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Old 09-16-07, 04:49 PM   #1
asmallsol
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What class

I'm a roadie, and am pretty fast on the pavement. I've been racing road for a year, and have moved up to Cat4 without much of a problem. Anyways, my buddies who race MTBs provided me a bike to race on ealier this summer, and I ended up pulling faster times then most of them, and that was the first time on a MTB in 7 years. So they've been bugging me to buy a MTB and race. So 3 weeks ago I finally broke down and bought a MTB. A heavy (almost 29lbs) 29er rigid SS. Doing a little riding here and there (I still do more road riding) I have been able to pull times at trails around here about the same as some of my buddies who race and place in sport class. I rode with a buddy who does well in beginner class yesterday, and was dropping him left and right without even pushing it much. He said that I could probably beat him by 5 minutes on this 5x minute trail.

Anyways, there is a race next weekend, and the three classes I am considering racing are beginner, sport or SS. In this series, you can run SS in any class. My buddies are telling me that if I race beginner, I will easily win by 5+ minutes. Since there is only one SS class, they tell me that class ends up being one of the fastest since you have so many different skill levels in the one category. So that kinda leaves me to race either sport or beginner. What do you guys think?
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Old 09-16-07, 05:13 PM   #2
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If your saying that you have beginner and sport class then a seperat SS class, I would try SS class. Like your friend said there is probly a wide range of abilitys in that class, giving you a fun race.

That is what I personaly would do.
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Old 09-16-07, 06:30 PM   #3
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sport ss is pretty competitive here in WI, but you should do it. Im a four, and I moved up to sport after 1 race, and Im a total hack.
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Old 09-17-07, 03:14 PM   #4
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anyone else? From what I hear, this trail is pretty fast and designed by a former roadie, so I might have an advantage there. With the gearing I am running, I'll be able to top out at about 22mph which should be fine.
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Old 09-19-07, 01:36 PM   #5
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ride singlespeed class

That way you won't have to worry about getting stuck on climbs and holding everyone up on long straightaways
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Old 10-13-07, 12:49 AM   #6
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I agree with Kurt Curt on the hills. But quite frankly, even lots of the geared guys have problems with hills.

Out here we have beginner, Sport, and Sport SS. Makes the decisions a little easier, but even in the Sport SS class, theres a mish-mosh of talent level. I raced Beginner on my SS just to see I would compare to the geared guys. I came in 2nd out of 13 guys, Beginner 30-34. Next year, I think I am going to bump it up to SPort SS. If I get totally blitzed in that, I am going back down to Beginner Class.

If the course is very roadie friendly as you say, did you ever think of doing it on a borrowed cyclocross bike? I have seen this done in the past. I have seen cross guys showing up at some of the area MTB races that are relatively flat and they can hold there own and the rest they run like in a cross race.
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Old 10-14-07, 03:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fivetenfrank View Post
I agree with Kurt Curt on the hills. But quite frankly, even lots of the geared guys have problems with hills.

Out here we have beginner, Sport, and Sport SS. Makes the decisions a little easier, but even in the Sport SS class, theres a mish-mosh of talent level. I raced Beginner on my SS just to see I would compare to the geared guys. I came in 2nd out of 13 guys, Beginner 30-34. Next year, I think I am going to bump it up to SPort SS. If I get totally blitzed in that, I am going back down to Beginner Class. If the course is very roadie friendly as you say, did you ever think of doing it on a borrowed cyclocross bike? I have seen this done in the past. I have seen cross guys showing up at some of the area MTB races that are relatively flat and they can hold there own and the rest they run like in a cross race.
Maybe this is just in TMBRA but once you race sport you cant go back down.
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Old 10-14-07, 07:22 PM   #8
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The series I race is a private, non-sanctioned series with no licenses. Its a point series, and the SS'ers are scored on their own. So I could race beginner (geared since there is no Beginner SS) and score points in that class and then race Sport SS in another race and score points for that class, and then switch back to Beginner if I so choose. The downside is that if I jump around classes, I loose out on scoring points. If, for example, I race two beginner races, and then skip a beginner race to race Sport SS, and then go back and race beginner in the next race, I am effectively out out of serious contention for points in Beginner class because all of the other guys in Beginner did four races, while I only did three races. Make sense?

All other classes are treated more or less like NORBA classes i.e. upgrading and what not. Since I dont race more then three races in the 13 race series, I dont get overly concerned with the points. I just go out and race. Last year I did a whopping two races in the series.
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Old 10-16-07, 06:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fivetenfrank View Post
I agree with Kurt Curt on the hills. But quite frankly, even lots of the geared guys have problems with hills.

Out here we have beginner, Sport, and Sport SS. Makes the decisions a little easier, but even in the Sport SS class, theres a mish-mosh of talent level. I raced Beginner on my SS just to see I would compare to the geared guys. I came in 2nd out of 13 guys, Beginner 30-34. Next year, I think I am going to bump it up to SPort SS. If I get totally blitzed in that, I am going back down to Beginner Class.

If the course is very roadie friendly as you say, did you ever think of doing it on a borrowed cyclocross bike? I have seen this done in the past. I have seen cross guys showing up at some of the area MTB races that are relatively flat and they can hold there own and the rest they run like in a cross race
.
Actually, I mean exactly the opposite.

On a singlespeed, racing with geared bikes, you tend to get 'stuck' behind the geared bikes on hills because they have the option to spin up slowly in a tiny gear. On your singlespeed, you are forced to either hammer up the hills much faster or get off and walk.
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Old 10-16-07, 07:13 AM   #10
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I misread your original statement.

When I ride with the geared guys, I can climb faster simply because, like you said, I have to hammer the hills. And on the hills I cant climb, where I have to get off and run up, I tend to pass my boys on the geared bikes because, as you said, they are in the granny (or close to it) and not moving very fast.

Coming from a geared background, single speeding has given me a new appreciation for climbing aka when to stay on the bike and when to hop off and run off. I was always a believer in "stay on the bike as long as you can" and I still am in most cases, but I have definitely learned that sometimes staying on the bike isnt necessarily the most efficient way to get a hill.

I dont necessarily agree with Kurt on the issue of holding people up on the straight aways. When I ride with the geared guys, I can keep up if not pass the geared guys on the straight single track, as long as the trail doesnt turn into a long gravel type trail. Then I tend to spin out at/ around 17-18 mph with a ridiculous cadence. But around here, those types of trails are relatively rare. Its mostly singletrack and I have no issue on the SS- I actually prefer it when riding with the geared guys
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