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Do racers have to start with Cat 5? Is it optional? Or with Cat4, because I read there are less capable bike handlers in Cat5.

Also i feel under/oversteer in corners. Is it my technique, or could it be incorrect bike fit/tires?
 

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steel515 said:
Do racers have to start with Cat 5? Is it optional? Or with Cat4, because I read there are less capable bike handlers in Cat5.

Also i feel under/oversteer in corners. Is it my technique, or could it be incorrect bike fit/tires?
A quick search will yield the results you are looking for: However, with that said, yes you have to start in CAT 5 and don't have an option of starting any higher.

The reason...just as you said in your post...you tend to under/oversteer in corners, which to me could equate to sketchy handling skills, especially in the pack. CAT 5 is about learning pack handling skills before you get into faster groups and cause crashes there.

Even at that, I raced in a CAT 4/5 circuit race this weekend and was ran into by one guy, and pushed off the road by another because of sketch handling skills by other riders in the pack...thankfully I had the skills to keep both of us upright in the first instance and myself upright in the second.

Even when you get to the 3's it can be sketchy because riders can be more aggressive and their skills are better so they can "sometimes" get away with it.
 

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steel515 said:
Do racers have to start with Cat 5?
Men do.
steel515 said:
Is it optional?
Not for men.
steel515 said:
Also i feel under/oversteer in corners. Is it my technique, or could it be incorrect bike fit/tires?
It's probably you. You might want to figure it out before you start racing. You do realize that it's deeply ironic to be wanting to skip cat 5 and complaining about your bike handling skills in the same posting.

Some people think that Cat 5 is safer than 4 because the 5s are in beginner mode and are actually being careful. It probably depends on the geographic location and the type of race.

If there are practice races in your area, consider trying them first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
cat 5 vs cat4

ericm979 said:
Men do.

Not for men.

It's probably you. You might want to figure it out before you start racing. You do realize that it's deeply ironic to be wanting to skip cat 5 and complaining about your bike handling skills in the same posting.

Some people think that Cat 5 is safer than 4 because the 5s are in beginner mode and are actually being careful. It probably depends on the geographic location and the type of race.

If there are practice races in your area, consider trying them first.
I have ridden many group rides but not criterium courses. The understeer/oversteer means I tried with/without "countersteering" ie. leaning bike over and had different results in corner for the first time. I will experiment more before I race.
 

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Wookiebiker said:
Even at that, I raced in a CAT 4/5 circuit race this weekend and was ran into by one guy, and pushed off the road by another because of sketch handling skills by other riders in the pack...thankfully I had the skills to keep both of us upright in the first instance and myself upright in the second..
Ugh, I hope you aren't talking about the Tabor race in Portland as that might have been me with the sketch handling skills... Were you the person I bumped handlebars with coming into the first corner?
 

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orlick said:
Ugh, I hope you aren't talking about the Tabor race in Portland as that might have been me with the sketch handling skills... Were you the person I bumped handlebars with coming into the first corner?

I'm assuming you're talking about the right hand turn at the top of the first climb at the start.

If so....yup, that was me....LOL :D

It's all good, at least we weren't the one crashing into the gate around the 1st corner :mad2: I know at least one of my teammates got caught up in that.

The big thing to remember in a situation where you end up bumping into somebody is to lean into them until you have control and can pull away. The lean really helps stabilize things, which is why you might have felt me pushing on you a bit.
 

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steel515 said:
I will experiment more before I race.
Good move...:thumbsup:
 

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Wookiebiker said:
I'm assuming you're talking about the right hand turn at the top of the first climb at the start.

If so....yup, that was me....LOL :D

It's all good, at least we weren't the one crashing into the gate around the 1st corner :mad2: I know at least one of my teammates got caught up in that.

The big thing to remember in a situation where you end up bumping into somebody is to lean into them until you have control and can pull away. The lean really helps stabilize things, which is why you might have felt me pushing on you a bit.
That was totally me. I am *so* sorry about that. What happened around the corner? Until I saw this post I was under the impression that you had run into me. What did I do wrong going around it? (I'm new to racing this year so I'm guessing that I must have been the one who did something stupid)
 

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orlick said:
That was totally me. I am *so* sorry about that. What happened around the corner? Until I saw this post I was under the impression that you had run into me. What did I do wrong going around it? (I'm new to racing this year so I'm guessing that I must have been the one who did something stupid)
It wasn't really anybody's fault that's why it wasn't a big deal.

Basically what happened is at the start, even an uphill start like that everybody was jockeying for position and a whole lot of people came around the corner at once and congestion took place.

From what I can recall some of the guys from the inside of the turn didn't stay to the inside they pushed outside as they went through the turn, so those in the middle or outside got pushed out, or into somebody.

If you were one on the inside and moved to the outside, you should have held your line to the inside instead of pushing outside as you came through the turn...then once the pace picked up and things spread out a little, jumped into the position you wanted to be.

Once the pack got back up to speed things thinned out and all was good with the world.

I had more of an issue at the end of the race when the guys on the outside two turns from the finish decided to push inside causing the pack to move inside and compressing everybody...I was all the way on the inside and got pushed off the road into the gutter...thankfully there was a gutter there. The group was stacked 3-4 wide at that point and I couldn't get in a position on the climb to say on the road so instead of causing a crash, I took the safer route in the gutter.

Unfortunately by the time I got out, the others had started their sprint and it was too late to do anything but finish without getting passed. That one upset me more than anything because it likely cost me a top 5 finish....Though I did end up with a $10.00 Prime on the 6th lap and 10th overall...so I'll call it good :)
 

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Ah -- Ron. This is Alex from Portland Velo, funny how our Internet personas meet on a different forum :)

Must have been someone else I bumped into on the first climb. I was on the outside of that turn....

Wookiebiker said:
It wasn't really anybody's fault that's why it wasn't a big deal.

Basically what happened is at the start, even an uphill start like that everybody was jockeying for position and a whole lot of people came around the corner at once and congestion took place.

From what I can recall some of the guys from the inside of the turn didn't stay to the inside they pushed outside as they went through the turn, so those in the middle or outside got pushed out, or into somebody.

If you were one on the inside and moved to the outside, you should have held your line to the inside instead of pushing outside as you came through the turn...then once the pace picked up and things spread out a little, jumped into the position you wanted to be.

Once the pack got back up to speed things thinned out and all was good with the world.

I had more of an issue at the end of the race when the guys on the outside two turns from the finish decided to push inside causing the pack to move inside and compressing everybody...I was all the way on the inside and got pushed off the road into the gutter...thankfully there was a gutter there. The group was stacked 3-4 wide at that point and I couldn't get in a position on the climb to say on the road so instead of causing a crash, I took the safer route in the gutter.

Unfortunately by the time I got out, the others had started their sprint and it was too late to do anything but finish without getting passed. That one upset me more than anything because it likely cost me a top 5 finish....Though I did end up with a $10.00 Prime on the 6th lap and 10th overall...so I'll call it good :)
 

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a few weeks ago, I did the first technical crit I'd done in a long time. Okay; I was a little nervous, a little sketchy.
around one of the worster turns, I went a wee tad bit wide. a guy on my outside leaned into me, and said, no panic, not even a scold really, just a question, directly into my ear because he was right there, "Dude. You going to turn?"
Because neither one of us panicked, I turned, we stayed up. I apologized and moved on.
It was pretty funny, in retrospect.
 

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orlick said:
Ah -- Ron. This is Alex from Portland Velo, funny how our Internet personas meet on a different forum :)

Must have been someone else I bumped into on the first climb. I was on the outside of that turn....
Too funny...:D

Yup, wasn't me....however, the advice is still the same. If somebody runs/bumps into you, push back against them to keep from going down.

Sounds like we had the same experience going through that corner...the inside guys didn't hold their line, pushed to the outside and ran into the guys on the outside.

At the start of a race like that it's important to hold your line so everybody get through unscathed...which is a problem at the lower levels of racing. The tendency is to always push outside when going through a corner regardless of speed.
 

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steel515 said:
Do racers have to start with Cat 5? Is it optional? Or with Cat4, because I read there are less capable bike handlers in Cat5.

Also i feel under/oversteer in corners. Is it my technique, or could it be incorrect bike fit/tires?
Yep, ya gotta start in cat 5 and do a minimum of 10 crashes before you can upgrade to the 4s. Luckily, in the 4s you will not have to crash as much to get to the 3s . . . hopefully. Early season, the 4s can be worse.
 

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steel515 said:
Do racers have to start with Cat 5? Is it optional? Or with Cat4, because I read there are less capable bike handlers in Cat5.

Also i feel under/oversteer in corners. Is it my technique, or could it be incorrect bike fit/tires?
ericm979 said:
It's probably you. You might want to figure it out before you start racing. You do realize that it's deeply ironic to be wanting to skip cat 5 and complaining about your bike handling skills in the same posting.

:p :p :D :D :D :p :p


what exactly do you mean "understeer/oversteer"? in a corner, it's usually one or the other. either you are pushing the front and can't turn, or the rear is coming around, wanting to swap places with the front. you can't possibly have both- which is it?
 

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Masters are hard men who don't want anything to do with squirrelly beginners. They're mostly fast former cat 1/2/3 racers who would eat up most cat-5's in a heartbeat. Beginners belong in the cat-5 race regardless of age.
 
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