If you saw a ALR Domane 4 Disc on the starting line for a century ride/race would it be given a weird look. Im 17 and don’t have a high paying job as I am in High School so I cannot afford their Madone series
Yes, you need to spend at least $15,000 for a bike so people will accept you in their little clique.
I'm just kidding, your bike is more than fine enough for the race and people won't think your weird. Even if some do think your weird be a man and don't give a rip what others think! those that will think you are weird are shallow members of the human race.
My first bike that I used in racing was a 1981 Trek 412, (yes I purchased that bike new, yes I'm that old!) this bike was a mid level sport bike, not even a racing bike! I got jeers from the Italian crowd but I didn't care, especially when I beat them on their expensive Italian bikes! Later in 1984 after crashing the 412 I stepped up to a 1984 Trek 660 frame and fork which was one down from the top of the line frame and ford, and I adorned it with Suntour Superbe stuff which was the best component system on the market. The reason I went with the 2nd from the top of the line frame and fork was because when I test rode a built Trek 760 it flexed too much and I was racing in mountains I didn't want a flexy bike doing that. But I had gotten better at racing so I felt I needed the 660, but it took me 4 years (I bought a 84 frame marked down in 85 to clear the floor space) to get to that point of deserving a better bike.
I suggest you race that bike you have, and upgrade your wheels at some later time to be used only for racing, use your current wheels for training rides. Wheel selection is the most important, a 40 mm deep wheel would be idea and you can find those here: https://www.flocycling.com/store_ac_wheels.phpBut be careful a lot of wheels are way overpriced for what you get and most can only be rebuilt with factory components which can be a huge headache, you need a wheelset that can be rebuilt with off the shelf stuff. If a component fails on your current bike just stick with Tiagra, its low cost, it won't break your bank and it's reliable.
In the meantime with your current wheels you need to buy a pair of lighter racing tires and tubes, use those only for racing and switch back to your regular tires and tubes for training. Lighter tires and tubes help to reduce rotational weight which is most important aspect on a bike.
When racing it's important to know that crashes will happen and stuff will break due to crashes, so stay on the cheaper side of the spectrum so if you do crash you won't be crying because something broke that's expensive to replace. Even if you total the frame another aluminium frame is only about $300 and less from places like Planet Bike, whereas carbon fiber will easily cost you twice that and won't weigh much if anything less. Sure you could buy a high end CF bike that would weigh less than even high end aluminum but again the cost to replace a damaged frame and fork would be a lot.
If you plan on racing with a club and doing it regularly and the team needs you then at some point you will need a backup bike, nobody said bike racing was cheap, the backup bike is in case you crash and total your main you have a backup while waiting to get the other one repaired. It's also helpful to learn how to do most repairs yourself because again having someone else do the repairs for you can get expensive.