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  1. #1
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    Little advice on which race category for next year, please.

    Little background. I used to mtn bike race alot in the Sport category (which I believe is now Cat 2?). I was "generally" a podium finisher, give or take a couple of races where mechanicals kept me out of contention. Haven't done any races for the last 4 years or so, but have the green light from my wife to start competing again.

    I do alot of road riding, going to do some road racing in that arena this next year as well (Cat 5 since I have to). I don't have any great expectations in this arena, but I'm fairly confident in my riding ability, as I've done alot of riding with Cat 3 (and some 2) riders in the past. This next year I'll qualify for the 40 yr old age bracket (no comments on my age, please); so I'm pondering whether to start off in the sport class again, or try my hand in the expert class, OR try my hand in the SS class.

    Now I know I don't want to set myself up for failure, but I don't like sandbaggers either. I don't think I'll qualify as such; but my dilemma right now is that I'm searching for a bike to race this next year. I'm looking at 29ers (HT), and leaning toward a geared bike. Don't know that a SS wouldn't be fun, just not sure I want to commit to all my races being on one?

    I'd like to hear some feedback on what you guys might suggest. Right now, leaning towards the sport (cat 2) class and see how I fair; then go from there. (There's also an endurance class in a local series I can do that's somewhat interesting.) My issues is, if I go for the points in the series, I don't want to jump ship and move up and lose those if possible, regardless of how I'm doing. I'd like to be in contention for the overall at seasons end....not sure that's a feasible expectation in the expert class.

    Thanks in advance. I appreciate it.

  2. #2
    AZ
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    So , you only want to race in a catagory if you can contend for overall . Sounds like a sandbagger to me .

  3. #3
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    Race cat 2 (sport). 4 years is a long break from racing. I don't know where you race, but around here the leaders of the SS cat usually finish about the same time as the cat 1 leaders.

  4. #4
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    Race cat 2 see how you do and if you podium or feel like you are just stronger than everyone move up. Most of the time you can take some points with you and if not most series let you miss x amount of races and still qualify for the overall. This would just be kind of like a throw away race if you move up and don't get to take your points with you. 4 years is a long time, you might be surprised.

    I would also SS on the side before making it my primary bike. See if you like it and see if it is something you would like to race. I love mine, but it is always easier to turn a geared bike into a SS than it is to wish you could put gears on a SS specific frame.

  5. #5
    CB2
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    I'll echo what everyone else has stated, start in Cat2. If you're destroying the field, move up. I don't actually know if you can jump right into Cat1 without petitioning for it after a 4 year break.
    A couple of side notes for you:
    Around hear, the Cat1 40-49 class is one of the fastest, so if you think you're going to have an advantage being on the young side of the class, you might want to re-think that.
    Singlespeed can be an effective choice for the right rider and course. I rode a SS, usually rigid, to consistently good results this year in Cat1 40-49.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the comments - I appreciate it. That's where I was leaning, just wanted to hear it from someone else.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's going to be easy regardless. When doing some tri's, I've noticed the 40+ field was always more competetive as a whole over the younger classes.

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