Is it weird to enter 'category' races with an endurance bike?



Shrike

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Sep 29, 2015
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Really newb question this, but as someone completely new to the scene and considering getting a bit fitter and entering a category 4 race, I was wondering if I'd be snarked at for using an endurance bike. It's all I have and have no intention of buying something racier (my bike is already way above by experience level as it is to be honest).

Is there a lot of snobbery about this sort of thing or is it normal?
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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The line between "race" geometry and "endurance" geometry isn't distinct, and gets more blurred all the time. You can also tweak the stem on an "endurance" bike by flipping it down and/or removing headset spacers---both will effectively lower the bars and give you a more aggressive riding posture. And in any event---in a cat 4 or 5 race, I doubt you'll be the only one riding an "endurance" frame. You won't be laughed at---no one in a cat 5 race has earned the right to laugh at anyone beyond themselves, yet.

And by the way---on some of the spring cobbled classics, even the pros ride modified endurance frames. ;)
 
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CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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That would depend...

What 'kind' of an endurance bike and what 'kind' of Cat. 4 event?

Entering a Cat. 5 or Cat. 4 crit or road race on a well fitted Cannondale Synapse? No problem.

Entering the same events on some sort of bike path model or 'urban' fitness bike? I hope you can pedal like Hell.

There is all manner of snobbery among even lower level roadies, but screw those types. Most of them won't be racing by the end of the Summer anyway. Always remember...a good pair of legs trumps a fred on a $5,000 racing bike every time. Who crosses the line ahead of whom matters. What they are sitting on...not so much.

One last point, some of what is sold as 'endurance' bikes today (think gran fondo or "relaxed geometry" or lower level carbon grades or even some of the hydro-formed alloy frame models) would have been pro peloton caliber rides just a few years ago.
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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The line between "race" geometry and "endurance" geometry isn't distinct, and gets more blurred all the time. You can also tweak the stem on an "endurance" bike by flipping it down and/or removing headset spacers---both will effectively lower the bars and give you a more aggressive riding posture. /QUOTE]

I took mpre53's advice from a post months ago last week. I flipped the stem and took out the spacers for my cannondale synapse to get a more aggressive position. I did a few rides since and have seen my average pace go up some,I seem to cut through headwinds easier. Be warned that you'll need to get yourself use to the new riding position. I have a fairly sturdy back and core, but riding in the speedster position takes some getting use to. I've had no pain or stiffness off the bike, but staying in the drops for too long during a ride can start to feel uncomfortable.

Also, the hell with snobbery...Give it your all out there and you'll get respect.
 

ZXD22

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Mar 21, 2015
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You should probably join your race level's bracket as if you join a lower level, it would be way to unfair to the other racers if you do that. I would probably do like an intermediate category.
 

Shrike

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Sep 29, 2015
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Thanks guys, nice advice there and really was the sort of confirmation I was looking for. Bike's an Infinito CV which for me is a fast bike. Guys around my area are all on Tarmacs and Cervelos and other racy models which sort of put some doubt in my head as they're all more experienced than I am.

Going to work on lowering the stem a little every few weeks :oops:
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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Thanks guys, nice advice there and really was the sort of confirmation I was looking for. Bike's an Infinito CV which for me is a fast bike. Guys around my area are all on Tarmacs and Cervelos and other racy models which sort of put some doubt in my head as they're all more experienced than I am.

Going to work on lowering the stem a little every few weeks :oops:

$4600 is for the lower model of the Infinito CV.... thats a lot of bike..A bike in that price range should be able to take you as far as your legs can go. Its 95% about the engine (the rider), but there should be no "what ifs" in your mind. One thing I do notice is endurance bikes often come with a compact crankset and a 11 or 12/28 cassette. Depending on your riding style and terrain, you may want to swap one of those for something more useful(if you haven't already).
 

CAMPYBOB

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Bike's an Infinito CV which for me is a fast bike.

For ANYONE, the Infinito series is a fast bike. It's a racing bike out-of-the-box. It may be a 'more comfortable' racing bike, but it's a racing bike none the less.

If you want to tweak it into a full blown, ballz to the wall racer you can lose the (assused OEM spec) compact crank and bolt on a 39-52, slam the stem to compensate for the head tube that's just a bit taller than the Oltre, maybe get an FSA flat bearing cover/top cap to lower the stem and then head to the races.

And anyone that turns their nose up at an Infinito on the starting line is a complete, hopeless moron.

Personally speaking, I would not enter such a high-end frame in a Cat. 4 crashfest criterium. Frankly, it's too good to risk with a field full of freds, posers and tri guys looking for sidewalk bragging material.

Did you get a Campagnolo equipped model?



Guys around my area are all on Tarmacs and Cervelos and other racy models which sort of put some doubt in my head as they're all more experienced than I am.

There is nothing wrong with Spesh or Cervelo frames, but it is their experience that matters. Any results they achieve ares attributable far more to what they know, how they train and race than what they are astride.

Some ProTour riders sit on brick-stiff frames and some opt for that Domane or Roubaix type frame. It's a choice that should not provoke upturned noses. And if it does, it is their problem. Not yours, OP.

Good luck and stay safe in your races.
 
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Shrike

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Sep 29, 2015
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For ANYONE, the Infinito series is a fast bike. It's a racing bike out-of-the-box. It may be a 'more comfortable' racing bike, but it's a racing bike none the less.

If you want to tweak it into a full blown, ballz to the wall racer you can lose the (assused OEM spec) compact crank and bolt on a 39-52, slam the stem to compensate for the head tube that's just a bit taller than the Oltre, maybe get an FSA flat bearing cover/top cap to lower the stem and then head to the races.

And anyone that turns their nose up at an Infinito on the starting line is a complete, hopeless moron.

Personally speaking, I would not enter such a high-end frame in a Cat. 4 crashfest criterium. Frankly, it's too good to risk with a field full of freds, posers and tri guys looking for sidewalk bragging material.

Did you get a Campagnolo equipped model?





There is nothing wrong with Spesh or Cervelo frames, but it is their experience that matters. Any results they achieve ares attributable far more to what they know, how they train and race than what they are astride.

Some ProTour riders sit on brick-stiff frames and some opt for that Domane or Roubaix type frame. It's a choice that should not provoke upturned noses. And if it does, it is their problem. Not yours, OP.

Good luck and stay safe in your races.

I got the Shimano 6800, wasn't really a choice so much as grabbing what was on sale. I really paid a nice price for the bike (£1999). Going to check the crank length when I'm back, wasn't really aware of the different lengths and them being related to performance, thought it was just a fit thing!
 

CAMPYBOB

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Crank arm length is usually a personal preference category item. Manufacturers seem to fit the length by frame size (say a 172.5 for the 56-58 CM sizes and shorter or longer arms as the frame size gets smaller or larger) and some folks will say power, torque, climbing, etc. are influenced by length despite some tests showing little or no difference...so...go with what works for you.

I was referring to most of the 'real' (if there is such a thing) racing bikes being equipped with a 53-39 pair of chain rings or maybe the 'it's today's trend' 52-36 ring setup. Even if you have a compact 50-34 rig, it can be raced with some limitations to the upper gearing.
 

wradom

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"For ANYONE, the Infinito series is a fast bike. It's a racing bike out-of-the-box. It may be a 'more comfortable' racing bike, but it's a racing bike none the less."

This is dead on, I have a 2015 infinito cv myself that I built up and it is just as fast as any other bike I've ridden and definitely doesn't hold me back even in a sprint. Worth mentioning I did grab a seatpost with zero setback, chopped the steering tube and slammed the stem to get the fit that I wanted but I wouldn't trade it for anything. In road races or training rides 60+ miles I wouldn't ride anything else (except maybe a domane).
 

Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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Many moons ago I introduced a lad to USCF racing and entered his first race (a Crit) on a wobbly wheeled Schwinn Varsity. I gave him all sorts of tips like to stay with the pack and where to position himself during the race and for the final sprint. He immediately went off the front, lapped the field, and was a Cat 2 by year end albeit on a half decent bike.

I doubt he took **** over those wheels.

I do think there is a fair amount of snobbery among some cyclists but I think lack of peloton skill will get you more snarky remarks than the pedigree of the ride.
 

CAMPYBOB

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I remember looking over and seeing a kid in tennis shoes and flat pedals...no toe clips/straps...on a Sears Free Spirit or Huffy in the middle of a 25-mile Cat. 3/4 road race.

He crashed.