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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    clyde catagories at races, thoughts?

    I guess the title says it all; what are your thoughts on races with clyde categories?

    Are weight-based racing categories fair? Or is it just sort of sandbagging?

    I'm trying to make up my mind on this after doing a few races last year. I have arguments both for and against, but I'd like to hear some other clydes' thoughts on it.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: davelexipct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I'm 6'7" and big. I know from multi-month epic experience that my minimum body weight is about 215#, and that's not really sustainable. I'm normally 225-230#. I'll sign up for whatever category is going to provide me the least hassle in negotiating a crowd and don't really care about the prizes or rankings despite being able to win or place highly in Clyde events.

    I think that the category is silly. The number of awards at large events is ridiculous, with SS, fixed, M/F, ages, tandem, clyde etc. Its just an ego boost for riders not fast enough to "really" place. I suppose whether the category is reasonable depends on your personal motivation, glory or personal challenge. I'm content with the personal challenge, either besting my own course PR or perhaps beating a particular friend who always seems to finish within 1% of me.

  3. #3
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
    Reputation: donalson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    ...a super fast clyd is going to be slower then a super fast 140# guy when the trail starts climbing... weight is a BIG disadvantage in XC... DH i think it has more to do with overall skill... I can hang with the best of em in our group on the DH (heck i'm riding my brakes most of the way down to make sure i don't plow over somone)... but as soon as the trail turns up off they go.

    that being said... if you are 200.00# (or .01 over whatever the cutoff is) and placing 1st every race then by all means challenge yourself and hop up to the faster group...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I just finished racing an xc series in the Clyde class. Started the series at 230 ended at 210. Looking at the lap times for the entire series, none of the clydes were close to the times in the other groups.

    The main reason for me running clyde was that big guys and small guys carry speed differently, and unless there is a bunch of room to pass on the course its going to create a bottleneck.

    So is it sandbagging??? Yeah, but every class under pro is sandbagging anyway, so whats the difference, just make sure you move up a class when you are supposed to.

  5. #5
    long standing member
    Reputation: PCinSC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    It's not sandbagging. Clydesdales are at a physiological disadvantage compared to smaller, lighter riders. Some sports naturally favor a certain body type: gymnasts are small and light with high relative strength...clydesdales need not apply. Football players are big, fast, with high absolute strength...clydesdale status is a necessity for most positions. Some sports have weight divisions to foster equitable competition: wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, etc. Clydesdale divisions in XC MTB races are a variation of this approach.

    I think if participation at a given event is high enough to field a decent-sized, competitive clydesdale category then race promoters should do it.

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