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I have a $3.5k racing/road bike. I love it and ride the hell out of it. I am considering do a bit of crit racing next year after several several years of serious riding. However, I am TERRIFIED to race my carbon frame bike. All it takes is one crash (caused by me or someone else) and my bike could be totaled. I am considering buying an aluminum bike for racing. Anyone else do this? At my age, I'm not worried about winning bike races. I just want the fitness and challenge.
 

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I was in your situation and bought a Caad10- 105 for racing. It was cheaper to buy that than to crash replace the frame on my evo. So now i have both bikes setup identical and use the Caad in the trainer and racing and as a backup bike.
 

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The saying about this is "don't race what you can't replace." Personally, I would try to make the geometry as close as possible. Different bikes have different feels, which means time on the race bike (outside of racing) is important to know the feel of the bike. I tried this with my two road bikes once. I hadn't ridden the aluminum bike for a long time and then tried to race it. The fit was close, the feel is much different. It was not a good idea. Next race on the aluminum bike was preceded by local hammerfests on this bike. That race went much better.
 

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I have a $3.5k racing/road bike. I love it and ride the hell out of it. I am considering do a bit of crit racing next year after several several years of serious riding. However, I am TERRIFIED to race my carbon frame bike. All it takes is one crash (caused by me or someone else) and my bike could be totaled. I am considering buying an aluminum bike for racing. Anyone else do this? At my age, I'm not worried about winning bike races. I just want the fitness and challenge.
If you go to a crit race, you will find people that will race on an aluminum frame bike.
 

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I do crits on an entry level alloy bike despite owning an above entry level carbon bike that I like infinitely more for pleasure riding and training.

The one caveat is wheels. The entry level wheels that come on the alloy bike really sucked so I don't use those for races.
I've never bothered timing myself on the two bikes but to compare but I'm 99.9% certain I'm not losing anything by going with the entry level bike in crits. Real long races might be a story when comfort and road buzz fatigue come into play with regard to performance. But for crits, it doesn't matter. Geo and good wheels and tires are all that seem to matter to me.
 

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Personally, never seen it in a p12 race, though I've never really taken notice of what type of bikes people are riding. As it appears from your post you'll be riding as a cat 5, it might make sense but I think you'll see just as many people on their only race bike. Most people around here have a winter training bike and a race/good weather bike. I don't think I've ever taken note of someone racing their winter training bike unless it's a really nice cross bike with a good wheel set and even then, usually just in training crits.
 

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I was in your situation and bought a Caad10- 105 for racing. It was cheaper to buy that than to crash replace the frame on my evo. So now i have both bikes setup identical and use the Caad in the trainer and racing and as a backup bike.
That's me also.
 

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Two options. Race what you have (crashes don't happen THAT often, and most are preventable).

Or buy a race bike. Which is what I did when I crashed the "nice" bike I had (my Raleigh) and then group bought the RS2. I've crashed the RS2 so many times that I can't count anymore. Do I cry when I do? Nope. Having a "beater racer" can give you a piece of mind when racing... it also allows you to take more risks unfortunately.
 
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