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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been racing my '00 Trek 5200 ($2.2k at around 19.5 lbs) in cat 5 races where it seems like everyone else is riding on 16 lb bikes (so they tell me).

I've been doing pretty well on the Trek but always dropping from the front to about 10th place on the uphill finishes. Even with training (w/pwr meter), I couldn't help but wonder if losing those last 3 lbs might make a difference.

So I increase my bike budget and get a 'pro' level bike with uber-light Zipp 303s ($6k). It weighs 19.0 lbs!

I'm pondering whether to return this 'pro' level bike and get a cheaper 16 lb bike (like a Scott CR1). On paper, it seems like I can get a lighter bike for a cheaper price.

Anyone have any thought on this?
 

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Hoopy Frood
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Look at it this way:

Is there anything you can do to yourself via training, diet, or tactics that would allow you to perform better in races?

If the answer is truly "no", then buy a lighter bike. If the answer is "yes", save your money, ride the bike you have, and improve your physical abilities and racing tactics.

I would say that, for most cat 4-5 racers, the limiting factor is not their equipment. Most would be better off getting a coach, joining a team, increasing their racing experience, and just training smarter.

Just my $.02.
 

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pik20b said:
So I've been racing my '00 Trek 5200 ($2.2k at around 19.5 lbs) in cat 5 races where it seems like everyone else is riding on 16 lb bikes (so they tell me).

I've been doing pretty well on the Trek but always dropping from the front to about 10th place on the uphill finishes. Even with training (w/pwr meter), I couldn't help but wonder if losing those last 3 lbs might make a difference.

So I increase my bike budget and get a 'pro' level bike with uber-light Zipp 303s ($6k). It weighs 19.0 lbs!

I'm pondering whether to return this 'pro' level bike and get a cheaper 16 lb bike (like a Scott CR1). On paper, it seems like I can get a lighter bike for a cheaper price.

Anyone have any thought on this?
Are you sure they aren't quoting their bike weight without pedals?

You remove the power meter for races?

Have you gone to a lighter seat?

Are they all racing with CR1's?
 

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I agree...

, take that money that you would spend and get a coach. Also, it's cheaper for you to loose three pounds than take it off your bike. Personally, I'd never race a bike like a CR1, that's too much $$$ to get trashed in a cat. 5 crash. Work on your tactics as well. Do hill repeats etc. if that is your weakness. Find a nice 1K hill and do repeats. Some standing, some sitting. :D
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Not unless you weigh 87 pounds. If you ride two more miles on every training ride, you will more than make up the difference in fitness needed. Cat 5's who ride 16 pound bikes are fools. If you were a Cat 2, who had a very low amount of body fat, and who wasn't on a "sponsored" team, I might advise buying that 16 pound bike. On the other hand, if you were a Cat 2, and you weren't on a "sponsored" team, maybe you should just admit that you are never going to make the big time, and just race for fun with your 19 pound bike.
 

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For a good indication of what 3 pounds on a bike (or body) means in terms of speed under given conditions, check out http://www.analyticcycling.com/. It takes some fiddling around with find the data you are looking for.

Overall, you are probably better served to lose three pounds of body weight if you are concerned about weight, or look for some areas where you can cut grams economically from your current ride. I would also think twice (okay, maybe more than twice) about riding something like a CR1 in a category five race.

Good luck.
 

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get race day wheels

my opinion
train with the heavy wheels that came on the trek
and get some nice 1500 gram wheels to race on
[they can be kept for your next bike too]

your wheels probably weigh 2200 to 2400 grams
and you can drop 100 grams in tires i bet

drop 900 grams of wheel weight - that will make a real difference
of course droping your weight might too - but that can almost always be the case
unless you are ultra skiny
 

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Short term: I had a 20lb bike and rode it for a considerable amount of time before I tested a 16lb bike (family members) for about a week. It was explicitly obvious which bike allowed me to get up the hills faster.

Long term: How many watts and the duration you can sustain that output is the name of the game.

While I love my "light bike" I hate to say it but I think, depending on your age/goals, a coach is money better spent. When you hit the mother of all plateaus, reconsider then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm already training with a coach using power meters on my bikes for the last couple years (primarily for mountain biking).

I'm taking my new bike back. For almost 3x the cost of my trek but with the same weight as my trek, I can't justify the cost.

I'll just keep racing my trek and see how I do in the cat 4s (almost there).

And yes, it would suck to lose with a lighter bike!

:)
 
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