Race On a Team or Just Individual?
I'm considering doing some racing this summer. I've ridden a long time, and just crossed one of those birthdays with a zero at the end - new age group.
I've raced some triathlon and one xc race, and a some longer events (Laramie Enduro). For all of these, I just did my own thing getting ready and racing.
Is there an advantage to racing on a team? I'm hesitant since I'm not a shining star, and now that doping is taboo, I'm in real trouble! ...kidding.
Do you guys go it alone, or are you all on teams?
For mtb there is no real need to be on a team. I am on a team for road, but that is much different. For mtb then reason to be on a team is to have someone to go to races with and someone to train with during the week. If you prefer to train alone or can find a shop to ride with then your good to go.
There is typically no team tactic in xc, at least at the amatuer level. Racing on a team does have benefits such as having team mates to commute to races, hanging out at races, new people to ride with as well as learning new training methods.
Dont expect to get gear,parts and entry fees paid, not say it wont happen, just dont expect it, you'll probably have to pay for the team kit.
1st year on a team. I'm just looking to train with faster people.
2014 SWorks Epic
2013 Epic Expert Carbon Evo R
2012 SJ FSR Expert Carbon
2013 Crux Carbon Expert Disc
2014 Surly Pugsley
I like riding with a team. I like having teammates. I find it makes it easier for me to do more of my training rides with peers, which I enjoy more than riding alone and which are better training than riding with most of my non-race friends. I carpool sometimes, and I like to have people "on my team" at races, even if I did also know other people who raced before I raced for a team. I do get deals on a bunch of stuff, but my cost to participate is probably about the same as if I just shopped smart on the 'net.
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx
No team necessary except for hanging out in the parking lot or doing endurance races.
Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!
2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT
For me racing mtb a team is of no use. My schedule is a lot more open than others allowing me to train any time. I communicate with my coach and do my deal. I was on a pretty big team a few years ago racing road and that was a cluster once the parking lot BS quieted for the race start. I don't like to car pool because I'm really strict about showing up and leaving on time, and it ruins my day when someone has an excuse for not being on time. That's what being a Type A personality + former military gets you, ha.
As for team discounts I've found it's hard to beat a good ebay or online sale unless you're getting stuff for free. Plus it seems nice normal riders/racers turn into real jerks when they put on the same team kit and hit the roads or trails. I can't stand the mentality of "we're wearing matching lycra (that we paid for) with logos" and it's okay for us to ride four abreast!
It is not strictly necessary to be part of a team, but I think it has its advantages:
The camaraderie, help with last minute mechanical tune ups, help in the feed zone, a tent to hide in hot or rainy days and I also like to provide help and coaching to newbies. As a plus, if the team is sponsored, you get some deals or even free stuff
Depends on your personality, everything said above is true.
I'd rather do long training rides with someone than alone, so it's been good for that. Our club also puts on a race once a year so it's cool to get some exposure and involvement with the planning and executing an event.
This is an interesting question. I'm in about the same position as the OP (Crashtoomuch)... how do you guys go about finding local teams? I'd like a group to ride with regularly and share some motivation, etc. And carpooling. What kind of options exist out there and how have you guys found them?
2004 Specialized FSR Pro
2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er
Civilian Luddite 29er SS
I enjoy racing on a team for the comradery and support of participating together. My team is also full of my personal friends as well, so that helps.
Another great benefit of some teams is product discounts through sponsorships and access to shop support in some cases. These can help substantially defray the costs of amateur bike racing. Which is an expensive hobby.
And you get awesome kits ; )
pick your state . . .
Originally Posted by SpringsRubicon
USA Cycling Clubs - USA Cycling
If the MTB racing in your state isn't involved in USAC, just go to races and talk to people.
You'll miss the teams that don't send anyone to racing or don't have anyone in your category. But that's not so bad...
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx
I've done both.
I'm pretty independent minded, but have found the support of a team or club beneficial. Having a home base at races is nice, as is sharing responsibilities. Although mtb is more individual, we have employed team tactics in races (i.e. maybe one rider is a stronger descender; they'll lead on the descent, and perhaps another is stronger on the climbs; they'll take the lead there).
The shop I work at provides my team a pretty substantial discount, and we have deals with manufacturers too.
+1 for having done both. I've participated in roughly the same number of team and individual races. At this point I'm primarily interested in solo (SS and geared).
I ride locally with a group of people once a week or more... not really training but fun nonetheless. Some of them ride in the same races and others don't. You can train with folks and race solo or team. In my experience there's been plenty of camaraderie regardless.
I am on a team. So far (just finished 2nd season of riding) just have done solo CX events
Great deals on parts and service from bike shop. I got paid for one race entry this year, free shirts, FRS energy drinks, etc. I was on "B" team last year.
I am not on the team for 'tactics' like on rode - I am on team for 'perks'. Great teammates to hang / ride around with are an added benefit ask training questions (and hopefully get a 'straight' response)
Some events have 'team' points for events
Most cycling clubs in my area are road oriented, and most clubs have both a club side and a race team. I race primarily MTB with an occasional road race or crit so I find being part of a road club beneficial for the sponsorship deals, camaraderie, group rides, and being on a team for the few road races I do, etc, but I don't find that many club members are into XC racing for the most part. There are exceptions.
The biggest benefit I find is with the club rides. I get a lot of my training benefit especially endurance from road riding.
If you want to meet like minded people before races, train with them to help you get faster and get a discount off bikes and gear then yes.
Also during races seeing a fellow team member (even if you don't really know them) can spur you on.
2012 was my first year racing. Last year I placed in top third to middle of the pack in most of my CAT2 races. In other words I'm more of a dull blunt knife than a shining star, but I have fun and meet people, so that's all that matters.
Some teams take local amateur racing a bit seriously. You just need to find one that has similar racers as yourself.
Actually just noticed, are you still in Golden, CO. PM me if you want more info the team I'm on which is pretty laid back and an mtb team. I think 2013 team membership is closed, but anyone is welcome on the training rides, so you can try before you buy if you want
I'll join a team if/when I meet some local guys that I want to hang out and ride/train with. I would not join a team with guys who live far away that I'll only see on race day. I would not be in a rush to join a team, ride a bunch of races an see who you meet and make friends with.
Your team-mates can possibly save you a spot near the starting line, and cheer for you as you race together, -motivation is valuable, and start position can be pretty important.
This year I'm racing in my old team jersey from a shop that went out of business 15 years ago, some of the guys I knew in the 'old days' have been recognizing the jersey, which is fun.