I'm starting to feel a little guilty. I've got over 10 races, although at least 5 are unreported. (One series is bad about not reporting results.) The only reason I didn't upgrade was because I wanted to do a few of the 6:00 pm C races early this spring so I could be home earlier. If I had upgraded, I wouldn't have gotten home before the little one went to bed. This makes the missus a little more understanding.

    I know I shouldn't let family get in the way of my meteoric ascension in cycling but hey...
    that's a much better reason than wanting to win.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  18. #18
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    Sorry do derail, but it seems like the OPs quiestion has been answered...

    When I upgrade out of 5s, I get a new license, right? Can I, at the same time/same process, go from unattached to part of a team without an additional fee?

  19. #19
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    some really fast dude who should've been in 3's hadn't done many races so he was basically just riding solo in front of the field, nearly lapping them, at the santa cruz beach hill crit.. people kept shouting "sand bagger" and "d bag" etc at him.. his friend was trying to stick up for him saying he couldn't upgrade until he did 10 races, yah riiiight! i upgraded out of 5's with like 3 races under my belt, they really don't care how many you've done, since 5 is packed and they want people out of there..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1loudz View Post
    Alright, alright......I just wanted the glory, haha.

    Honestly I should try and upgrade early when I think about it. I actually have teammates in the 4's unlike I do in the 5's.
    The glory starts at CAT 3 (if its a big race)
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

  21. #21
    i got nothing. Crash716's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    The glory starts at CAT 3 (if its a big race)
    false.

  22. #22
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    To the OP: if you get strong enough to win a Cat 5 race, you're probably close to the same place in the 4s. There's really very little difference between the two, other than race distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by arexjay View Post
    Sorry do derail, but it seems like the OPs quiestion has been answered...

    When I upgrade out of 5s, I get a new license, right? Can I, at the same time/same process, go from unattached to part of a team without an additional fee?
    No, you get a sticker. You'll have to pay your $15 to add your team to the license (which is optional, but good to do for your team's regional points).

  23. #23
    USAC/CBR Cat 3 OCshark's Avatar
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    Most people want to get out of cat 4/5 ASAP just to get away from the big pile-ups.
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  24. #24
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    ^^ no pileups in the 3s at alll......


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfs55TB9srg
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  25. #25
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    To the OP: if you get strong enough to win a Cat 5 race, you're probably close to the same place in the 4s. There's really very little difference between the two, other than race distance.
    In socal, where the OP is from, there is actually a pretty big jump from the 5s to the 4s. The fastest 5s are about the same as the fastest 4s but in a 5s race there will be only a few of them in a field of 50. In a 4s race there can be 50 strong guys in a field of 70-120. A lot of people in the 5s are like fauxto nick, just starting racing (hey, following our advice to just get out there!) are maybe in a little over their heads. Watching a 5s race is watching a stream of people just constantly being spit out the back. Not saying that doesn't happen in a 4s race but it will usually shell a few people immediately and then be relatively stable for a while unless there is a big climb. I guess that was a lot of rambling but my point is that there is a lot more competition in the 4s so you can be one of the few strong guys in a 5s race and be one of the many strong guys in the 4s race.

    Then of course there was my teammate who won his last 5s road race then placed in the top 5 in 3 crits (cat 4 and two masters races) the next day...

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