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  1. #1
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    Bigger Disadvantage When Racing - Clydes or Singlespeeders

    In case it isn't obvious from the title, I am a bigger fella riding a singlespeed, planning to enter my first race or two this year. I am drawn more towards the endurance type races than XC but I plan to try an XC race with a defined beginning and end as well. The endurance one is easy, as it doesn't have a clydesdale category and does have an SS option. But for the XC races I am a bit torn on whether I should register in the SS or clydesdale category. I hope to ride in cat 2 just because a 7-8 mile ride doesn't really do it for me (by that point I'm just getting started). I figure if I start near the back I won't really get in anyone's way, and probably won't finish so late that its a burden to the people running the race. This isn't really a competitive thing for me - I have done a couple cyclocross races and I really like the atmosphere, so I figured why not try a MTB race also. But I would like to register in the category that I would be most competitive in, if that makes sense.

    My hunch is that my size is a bigger disadvantage than my lack of gears unless it is on a ridiculously flat course. I'm not sure even a 100 speed bike could make up for the fact that my lungs can't get enough oxygen to my muscles. But I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks in advance,

    Alex
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  2. #2
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    I'm a big guy, too. The thing I don't like about the Clydesdale category is that it pits fat young guys with fat old guys. A fat 24-year-old likely is going to be stronger than a fat 55-year-old all things considered (in a venue where people are competitive enough to want to race).

    In many races I've been in, singlespeed is at least separated into age groups, which makes it way more fair in my opinion.
    "You'll thank me when it's all said and done"

  3. #3
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    Interesting - I guess it depends on regional demographics. This race has SS in cat 2, cat 1 and endurance. Only has clyde division in cat 2. But those two are not broken up into age groups like the normal people

    Is it usually in more popular races that you see the age division for SS? I see a lot of single speeders around here (mostly in the winter time) but not often at the venue for this particular race, maybe that has something to do with it.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  4. #4
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    You could ride in your race class and age group against the gears. I'm faster (still slow) on my SS than i am on my geared bike. Competing against the lumped SS group, i find they are faster and better endurance (SS class here is usually more distance than the beginner/Cat3 class). So, i ride my SS against the gears. Usually sucks for the starting sprint and if i get stuck behind someone on a narrow singletrack climb. Otherwise, i enjoy the competition more this way.

  5. #5
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    another issue I have with the clyde group is that it pits really large guys against the merely chubby. At 254, I have to compete against guys whom are just over 200. BS!

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys - the race I had in mind looks like pretty much the easiest part of one of my local trail systems (Gigantic, you probably know the Boone/Lenape/Turtle loop at French Creek). Going to try a few rides out there without the harder parts mixed in and see how long it takes me. I found results from last year and it seems like if I'm around 1 hr/lap I should be OK in either cat 2 whatever or the endurance singlespeed category. If I can't hit that mark I will probably try to find another race with a different format to enter, I feel like I would be giving up too much to just do a 8 mile ride on a weekend!
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    another issue I have with the clyde group is that it pits really large guys against the merely chubby. At 254, I have to compete against guys whom are just over 200. BS!
    agreed, night and day difference. if your going to segment on weight, you really need to look at 200-225 225-250 and 250 up. perhaps if we can get more and more of us big guys out there, that will happen.

    as for the general question, without a doubt weight is a bigger hindrance than gears. if your a lightweight you can easily turn a bigger gear. as clydes we can really effortlessly haul ass downhills but I don't think that helps much in mtb like it does on the road where you know you have a clear path and can go full speed. Also, hauling downhill may last all of 30 seconds while climbs can take minutes. the lightweight rider can easily crank a single speed up hills.

  8. #8
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    Hehe, I'm "only" 225 so I guess I would be cheating a lil in the clyde category? But OTOH would probably be at a distinct disadvantage against the folks with a more typical cyclist's build. Maybe if I do cat 2 I will enter as a clyde, in the name of getting more of us big guys out there

    That would have another advantage of not being in direct competition with my 165 lb brother, who I'll probably be riding with. If we decide to enter the endurance race its on though!
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  9. #9
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    at 225, you are firmly a clyde. Considering Miguel Indurain was known as "Big Mig" at 6'2 180 you shouldn't feel like you are cheating!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    agreed, night and day difference. if your going to segment on weight, you really need to look at 200-225 225-250 and 250 up. perhaps if we can get more and more of us big guys out there, that will happen.
    At the very least, make it 225 & up, although at 225#s, I'd be totally ripped and near single digit BMI territory for my height...

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