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Does a poor cyclist stand a chance??

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Does a poor cyclist stand a chance??

Old 03-01-07, 04:04 PM
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Murfdawg
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Does a poor cyclist stand a chance??

I live paycheck to paycheck these days wich makes my bike options a little narrow. I got about $1000 back from taxes this year and spent it all on a Trek 1500. Does this put me at a disadvantage come race day or does better training beat out better equipment???
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Old 03-01-07, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Murfdawg
or does better training beat out better equipment???
BINGO!
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Old 03-01-07, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Murfdawg
does better training beat out better equipment???
Yup.

If you can, try to hook up with a club/team that offers some good discounts. Clothing will be much cheaper, and often times you'll get some discounts at a shop or direct from a sponsoring company.

Bottom line, though, is that if you train right and you're fit, you can and will win cat 5 races on a Trek 1500. For just about all of us in the lower cats it's all about the engine, and some of us spend a lot on our bikes. But that addiction is totally separate from racing ability.

Go out there and give 'em hell.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TCR
BINGO!
If your bike is in sound mechanical condition that is only 'bike' related issue you need to worry about. If you've got the motor then you'll be just fine.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:28 PM
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9 speed 105, aluminum frame/carbon fork, decent wheels...you won't be at any kind of disadvantage equipment wise. I used 105 9s until just a few months ago when I got a killer deal on a DA 10s group. I don't feel any huge difference between the two, it's just that the 10 speed is harder to set up properly

The only thing I'd say is that you might try to ebay the bontrager paired spoke wheels you've got right now and get some more durable 28 or 32h 3x wheels (Deep V, Open Pro etc), as it'll probably save you money in the mid to near term on truing and associated crap.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Murfdawg
I live paycheck to paycheck these days wich makes my bike options a little narrow. I got about $1000 back from taxes this year and spent it all on a Trek 1500. Does this put me at a disadvantage come race day or does better training beat out better equipment???
But of course. It's the motor dude. Don't worry about idiots like me and Dr. Pete with our Zipp wheels and fancy bike schwag. A well-trained, talented, fit cyclist on a Schwinn Varsity will dump OCP weenies like us in a heartbeat.

Right Dr. P?

Of course I think the idiots with the bike schwag may have more fun, but that's a whole other thread.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:39 PM
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I have $800 tied up in my racing bike and it serves it's purpose just as well as any $2k+ bike would. In this first month of racing: I got 9th in my first CAT 5 RR, 1st in my first ITT, and 12th in my first Crit. You will be fine, just find time to train to get the extra edge. BTW, I run Ultegra 9spd and the only carbon fiber I could afford was the seat post and the fork.


Also, +1 on finding a good club.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:41 PM
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I rode and raced a Trek 1500 upgraded with Ultegra cranks and bottom bracket and Mavic wheels. It really was just as fast as my new Madone. Just not as comfortable on the centuries. It's still my winter and travel bike.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:44 PM
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Thats makes me feel better... Ill let you know how it turns out!
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Old 03-01-07, 04:45 PM
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Ive been hearing a lot about upgrading the wheels... any suggestions?
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Old 03-01-07, 04:54 PM
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The Trek 1500 is a good racing bike. You'll be fine. Go train.

As others have said...just make sure you have her tuned up and dialed in.

See ya out on the open roads.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:03 PM
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i can't think of any competitions in which better training doesn't beat better equipment.

there aren't many sports in which you need all the latest and greatest stuff to be competitive.

as was mentioned earlier, make sure your bike is in good working order. you will be put at a disadvantage if things aren't in proper working order. that goes for any bike, not just yours!
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Old 03-01-07, 05:42 PM
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the only place in bike racing where it really sucks to be poor is time trialing. a TT bike with full aero setup, disc, trispoke, etc, can shave SEVERAL minutes off of your TT, depending on the length.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
But of course. It's the motor dude. Don't worry about idiots like me and Dr. Pete with our Zipp wheels and fancy bike schwag. A well-trained, talented, fit cyclist on a Schwinn Varsity will dump OCP weenies like us in a heartbeat.

Right Dr. P?

Of course I think the idiots with the bike schwag may have more fun, but that's a whole other thread.
You speak the truth, PC. See post #2. All hail the cat 4 peloton dogs. Woof.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:51 PM
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Eddy wasn't exactly wealthy. In fact according to legend he almost did not end up a racer. A major turning point early on was when he won a small race with a small money prize and his mother realized there was money to be made and let him keep racing.

So as I see it if you are not worried about having to work at the family store instead of being able to race at all you may in fact be too well off to make it as a racer.

Of course fat Greggy came from a bit of money so I guess that handicap can be overcome.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:37 PM
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Yeah, the fact remains that cycling should be enjoyed for the sport of it. Worrying about having an expensive power meter or carbon wheels isn't necessary for poor riders like me, because the truth is we really don't need them at all. There are dozens of training plans you can make with just a cheap heart rate monitor and training diary, and a nice $250 set of aluminum aero clinchers will do the trick.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Murfdawg
Ive been hearing a lot about upgrading the wheels... any suggestions?
imo, the best thing for you to do when you get enough money to buy a new set of wheels is find a nice set of lighweight tubulars, and keep your stock wheels for training and spares at the race (so you'll need a new cassette with the new wheels). That's what I did and it worked great for years.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:45 PM
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'Does a poor cyclist stand a chance?'

Not in the OCP Wars. Wave your White Weenie Flag now you hopeless starter bike flunkie.

No Zipps for you.

Please go easy on me on the BF group ride after this post. It's embarrassing when a guy with a bike 1/4 as expensive as your shells your sorry ass.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:32 PM
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It can actually be better. There is nothing more satisfying than dropping someone one a bike 5x more expensive than your own. It's really 98% fitness, and 2% equipment. In other words, your equipment won't be holding you back for a long, long time.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:36 PM
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You have a better chance than do us idiots with a bit of cash to spare (or no economic sense). And when it comes down to it, we won't even contest the sprint for fear of damage to our carbon fiber babies.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:49 PM
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I'm a competitive cat three who races on $5 weekly for allowance. My parents sometimes help me with entry fees's but they're poor as hell too.

Here are things you will learn real quick:

1. You can eat like a king at taco hell for $5 (you'll figure this out when traveling broke)
2. Poptarts are the cornerstone of every meal
3. Never throw any food away when traveling to races.
4. Mix 4 oz of hawiian punch with 4oz of water and add a pinch of salt to make a poverty sports drink
5. Learn to patch tubes. It's much cheaper
6. Learn to re use old derailer cable and brake cable. (it'll come up, trust me)
7. you can get off brand whey protein for $11 at target
8. Powdered gatorade tastes like crap
9. never throw out a tube, if it cannot be patched, use it as a bungee cord
10. If a training buddy flats, ask for his tube, and patch it
11. you can use the cam end on your skewers as tire levers
12. trainer blocks are for those who can afford them, use your tennis shoes when warming up
13. When snobs look at you funny for rocking 9 speed, berate them for having the 10th extra "weenie gear" It'll confuse them to no end.
14. I'm the 16 year old cat three, when you're 16, rocking "inferior equipment" and fast, the pack has a tendency to try to flick you out of spite.
My coach gave me some good advice, "don't worry about what everyone else has, let you legs do the talking."
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Old 03-01-07, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker
I'm a competitive cat three who races on $5 weekly for allowance. My parents sometimes help me with entry fees's but they're poor as hell too.

Here are things you will learn real quick:

1. You can eat like a king at taco hell for $5 (you'll figure this out when traveling broke)
2. Poptarts are the cornerstone of every meal
3. Never throw any food away when traveling to races.
4. Mix 4 oz of hawiian punch with 4oz of water and add a pinch of salt to make a poverty sports drink
5. Learn to patch tubes. It's much cheaper
6. Learn to re use old derailer cable and brake cable. (it'll come up, trust me)
7. you can get off brand whey protein for $11 at target
8. Powdered gatorade tastes like crap
9. never throw out a tube, if it cannot be patched, use it as a bungee cord
10. If a training buddy flats, ask for his tube, and patch it
11. you can use the cam end on your skewers as tire levers
12. trainer blocks are for those who can afford them, use your tennis shoes when warming up
13. When snobs look at you funny for rocking 9 speed, berate them for having the 10th extra "weenie gear" It'll confuse them to no end.
14. I'm the 16 year old cat three, when you're 16, rocking "inferior equipment" and fast, the pack has a tendency to try to flick you out of spite.
My coach gave me some good advice, "don't worry about what everyone else has, let you legs do the talking."
Cool
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Old 03-01-07, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hiromian
Cool
+1.
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Old 03-01-07, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Murfdawg
Ive been hearing a lot about upgrading the wheels... any suggestions?
If you're cash limited, I would stay away from wheel "upgrades." It's still the motor. Once you have a decent road bike (you do), the returns are horribly diminishing. You have to spend a LOT of money to get any real difference in performance, and large differences just aren't available other than some TT gear.

I have a decidedly low-tech and moderately old (but high-quality) steel bike, and I mix it up just fine with all the Madones, Soloists, P3s, Orcas, etc. around here. The riders who are faster than me aren't faster than me because of their bikes.
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Old 03-01-07, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker
I'm a competitive cat three who races on $5 weekly for allowance. My parents sometimes help me with entry fees's but they're poor as hell too.

Here are things you will learn real quick:

1. You can eat like a king at taco hell for $5 (you'll figure this out when traveling broke)
2. Poptarts are the cornerstone of every meal
3. Never throw any food away when traveling to races.
4. Mix 4 oz of hawiian punch with 4oz of water and add a pinch of salt to make a poverty sports drink
5. Learn to patch tubes. It's much cheaper
6. Learn to re use old derailer cable and brake cable. (it'll come up, trust me)
7. you can get off brand whey protein for $11 at target
8. Powdered gatorade tastes like crap
9. never throw out a tube, if it cannot be patched, use it as a bungee cord
10. If a training buddy flats, ask for his tube, and patch it
11. you can use the cam end on your skewers as tire levers
12. trainer blocks are for those who can afford them, use your tennis shoes when warming up
13. When snobs look at you funny for rocking 9 speed, berate them for having the 10th extra "weenie gear" It'll confuse them to no end.
14. I'm the 16 year old cat three, when you're 16, rocking "inferior equipment" and fast, the pack has a tendency to try to flick you out of spite.
My coach gave me some good advice, "don't worry about what everyone else has, let you legs do the talking."
+1 well said

Nothing wrong with nice stuff, but it just isn't needed. My income is substantial, but I hate spending money, and I've found frugality in cycling to be rewarding. I buy reasonable stuff, and use it for the long haul.
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