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kunsei83 06-14-06 09:05 PM

Least amount of money needed to compete?
 
People always say that the expense of their bike is much more than their ability. i.e. overweight old man riding a $5k bike. So, I was thinking, what would be the least amount of money needed on a bike to compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 races? I say about $1000 with 105 components.

efrobert 06-14-06 09:06 PM

Tree fiddy

Machka 06-14-06 09:10 PM

The least amount of money you would need to compete would be about $25 for an old thrift shop road bicycle, $1 for oil for the chain, $14*2 for the tires, $2.50*2 for the tubes, $5 for the "drop-in" racing licence, and $5 for the race. Total: $69.00.

If you're good enough, you could compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 race with that.

The Octopus 06-14-06 09:20 PM

I'm with Machka on this one, although race entry fees in the U.S. are a bit steeper than $5 a pop (more like $17 a race here in Ohio)! I'm a total nobody, and I've stomped guys on bike 4 times more expensive than mine. I've been stomped by some old dude on an ancient, poorly maintained bike of unknown lineage.

At the end of the day, a bike is worth no more than the rider sitting on it, performance-wise....

kunsei83 06-14-06 09:35 PM

I was thinking more of a price of a bike where your performance won't drop too much compared to a really expensive bike. So, if you're a cat. 2 racer as a really expensive bike, you would still be a cat. 2 racer with the least amount of money.

ken cummings 06-14-06 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by Machka
The least amount of money you would need to compete would be about $25 for an old thrift shop road bicycle, $1 for oil for the chain, $14*2 for the tires, $2.50*2 for the tubes, $5 for the "drop-in" racing licence, and $5 for the race. Total: $69.00.

If you're good enough, you could compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 race with that.

+1 Machka. Years ago I read of a guy touring (bag and all) through Texas who met up with a racing team and asked to ride with them. Sneering, they said,"We are a top racing team and we don't want you getting in the way and interferring with our riding." "OK, where are you headed in your ride?" On hearing where he said, "Race you there" and took off. With a full rotating paceline they never caught him. He had won RAAM the year before and was in training for the next one.

nocondorfx 06-14-06 10:23 PM

tree fiddy !!!!11111111oneoneoneone1!!!!

UmneyDurak 06-14-06 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by ken cummings
+1 Machka. Years ago I read of a guy touring (bag and all) through Texas who met up with a racing team and asked to ride with them. Sneering, they said,"We are a top racing team and we don't want you getting in the way and interferring with our riding." "OK, where are you headed in your ride?" On hearing where he said, "Race you there" and took off. With a full rotating paceline they never caught him. He had won RAAM the year before and was in training for the next one.

No offense, but sounds like an urban legend, or the racing club was full a bunch of weekend warriors.

Machka 06-14-06 10:46 PM


Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
No offense, but sounds like an urban legend, or the racing club was full a bunch of weekend warriors.

Knowing some of the RAAM riders ... I believe the story.


And it could very well be that the racing club was more or less a bunch of weekend warriers ... back in Manitoba when I was racing, the riders in the top racing club hardly rode at all.


But nevertheless ... a rider with natural ability and lots of quality training riding any old bicycle can beat a rider without much natural ability or quality training on a very expensive bicycle.

Remember ...... it's not about the bike!

UmneyDurak 06-14-06 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by Machka
But nevertheless ... a rider with natural ability and lots of quality training riding any old bicycle can beat a rider without much natural ability or quality training on a very expensive bicycle.

Well OP was asking about cat1/2 races. At that level people do train a lot and have some natural ability. I don't think just any bike will do to be competitive at that level. Although for like cat5, you are right.

shakeNbake 06-15-06 12:15 AM

I like what machka was saying, but realistically I would say a $500 used bike is good enough to run.

Machka 06-15-06 12:35 AM


Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
Well OP was asking about cat1/2 races. At that level people do train a lot and have some natural ability. I don't think just any bike will do to be competitive at that level. Although for like cat5, you are right.


The Manitoba racers I was referring to were cat 1/2 racers.


I was a Cat4 racer ... riding an old cyclocross-like bicycle which was way too big for me. It doesn't take that much to move up through those levels.

Of course it does depend where you are in the world ... the Saskatchewan and Ontario cat 1/2 racers used to come to the Manitoba races and beat all our cat 1/2 racers like they were standing still.

John Wilke 06-15-06 01:28 AM


Originally Posted by kunsei83
People always say that the expense of their bike is much more than their ability. i.e. overweight old man riding a $5k bike. So, I was thinking, what would be the least amount of money needed on a bike to compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 races? I say about $1000 with 105 components.

My take would be to get a solid frame and upgrade components as you can - wheels first. Make sure it's mechanically sound since you have to finish first, before you can win. I'd think that if you put your training in, use good sense in your tactics then you'll place well enough to score some sponsors. The rest is in the bag.

;)

jw

botto 06-15-06 02:51 AM


Originally Posted by kunsei83
People always say that the expense of their bike is much more than their ability. i.e. overweight old man riding a $5k bike. So, I was thinking, what would be the least amount of money needed on a bike to compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 races? I say about $1000 with 105 components.

sounds about right. even cheaper if you buy a used bike.

pdxtex 06-15-06 03:44 AM

its not cat 1, but i knew a very skilled cat 4 rider that consistantly won or placed well in very hard portland races (mt. tabor races in june and july) on a redline crossbike with road tires. racing well is probably 85 percent skill/physical conditioning and 15 percent bike. just my opinion though.

badkarma 06-15-06 05:37 AM

It's all about the engine. Get a decent bike, and then laugh as you pass all the guys with their 4k Colnagos.

Besides, if money is an issue, then you have to consider the fact, what if you have a 3k frame, and then you get in a wreck in a race and your frame is toast.....

If anything, a spare wheelset would be nice to have if you're racing, so if something happens to one of your wheels, you have a backup.

badkarma 06-15-06 05:38 AM

I'd say it's more >95% engine, <5% bike.

StanSeven 06-15-06 05:56 AM

I've seen many good racers riding on old bikes equipped with 105 type components. In some cases, they were racing solo and didn't take their team bikes. Others worry about crashing and don't want it involving their good bike. One said he just feels good riding an old favorite. If you have the talent, experience and training, the bike matters very little.

R600DuraAce 06-15-06 07:35 AM

Are you already a cat2 or a cat1? If you are, you won't be asking this question. Maybe you have the race category confused???? Cat 1==you have made it this far because you have some genetically gifted genes and with good coaching. Cat2==same as cat1 but you haven't pushed yourself to the next level yet. Cat3==through hard training and dedications and smart racing, you have reached your potential either you are gifted or not. Cat4==you are still learning how to race and train and trying to optimize whatever potential you have or not have. Cat5==you are just simply starting out--a newbie.

urbanknight 06-15-06 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by kunsei83
People always say that the expense of their bike is much more than their ability. i.e. overweight old man riding a $5k bike.

Many beginners are racing on $3000-5000 bikes and losing while the elite riders are on cheap aluminum frames built up with whatever they could find that was light and cheap. I did my first racing season on a hand-me-down 24 lb Centurion with downtube shifters (brifters had just come out). Not a terrible bike, but less than half of what the competition was riding. I got my best ever nationals finish on that bike, my first few wins including the Long Beach Grand Prix (largest junior field locally). The next year I upgraded to a carbon frame and titanium goodies, and didn't win a race that season. If you get a half way representable bike, the rest is just training yourself. When you lose a race by a wheel length, then you need to get the fancy stuff.

cat4ever 06-15-06 08:46 AM

A cat 1 should get a free bike from the team if he has good standing. Bare minimum, frame/fork and steep discounts on everything else.

I see guys in the cat 1/2 races on crappier bikes than the cat 4/5's all the time.

urbanknight 06-15-06 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by cat4ever
A cat 1 should get a free bike from the team if he has good standing. Bare minimum, frame/fork and steep discounts on everything else.

I see guys in the cat 1/2 races on crappier bikes than the cat 4/5's all the time.

Exactly. I see many cat 1 teams riding on Cannondales they give out for free, while the Cat 5s are working as engineers or lawyers or whatever during the week to spend their own money on more than they need, probably to make up for the training lost while sitting in an office :D

alanbikehouston 06-15-06 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by kunsei83
People always say that the expense of their bike is much more than their ability. i.e. overweight old man riding a $5k bike. So, I was thinking, what would be the least amount of money needed on a bike to compete well in a cat. 1 or 2 races? I say about $1000 with 105 components.

Well, as the saying goes, its the legs and lungs, not the bike. I'd guess that if someone with Cat. One legs and lungs had a $1,000 bike with 105 drivetrain, put on a carefully selected $300 pair of wheels, $100 for tires, and had the bike carefully tuned and set-up by a first-rate tech, he would be good to go. Under $1,500 total.

For the same $1,500, someone could buy an "elderly" Dura-Ace level bike, true the wheels, tune it up, and be just as well equipped as a guy on a $4,000 "brand new" bike.

However, if the race consisted of one hill climb, followed by another climb, with more climbing to come after that, the guys on the 16 pound bikes are going to have a slight advantage. That edge might only be twenty or thirty seconds, but in racing, thirty seconds can be the difference between finishing first, and finishing at the back.

boyze 06-15-06 10:58 AM

frame - 2%, wheels - 5%, components - 1%, legs and lungs - 70%, race tactics - 20%, luck 2%

legs and lungs come from genetics, work and more work and let me repeat more work (some would suggest a chemical cocktail may also come in play ;-))
race tactics come from playing the game and emulating the winners

gotta agree with the out-of-pocket of $69.

Phantoj 06-15-06 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by urbanknight
Exactly. I see many cat 1 teams riding on Cannondales they give out for free, while the Cat 5s are working as engineers or lawyers or whatever during the week to spend their own money on more than they need, probably to make up for the training lost while sitting in an office :D

When you work and have a famiily, time is more expensive than titanium...


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