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Racing on a bag of censored bike

TheomerchantTheomerchant Posts: 187
edited February 2012 in Amateur race
Righty then, Im doing my first season racing this year starting in the end of March. Im training looads and keeping up ok on the fast lads club run. So fitness wise I'm going in the right direction.
In regards to the bike I'll be racing on it will be a 2007 Trek 1200 with a new Sram Rival group set and 2010 Ksyrium elites. I was going to buy a Dolan Ares to race on in the middle of March but work kindly told me that they are making mass redundancies towards the beginning of May so any big purchases are having to be put on hold until things are more secure.
What I was wondering was will the trusty Trek be ok to race on. I know and appreciate its all about the engine at the end of the day and marginal gains don’t really count for much in regional racing, but then there is the psychological disadvantage, what I mean by this and I’m sure people can relate to is; if for example you are out on a ride and your mudguards are rubbing ever so slightly so as to make that annoying noise, we all know its not really affecting your ride and how much effort your putting in but psychologically its soul destroying to hear that rubbing noise and it makes it feel as if every pedal stroke is hell.
Now I think this is going to be the same kind of theory when I turn up to my first race on my flexy as hell Trek, with all the super stiff super responsive and super light carbon clad road bikes on the start line I can't help but think I’m going to be at a disadvantage before the race even starts on my heavy / flexy Trek (and trust me it flex's like sh*t when I'm out the saddle sprinting).
So after all this rambling what I want to know is will it really make a difference when it comes down to it on the day psychologically / or physically?


  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    the short answer is no - as you say, it is all about the engine. I've been beaten by fitter, stronger riders riding 'entry level' bikes and I doubt if a 'carbon wonder bike' would have made all that much difference to them really. I race on a relatively 'high end' bike chiefly because when I do badly in a race, I know it is not my machinery which is holding me back.. ;)

    If you feel your confidence could be improved by upgrading, then that is a different matter. There's a lot to be said for that...
  • Zoomer37Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    Dont sweat it mate. Nobody will give a toss what bike you got. Make sure the bike mechanically sound and just focus on riding everyone else into the ground.

    Good luck
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,084
    If you re worried about the psychology - give the bike a really good clean and service, adjust everything so it's perfect and freshly greased and lubed. Give the frame a polish, if the cables are on the way out, put some new ones on, sort out that bit of wrongly wrapped bar tape etc. That way you know your trusty workhorse is in tip top showroom condition and in no way inferior to some dolan rubbish ( ;) )
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    Mate - doing the Hillingdon Winter Series, there are blokes that turn up on Lightweight wheels to race in the 4th Cat race!!! In the meantime, I saw a guy on an old steel bike with downtube shifters come in the top 3 of the 3rd Cat race.

    The best bit about riding a "bag of censored " bike is that people are just as likely to look at you and go "christ, he's going to tear it up on that piece of shoot, that's going to be embarressing for me when I get pasted on my £5k bike" as look at you and think "he's got a censored bike, he's going to be censored ".

    I raced with Rival and Aksiums and was fine.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The guy on the best bike in any amateur race is always the sh*ttest. Fact :wink:
    More problems but still living....
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,366
    That's hardly a bag of censored bike, reasonable aluminium frame, decent groupset and the wheelset is far better than I race on. I'll be racing early season races on my 20 odd year old bike which was more than decent for several seasons when new so why wouldn't it be now? The only thing with the Trek is that it might not be so responsive on tight circuits as it isn't such a tight geometry.
  • Don't worry about it at all. Your Trek 1200 frame will be fine (unless it's flexy as hell, which I doubt) and with a new groupset on there should be running smoothly.

    All that matters is that you have a bike that you're comfortable on, handles well (which, lets face it is more about your riding than the bikes characteristics) and has been maintained well enough that you don't have a dangerous mechanical (make sure your chain isn't skipping, your cleats aren't worn dangerously and if you were on tubs that they're glued properly).

    No excuses. Sorry!
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    I raced my first cat 4 race also at hillingdon, as I remarked upon at the time, there was a guy racing with a cervelo S3, on Zipp 404's, and he had an SRM crank. Easily £5k just for those 3 bits. I beat him and everyone else on a £999 Ribble haha! Its NOT about the bike in a crit like Hillingdon. I snapped the frame on that bike 4 weeks later, imagine I'd have done that on the S3? I'd be livid.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing -
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I'm tempted to use my Kona Honky Tonk for racing. I want to show some people what's up.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Also, I never realised you were allowed to race with downtube shifters. I wouldn't have bothered upgrading if I'd known!
  • protoproto Posts: 1,475
    Ha, I saw that bloke in the 3rds at Hillingdon with the dtube shifters. Polish bloke I think and very strong.

    I was in the 4ths, and the amount of bling kit was amazing, acres of Cervelos, deep section carbon wheels, some bloke with Di2, but loads of very average kit too (my alum Cinelli/Veloce for example, I wouldn't take my best bike, far too many crashes!)

    Mate of mine rides in the 3rds on an eight year old alum Trek and does very well.

    It really isn't about the bike!
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 18,633
    you'll probably be better off, as you won't be too precious about it getting damaged.
    Twitter - @NapD
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  • rajMANrajMAN Posts: 429
    Make sure its serviced and therefore safe at least! it sounds an ideal first bike to race on as you can experience and get a taste of racing, hell you might not even like it (racing). Hopefully you will and enjoy it and maybe look at upgrading for your 2nd season plus you can smirk at those with All The Gear No Idea :shock:
  • All of the above is correct - i have held off buying plush wheels simply because of the risk of smashing them up in a race - it certainly hasn't been the defining factor when i've been dropped...
    Put me back on my bike...

    t' blog:
  • nhojnhoj Posts: 129
    I intend to race this season on a bike cheaper than your Trek and I intend to give the dentists a hard time.
  • Thanks for all the positive feedback guys! If I was to have gone ahead with buying the Dolan crashing was something I was a little worried about especially considering how commonplace they are in entry level racing. At least with my Trek if it gets busted up it wont be expensive to replace. So my plan for now until the end of march is to train, train some more and then a bit of extra training on top, then come march blow all the 5k+ bike riding dentisits / middle managers off the back.....hopefully :P
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    I'm racing this weekend with torn bar tape, mashed up overshoes and sewn up leggings (repaired from a crash)...gonna look like some sort of racing pikey. My reasoning is winter is almost over and I'm just trying to get the last possible use out of my stuff that was ruined in a crash so I can and hopefully pick up something from the sales when the weather turns warmer.

    Although the bar tape is because I've been too lazy to take my bike to the shop to get it done again :D
  • nhojnhoj Posts: 129
    You take your bike to a shop to have bar tape fitted? The mind boggles.
  • I did most of first year of racing on a 2nd hand CAAD5 with a censored $80 wheelset. I now have upgraded to a CAAD9 with some better wheels and it is pretty sweet for my use. Even if i could afford a Colnago C59 then I wouldnt want to race it!

    DavidJB wrote:
    Although the bar tape is because I've been too lazy to take my bike to the shop to get it done again :D

    Never mind the lazyness i'd be embarrassed to take a bike to a shop and ask them to do the bar tape!
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I race on a CAAD 9 with Tiagra... it's just about right I think. Although a few people have told me to buy better wheels for racing, which is unbelievable really...
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Herbsman wrote:
    I race on a CAAD 9 with Tiagra... it's just about right I think. Although a few people have told me to buy better wheels for racing, which is unbelievable really...

    My training bike has Tiagra...its awesome...just keeps going and going...had less problems with that than my Ultegra!
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    nhoj wrote:
    You take your bike to a shop to have bar tape fitted? The mind boggles.

    Ok Ok, taking it to the shop I ride for to get it sorted today so I won't be as ghetto :)
  • nhojnhoj Posts: 129
    Nice blog, by the way. More updates needed.
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