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Beginner Dedicated Race Bike

Old 12-08-20, 11:57 AM
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Beginner Dedicated Race Bike

I'm looking to get into racing and after watching a lot of youtube videos, it appears crashing fairly likely (especially for newbies). The thought of crashing my road bike (it has a unique paint job) would cause me to be too cautious. I have been thinking about building a dedicated race bike without any paint to worry about scratching. Is that a good idea, or am I overthinking this?
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Old 12-08-20, 12:43 PM
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You're not overthinking it if you are worried about a one-of-a-kind bike. The saying is "don't race what you can't afford to replace" and I would consider a unique paint job to qualify. On the other hand, trying to find an unpainted frame might be a bit extreme. There are a number of great options, especially in alloy: Specialized Allez, Cannondale CAAD 12, Trek Emonda ALR. You could build it up with 105, get a decent set of wheels and tires, and you've got a solid race bike that won't break the bank.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:07 AM
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I was actually planning on an open mold carbon frame with di2. I know it sounds crazy, but it's not much more.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:25 AM
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Do you know what sort of geometry, handlebars, stem, and crank arms will work best for your needs? (In terms of optimal power output and efficiency )
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Old 12-09-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Do you know what sort of geometry, handlebars, stem, and crank arms will work best for your needs? (In terms of optimal power output and efficiency )
I'm getting a Retul bike fit next week to find out.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by OuterMarker View Post
I'm getting a Retul bike fit next week to find out.
It would be helpful for you to know what to look out for beforehand so you are not going into there blind.

As a general rule of thumb, the top tube length (sometimes refered as effective top tube) dictates how close or far you will be sitting to the bars. The reach determines how far the cranks are from your handlebars. Don't forget to consider standover height.

As an example, I like an upright riding position. To achieve this, I tend to feel best on a road bike whilst using a short stem and flat handlebars. I like my reach close so that my butt is hovering directly over the saddle when pedalling. Im pretty top heavy, so when I lean forward I feel like I'm not able to weigh the rear axle properly for stability.

If you prefer a more bent over riding position, you're still better off with sticking to a fairly short reach (like 385mm) and playing round with different stem lengths to compensate.

If you are riding with your saddle higher than the bars in any amount, chances off you're not achieving the best performance and comfort you can .
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Old 12-11-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post

If you are riding with your saddle higher than the bars in any amount, chances off you're not achieving the best performance and comfort you can .
Wut?!
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Old 12-11-20, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Surfer77 View Post
Wut?!
Double wut.
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Old 12-14-20, 10:43 AM
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Di2 Questions

This will be my first Di2 build and I have some questions. It looks like full Di2 kits are hard to come by now, so I will have to gather all the components myself. There seem to be several versions of Di2 and most of the stuff online goes over the first generation. I want the cleanest install (no visible battery packs or junction boxes).

It looks like I need a battery, a junction box, a battery charger, and a wireless unit (maybe?). I know the battery goes in the seat tube and the junction box goes in the bar end. But where does the charger and wireless unit go? Also, what cables do I need?
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Old 12-16-20, 11:20 AM
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I'm not sure about the logic of putting on Di2 to a beginner beater race bike. Unless you were saying that it wasn't much more for an open mold Di2 bike over a 105 bike. There are probably fairly decent open mold frames out there, but you might want to stick with a proven geometry ala Sprint or Caad if you want to get into racing.
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Old 12-16-20, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OuterMarker View Post
Di2 Questions

This will be my first Di2 build and I have some questions. It looks like full Di2 kits are hard to come by now, so I will have to gather all the components myself. There seem to be several versions of Di2 and most of the stuff online goes over the first generation. I want the cleanest install (no visible battery packs or junction boxes).

It looks like I need a battery, a junction box, a battery charger, and a wireless unit (maybe?). I know the battery goes in the seat tube and the junction box goes in the bar end. But where does the charger and wireless unit go? Also, what cables do I need?
Is there a reason you're set on Di2?
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Old 12-16-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Is there a reason you're set on Di2?
I have a bunch of mechanical bikes and want to get into the electronic groupset world. None of my frames can do an internal Di2 setup, but I can do that on a new frame. While I can align derailleurs and change cables, I'd rather not add to my workload of maintaining multiple bikes.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:04 PM
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Avoid being in the middle of the pack in a finish line sprint, that's where the newbies get really stupid and spend time with a club to learn how to paceline. Some dumb stuff can happen on the corners in a crit but your bike should be fine. Every road race I've ever done it was at the finish line that the major problems occurred, last one I did I started to sprint with the pack since I was miraculously with them and at the last second decided I didn't want a top finish that bad, within seconds I was riding around 8 guys on the ground heading for the finish. The officials had seen this coming too and already had the ambulance rolling from the moment they started going down. But in over 40 other races at this point with the exception of some crits, crashes out on the course have been rare and usually only involving 1 to 2 people. On the few cases when I was fast enough I broke for the finish early with only a couple other guys to minimize accidents or sat back and settled. A few of these sitting back and settling resulted in a higher then expected results from the crashes. With crits, the inside of the corner can be the fastest line but harder to maintain when surrounded by other people so first through the corners and/or more to the outside will be safer though not always faster. Personally I only have one bike per sport but I'm not going to worry about it, just enjoy the race and use your head; you're not racing for the glory of the TDF and finishing first is great but finishing is better then an ambulance.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:00 PM
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I have a carbon Fuji with Di2 and I love it. But, if were to go racing, I'd ride my aluminum 105 equipped Cannondale Synapse.

Have you priced the cost of the replacement Di2 levers, derailleurs, and such?
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Old 12-16-20, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I have a carbon Fuji with Di2 and I love it. But, if were to go racing, I'd ride my aluminum 105 equipped Cannondale Synapse.

Have you priced the cost of the replacement Di2 levers, derailleurs, and such?
👆🏼 This. Index shifting is so good, you are not going to lose races bc you dont have electronic shifting. You will lose races bc of fitness, not being near the front, or having a bad sprint.
You can upgrade to Cat 4, maybe even Cat 3, with just a number of races and experience under your belt. You need to be comfortable bumping elbows with other riders, eating, drinking all while not making sudden moves = “holding your line.” When you get to Cat 3, you will have a better idea where your strengths are and build a “dedicated” bike to suit. imho.
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Old 12-16-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Surfer77 View Post
👆🏼 This. Index shifting is so good, you are not going to lose races bc you dont have electronic shifting. You will lose races bc of fitness, not being near the front, or having a bad sprint.
You can upgrade to Cat 4, maybe even Cat 3, with just a number of races and experience under your belt. You need to be comfortable bumping elbows with other riders, eating, drinking all while not making sudden moves = “holding your line.” When you get to Cat 3, you will have a better idea where your strengths are and build a “dedicated” bike to suit. imho.
Also this.

I built up my perfect race bike when I got to Cat 3. And now I've been a Cat 3 long enough to have built up several perfect race bikes. I finally figured out that it's not about the bike. (Wait, who said that?)
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Old 12-16-20, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Have you priced the cost of the replacement Di2 levers, derailleurs, and such?
Of course. The cost of each individual component isn't that bad to me, and I'm fine with replacing parts if they break in a crash. Right now, the bike build is are $2,700. If I were to go buy a Di2 carbon bike from a normal name brand (good luck finding any in stock), it would cost $6,000.

I have the same thought process with tracking cars. I would rather track a Miata I modified myself than a showroom Ferarri.
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Old 12-16-20, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
It would be helpful for you to know what to look out for beforehand so you are not going into there blind.

As a general rule of thumb, the top tube length (sometimes refered as effective top tube) dictates how close or far you will be sitting to the bars. The reach determines how far the cranks are from your handlebars. Don't forget to consider standover height.

As an example, I like an upright riding position. To achieve this, I tend to feel best on a road bike whilst using a short stem and flat handlebars. I like my reach close so that my butt is hovering directly over the saddle when pedalling. Im pretty top heavy, so when I lean forward I feel like I'm not able to weigh the rear axle properly for stability.

If you prefer a more bent over riding position, you're still better off with sticking to a fairly short reach (like 385mm) and playing round with different stem lengths to compensate.

If you are riding with your saddle higher than the bars in any amount, chances off you're not achieving the best performance and comfort you can .
Ummm, there's a World Tour of professional racers, mostly in Europe, that need to be told their bikes don't fit and they are doing everything wrong. (I too got it all wrong when I raced 40 years ago. My stems all had nicks on their "throats".)
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Old 12-16-20, 03:56 PM
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To the OP (and serious). This is your first season of racing. Getting a fit is good, but ... after a season or two of riding harder than you have ever imagined, your riding style is going to change. Don't sell the house to get a bike that may well be an obsolete fit soon. Better by far - pick up an alloy Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc or a used bike that fits (or does with a stem swap) and is equipped with 105. Maybe splurge to basic Ultergra but that upgrade will not make a difference in your race placings. Have nice, but not super expensive race wheels and lesser training wheels.

The first year of racing is hard on bikes. I bought my race bike 2 months into my second season. I'm glad I didn't put it through my first. Next year, the bike you buy now will be an excellent criterium bike and you might splurge on lighter race wheels and train on your current race wheels.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
To the OP (and serious). This is your first season of racing. Getting a fit is good, but ... after a season or two of riding harder than you have ever imagined, your riding style is going to change. Don't sell the house to get a bike that may well be an obsolete fit soon.
This is exactly why I am going cheap carbon. I have an Allez, Canyon, Raleigh, and Cannondale. Unfortunately, they all have unique paint jobs. They all have 105 or Ultegra mechanical, so I have plenty of spare parts. To me, wheels and groupsets make up most of the enjoyment of a bike, so I would rather put nice wheels and groupsets on a "temporary" frame.
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Old 01-01-21, 11:02 AM
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I rode a "cheap" mechanical (SRAM Rival) bike in some crits and road races and found, at 54 years old, I'd never be able to CAT up or race with Masters 55+ so I went Time Trial. If I crash there it's more than likely my own fault.
Moral of my story... I wouldn't invest in a lot of fancy bits and ride all kinds of races to see where you may lean towards. Heck, I'd try track if it wasn't 3+ hours to one.
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Old 01-01-21, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
I
Heck, I'd try track if it wasn't 3+ hours to one.
My track, Rock Hill, is three hours from my home. Not so bad. Head up Sat am, ride track, stay the night at $ motel, ride Sunday. Go home. Once a month. Cheap thrills!
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Old 01-01-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Surfer77 View Post
My track, Rock Hill, is three hours from my home. Not so bad. Head up Sat am, ride track, stay the night at $ motel, ride Sunday. Go home. Once a month. Cheap thrills!
Unemployed since Sept 2019 so $ are non-existent for any extra activities. The employment outlook is very bleak. Will bale hay for $
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Old 01-01-21, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
Unemployed since Sept 2019 so $ are non-existent for any extra activities. The employment outlook is very bleak. Will bale hay for $
oh no!
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Old 01-04-21, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Surfer77 View Post
oh no!
It's all good. I worked as a MCM and PCB designer using Cadence tools so I did OK for my lowly PhD (Public Highschool Diploma). I saw the end coming in 2009 so I kinda prepared for it. Didn't know that at 59 I'd be unemployed though.
Allows me to ride the bike, grow a bunch of food, hunt, fish, and spend time with the 3yr old grandson who loves to race his bike. Who knew Strider balance bikes raced eh?
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