Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    Metalheadbikerider
    Reputation: free-agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,517

    To road race or not?

    Every year I set a goal of doing a road race, only to fail every single year. Next weekend is a "Roubaix" road race about an hour and a half away. I'm thinking about doing it. I have some pretty good fitness. My concern is a crash that wipes out all of my work from the past few months, ruining my mtb season. Am I over-thinking it and should I just go for it? I would have to race Cat 5. What should I keep in mind if I decide to do it? It's about 40 miles with 2200 feet of climbing, with some gravel sections. It's the technical difficulty of the race that has me interested in doing it.
    Thanks in advance.
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

  2. #2
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,093
    Do it. Its fun and great training. Todd Wells just did the Old Pueblo Gran Prix last weekend. Its a change of pace from mtb racing that I really enjoy. I started out planning to do 1 or 2 road races a year to mix it up with my mtb racing, now I might do 1 or 2 mtb races a year. I still prefer riding my mtb, but prefer to race the roadie...

  3. #3
    Bro Mountainbiker
    Reputation: Sheepo5669's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,511
    I would be more weary in a cat 5 crit than a Roubaix race.

    Just stay near the front to avoid wrecks.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    625
    Go for it. What to keep in mind? Set a realistic goal, so that when you achieve it, it keeps you motivated for the next race, whether it's on the road, or in the trails. You can set the bar as low as "just finishing".... which is better than a DNF

    With gravel sections.... maybe a larger volume tire, that the forks can fit, it 25, 28, etc?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    28
    Road racing is a completely different animal. Most of the road races in my area are crits. I'm not a big fan of racing in circles 3 inches from someone elseís wheel in a large group. Itís not my cup of tea. But a true road race can be fun a fun experience. The ones I've been in people get spread out into smaller groups rather quickly so its not as never racking when compared to crits for first timers.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    573
    I do time trials on the road to supplement my MTB racing (I'm one of those oddballs that actually enjoy the suffering of a TT, and I find my TT bike comfy, what can I say?), and am thinking of doing one or two road races this year as well. The road races I am planning on just sitting back and enjoying them and not getting uber serious about them. One thing I will not do is a crit, those scare the crap out of me.

  7. #7
    I'd rather be riding
    Reputation: zippinveedub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    674
    I did a road race and crit earlier this season. It was basically free (collegiate) so I went for it. Other than the fact it was raining I had fun and felt like it provided good fitness. Crit wasn't scary because I used my mtb start skills to get out front right off the bat and stay there.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,194
    If the race is that close and there's no other race that weekend, then do it. The only consideration is the extra cost for day license.

    I've been racing road for 10 years and upgraded to Cat 3 a few years ago. I've done road races, crits (some years I've done 10 in one season), stage races, and TTs, and they're all pretty fun. They are a different animal and each one uniquely affected by course profile.

    Success in a road race is really a numbers and cooperation game. If you can get sufficient numbers in a break AND get good cooperation, then a break can be successful. Without one of those two, it's really difficult. The whole point I believe is to attack to create a break (or bridge to a break) to avoid a big pack sprint. That makes racing fun and increases safety.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AlliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,344
    Around here, the road races start in first weekend of march. Mtn starts first weekend of April. That said, I'm choosing a 2 day stage race over a mtn bike race that weekend. Both are a ton of fun. Watch out for cat5. They sent me to hospital first race on road. Masters can be a good option but also can be blazing fast. Take a road racing class if you can. There are a number of safety rules you should follow and help the rest of the pack follow.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  10. #10
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,532
    Hit the local group ride a couple of times a week. That will suffice for learning how to ride in a group at speed.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,194
    Here's a real good series of articles describing the tactics of a breakaway. Good things to know if you haven't raced road.

    How to Ride a Breakaway: Create the Winning Move | Rambling Man | Bicycling.com
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  12. #12
    mtbr member extraordinair
    Reputation: Stupendous Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    912
    Worth a shot. You dont have to go out there and try to win it on your first try. Use it as a learning experience and ride in your comfort zone. At least thats what I plan to do on my first road race (I may actually try one this year myself)
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    41
    try it , you might like it? i'm weird, started riding road to train to race MTB (time wise easier to fit it in) It ended up taking my like 10 years to actually race MTB. I did however start racing CX and road (4 years ago)

    I really love racing crits, they are crazy fast and real hard. they can be dangerous but you can usually figure out who you need to be aware of on the first lap. crashing is something you need to consider, ive been pretty fortunate, of the 40+ RR/crits i hve entered ive only been caught up in a crash once(have had a lot of close calls), normally they arent that bad, some bruises, broken equipment but you can have your season ruined with broken bones!!!

    for me now that i have seen the light with MTB racing i will only road race early season (seems to be muh safer because no one wants their season ruined in march and fitness is still building) After that i focus on one or two local MTB series and may dable in a crit or RR in the middle of the summer for a change of pace?

    i look at the hour of RRing as a great way to build your FTP, the best form of training is racing!!! good luck and keep the rubber on the pavment/dirt

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    142
    I would recommend trying a road race. I tried a couple last season and found them to be a refreshing change of pace and a good way to build some fitness for the flats in a MTB race. If you can avoid the back 2/3's of the pack you will avoid most crashes. I would say that your fitness is enough to support that.

    Also if you think you have a chance to win wait tell the end. My experience say that there is not enough strong cat 5 racer to split the group and have it stick. Unlike in mountain biking strong man doesn't always win. A well timed effort on a hill or sprint is likely all you need. Have fun!

    A crit race is the most fun type Road racing I have tried. It is the most like mountain biking in corners.

  15. #15
    Outrunning zombies
    Reputation: 9erfreak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    22
    I mainly just stick with charity rides instead of races. There is always a group that loves to treat the ride like a TT. That can make it rather fun.

    I dodge the races because road crashes can be nasty. Maybe one day I'll get the courage to ride in one...
    GF/Trek HiFi | Hardrock Sport Disc 29er
    If you don't eat **** every now and again, you aren't riding hard enough!

  16. #16
    Michigan Wolverine
    Reputation: RaptorTC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    284
    I started racing road this year and I absolutely love it. The sense of speed is fun and in my experiences its way more strategy based than mountain bike racing. Definitely a nice change of pace.
    Amassing Miles - My Little Cycling Blog

  17. #17
    Metalheadbikerider
    Reputation: free-agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,517
    Thanks everyone. I decided to pass on this particular race for a couple of reasons, mainly because the mtb race I have been training for is less than 4 weeks away. I do not want to miss it because of a crash in this race.
    I definitely plan to get my butt in a road race this Spring or Summer, though. The words of encouragement are much appreciated.
    Cheers!
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    496
    I don't think it's any more dangerous than mtb racing (few places to pass, rocks, trees etc), I feel like I'm taking more risks on the road with cars when I'm by myself, and at less risk of a bad crash (w/ a car) when I'm in a race group, and I have crashed in a road race.
    I've been away from road racing for a long time, but I really enjoyed it along with mtb racing, and it was very hard. I would think that at the first good hill the cat5 pack would split into the fit/better riders and the not quite as fit.
    It is really cool to be in the middle of a big pack, with all the bike sounds around you, and to see from within how the pack moves and works. Also, to be part of a break working together to make a gap off the main group is really exciting and fun, and working with a chase group and catching the leaders shortly before the finish is really fun too. If you love cycling, you need to experience road racing, I'm very glad I did, I have some great memories. I will probably do some road racing again as I'm able to get more back cycling, just mtb and cx for now.

  19. #19
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,768
    I feel the same way about the road racing now. While I understand the forced start all the way down at the cat 5 level, it is a bummer for a cat 1 mtb'er (who trains on the road 90% of the time with fast groups) to have to do so.

    Road wrecks can be really nasty and.....expensive if you crack your frame or carbon hoops sorta thing.

    The cat 5 thing is a real deterrent for me. Just stay at the front right!?

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    108
    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    I feel the same way about the road racing now. While I understand the forced start all the way down at the cat 5 level, it is a bummer for a cat 1 mtb'er (who trains on the road 90% of the time with fast groups) to have to do so.

    Road wrecks can be really nasty and.....expensive if you crack your frame or carbon hoops sorta thing.

    The cat 5 thing is a real deterrent for me. Just stay at the front right!?
    Have you raced road before? There are a LOT of Cat 1 MTB guys that couldn't sprint their way out of a Cat 5 peloton to save their lives. I'm guessing I am one of them, but have never done a road race to prove my theory. I have done fast group rides that I'd think would be 'easy' that were not.

    If your that strong you'll be at the front/off the front. But I'd bet you'll be surprised how fast some of those Cat 5 guys are, just saying.

  21. #21
    Endurance Junkie
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    Have you raced road before? There are a LOT of Cat 1 MTB guys that couldn't sprint their way out of a Cat 5 peloton to save their lives. I'm guessing I am one of them, but have never done a road race to prove my theory. I have done fast group rides that I'd think would be 'easy' that were not.

    If your that strong you'll be at the front/off the front. But I'd bet you'll be surprised how fast some of those Cat 5 guys are, just saying.
    You're right. I just did my first road race this past weekend at Battenspring and there were some super strong riders in the race. I was in the front group of 10-12 guys. There was 1 super strong guy that broke away at the beginning and beat us all by 13 minutes (I think he caught on with the CAT 4s). But within the pack, the tempo was pretty quick and I averaged about 255 watts for a 2 hour race with a group, so to break away from the group would take some serious power. When it came down to the sprint, I have no sprinting ability, but to be a contender you definitely needed to put out 1000+ watts.

  22. #22
    more skier than biker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,729
    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    I feel the same way about the road racing now. While I understand the forced start all the way down at the cat 5 level, it is a bummer for a cat 1 mtb'er (who trains on the road 90% of the time with fast groups) to have to do so.
    understand where you are coming from...I'm a Cat1 / Pro Open kind of MTB'er, and a Cat 1 Cyclocrosser, and I had to get my requisite 10 Cat 5 road race starts before being allowed to jump up to Cat 4 road. When I first started doing them, my thinking was similar to yours, i.e. why do I have to do be in Cat 5? But after going throught he process, it's totally clear to me now why the system is what it is. Mass start road races (especially crits) are totally different animals than any kind of MTB race. I had a lot to learn (still do!) and am glad that the system is in place.

    I had a bunch of mixed results in my Cat 5 races...the first race (a crit) I entered I got dead last after spending way too much time at the very front and then getting sketched out in the final corner so just let the pack go by to observe what happens, then I won my next crit, then the remainder of my races where mostly top 10's.

    I entered my first Cat 4 Road Race (a hilly one..more my style) this past weekend, and got a 2nd place, after me and the eventual winner broke away with one lap to go. I tell you, identifying what would be the winning move, working to bridge up to it, and then working with that guy to break away and stay away for 15 hilly miles from a charging pack was absolutely thrilling, and something that is a bit different than MTB.

    One thing I've found...road racing seems to tax your ability to sustain power for a longer length of time than MTB racing will. (i.e. think longer 30 minute intervals, versus shorter, punchier stuff with lots of accelerations and decelerations).

    Anyway, if you have the desire and the speed & power / talent...once you get out of the 5's, you can move through the higher categories (i.e. say Cat 4 - to Cat 3 or Cat 2), a LOT faster.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,194
    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    When it came down to the sprint, I have no sprinting ability, but to be a contender you definitely needed to put out 1000+ watts.
    When I concentrated on road racing in 2010, I developed to about a 1200W jump (1000W+ 5 sec) and ~500W 1 minute. (at 165 lbs).

    To me, in road racing, the 1 minute was more important, because a lot of times I was gassed before the final 200m sprint even started. Also, doing constant 2X20's (which a lot of cyclist do, without really doing anything else) won't develop your sprint and 1 min power to it's full potential.

    Having that 1min and 5s ability at the end is really the difference between 1st place and 15th place, amongst racers with similar P/W.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  24. #24
    Endurance Junkie
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    When I concentrated on road racing in 2010, I developed to about a 1200W jump (1000W+ 5 sec) and ~500W 1 minute. (at 165 lbs).

    To me, in road racing, the 1 minute was more important, because a lot of times I was gassed before the final 200m sprint even started. Also, doing constant 2X20's (which a lot of cyclist do, without really doing anything else) won't develop your sprint and 1 min power to it's full potential.

    Having that 1min and 5s ability at the end is really the difference between 1st place and 15th place, amongst racers with similar P/W.
    I completely agree with that assessment. My main focus for the winter was pulling up my FTP, which involved a whole lot of 2x20' intervals. These will be great for my tris, but definitely leave a lot of room for improvement for bike racing. You just aren't going to do anything if your 1' power is only around 400 watts and sprint is 700.

  25. #25
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,768
    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    Have you raced road before? There are a LOT of Cat 1 MTB guys that couldn't sprint their way out of a Cat 5 peloton to save their lives. I'm guessing I am one of them, but have never done a road race to prove my theory. I have done fast group rides that I'd think would be 'easy' that were not.

    If your that strong you'll be at the front/off the front. But I'd bet you'll be surprised how fast some of those Cat 5 guys are, just saying.
    I have done plenty of "simulated" racing with guys I am familiar with that race road quite a bit. Our team/club rides are extremely competitive.

    The reason some Cat 5 guys are fast is simply because they have the ability and etiquette of a Cat 3 or higher, but have to PAY THEIR DUES in the Cat 5 field.

    Of course there will be fast guys in a Cat 5 field. The spectrum of talent is ginormous in the Cat 5 fields simply for this very reason. You will have guys who train a ton with road teams/clubs and can hang just fine, but don't pay to race. 6 years later, they decide to show up to a Cat 5 race...haha.

    On the other hand, I do agree that there are a ton of mtb'er who have no business jumping directly into the Cat 3 field. I believe this is the reason everyone has to start as a 5. Filtering process! I just darn scary though. Yep...stay at the front!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Monstercross race on a road bike?
    By radred in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-07-2013, 07:16 AM
  2. FSC race @ Carter road- expectations?
    By Noclutch in forum Southeast - GA, TN, AL, FL
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-07-2012, 04:10 AM
  3. 3 Day Gravel Road Stage Race
    By agriholic in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-01-2012, 04:23 PM
  4. Anybody commute on a road bike with race geo?
    By dust3313 in forum Commuting
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-08-2011, 12:06 AM
  5. DustBuster Road/MTB Duathalon Race; 8-9 Jan (Shv, La)
    By N8! in forum Midsouth - LA, MS, AR
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-02-2011, 06:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •