Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Cooper CX
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03-22-11, 06:41 PM
Would a Cooper CX be a better option over say a stock Cooper for brevets and multi-day endurance riding like RAAM? Or is the Backroads (I think that's Lynskey's model touring bike) the only viable option here?
I've been contemplating doing the RAAM on my CAAD9-5 but I'm not certain that it's gonna be up to snuff beyond the 100 mile marker.
I thought the Cooper CX might be interesting because you can almost still do club rides on it, and get the benefits of the LD/CX aspect of it?
03-22-11, 07:02 PM
Have you ridden more than a 100 miles on your CAAD 9? If you're not sure do a 500 mile race on it and see how it goes. If the Lynskey geometry works for you I'd choose the Helix over the Cooper for RAAM but that's just me. Most people who do RAAM have more than one bike anyway. When I do an ultra distance race I bring at least three bikes. A go fast bike set up like a TT bike, a light climbing bike and a more traditional geometry road race bike.
03-22-11, 07:35 PM
I would look at the Sportive from Lynskey if your a normal sized or smaller cyclist. I had a Lynskey made model like the Sportive. It was a little flexy on faster decents, but I'm 210 lbs.
03-22-11, 08:46 PM
Go try some rides over 100 miles and see what you like or don't like. If you don't have other ideas, look up Houston Randonneurs, get in touch with them and try some brevets, just go on up and spend the weekend. You will also run into some VERY experienced riders in doing so, including several from this area. One of those may be Dan Driscoll, who organizes the Texas Time Trials, which is one of the 500-mile races referred to up there. Another may be Gary G., who won that race last year.
On the 100-mile mark, that can be ridden on some pretty ill-suited bikes, so it's not really a particular cut-off.
03-23-11, 05:45 PM
FYI, a cross bike might be a tad slow for some club rides compared to the CAAD, depending on the wheels and tires you select.
Standards are very different for rides like RAAM, though. Keep in mind you're talking about over 8 days of riding with minimal rest at relatively slow speeds (e.g. 14 mph iirc). Weight probably matters more than usual since there's a ton of climbing, and aero a little bit less, since your speed is below 15mph. So the small performance differences between bikes don't matter nearly as much as making sure the bike is set up comfortably enough to actually keep going.
It's probably going to take a lot of work and riding to figure out what geometry works for you with rides that long. As such I recommend you try a few cheaper frames with various geometries to figure out what works best for you, before ponying up for a $1600+ titanium frameset.
03-23-11, 07:49 PM
Keep in mind that "relatively slow speeds" of 14mph is the average including all the time off the bike eating, sleeping, bathroom or whatever. If you figure they are taking about 5hrs off the bike each day (and still riding 340mi/day) they are actually averaging closer to 18mph on the bike. Maybe not TT speed but that includes the 100,000+ft of climbing they do and the climbing in the Appalachians is pretty brutal after 2300miles on the legs.
Aero is huge in RAAM. Consider that over 1/3 of the race is across the plains with that wind that's always there. I'll guarantee that you won't find one RAAM racer pedaling across Kansas at 14mph. They'd never make the cut-offs. Nor is there a single RAAM racer who does not have aerobars, aerohelmets, aerowheels aero-everything on at least one bike. In all the years I've participated in RAAM I've never come across any solo racers have only one bike (see my post above), many have four or five. The last thing you want to have happen is to DNF because your one and only bike broke.
Bill Bradley at the RAAM starting line.
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