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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Cat 3 or SS open?

    I am doing my first race this weekend, the KC Cup at Landahl in Blue Springs, MO. Not sure what category to race in. If there was a Single Speed Cat 3 I would for sure do that, but I am stuck to decide between Cat 3 or SS open.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PutSumStankOnIt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I'm not sure how it works there but where I live
    SS Open is expert, a huge difference in competition
    as well as distance from cat3. Just ride your SS in
    a cat3 age group against the geared guys until you
    get some experience under your belt. Unless you
    can handle the distance, SS open is usually 26 to 30 mile
    races which is usually unrealistic for a beginner.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flat Ark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    In Arkansas there is only 1 SS class due to smaller field sizes and they race Cat 2 distance. Some of the fastest guys around are in that class. My first ever MTB race was in this class and it got ugly for me less than 1 mile in! It was a real eye opener to say the least.

    I too vote for racing your SS in the Cat 3 geared class. If you manage to COMPLETELY destroy those guys then maybe think about racing in the SS class.

  4. #4
    Reputation: Crosstown Stew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Like first race ever, or first race of the year? If you have never raced before I'd say do cat3 on your ss just to get a race under your belt so you know what to expect because racing/ passing/ climbing on single track, especially on a ss, takes some practice and your likely to get more of that in the cat3 race IMO. And regardless of what cat you do, racing on a ss means you can't be afraid to pass, or force a pass if you have to, because you can lose a lot of time and energy getting stuck behind geared guys on climbs and technical sections. Good luck man

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jonw9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I did cat3 SS last year. Good move. It was fun beating the gearies. In some other "Open" races I am ~30 minutes behind the top finishers as they are expert's tearing stuff up.

    Around here we also have Beginner/Sport and Expert/Elite SS categories. But that doesn't really help you!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Can you do a pre ride and compare times and distances? Here the SS open guys ride the same distance as cat 1 and pro and have comparible times to the cat 1 guys. When I started racing again after a 8 year lay off I raced my SS in cat 3 and finished in the top 10. I could not race the distance and speed of cat 1 at the time.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    The KC Cup SS class is technically a category 2 race. If you're new to racing, race SS in cat 3. If you're used to riding as much as the cat 2 race, then maybe give that a go. Plenty of people race SS in 'geared' classes (and a lot of them win or place well!).

    Have fun!

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