Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
Reload this Page >

Can any road/crit racers comment on competitve FTP range?

Notices
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Can any road/crit racers comment on competitve FTP range?

Old 11-24-13, 08:08 AM
  #1  
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,430

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3131 Post(s)
Liked 1,698 Times in 1,026 Posts
Can any road/crit racers comment on competitve FTP range?

Hello,

I'm considering road racing for the first time, looking ahead to next season. I'll be 44 then, and am 6' at 224#.

I haven't done any of the local race specific training rides yet, but within my cycling training club, I do run with the fast kids, and in fact, it was one of the more elite racers who asked me if ai'd considered racing that got me thinking about it.

That he even asked me is encouraging, and taken together with my Strava standings, I'm starting to think this may be doable, but unfortunately I'm not a 'just do it' kind of guy; I want to do my due diligence so that I can step into the fray and be competitve. I don't have to win, but I want to be in the contest for top half finishing.

I don't even know yet what category, nor whether racers are organized by age, so I really don't know how to assess whether, on paper, I look competitive or not. The only other pieces of predictive info are that I'm training based on a 300w FTP and have been riding for decades and am a good bike handler.

I'll continue training over the winter and hopefully both nudge the power up a bit (I'm great at Tempo, so Z4 looks to have plenty of headroom for another 10w, easy) and bring the weight down a little, though 210# would be optimistic (I'm a hedonist, and in the wine biz!).

So what do y'all think? Should I be looking at racing now, or do I really need to get the power up significantly for my weight/age bracket? I know that ultimately I'll just have to get out there and see, but any preparatory insights are appreciated.
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 12:25 PM
  #2  
got the climbing bug
 
jsigone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,204

Bikes: one for everything

Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 632 Post(s)
Liked 908 Times in 273 Posts
Don't let your age fool you if you're in shape. In amateur bike racing, the older you get the faster you get, at least here in Socal. But it's all about the time you put into it.

Depending where you are at, most add on races are $5-10 each after the first full price one. Even if you get shelled, the experience is what you're after, rinse and repeat. Survive the first 15-20 minutes of any race then the pace "should" settle down some to where you can sit in and recover for the prims and last 3laps when the atttacks will happen again. In order to go 95% at the start, you gotta be REALLY warmed up, even more so if you're only doing one race. Expect the pace to be around 25mph ave. Also get on a team that actually shows up to the races, It will be really helpful to have some friendly wheels in the group.

Good bike handling is a plus, but also get used to pedaling through the turns.

Cat 5 (mixed bikes out there, everything from $500 to $10000 bikes, race something you can afford to replace in the event of crashes...it will happen)
Cat 4/5
Master 35+ (most of this field will be on mid to higher end bike with good wheels)
Master 45+ (most of this field will be on higher end bike with better wheels)
__________________
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
jsigone is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 04:07 PM
  #3  
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,430

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3131 Post(s)
Liked 1,698 Times in 1,026 Posts
Thanks for the insights and info. It's a spell before I lineup for a start, but I'll remember the warm-up tip!
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 05:12 PM
  #4  
Cat 5 field stuffer
 
bbeasley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hammond, La
Posts: 1,426

Bikes: Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
I've got exactly 1 road race under by belt. I'm 56, 5'7" 200. You're make way more power than I and I had a blast. Go for it, you'll have fun and learn much. There's quite a bit of strategy to learn and think about even in a 35 mile road race. Start now, have fun, and get some experience.
bbeasley is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 05:12 PM
  #5  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Montana
Posts: 39

Bikes: Eddy Merckx road bike, Ross track bike (Tom Kellogg signature, ser# 001 :stolen

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Jsigone has just told you what you need to know. Listen to them...

If I may add a comment, be ready to crash, and get out and either cyclocross / mountain bike (with a not too expensive bike) and practice rubbing elbows, going down, and riding off a wheel...As a beginner you are going to crash, worse yet, others will crash you...you will live...the thing to remember, unless you are an A-type, you do not have to win the first couple of races...get use to being "in" the pack, how to read other riders, and, again, how to go down....racing is fun, I would say that you owe it to yourself to try it at least one season. You may find that you like it all, or that you just like certain types of races; I.e. Criteriums, track, road, TT...go for it.
Orvis is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 05:20 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
cannondale125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: St Louis
Posts: 197

Bikes: Cannondale six13/ Connondale CAAD 9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm 43 as of Nov 2nd. I'm looking to start this season myself. I'm 5'10 and 165! Not that it matters much. But I think I'm ready for the crits. Hope!!
cannondale125 is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 05:47 PM
  #7  
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,346

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1107 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster
The only other pieces of predictive info are that I'm training based on a 300w FTP and have been riding for decades and am a good bike handler.
Does that mean you've measured your FTP on the road and it's 300W?

Well, that's better than me so you have my blessing to race. Ask your racing buddies where they land.
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 06:14 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Silvercivic27's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,435

Bikes: Colnago, Cervelo, Scott

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
At 224# with an FTP of 300, you're making plenty enough power for a cat 5 race. Good luck.
Silvercivic27 is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 07:02 PM
  #9  
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,430

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3131 Post(s)
Liked 1,698 Times in 1,026 Posts
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Does that mean you've measured your FTP on the road and it's 300W?

Well, that's better than me so you have my blessing to race. Ask your racing buddies where they land.
Not exactly. I do most of my training on a Cycleops 300PT Pro (or Pro 300 PT; something like that) stationary with a cycling coach in a training studio, and have been doing so for over year. I haven't done a TT (last one was 20mins) in awhile, but I have been twice weekly rides with him every week the past 14 months, and he builds the training regimen off my power numbers. Based on his observations of my performance (both in the studio and on club rides) and running the numbers is where the current 300w FTP comes from. I'll probably retest with a TT in late winter, just before the season, but because the whole training regimen is power based, I'm confident in those numbers and not terribly concerned about actually TTing just to reaffirm what's already quantified.

I first started with Marc at Powercycling (Powercyclingusa.com) about 8 weeks after knee surgery, weighing somewhere north of 240# and did a 20min TT at 220w with a 180bpm average; now I regularly do +250w/hour below 160bpm at 91rpm, so I've certainly come a long way since then, and am riding much stronger, easier, and longer. Here's an example from last week: https://www.strava.com/activities/95931370

There are only a couple of guys in the club who are my age and race crits, and one of them is an absolute beast of a machine; I've talked to a couple of other local crit racers around my age and yeah, it seems like I should stack up okay, but I worry about sampling error!

I'm most nervous, as Bbeasly and Orvis point out above, my lack of experience. Savvy, smart riders need less power; one's who make dumb mistakes, don't know when or how to sit-in, and make various other rookie mistakes need more power to cover their asses!

I guess I'm just a big chicken.
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 07:33 PM
  #10  
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,346

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1107 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
I'm trying to think here... hm... what is the best way to get experience racing... hmm...

I kid, it sounds like you have it figured out and just need to race. Odds are you'll stink it up the first few times, so if you go in with low expectations and do well anyway you can come back here and give me a big raspberry.

Consider getting a wheel built around a powertap G3 hub - they've positively plummeted in price this year. Or a stages crank arm. Or an SRM crank if you really just have 2 grand laying around you can't figure out what to use it on.
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 09:40 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
mkadam68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Tennessee.
Posts: 3,694

Bikes: 2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
As everyone else said, go do it: you'll have fun!

But, in a RR or Crit, your power numbers--in your first couple races--won't mean much. It's power::weight ratio that will effect you. In RRs, you'll have hills that'll get you (unless you have an abnormally flat course, in which case, I'd like to know so I can come do it ). In crits, you'll have accelerations that'll get you. In both cases, hills & accelerations, power::weight ratio is king.

Then, especially in crits, you'll have repeated accelerations. Think 4-corners, 30-mins, 1 lap every 2-mins. That's potentially 60 sprints out of the corners + 1 for the finish. <understatement>Cornering & accelerations are a necessary skill.</understatement>

Also, I do disagree with Orvis: crashing is not necessarily predestined. Maybe over the whole of a career, but I think it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Had one guy in a training ride (much akin to a race). He & I bumped handlebars at speed. No big deal, but he kind of froze up, stopped pedaling, coasted backward, then crashed. This was a 3-rider sandwich, BTW, I was the middle and didn't go down. Neither did the the guy on my right. Why did the other guy? It was almost as if he said to himself, "Oh, somebody's touching me, I'm supposed to crash now." So he did. Tell yourself, I don't have to crash, and force your body to do something to avoid it. Don't let it lock up.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
mkadam68 is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 10:27 PM
  #12  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Montana
Posts: 39

Bikes: Eddy Merckx road bike, Ross track bike (Tom Kellogg signature, ser# 001 :stolen

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mcadam68 "Also, I do disagree with Orvis: crashing is not necessarily predestined. Maybe over the whole of a career, but I think it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Had one guy in a training ride (much akin to a race). He & I bumped handlebars at speed. No big deal, but he kind of froze up, stopped pedaling, coasted backward, then crashed. This was a 3-rider sandwich, BTW, I was the middle and didn't go down. Neither did the the guy on my right. Why did the other guy? It was almost as if he said to himself, "Oh, somebody's touching me, I'm supposed to crash now." So he did. Tell yourself, I don't have to crash, and force your body to do something to avoid it. Don't let it lock up."

thank you, you, that was my point...as I stated, either you will crash, or someone will crash you. The more you race, the stats, sooner or later, catch up. If you practice bumping, rubbing, you are better prepared. You still have to take into account chaos theory.....I have witnessed, as well as anyone else who has raced, the strangest crashes, or people going down for no reason at all. It is not destiny to be prepared...
Orvis is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 10:30 PM
  #13  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Montana
Posts: 39

Bikes: Eddy Merckx road bike, Ross track bike (Tom Kellogg signature, ser# 001 :stolen

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Chaadster ...Go race, you will love it...everyone is telling you to do it. To me it is as if you are trying to talk yourself out of it...so far all I have read is positive feed back to your question..you are on the bell lap, make the decision.
Orvis is offline  
Old 11-24-13, 11:08 PM
  #14  
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,430

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3131 Post(s)
Liked 1,698 Times in 1,026 Posts
Yeah, thanks to all for the feedback and insights.

I guess the correct answer to any of my questions is, "Yes, you're going to get shelled, but get over it. Your watts/kilo ratio is too low to contest anything, but you can have fun anyway."

The local velo club has a spring training crit series that fires up in April. I'll get in on that, and see where it goes from there.

Again, thanks everyone!
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 01:12 AM
  #15  
Used to be fast
 
surfjimc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 580

Bikes: 85 Specialized Expedition, 07 Motobecane Immortal Spirit built up with Dura ace and Mavic Ksyriums, '85 Bianchi Track Bike, '90 Fisher Procaliber, '96 Landshark TwinDirt Shark Tandem, '88 Curtlo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wouldn't worry about getting shelled. There is a big difference between finishing a race and winning it in terms of energy expended. Your goal should be to finish your first race. From there, the actual races can become training. Racing is the best training you can do. Once you can finish, start attacking; it builds power, speed, recovery, and is fun at the same time. Best advice I can give you is to go race, try to stay near the front of the pack (fewer crashes here, less yo-yoing and changes of speed), and learn how a pack ebbs and flows so you can hold your position. Oh yeah, racing in the Masters categories will be faster, smoother and less prone to crashes than the Cat 5 fields
I have begun to miss racing, and am thinking about getting back in in February when the season starts here.
surfjimc is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 07:10 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
JReade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 1,597
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
My first UCI race was a cat 5 crit. I started in the back of the pack because I didn't want to get in the way of people, not knowing what was gonna happen. Turn two, a crash happened on the inside line, and took out ~12 people right in front of me. I had two choices, try to hop the curb at speed to stay in the race, or stop and try to work back in. I stopped, and never saw the pack again.
JReade is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 02:55 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Silvercivic27's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,435

Bikes: Colnago, Cervelo, Scott

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Crit racing isn't for everyone. You may, in fact, NOT enjoy it or have fun with it. When you haven't done it before, it is intense to corner in a group at high speed and get yelled at by random people whom you've never met before, etc. You have a higher FTP and weigh less than I do, and I race cat 5 if that makes you feel any better. I don't think FTP means as much in crit racing as it does in TT, for example. Just try it, stay loose going around the turns, and don't think you're going to die around every turn. Don't think about winning. Most importantly, don't think it makes you any less of a bike rider if you hate it and never do it again.
Silvercivic27 is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 04:10 PM
  #18  
Cat 5 field stuffer
 
bbeasley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hammond, La
Posts: 1,426

Bikes: Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
OP,

Here is a pic from my first road race, this was 2,500' into a 35 miler. I was lucky enough to be the first one through unscathed.

This race was the most fun I've ever had on a bike. Go for it, from what I've heard crashes like this are rare in road races.

I can't wait to do another, even though it means finishing in the last 20 or so riders. It's a blast.

I'm a bit ashamed to admit my first thought after clearing the wreck was: "I just passed a bunch of folks!"


Last edited by bbeasley; 11-25-13 at 05:25 PM.
bbeasley is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 08:45 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
brawlo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,210
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 288 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 57 Posts
Don't overthink it, just get out there and do it. There is no better training than racing.

I must confess that I have found my niche in racing. I struggle to motivate myself when the goal is to just keep active. Racing gives me a purpose and a goal to strive for and to get better. The higher the cat you can go, the better. It's a different system over there to what we have here, but I have loved moving up grades. The racing is just so much cleaner and more enjoyable. Lower grades, especially when there are big bunches concerned, are just stressfull!! You may be confident in your own ability, or lack of, but you never know how good those around you are.

Also, if you can handle it, try and keep up the front. Most crashes seem to occur further back in the bunches, and the elastic band effect is massively reduced the closer you are to the front.
brawlo is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 09:05 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Yes you are going to get shelled, and FTP has zero to do with it. If you want a no-fail guarantee, don't pin on a number.

Go to the racers forum and read the newbie sticky.

Race your ten cat5 races then decide if you want to race masters. Masters usually means old cat 1,2,3's. It's faster that the 5s here, anyway.
valygrl is offline  
Old 11-25-13, 10:47 PM
  #21  
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 12,430

Bikes: 15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, 76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, 17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, 12 Breezer Venturi, 09 Dahon Mariner, 12 Mercier Nano, 95 DeKerf Team SL, 19 Tern Rally, 21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, 19 T-Lab X3, 91 Serotta CII, 23 3T Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3131 Post(s)
Liked 1,698 Times in 1,026 Posts
Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

I'll be bumping up my training regimen over the winter, getting my license, and giving it a go!
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-26-13, 07:38 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
JReade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 1,597
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by valygrl
Race your ten cat5 races then decide if you want to race masters. Masters usually means old cat 1,2,3's. It's faster that the 5s here, anyway.
Safer too.
JReade is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
SuchetK
Juniors Racing (All Disciplines)
8
02-26-17 11:44 AM
LMaster
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
35
09-24-16 04:46 PM
lostnumber
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
11
06-30-14 09:28 AM
HawkeyeCubs34
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
32
04-17-14 04:52 PM
davids11
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
26
01-10-12 04:11 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.