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Old 02-05-13, 10:38 AM   #1
killergsd
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Hybrid Bikes in Road Races

I am new to cycling and bought a nice trek hybrid bike last summer. I have been training a lot and was hoping to enter some races this summer in WI. Are hybrid bikes allowed in the road races or do you have to have a road bike? I cant afford a road bike too?
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Old 02-05-13, 01:10 PM   #2
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Depending on the race, you should be fine. I signed up for a tri this summer, and they allow any bikes. I am picking up a Raleigh Misceo this week, and plan on using it. They even have a special "fat tire" division. You can always contact the people behind the race and find out.
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Old 02-05-13, 01:48 PM   #3
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Assuming you are in the U.S., then it will depend under what rules the race is being run. IIRC, road races under UCI rules won't permit flat bars, but I believe many races in the U.S. (most?) -- road and crit. -- run under different rules, which may permit flat bars (but not bar-ends, aero bars, etc.), or at least don't prohibit them explicitly. You'd have to check with the organizer(s) of any given race for a definitive answer.

Whether you'd want to enter, and other competitors' attitudes to you if you do show up, are entirely different questions of course!
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Old 02-05-13, 11:09 PM   #4
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Try it -, but you'll soon find out the Hybrid will be 20% slower than a lightweight road race bike.
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Old 02-06-13, 01:06 AM   #5
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http://www.usacycling.org/usa-cycling-rule-book.htm

Freewheel and 2 brakes required, no forward facing bar extensions for mass start races.
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Old 02-06-13, 01:34 AM   #6
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I while back on this forum a guy used his hybrid in a time trail race and posted pictures while he was building his proper race bike. He had a great time doing it. I suggest calling the event organizers and check on the rules, it would be a shame to show up at an event all ready to go then have you bike disallowed to race.
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Old 02-06-13, 03:10 AM   #7
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Here in Japan we are lucky to have flat-bar races. Most of our races are not UCI backed, as here cycling races are promoted as family events for all levels and bicycles.

Here are some guidelines from the UCI

http://www.uci.ch/Modules/BUILTIN/ge...g4OTM&LangId=1
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Old 02-06-13, 06:41 AM   #8
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Try it -, but you'll soon find out the Hybrid will be 20% slower than a lightweight road race bike.
20% I find that hard to believe. Any real source? 2 or 3% maybe up to 5% if you have a fat tire bike.

Rod
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Old 02-06-13, 07:24 AM   #9
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Try it -, but you'll soon find out the Hybrid will be 20% slower than a lightweight road race bike.
I guess I'm weird, but I'm 0% faster on my carbon flat bar road bike vs. my aluminum hybrid. 32mm tires vs. 25mm, 7 pounds lighter, 2x10 on the road bike vs. 3x9 on the hybrid. I thought I'd be some faster on the road bike, but no. Kinda pisses me off
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Old 02-06-13, 11:40 AM   #10
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OP: Have you done many race group rides? I mean the unofficial roadie hammerfests where people sprint for the county line sign, the Tuesday Night World Championship, that sort of thing.
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Old 02-06-13, 07:16 PM   #11
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Try it -, but you'll soon find out the Hybrid will be 20% slower than a lightweight road race bike.
20% I find that hard to believe. Any real source? 2 or 3% maybe up to 5% if you have a fat tire bike.

Rod


He must have ran out of posts in the 41 to troll...

Last edited by TomCat_Ford; 02-06-13 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 02-10-13, 07:10 PM   #12
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If I understand the rule correctly, flipped North Road bars would also be legal. I've not seen that set-up on road bikes, but it would be interesting to see.

That makes wonder about a (slightly) related question about another "out of context" set-up: Has anyone here ever raced - or raced against - an IGH-equipped bike, flatbar or otherwise? I know that internal hubs are used in an annual TT event in the UK (The Tin Can Ten), but I've never heard of anyone using them in a road race in modern times, though I understand that was the case in the UK, pre-WWII.

It would be interesting to see non-standard road bikes (flatbar, flipped North Road bar, IGH, etc.) being raced. But I suspect that race promoters would have to put them in a separate class and race from standard road bikes - if for no other reason that roadies would be suspicious of riding with anyone on such an unusual bike.
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Old 02-13-13, 05:44 PM   #13
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If I understand the rule correctly, flipped North Road bars would also be legal. I've not seen that set-up on road bikes, but it would be interesting to see.

That makes wonder about a (slightly) related question about another "out of context" set-up: Has anyone here ever raced - or raced against - an IGH-equipped bike, flatbar or otherwise? I know that internal hubs are used in an annual TT event in the UK (The Tin Can Ten), but I've never heard of anyone using them in a road race in modern times, though I understand that was the case in the UK, pre-WWII.

It would be interesting to see non-standard road bikes (flatbar, flipped North Road bar, IGH, etc.) being raced. But I suspect that race promoters would have to put them in a separate class and race from standard road bikes - if for no other reason that roadies would be suspicious of riding with anyone on such an unusual bike.
If someone just turned up at a race with a non-standard bike, either the USAC officials would either let him race or not. But race promoters aren't going to create a separate class on the day of the race. A criterium may have a dozen races already, scheduled to the minute, from 8am to 5pm. I cannot imagine a situation where the race promoter would be able to fit in a separate category for different bikes.

For what it's worth, I have raced a FG bike in a TT several times. It actually works really well depending on the course.
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Old 02-13-13, 05:51 PM   #14
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I would suggest before even thinking of entering a race with a hybrid or whatever that you spend some time riding with the local 'fast' club rides, see if you can keep up with the peloton on their training rides.

the largest of the local clubs here runs a weekly saturday morning ride, usually broken into a/b/c groups...

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The C ride is between 25-35 miles, at 10-14 mph, with 1,800' or less of elevation. The B ride is for the intermediate rider with distances of 35-50 miles, at 12-16 mph pace, with 3000' or less of elevation and A rides may cover 40-80 miles, at a 15-20 mph pace, and 3,000' or more of elevation.
If you have any hope of road racing, you'd best be able to keep up with the front of the pack of the A group. These rides have several breaks to regroup, a road race wouldn't.
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Old 02-13-13, 06:57 PM   #15
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If someone just turned up at a race with a non-standard bike, either the USAC officials would either let him race or not. But race promoters aren't going to create a separate class on the day of the race. A criterium may have a dozen races already, scheduled to the minute, from 8am to 5pm. I cannot imagine a situation where the race promoter would be able to fit in a separate category for different bikes.
Oh, no doubt. It would be neat to see a non-standard class (the old motor racing term is "formula libre" or "free formula") promoted in its own right. But I agree with you completely: No promoter is going to sacrifice other races by trying to squeeze that kind of event into the mix.
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Old 02-14-13, 02:06 PM   #16
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If I understand the rule correctly, flipped North Road bars would also be legal. I've not seen that set-up on road bikes, but it would be interesting to see.

That makes wonder about a (slightly) related question about another "out of context" set-up: Has anyone here ever raced - or raced against - an IGH-equipped bike, flatbar or otherwise? I know that internal hubs are used in an annual TT event in the UK (The Tin Can Ten), but I've never heard of anyone using them in a road race in modern times, though I understand that was the case in the UK, pre-WWII.

It would be interesting to see non-standard road bikes (flatbar, flipped North Road bar, IGH, etc.) being raced. But I suspect that race promoters would have to put them in a separate class and race from standard road bikes - if for no other reason that roadies would be suspicious of riding with anyone on such an unusual bike.
I have to admit that this is true. There is a definite pack mentality and the pack looks for signs of outsiders. The markers can be as subtle as whether or not a rider shaves, or has a sharp enough tanline. See the Rules of the Velominati, for example. These seem superficial and silly to most riders, and to all normal people. But they are proxies for seriousness, and by extension, a proxy for whether a rider can handle his bike. A hybrid rider, fairly or unfairly, would be seen as someone who is not sufficiently serious about riding. Plus, no one wants to go into 90 degree, 28 mph corner next to a guy with 50 cm wide handlebars. It's not personal.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:34 PM   #17
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.... But they are proxies for seriousness, and by extension, a proxy for whether a rider can handle his bike. A hybrid rider, fairly or unfairly, would be seen as someone who is not sufficiently serious about riding. Plus, no one wants to go into 90 degree, 28 mph corner next to a guy with 50 cm wide handlebars. It's not personal.
Agree 100%. I remember in a race I was in once, a guy was being yelled at for not riding in the drops. I heard a guy yell "In the drops, in the drops. Ride with confidence"!! I agree with his concerns. it makes fellow riders nervous in bends when someone isn't riding the "norm" especially in a group or pace line.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:27 PM   #18
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Agree 100%. I remember in a race I was in once, a guy was being yelled at for not riding in the drops. I heard a guy yell "In the drops, in the drops. Ride with confidence"!! I agree with his concerns. it makes fellow riders nervous in bends when someone isn't riding the "norm" especially in a group or pace line.
I totally get this point - especially the "ride with confidence" part. From the race videos I've seen, crit carnage is large enough with conventional road bikes I can imagine the anxiety that unusual set-ups - with or without an unfamiliar or inexperienced rider aboard - cause for the rest of the race field or group. I suppose that someone who rides regularly with a given group, someone who has gained the confidence of the rest of the group, would be able to get away with it - on a club ride, if not in a race.

I've never raced, not yet done a group ride/pace line, but this Spring I'll give it a try. My bike is drop bar single-speed (freewheel, not fixed gear) and I'm sure I'll get The Goodbye Look if I show up with it for a group ride (and even if allowed to ride, it would be foolish to think I could keep up once the hammer drops). Time for N+1, then...
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Old 02-14-13, 10:55 PM   #19
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...My bike is drop bar single-speed (freewheel, not fixed gear) and I'm sure I'll get The Goodbye Look if I show up with it for a group ride (and even if allowed to ride, it would be foolish to think I could keep up once the hammer drops). Time for N+1, then...
I don't know about the States, but here we used to often have fixed gear (I know you said single speed) riders with us. I must say though eventually they all converted to a road bike with gears. The fixed gear trend here has well and truly passed due to the police cracking down on bikes with no brakes. The N+1 is a wise choice as you'll feel much better sticking with everyone once the pace picks up, and once you start ascending and descending etc. Good luck in spring and I know you'll love the challenge.
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Old 02-15-13, 01:02 AM   #20
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group rides by the road bike clubs around here involve lots of long steep hills, if you think you could do that in the middle of a 40 or 80 mile ride on a SS while maintaining a pace, more power to ya!

if you're geared low enough to sustain a good spin on a climb up a 8% grade for several miles, then you'll be totally spun out when they hit the flats and start spinning their 100" plus gears.

but, group rides come in all sizes and shapes. for every bunch of racers-in-training, there's a dozen groups of more relaxed club riders.
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