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.

View Poll Results: Cat up or no?
HTFU already and upgrade you sandbagging pantywaist! 45 86.54%
Nah...you have the bike handling and racing skills of a squash. Get more experience! 2 3.85%
Cat what? 5 9.62%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-07-11, 12:39 PM   #1
JohnKScott
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
JohnKScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin, TN
Bikes: None yo damn binness
Posts: 3,383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To be (cat 4) or not to be (cat 4)

Iím debating on whether I should cat up to 4. I know the only requirement is 10 mass starts. Thatís done. But I told myself that I would upgrade when I thought Iíd learned all I needed to as a 5.

I now have a grand total of 16 races in (11 this year). Truthfully I donít think Iím a naturally gifted bike racer. But I donít care. I have made some nice, hard fought, improvement this year in being able to hang with the pack on 20-30 minute crits by the end of the season. Most of those races I was just hanging on and then finally cracked a top 10 in the last race of the year. I didnít do any road races this year, though last year I was destroyed in the one that I did. So I guess what this information is leading to is that Iím in no danger of coming in and dominating the cat 5 races next year. Though maybe I can be competitive earlier in the season.

Pros to upgrading

This would present a new challenge in the off season. Maybe a little extra motivation?

I think I could at least hang with the 4ís in the crits next summer though it may be a struggle.

I will probably get to race with many of the guys I raced with this year.

I will be racing against some faster riders which would really challenge my limits.

Cons to upgrading

The cat 4 road races pretty much double in distance compared to the cat 5. I will likely get pummeled on these.

This year I havenít noticed the 4ís being any less crash prone than the 5ís. In fact, in the races I attended there were more crashes in the 4ís.

Though Iíve gotten more comfortable, I havenít really spent all that much time riding with the pack in races as I mostly got dropped before the last half of this season. Might it be good to get a little more experience before upgrade?

It might be nice to gain a bit more experience at the front of the pack and maybe be in a position where I would have a chance to podium before upgrading. Or in other words, gain a little more experience in actually ďracingĒ than just hanging on.

I won't really have time to increase my training volume. Though I think the hours I have available may be enough to drag me through cat 4 races.

Iíve talked to a couple of guys who upgraded to 4 and had trouble and at least one of them doesnít race much anymore (though I think they mostly did road races).

So I guess what it comes down to is Iíve gotten used to working hard and being in the back of the pack and Iím OK with that. Iím trying to decide whether I should just suck it up and, in all likelihood, repeat that MO in the 4ís or hang back and gain a bit more experience and confidence (and maybe better results) in the 5ís.

I know I need to make the decision but any thoughts are certainly welcome.
JohnKScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 12:43 PM   #2
SalsaPodio
Senior Member
 
SalsaPodio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Iowa
Bikes: 2012 Parlee Z5
Posts: 965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Upgrade.

In my experience, although a limited one, the jump from 5 to 4 is pretty small. Not anywhere near as hard as the jump from 3 to 2.
SalsaPodio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 12:45 PM   #3
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Bikes:
Posts: 13,816
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Upgrade! Otherwise you aren't making progress..
__________________
cat 1.

blog
mattm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 12:50 PM   #4
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)
Agreed. Cat 5 is to get your feet under you, and you're there. Upgrade and you'll also notice a different racing style. Not a great difference, but some teamwork will start to reveal itself.

That 3 to 2 jump was no joke for me (which is why I'm back to 3), but I'll bet you'll improve results going 5 to 4. As you race smarter, Cat 5 actually gets a little harder. It's almost like it's not really bike racing because of the mindless chasing down of everything.
waterrockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:05 PM   #5
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,134
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Did you do any 4/5 races last year, and if so, how did you do?

There is no rush to cat up, and if you are concerned, you could start next season and cat up after a few races.

I struggled a lot when I first started racing, and was being dropped in a lot of Cat 5 races. As such, I didn't cat up until I was competitive as a 5, which took close to two dozen races. Now, I am working toward moving up to a 3.
topflightpro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:18 PM   #6
Creakyknees
ride lots be safe
 
Creakyknees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 5,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
upgrade... you will not find a better motivator for winter training than the certainty that you'll be racing with 4's next year.
Creakyknees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:23 PM   #7
JohnKScott
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
JohnKScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin, TN
Bikes: None yo damn binness
Posts: 3,383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Did you do any 4/5 races last year, and if so, how did you do?

There is no rush to cat up, and if you are concerned, you could start next season and cat up after a few races.

I struggled a lot when I first started racing, and was being dropped in a lot of Cat 5 races. As such, I didn't cat up until I was competitive as a 5, which took close to two dozen races. Now, I am working toward moving up to a 3.
Thanks for the discussion so far! I enjoy hearing your experiences. It's more information to throw into the decision making process!

topflightrpo - No - no 4/5 races. And your suggestion is one that crossed my mind. The road races that I would likely do are in the very beginning of the season. So it might be a good possibility to do those as a 5 so it the race doesn't turn into 1/2 race and 1/2 solo tempo ride like the cat 4 race would likely be. . Then as soon as that last road race is done - upgrade for crits. A distinct possibility...
JohnKScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:31 PM   #8
pjcampbell
fair weather cyclist
 
pjcampbell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Green Mountains
Bikes: Colnago c50
Posts: 1,337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Upgrade to 4 ASAP
pjcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:39 PM   #9
Creatre
These Guys Eat Oreos
 
Creatre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 3,422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
FYI, I noticed a fairly large increase in intensity moving from Cat5 to Cat4 earlier this season.

However, with that said, I had a fairly significant increase in power and fitness because of upgrading. The only way to improve sometimes is to ride with faster people.

Go ahead and upgrade. If you struggle at the beginning of the year, don't get down on yourself, you'll probably get better and enjoy it more by the end of the year. Overall you'll be a better and faster cyclist that way.
Creatre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:48 PM   #10
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
can you do 2-3 races at 5 before cat-ing up so that you've stuck with the pack for the whole race and know what your "race conditioning" is before you go back to being blown off the back?
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:49 PM   #11
zigmeister
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Where we race, Cat 4/5s are often combined races unless the field is over 100. So, why not? You are riding with the same people often either way. Plus, they just upgrade you whenever they fell like it sometimes. I don't know, 6 starts, hey you are a Cat 4 now! You have no choice, unless you specifically ask to be downgraded.
zigmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 01:53 PM   #12
sdgrannygear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get more bang for your buck in the 4s. Plus, you might be eligible to do more races on the same day as a 4.
sdgrannygear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 02:01 PM   #13
JAMES_AMTRAK
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Im having th same problem. Id like some opinions also.
I have been on a bike all of 5 months. Done 6 crits and a time trial and a overall stage race.
finished 3rd out of 37 in road race missed 1st by 1hundreds of a second.
have 3 top 10 finishes in crits
Finished 4th in overall cc stage race.

I have another stage race next week and ill have my 10

I have been gettig alot of pressure to upgrade to 4 to help the team. The problem is I feel like I have a good shot of a good finish in th state road race in october if I stay a 5 then upgrade the next day for next years season.

What do I do? Upgrade right away or finish out the year at state road rac thn upgrade and go into next year skin a new category
JAMES_AMTRAK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 02:04 PM   #14
badhat
impressive member
 
badhat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: fort collins
Bikes: c'dale supersix, jamis trilogy, spec. tricross
Posts: 2,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
5>4 and 4>3 are no brainers, get out as soon as possible.

3>2 would give me pause only cuz theres no 2 only fields around here, just Pro,1,2.
badhat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 02:14 PM   #15
eippo1 
I like beans
 
eippo1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Meffa, MA
Bikes: Tarmac Pro, Bianchi Zurigo, Raleigh Gran Sport, Fuji Del Rey, Ironman Centurion
Posts: 3,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As far as what you have to learn, you'll learn a lot more upgrading to 4 than you will by staying in the 5's. I was much better as a 4 than a 5 because I found better people to race behind.
__________________
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

2009 Dean El Diente Superlite
2011 Bianchi Zurigo CX
2005 Specialized Sworks E5 "Calamity"
2007 Fuji Thrill LT1.0
199? Tommasini ? (pending build)
2001 Della Santa
eippo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 02:55 PM   #16
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)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMES_AMTRAK View Post
Im having th same problem. Id like some opinions also.
I have been on a bike all of 5 months. Done 6 crits and a time trial and a overall stage race.
finished 3rd out of 37 in road race missed 1st by 1hundreds of a second.
have 3 top 10 finishes in crits
Finished 4th in overall cc stage race.

I have another stage race next week and ill have my 10

I have been gettig alot of pressure to upgrade to 4 to help the team. The problem is I feel like I have a good shot of a good finish in th state road race in october if I stay a 5 then upgrade the next day for next years season.

What do I do? Upgrade right away or finish out the year at state road rac thn upgrade and go into next year skin a new category
Go get the Cat 4 state jersey! I'm kind of surprised that there are state champs for Cat 5s, actually.
waterrockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 03:04 PM   #17
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Bikes:
Posts: 20,241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Yeah. Cat 5 state champ jerseys are silly.
ridethecliche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 03:17 PM   #18
Sean T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Bikes: Giant TCR
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Upgrade. Challenge yourself. What's the worst that can happen? You get dropped. It happens to everyone. Cat 1 2 3 4 5 . Everyone gets dropped.
Sean T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 03:22 PM   #19
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer
Posts: 19,714
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
There is no rush to cat up
Yes there is. 5->4 is an upgrade on experience, not skill. In 10 races you have demonstrated the ability to register, hold a license, pin a number on, listen to officials, race without bringing great endangerment to all who surround you. Job done.

The rush to cat up is that in areas such as ours the small 50 limited cat 5 fields fill way early in pre-reg. If you don't cat up you are taking a spot away from someone looking to enter the sport.

Again - 5->4 is experience based....NOT SKILL. Join me int he 4's and we can get shelled together. I've got lots of great stories and we'll have plenty of time to share them.
Psimet2001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 03:28 PM   #20
botto 
.
 
botto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 40,364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Did you do any 4/5 races last year, and if so, how did you do?

There is no rush to cat up, and if you are concerned, you could start next season and cat up after a few races.

I struggled a lot when I first started racing, and was being dropped in a lot of Cat 5 races. As such, I didn't cat up until I was competitive as a 5, which took close to two dozen races. Now, I am working toward moving up to a 3.
incorrect.
botto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 04:30 PM   #21
JAMES_AMTRAK
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well if its a consolation th cat 5 state championship road race you can't ride on a 1 day license.
JAMES_AMTRAK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 04:33 PM   #22
botto 
.
 
botto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 40,364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMES_AMTRAK View Post
Well if its a consolation th cat 5 state championship road race you can't ride on a 1 day license.
that's like having a dick measuring contest in kindergarten.
botto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 04:35 PM   #23
Ygduf 
Į\_(ツ)_/Į
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.
Posts: 9,475
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
my last 4/5s race the c5s took 1st, 2nd, 4th in a primarily-4s field.
__________________

strava.com/athletes/ygduf
Ygduf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 04:49 PM   #24
kindablue
Fly on the wall
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Colorado Springs
Bikes: a few
Posts: 981
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by badhat View Post
5>4 and 4>3 are no brainers, get out as soon as possible.

3>2 would give me pause only cuz theres no 2 only fields around here, just Pro,1,2.
Agreed. Wait, whats Cat 5?
kindablue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-11, 05:09 PM   #25
shovelhd
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 15,529
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I voted upgrade.

Two other pros are that your races will usually be in bigger fields which tends to smooth things out somewhat, and they usually aren't the first race on the docket at o'dark thirty.

I'm a big proponent of doing your ten before upgrading to Cat4. You've done 16. You've also shown the ability to objectively look at yourself and assess your performance and your capabilities. Someone who can do that has no business racing in a pack of wild dogs who chase anything that moves. The next step for you is to figure out how to meter and measure your capabilities in a field surrounded by riders doing the same thing. That's when things get interesting, and a lot more fun. I bet you will find that Cat4 will be easier once you get used to, and train for, the pace. Look into an offseason FTP improvement program.

After Cat4, I'm a proponent of upgrading only after winning at the current level.
shovelhd 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 12:40 PM.