So I want to try road racing + build a bike specifically for this

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  • So I want to try road racing + build a bike specifically for this
  • david jey
    Member

    Just to add more anecdote, I spent my first road race season on an 8 year-old alu Specialized, and my second a second-hand alu MEKK built up for about Β£400. They did me fine, got me round plenty of road races/crits and up to cat3. My 7.5KG Viner Mitus does feel quite sprightly in comparison tho πŸ˜‰

    buckster
    Member

    Its typically a 3 year commitment, year 1 getting used to the effort required, year 2 learning to compete, year 3 competing. Re bike, look at fit and geometry not weight and colour

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    Thank you for that, very helpful. I wont be joining the veteran races for a few years yet though

    Just as well, it will give you time to work on endurance to keep with the other Vets. πŸ˜€

    matts
    Member

    And some time to build up immunity to all the shouting and grumbling.

    nathb
    Member

    @david jey – 7.5kg is my target weight, I think it’s doable..

    My lose math (green is actuals, and the cassette too but forgot to shade that), race is using carbon clinchers/better tyres:

    @buckster yeah geo is how I narrowed down my choices, I did get sucked in a little by aero ness. The only colour I’m considering is black πŸ™‚

    @Sandwich I’m 27 at the moment, I’d be glad to be walking at that age let alone racing the way I’m decaying πŸ˜†

    @matts I think my Richmond & Regent’s Park training will come into its own there!

    bomberman
    Member

    I’m based in West London (Ealing), but spend a lot of time also in Regents Park as I work in Chelesea, Richmond Park for quick spins and out to Windsor etc on the weekends

    Even if it doesn’t ever see a race track – it’s a new bike.

    Admit it, you’re not really serious about racing – you just want an excuse to splash the cash on “race level bling” πŸ˜†

    Move to Yorkshire lad and get up some hills, no point training on the flat.

    nathb
    Member

    bomberman – Member
    Admit it, you’re not really serious about racing – you just want an excuse to splash the cash on “race level bling”

    Move to Yorkshire lad and get up some hills, no point training on the flat.

    Haha no I’m genuinely wanting to try it, like I said I got the buzz from just a closed road crit sportive (eisberg 2016 before the TOB). I’m imagining it to be become very addictive.

    My folks live up near Rivington so I get some hills in occasionally. πŸ˜†

    mtbtomo
    Member

    It is VERY addictive

    matts
    Member

    @matts I think my Richmond & Regent’s Park training will come into its own there!

    True. I’ve given up training in Regent’s in the summer. It’s completely mental these days.

    And you can get pretty far with a bike weighing 8Kg. My race bike weighs 7.7. The gains you can make in fitness at that level utterly dwarf the minor differences in bike performance by orders of magnitude.

    nathb
    Member

    matts – Member
    True. I’ve given up training in Regent’s in the summer. It’s completely mental these days.

    And you can get pretty far with a bike weighing 8Kg. My race bike weighs 7.7. The gains you can make in fitness at that level utterly dwarf the minor differences in bike performance by orders of magnitude.

    Yep, there’s quite a lot of egos/fashion statements treating it as a race track. Quite annoying when you’re sat at the front of the lights and folk just come and sit in front of you…I’ve given up caring though, it’s much safer than trying to cycle on the shared paths around Hyde park or the bus lanes around Paddington/Shepards bush! Also no one bothers with the inner circle so that’s a nice retreat sometimes.

    Yeah, I’m thinking this bike will be the final one for a while as there’s nothing more to improve really, not within the confines of my reality where deposit savings outweigh the need for dura ace ha! I really will know what my limitations are on it as I cannot blame the tool from then on πŸ˜†

    bomberman
    Member

    Did you onow that 90% of drag comes from your body and only 10% from the bike? So your body position could make a huge difference compared to the 500g difference between 105 and dura ace. Having a lighter bike will only help you on hills and sprints – places where you accelerate. I have an old road bike with some sensible upgrades (wheels, tyres, brakes, chainset) and i’m within a couple of seconds off the fastest guy i ride with and he has all the carbon bling but hes been road riding for 3 years to my 7 months so hes just generally fitter.

    You could train on heavier wheels or with a chainlock or a couple of bricks wrapped in a towel in your backpack if you’re serious about it and then on race day you can instantly shed 2 kilos without spending anything!

    nathb
    Member

    I think I kind of already do that! Most of my weekday training is done on my chinese carbon cx commuter (8.75kg) with a backpack full of rubbish 4/5kg (laptop/lock/note pad etc) – usually laps around Richmond or Regents park followed by a start/stop/dodge all the way back to Ealing.

    I know what you’re saying about bikes. My only high speed experience with others, bar accidental group riding in Regents, is this: https://www.strava.com/activities/708327207 which I did on my chinese cx bike. I didn’t have any issues keeping up with people on some fancy looking bikes but it was only a short ride.

    bomberman
    Member

    It must be very hard to train somewhere so flat and densely populated

    ianpv
    Member

    My only high speed experience with others, bar accidental group riding in Regents, is this: https://www.strava.com/activities/708327207

    You may get a bit of a shock even in 4th cat races – even a slow one is going to be 6-7 km/h quicker than that for twice as long.
    My local chaingang does about 37-39 km/h for 60km on rolling terrain and that is training! (plenty quick enough for me, I’m delighted if I hang on)

    Just run what brung and get used to the intensity for a while!

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    You think you are fit until you start racing.. Then realise how far you have to up your game and how much effort it really takes. I’ve just started CX racing and it’s unbelievably tough. The hard part is knowing when to really push and when to sit up a little bit and try and grab a bit of recovery. Treat your 1st season as a learning curve and just use it to find your strengths and weaknesses.

    nathb
    Member

    bomberman
    It must be very hard to train somewhere so flat and densely populated

    You get fairly used to clipping in and out quickly between lights πŸ˜†

    ianpv
    You may get a bit of a shock even in 4th cat races – even a slow one is going to be 6-7 km/h quicker than that for twice as long.
    My local chaingang does about 37-39 km/h for 60km on rolling terrain and that is training! (plenty quick enough for me, I’m delighted if I hang on)

    Just run what brung and get used to the intensity for a while!

    Yeah I imagine I’m going to get spat out of the back to be frank. Solo on a milk pond flat route I can do 19-20mph over 52 miles including being caught up in traffic on the way back into London (https://www.strava.com/activities/621383879) – but definitely up for joining some chain gangs to get used to it properly.

    cloudnine
    You think you are fit until you start racing.. Then realise how far you have to up your game and how much effort it really takes. I’ve just started CX racing and it’s unbelievably tough. The hard part is knowing when to really push and when to sit up a little bit and try and grab a bit of recovery. Treat your 1st season as a learning curve and just use it to find your strengths and weaknesses.

    Not considered CX racing before, it sounds fun too. But yeah first season is just going to be turn up and hope I don’t cause/get involved in a crash. πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Just a quicky on this for a mate.

    Can you run Discs in the Hillingdon winter series ?

    nathb
    Member

    Wee update to this.

    I had a holiday in NYC and bar a run around central park and a soul cycle session I didn’t do anything intensive. Result is my HR is back to resting at 47bpm.

    The bike is built (bar me cutting the chain too short and the stem needs cutting once happy with the height):

    (yep the decking still hasn’t been done).

    I bought a Tacx Vortex smart trainer for over winter to structure my training, along with commuting every day I can and weekend cycles. I’ve just done my first FTP test on Zwift, it nearly killed me:

    338W over 20 mins, which is calculating at 4.59kg/w (I’m 6ft 70kg)? Which I’m not suggesting is accurate in the real world, but in Zwift using the same equipment I should see an improvement?

    But this is a good basis to start the training. Zwift is also going to allow me to do some virtual racing, so hopefully get me ready ish for the randomness of sprints?

    Next steps:
    – Join a club
    – Get a british cycling licence

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t worry too much about watts per kilo, bike weights etc, it’s 4th cat racing.

    Try not to overthink it, your first few races will tell you far more about where you are and what you need.

    Get your license sorted, turn up and enjoy it πŸ™‚

    TiRed
    Member

    No discs in the Imperial Winter Series. OP you have signed up I hope. First race is December 3rd. I I always a sell out. And with 4.6 watts/kg, I expect you to attack on the third lap and stay away. You should be a third cat in no time

    nathb
    Member

    Thanks @haze the calcs were mainly for Zwift racing haha.

    Licence will be bought 1st Dec.

    I haven’t @tired as I haven’t joined a club/got a licence yet. I’ve been out in NYC, got engaged there, came back bought a ring (proposed with a temp one) and hired a wedding venue since last time I posted on this thread. πŸ™‚

    Building up the courage too 😳

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Our boys and girls are expecting you Nathb, they are drilling it regularly around Regents now πŸ˜‰

    nathb
    Member

    Yeah I couldn’t figure if you meant am or pm.

    I’ve only just this week got my commuter up and running again, will aim to join you guys next week. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Just to echo what a few people have said. Let’s not overthink it. The Felt will be fine to race on but if you want a new bike then go for it.

    I’d also echo that the Hillingdon series is good especially starting out since you can get dropped, lapped and get back on the bunch (no contesting the finish though!) which is good for moral.

    Finally until you have tried racing you never really know whether you have the fitness or aptitude for it, or even the desire to hurt yourselve since if you want to get better at racing it will hurt. With higher cat racing it just hurts at a faster pace.

    fifeandy
    Member

    As @TiRed says. If 4.6W/Kg is accurate, just pick hilly courses and drop the bunch on a hill when the time feels right.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    And with 4.6 watts/kg, I expect you to attack on the third lap and stay away.

    Depends on the course, and there’s usually enough people willing to work to bring it back for the sprint. Even with that sort of power (and assuming you can make that in a good aero position) it’s still very hard to hold off a determined pack in a crit.

    Practice your sprinting.

    nathb
    Member

    @tonyg2003 – Yeah I went ahead and got one ^^. Still have the Felt though. Yeah, I’m imagining it to be similar to the FTP test but worse.

    @fifeandy I’m not 100% sure that figure is correct, I’m rather tempted to hire a powermeter to see how it compares to the Vortex’s power. Just to see if there is any progression in my cycling over the next few months.

    @mrblobby – I did the FTP test on a mixture of the drops/usual hand position. Tried to avoid sitting upright apart from drinking/towel.

    Am I right in assuming that if Hillingdon doesn’t have an event on, I can just rock up and use the circuit? I’d like to get used to it before signing up to any future events there.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Yes it takes a very determined person to simulate a racing situation on a turbo especially an FTP, since it doesn’t replicate the repetitive efforts required. I didn’t race last year (too damn unfit! – but trying to get ready for next year) but I spent years thinking that every winter my max HR was going down (even on the winter chaingangs) then I’d do my first race I find myself back to my max HR!

    nathb
    Member

    I must admit, Zwift FTP test was okay (as far as they go). Kept me distracted enough and something to focus on by having virtual cyclists around to try and overtake. What I wasn’t expecting was a dramatic change in resistance from the warm up to the start of the test, I wasted a lot of energy there (https://www.strava.com/activities/784603519/analysis/1200/2404)

    Aim to redo it at the beginning of January.

    HR is a strange one!

    TiRed
    Member

    Yes you can just head to Minets Park and ride the circuit. You want to ride anticlockwise for the winter series (other series go clockwise). For a benchmark, a good training pace would be sub 2:30 laps on your own. Watch out for riders coming in the opposite direction. Race pace will be 2:00-2:30. Not seen many sub two minute laps in fourth cat races. Races will be about 25 laps.

    EDIT Saturday mornings are always booked out. Some Sundays afternoons are taken with coaching. Weekdays are free. There is no lighting and sunset is 4:20 pm

    mtbtomo
    Member

    4.6W/kg has never been enough for me, hilly or not 😳

    crosshair
    Member

    I’ve entered and am very excited! I wish I had 4.6w/kg at my disposal though πŸ™

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Team STW! Have fun guys πŸ™‚

    I dabbled a little in circuit racing last year for a bit of variety. First race was a 34 round Thruxton and spent most of the time trying to work out wtf was going on πŸ™‚ With decent power you’ll be ok as you likely won’t struggle with the pace but you’ll probably expend a lot of effort needlessly. Good racecraft and a well practiced sprint more likely to get you points than a lot of watts.

    nathb
    Member

    Going to purchase my licence/membership on Friday, assuming I can add a club at a later date.

    Should I just go for the Gold one?

    Going to try and pop down to a race at Hillingdon this year – first just to watch & see how things happen. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I did think you needed to be a member of an affiliated club to get a race licence. Worth checking.

    Going to try and pop down to a race at Hillingdon this year – first just to watch & see how things happen.

    No better way to do this than taking part πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I did think you needed to be a member of an affiliated club to get a race licence. Worth checking.

    You don’t – you can be a private member (ie not a member of any club) and get a race licence. Silver + race licence is the normal option but you can see the difference between Gold and Silver here:
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/race

    You can buy a 2017 racing licence from 1st December

    The Imperial Winter Series races at Hillingdon are all online now with entry through RiderHQ – they sell out quickly.
    Round 1

    Have a read through that 4th Cat racing thread that was linked to a page or so ago, that’s got some very useful info in it. Also well worth having a look through some of the British Cycling Racesmart videos:
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/skills/road-racesmart

    Good luck, have fun – don’t overthink it!

    nathb
    Member

    I’m nervous of wiping out the field @mrblobby πŸ˜†

    I’m also working on the club bit, hopefully will be gate crashing one this weekend.

    Thanks @crazylegs – I’ll go for the silver then. It’s nice to know I don’t have to join a club too if they don’t seem for me.

    Do you still get CRC discount with that too? It’s only listed on the gold one.

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    You’ll only end up wishing you were out there riding!

    Silver is enough unless you want the additional benefits.

    nathb
    Member

    Cool thanks!

    Yeah I’m overthinking it all… I’m even overthinking zwift racing πŸ™„

    TiRed
    Member

    I did think you needed to be a member of an affiliated club to get a race licence

    Not true. Anyone can race as a “Private Member”. You can even buy a day license to “have a go at racing”. Silver is fine.

    Although anyone can turn up and wipe out the field (it has happened!), I’d recommend some coaching in group riding and racing. Premier Coaching offer some sessions at Hillingdon specifically. Club riding is a good introduction and actually a lot more structured than a race.

    Will see if I’m allowed to ride the 4ths as a rolling com (can’t coach on the wheel). I’m down for all the E123 races.

    You can’t gate crash our club, you are welcome of course, but first rides are in the beginner’s group to learn the ropes. Other clubs will probably be similar.

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