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  1. #76
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    AzT, it's interesting you mentioned "shallow pain-cave". I had exactly that thought today when I was preriding the road I want to use for the next FTP test. Barb was riding me off her wheel, again, and I was wondering what I had to do to either catch her, or stay with her. I was in the pain-cave, but not terribly deep, but still, I hurt like hell. When we stopped for a little break I thought about that, and I felt that I could go deeper, but I also realized that I didn't really know how. The pain-cave can be scary, but what's interesting to me about it is that the few times I have REALLY dug deep into it (in races), I always come out the other side none the worse for wear. Even knowing that, I am more often than not reluctant to push over that edge.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  2. #77
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Bikes. I spend what I can afford, sometimes more than that. I don't buy uber expensive equipment, because I can't afford it and I really don't think it would do me any good if I could. What I do is to make sure the foundation is good, and that it is "upgradeable". I bought a CAAD 10 as my road race/crit bike. Not expensive, and to be honest, even if I could have afforded it, I don't know that I would have noticed the difference between it an it's ultra expensive sibling, a Super 6 Evo. I try to keep upgrades in the same vein, make sure they will do the most for my money. The best thing I've done to it is give it light wheels. I use Mavic Cosmic Carbones for road races and 50mm Corima carbon tubies for crits. Both made a very noticeable difference in the way the bike responds and rides, the Corima's much more so than the Cosmics. With those Corima wheels, the bike literally leaps when I step on the gas.

    I've always been one who has sought out "bang for the buck", no matter the current object of my desire. That extra 2 or 3 percent of difference/performance gain I'm not going to either notice, or be able to take advantage of, so my take has always been "why spend 30 to 50 percent more for 2 to 3 percent gain"? That's me. Others differ.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I've always been one who has sought out "bang for the buck", no matter the current object of my desire. That extra 2 or 3 percent of difference/performance gain I'm not going to either notice, or be able to take advantage of, so my take has always been "why spend 30 to 50 percent more for 2 to 3 percent gain"? That's me. Others differ.
    Ditto. I spend money on wheels and on (my bike) position. The rest of it is less important, but I'll splurge if someone is selling a light saddle for cheap or I can pick up another spare Thomson post.

    What's sort of ironic is that aero wheels help me most in tailwinds - that's where I notice it the most anyway. It's not like I'm always benefiting from them, and some of my good places were on non-aero wheels.

    Position - virtually all my non-wheel and non-wear purchases in the last 4 years have been position related - frames (and small parts for said frames), bars, stems, crank things (for length). I've been trying to fix my "loose pedal" thing too - I seem to unclip out of the Keos on a disturbingly regular basis but I haven't committed to changing anything yet.

    I don't lust after any particular frame or component group. I like certain wheel lines (HED, for example, or ENVE), I like certain position related things (FSA Compact bars), but I'm definitely more the "working man's bike" kind of person. Paint and such don't do much for me.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    You also see a lot of discouraged racers after failed attempts to buy speed. A teammate went whole hog on TT's, up to and including wind tunnel testing. Custom frame, uber wheels, etc. Then, still not doing well, he tried switching coaches. Same results. He isn't racing now. To everyone but him, it was clear that he was inconsistent in his training, and didn't have the drive to take his effort to the level many people do. He has a "shallow pain-cave", something I understand because mine isn't nearly as deep as many people I know, and several of the people here on the forum. Being able to totally bury yourself for a long time really matters. We miss the guy, partly because he also set up a big pop-up, with a generator driven fan to keep us all cool. The smaller TT group lived better on race day than the larger crit contingent, which gets the official team tent.

    We have another guy, an absolute monster power wise (my nickname for him is "Incrdible Hulk"), who also is constantly cycling through cycling gear. We love that, because he sells his stuff to us at ridiculously low prices. He has the money to play that game, enjoys it, so that's what he does. He even has a separate garage for his bikes, of which there are a great many. But he could radically improve his results by just racing smarter, rather than relying on brute power. Has a monster sprint, but will blow himself out before the end of the race. Great guy, and I love him to death. He does pretty well in the TT's.

    I buy the best gear I can, but I'm under no illusion it will significantly change my results. For TT's, it's no where near what a few adjustments under expert guidance can do.
    I fall in that "shallow pain cave" category in training. In racing it's a bit different - there are times where I've gone well beyond anything I (previously) thought possible. Training, though, I don't know how to push hard any more.

    Guys that go through gear are good for a local area. There are a lot of 56-ish cm bikes in the area from one guy (a Cat 5 riding a way-expensive bike explained to me a bit embarrassedly that the price was too good so he bought the ultimate bike instead of buying a regular one, even if it's a bit much for him). Another guy, when a friend of his asked about who to have look at his bike, volunteered to look at the bike and then installed at his expense a new DA group on it, "to fix the shifting". Effect is the same, putting a lot of good parts into circulation in the area.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  5. #80
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    In general, locally, masters racers have all the toys. That is based on observation at races and what people are racing.

    Here are photos from the 2013 Dunlap ITT masters 55+ peloton. http://hcphoto.smugmug.com/DBC-and-N...9762925_VZkvG8

    Here are the women for Dunlap 35+, 45+ 55+ and 60+ http://hcphoto.smugmug.com/DBC-and-N...9750024_4gwKW3
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #81
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    I'm like Sara about "bang for buck" stuff. The bike I ride most often is a Specialized Allez frame set with DA 7800 drivetrain. My wheels weigh what some folks' bikes do. While replacing the wheels with lighter ones might make a difference, I'm too busy fine tuning this Yugo-grade engine of mine.
    Last edited by revchuck; 11-15-13 at 04:11 PM. Reason: To fix the bleepin' iPhone problems!
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  7. #82
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    I am still enjoying this thread and learning a lot. However, it looks like it has morphed into who has what on their bike and what they would like if they could afford it, also if any of it is worth the money. My question is this, does it not bother you to know that if you came in first, tenth or last, you don't really know if it was you, the bike or a little of both. To be honest, I can't afford, nor would I pay much for racing gear if I could. What I would like to see is a PRO (or unlimited) division and an Amateur division, with the PRO division riding anything they want and the amateur division only being able to ride a standard bike. (This bike could be made by different companies but all the same spec's and price. The only thing that can be done is fit adjustments for the
    rider.) This division would show who the best or fastest rider is. Now I know that bike companies would probably not go for this because they would not be able sell their overpriced stuff. I'm also sure there are
    probably a million other reasons why someone is against it, but it 's fun to think about. The Auto racing folks tried that with the IROC series. Is that still going, if not, maybe that answers my question.

  8. #83
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    In general, locally, masters racers have all the toys.
    Incorrect. I still see a lot of mechanical shifting in there.

    Heathens and Luddites.

  9. #84
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    There is a system of standardized equipment for Keirin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihon_J...5%8Dkai#Keirin Is this along the lines of what you're thinking of?

    And don't forget the proliferation of Merckx class racing in TT's.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  10. #85
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    IROC died a long time ago and it was really just a marketing tool. However, there is a lot of different "spec" class auto racing in the amateur ranks and currently Indy Cars have a spec chassis with different engines.

    I've never heard anyone suggest a spec class bicycle. Any sport that involves technology (bike racing, ski racing, etc) always has the equipment factor as part of results equation. Heck, look at the variety of shoes and shoe technology in running. You can buy some very expensive and very light racing flats that surely make a difference for any distance running race.

    As I said earlier, the engine is one of the biggest factors regardless of equipment and as others have noted in this thread, your brain is also a huge contributor. You always hear bike racing commentators say that the sport is like a chess game on wheels.

    Your idea of a spec class for bike racing is intriguing though. Still the winner would not necessarily be the strongest or fastest rider.
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  11. #86
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbenkert111 View Post
    The Auto racing folks tried that with the IROC series. Is that still going, if not, maybe that answers my question.
    As a former pro motorcycle road racer, this is a really bad comparison. You're talking 40/60 (driver/car) vs. 98/2 (rider/bike). You're also talking size/weight of the racer being a big factor where in IROC it's miniscule.

    As a guy with over 500 races under his belt I really can't think of a time where I'd say the bike was soley the difference between winning and losing. In motor racing I could point to a whole bunch.

    One of the interesting things in IROC was guys would regularly try to get certain cars because they just worked better or were faster. Even though they were supposedly identical.

    In Japan Keirin racing is as close as you'd get. Every part has to be approved and within a tight constrain of specs. That's mostly because they are betting on the races and don't want any funny business. At the same time, riders must declare their strategy and are watched carefully to make sure they aren't setting up a race for bettors.

    Most of the hand wringing about bikes and parts come from people who have just general heart burn and complain about their friend buying a new BMW. And it's often used as an excuse. I haven't had anyone who could beat me in a TT on a road bikes suggest banning TT bikes. That always seems to come from the third stringer on the bench.

    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    And don't forget the proliferation of Merckx class racing in TT's.
    "Proliferation" is a pretty big overstatement. Where the class is offered it might draw 0-4% of the total entries. The one pro race where they go Merckx for the TTT has more to do with the cost and hassle of shipping hundreds of bikes to the Gulf of Arabia for a 30 minute race than it does with the popularity of the class.

    Because of the UCI we're already riding designs that were abandoned by our motorized cousins in the early 80's. TT bikes are the only place where there's even a glimmer of overall design novelty. That tri folks get to ride more advanced designs is pretty sad.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 11-15-13 at 01:45 PM.

  12. #87
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    No equipment is going to make the difference between first and last unless it breaks.

  13. #88
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    No equipment is going to make the difference between first and last unless it breaks.
    < Insert "equipment failure as euphemism" joke here. >

  14. #89
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    No equipment is going to make the difference between first and last unless it breaks.
    Ex, naughty. I liked it, though!

    What Shovel said. IMHO, if you have a bike that is average weight (> 20 pounds), shifts well, fits you well, and you're comfortable on it in CLOSE QUARTERS, the difference between OTB and attached or even top 10 at the line is the LEGS.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  15. #90
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    CDR, do you remember the video you posted on YouTube a couple of years ago from Las Vegas, where you were riding back to town with your friends, and a fella with a huge backpack riding a singlespeed went motoring by? It's not the bike, it's the LEGS, you said.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  16. #91
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    Re: the pain cave, plumbing its depths is something I've been learning how to do. It's a big part of the mental game that's been holding me back. It's one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to racing next year - I've found that I can go deeper and stay longer in the last couple of months. (Glad rkwaki's not here for that softball! )
    Regards,
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  17. #92
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    As a Post Script to this thread. I finally took the leap in a MTB race at Patapsco state park in the Baltimore area. My first priority was to not cherry pick because Sara may read this :-). So I entered the oldest age group they offered, which was a 40+ category. As it turned out I was 12th out of 22. Of course being 74, and the next oldest guy being 53, I like to say I was 1st in the over 55 group. All was not lost however, the race staff presented me with a bottle of wine for being the oldest entry (of course it was a vintage wine). But in all honesty, I had a ball and did enjoy just competing. One last item, I got the name of all those fella's that beat me and they better not look back because in future races I will run right over their ass.

  18. #93
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Nice!!!!

  19. #94
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Excellent
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  20. #95
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    You know you need to split that wine with us, right?

    Good job!
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  21. #96
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I read that. You're not in trouble.

    Congrats, good ride! And by the way, I'm seeing the benefits to cherry picking!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  22. #97
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    That is awesome.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    You know you need to split that wine with us, right?

    Good job!
    Sorry, the wine was gone that day. And By the way, when I was done with it I felt like I won the whole damm race. Who needs an age group trophy!!!

  24. #99
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbenkert111 View Post
    Sorry, the wine was gone that day. And By the way, when I was done with it I felt like I won the whole damm race. Who needs an age group trophy!!!
    Totally awesome!!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  25. #100
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Superb.

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