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Race bike options - Aluminium frame?

Afternoon all,

considering, just considering, dipping my toe into some racing.

I'm acutely aware of the 'don't race what you can't afford to replace' saying, and to be fair, I would be heartbroken if either my built up from parts CR1 or off the peg Foil bit the dust, not to mention the expense.

I'm thinking that an option may be to go for an aluminium framed bike, or a cheap carbon one.
Second hand is also a potential option, something like 10spd 105 for reliability.

Caad 12 has sprung to mind of the alloy variety, but as I'm a Scott fan (They seem to fit me very well), perhaps a Speedster, or an older CR1 or even Foil.

Any experiences of what people on here have done would be appreciated :-)

Additionally I do have my Felt F70 from 2005, running 105 10spd, which has been my turbo bike for some 3 years, so I could potentially call that into service at least temporarily.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Posts

  • I'm interested in racing some crits this year, so interested in the reply's to this thread too.

    I've got a Carbon road bike, but that is more endurance geometry.

    I have actually started to build my old knackered 2013 Specialized Allez for the turbo, converting it from 8 speed to 11 with lots of other new parts, so I am thinking that this may be my weapon of choice.
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Crit or road races? Hills? Going to race in all weathers?
    I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer, second hand if you can get a good deal on a bike in good enough condition that fits you, races tend to be short but very high intensity. Fit and brake reach from the drops are my important factors. I’m not overly worried about comfort on my race bike.
    I have an Aeroad that I race on. Prior to that it’s been Trek Emonda and Madone’s. All sorts of bikes rock up for races, from really expensive £10k bikes through to Planet X level. I’ll be honest and say I don’t like racing in wet on carbon wheels / rims, some people are fine, but me personally, especially for crits, I’m not a fan.(not that you asked but thought I’d say it) I have an old set of Giant SLR wheels with alu brake track for wet weather, 55 mm deep, weigh about 1850 grams, fairly heavy but the braking performance is worth it in the wet.
    I’ve thought about the crashing problem, but I’m insured to race and have other bikes should I smash my Aeroad up.
    For this coming season I was tempted with moving to disc brakes and an alu frame, but going to stay on the current bike. For me I like to feel good and confident on the start line, I’d probably not feel like that on a 15 year old bike.
    A lot of the time your in a pack, aero is less important, weight of the bike maybe more important on hilly courses. Some of the races I do tend to have a couple of hills each lap, after a few laps I appreciate having a bike as light as possible, again it’s a minor difference, mainly in my head, but it makes a difference to me.

  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,074
    If you can grab a cheap CAAD 12 from somewhere with stock left then I'd definitely recommend that. I've ridden some fancy carbon bikes in my time and the CAAD 12 is as fast and as stiff as any of them.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,651
    edited 18 February
    Cheers chaps, I'd want to start off in something like the Cat 4 racing at Thruxton I expect, which is fairly near to me.

    I see they have 4 races in for April, but also 4 in for August which I could potentially be able to enter.

    I also have a new Allez Elite sat in the garage, which was destined to go overseas, but I could call that into action - nout too fancy, probably 9kg, but mostly shimano 105, alu frame, carbon forks etc.

    @Roastie - where were you looking to race?
    Your refurbed Allez sounds like it could be the perfect steed.

    @Joe - agreed, have only heard good things about them, some vibrant colour options as well.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Crashes do happen, but nine out of ten times you will have nothing more than damaged bar tape, scratched levers or a few cuts and grazes. Crashes that actually total a £5k bike are relatively rare.

    So my suggestion is race what you have and fck the odds. Life's too short.
  • dannbodgedannbodge Posts: 927
    If you're buying a bike specifically for crit racing it's got to be the Allez Sprint.

    If you're going to get serious with it I'd certainly look at buying a specific bike for it. If you're only dabbling, then ride what you have. Just get insured for it.

    For starters I'd be picking the bike I feel most confident on. Turning up to a race on a bike you're not that confident on will end in disaster as it will already be in your head.
  • Have you got bits to help build up a frame on the cheap, such as the https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FRPXPCEVOD/planet-x-pro-carbon-evo-disc-frameset ? I think TimothyW on here bought the frameset for £299 around Xmas.

    There's some good flat mount hydraulic disc set deals around, such as £240 for 7020 at Merlin (or £200 for BR505).
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,521
    Yeah - the Allez Sprint is a brilliant crit bike. You should be able to pick up a decent frame only on ebay for about 500 quid - then build up from there. Either that or as also mentioned a CAAD12.

    I've had multiple crashes in races but never totalled a frame - had a massive off in France at the fat lad worlds a few years back and did four fractures (chainstay, seat stay and two round the BB) - repaired and good as new - set me back the best part of 700 quid though. Ever since then - insurance on anything I race. Haven't bothered claiming for anything I've done in races since then (cosmetic damage only and too much hassle to bother) but it has saved me after having a grim one in training and (hopefully, when insurers pull their finger out after a court case) getting run over last year

    Possibly worth you insuring your 'good' bike rather than buying another one just in case you break it racing...
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • I have totalled a good bike on a road race a few years ago. Was a nice Carbon Orbea Orca with full Dura Ace and Zipps. I replaced it with a CAAD10. Hooked bars with a teammate sprinting out of a bend. Lesson learned don’t race in the hoods stay in the drops. Looking back now I reckon you just race your good bike and insure it if your worried about replacing it. I’m more worried about breaking bones than frames nowadays. Don’t need any more metal pins thank you.
  • CAAD12 comes in a disc brake version too - not sure if that's a good or bad thing for crit racing, I guess it depends what everyone else is riding.
    I have the CAAD12 (disc) and use it for general riding and the odd time trial with clip on aero bars. Does a good job for both duties.
    I got hit by a car over Christmas, the frame was fine but the carbon forks were damaged (£200 to replace).
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    Doubt you'll be disappointed if you got a CAAD12, I loved mine while I had it. Fantastic bike.

    Or... go second hand. Spend £1k, get a carbon frame, Di2, etc.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,140
    I wouldn't buy a new bike for crit racing - either race what you have or if it's something you don't want to worry to much about get something second hand. Maybe get some cheap mid-deep carbon clinchers on it. I'd race what you have though - in a couple of years it'll no longer be a flash new bike anyway.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,074

    I wouldn't buy a new bike for crit racing - either race what you have or if it's something you don't want to worry to much about get something second hand. Maybe get some cheap mid-deep carbon clinchers on it. I'd race what you have though - in a couple of years it'll no longer be a flash new bike anyway.

    I agree with this. Seeing as you've got a 105 Allez lying around, whacking some deep wheels on that and slamming it would give you a bike good enough for Cat 4 crits.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Pretty much 'any' bike is good enough for 4th cat events..
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