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  1. #1
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    Racing at a disadvantage

    Hello guys

    To introduce my self I'm 16(UK Youth A) been road cycling for 1 year before I always used to go out on my MTB. About 1 year ago I stopped climbing competitively (was on the GB climbing team) before that I did athletics. I'm a very sporty person and before I started road cycling was already in excellent physical shape.

    My current road bike is a Carrera (Halfords) it weight's 12KG, 14 gears Shimano Tourney. To be honest its a bad bike and is really poor quality but its all which I could afford.

    When ever we're training I always hang on well but then get dropped towards the end. This is the same with when we have races when training (we use a circuit) I always get dropped towards the end. Its really annoying because I know that my physical fitness is just as good as there's. Also I have learnt a lot about race tactist from when I first started so its not that which is holding me back.
    I'm 99.99% sure that if I had a better bike (most people are using full carbon bike such as the Cannondale SuperSix Evo RED22. Most of there bikes cost between 1000-3000)
    It'd really annoying because there is no way I would ever be able to get a bike at that price. Or even at 500. My bike cost 300 and it was the best part of 3years worthy of saving. I only live with my mum who basically has a min wage job. There is absolutely no way my parents would be able to get me a bike. Does anyone have any ideas at all?

    Thank you in advance for any replies

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    No idea about your location, but are you with a team or have you explored teams. Many will provide equipment to use.

  3. #3
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Agree with getting on a team.

    Another option would be a job. Living at home, no expenses, it shouldn't be that difficult to earn a 1000 pounds.

    That said, its not about the bike. Admittedly your bike is a on the low end for a bike that one would consider worthy of racing, and you're at a bit of weight disadvantage, but its not about the bike.

    If you plug all this into on an online calculator, you'll find that a 5lb weight penalty on the bike is really a very marginal difference, particularly on the flats.

    If you've got the fitness, and the savvy you can win races on that bike.

    The problem sounds more like you don't have it to stick with the final surge. There are two likely possibilities for that. First is that your threshold power isn't high enough; you're working at that level or above just to hang, and when the race heats up, you don't have any more to give.

    Second, is that your comfortable riding at threshold, but you need to train more at an anerobic level, and raise your one minute power so you can take it to the next level at the end.

    A really good interval to work on your particular problem would be 10 minutes at threshold power,followed immediately by one minute all out, repeat 4 times. That will condition you to being able to jump and put out max power when you're already gassed, as well as help raise your FTP.

    So HTFU, work harder, ride smarter, and take great pleasure when you beat the rich kids on their fancy bikes.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Also, it sounds like your training is mostly group training rides, which are good.

    But if you want to get faster than the people you're training with, you need to also do structured interval work.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    If the bike really is 12Kg - 26lbs I think it is about the bike. That is 8-13lbs heavier than what many kids are riding on 2nd-3rd level tier component groups (Shimano 105 won't build up that heavy). And while weight is one aspect typically those components he uses won't perform as well either.

    My son is 16. Junior racing is very competitive, there are often hills, and unlike adults where you can tell them to loose a few in the belly, I'm trying to think of a significant junior racer that could lose anywhere near that weight difference in their body. Double digit body composition is rare - I don't know of any kids that "fat". Combine that with juniors typically being lighter than adults the bike weight is a larger % of the rider weight. On a very few courses, against very few juniors would that extra weight not matter.

    Around here (SoCal) if he trained hard and was a nice guy several teams would give him a bike to use. But here is not there, so its not an easy solution if there are no teams around.
    @merlineextralight - Seems we have some frames in common.
    We have an Extralite with the old press fit BB, Two Paramount OSes, Dwan built me his first tandem when working for Gary at Early then on my 3rd tandem - a Co-Motion in the 93 where we road the Duet....for our Honeymoon.
    Last edited by Doge; 03-06-15 at 06:13 PM.

  6. #6
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    26lbs seems a bit high for the weight of that bike.
    Halfords | Carrera Zelos Road Bike 2015

    Aluminum frame, decent wheels, and an admittedly low end group.

    Also the OP says hes getting dropped by the surge at the end of races, not on climbs. The wieght penalty would hurt acceleration, but not as much as climbing.

    There's also a significant difference in fitness among juniors. Some can ride with elite Cat 1-2's, some can't hang with Cat 5's.

    If the OP is in great condition, and racing against other elite juniors, then this bike is going to be a handicap. But the difference the bike makes is less than the difference between really elite juniors, and entry level juniors.

    If the OP is racing smart, training smart, and hard, he should not be repeatedly getting dropped on training races, even on that bike.

    And if he's racing against truly elite kids, and the bike is what's causing him to get dropped, he's strong enough that someone will likely give him a bike to ride.

    Blaming results on equipment is a bad habit for bike racers to get into.
    Last edited by merlinextraligh; 03-09-15 at 01:23 PM.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    Forks:
    FULL HI-TEN STEEL - 1.1/8 Steerer

    You can ram a truck with that.
    Looking for solutions and we have not hear back from the OP.
    Maybe try GoFundMe: #1 for Crowdfunding & Fundraising Websites or like that and tell a good story with good pictures.

    What you said about non competitive juniors is correct. Get fit, get competitive, then the equipment will matter.

    A year ago there was a kid that came out locally and raced against the established juniors. He was on a steel bike with friction down tube shifters. While he lost to all the big boys - many of them told him how cool it was he could compete with that bike and tried to hook him up with some teams that had better stuff. I don't know the end of that story, but on that day - the respect went to the rider, not the machine and there were those that were ready to assist that rider.
    Also on that note - there are kids with good equipment given to them that do nothing with it. It is often asked to be returned.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c1s2 View Post
    I'm 99.99% sure that if I had a better bike (most people are using full carbon bike such as the Cannondale SuperSix Evo RED22. Most of there bikes cost between 1000-3000)
    It'd really annoying because there is no way I would ever be able to get a bike at that price. Or even at 500. My bike cost 300 and it was the best part of 3years worthy of saving. I only live with my mum who basically has a min wage job. There is absolutely no way my parents would be able to get me a bike. Does anyone have any ideas at all?

    Thank you in advance for any replies
    You are at a point in your life where you need to think about buying your own bikes, cars, etc. It also means a little more to you when you pay your own money for it.

    My 4-H money went into my early bikes, and I still own the used Colnago that I bought with my money when I was 16. My parents gave me quite a bit of support, but I was also doing odd jobs like insulating houses, building fences, and hauling and selling bark in the back of the pickup.

    If you work for $10 an hour for 40 hours... that is about $400 (minus all the taxes, insurance, and other expenses). A couple of weeks of hard work and you could have a new bike. Even if you're only working after school, weekends, and in the summer, it will add up.

    Also, consider value... and the best value is often in the used bikes. Buy what was the top of the line bike a decade ago, and you may get it for pennies on the dollar. What are the best ads in the UK? Here one must keep an eye on Craigslist. Depending on the size of the city, it could take a while for the perfect deal to show up.

    Carbon Fiber frames also show up from time to time, often for $100 to $200. You could either sell your Halford's bike, or transfer the components over to a new frame, then slowly upgrade parts as is appropriate.

    As others have mentioned, there is a lot of variability from rider to rider. Are you just hanging at the back of the pack, or are you taking a pull at the front every once in a while? Carrying your weight? Keep training, and keep cranking out the miles. Listen to suggestions about improving sprints.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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  10. #10
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I think the fact the OP hasn't posted back in 5 days may tell us something.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    Yea - he wants to see us go at it - or he's riding his bike.

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