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Is my bike too old for racing??

Old 05-10-20, 08:53 PM
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FM Jump
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Is my bike too old for racing??

I'd like to start racing since I am very fit, but would I look ridiculous riding a Black Carbon Trek 5200 racing bike 2004, 9 speed? (Armstrong's model)

Its 17 pounds, pristine with Dura Ace Carbon wheels, but its not really Aero and its ....well old.

What say you? Its the only bike I have.

FM
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Old 05-10-20, 09:25 PM
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Have you raced before? And are you talking about mass start racing, not time trialing? If you have never been in a race, it is a whole new game. Faster, harder, and closer/tighter than anything you've done on a bike before. Until you have both gotten past the newness of it and learned to settle down AND have acquired enough race points to move up to the higher categories, you will be in races of strong, inexperienced and often wild riders. Dangerous. Crashes happening. And high speed crashes usually take down half a dozen riders. Carbon fiber bikes don't take kindly to those crashes.

So - do your learning on this bike. As you get better, you might want to invest in faster wheels. But let this be the bike for your first season. And if it survives, you have a good second bike after you pick up the next one.

I raced a million years ago. And watched a bunch of nice bikes get trashed in meaningless races with poor riding. The bike you've got is plenty good enough to get in there and get your skills up. Doing well in races is about having the engine, knowing how to use that engine and riding the race to be in the right place at the right time. Basic job of the bike - support that engine (fit is critical and has nothing to do with bike vintage) and allow you to put yourself where you need to be. Now, if you get out on a winning move, the new aero might make the difference between win or no. But a bike you don't have to baby or shield from possible damage might well do better to assist you in being there.
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Old 05-10-20, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Have you raced before? And are you talking about mass start racing, not time trialing? If you have never been in a race, it is a whole new game. Faster, harder, and closer/tighter than anything you've done on a bike before. Until you have both gotten past the newness of it and learned to settle down AND have acquired enough race points to move up to the higher categories, you will be in races of strong, inexperienced and often wild riders. Dangerous. Crashes happening. And high speed crashes usually take down half a dozen riders. Carbon fiber bikes don't take kindly to those crashes.

So - do your learning on this bike. As you get better, you might want to invest in faster wheels. But let this be the bike for your first season. And if it survives, you have a good second bike after you pick up the next one.

I raced a million years ago. And watched a bunch of nice bikes get trashed in meaningless races with poor riding. The bike you've got is plenty good enough to get in there and get your skills up. Doing well in races is about having the engine, knowing how to use that engine and riding the race to be in the right place at the right time. Basic job of the bike - support that engine (fit is critical and has nothing to do with bike vintage) and allow you to put yourself where you need to be. Now, if you get out on a winning move, the new aero might make the difference between win or no. But a bike you don't have to baby or shield from possible damage might well do better to assist you in being there.
Thats the best answer Ive ever heard
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Old 05-10-20, 09:39 PM
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Although older its no slouch and who cares what other people think about the age of your bike. If your 3 seconds out from first, clean and grease the hubs, BB and rear der pulleys; if that still only gets you 2 sec out from first then the bike is too old and holding you back anything more then that and the bike doesn't matter as much as the motor. Racing is a lot of fun and doesn't require the newest and greatest bike out there. I showed up for a cross race on an old C-dale mtb with drop bars, 8sp sti levers and a leather brooks saddle and people stopped to check out the bike and liked it, also did an ok showing for first cross race in 10 years, the bike held me back some the rider held me back more. Your "old" trek will be just as well received, and may even make some people nostalgic.
79pmooney also makes a good point, sometimes getting started on an older bike just means the learning curve costs less and you have an excuse to level up the bike sooner. I did 3 crits this year, all Cat5, besides the riders being faster then I remember when I got into racing in my 20s, there was at least 1 crash involving no less then 3 riders at the finish line, good way to ruin good equipment. I'd been lapped so I didn't feel the need to compete for the finish line and I'm glad I didn't. Had a road race same thing 3 years ago, I was a bit of a ways behind the main pack and there was a second grouping coming behind me with the finish line in sight, rather then fight for 20th place I decided to let the group of 15 pass me, only 6 of them beat me to the finish line, the others didn't make it for a while. Learning to pace yourself, work with the pack, figure out when it is or isn't worth it to fight for place is all worth doing on an old bike that you can risk rather then the next 4-5,000.00 wonder which is what the proportionally equivalent bike will cost you today.
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Old 05-10-20, 11:16 PM
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Thought I'd include a pic.

Trek 5200
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Old 08-03-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by FM Jump View Post
Thought I'd include a pic.

Trek 5200


Threads getting old

but --- that is a seriously nice bike regardless of age --- it wont hold you back one bit unless its the wrong size
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Old 08-09-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Threads getting old

but --- that is a seriously nice bike regardless of age --- it wont hold you back one bit unless its the wrong size
HA! Thank you. I hope that you are enjoying your bike as well.
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Old 11-05-20, 12:32 AM
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Well said!
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Old 11-05-20, 12:36 AM
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I just don't think any of us racing at this level will ever out-ride our equipment. There is a great quote from motorcycle racing: You never run out of equipment. You either run out of skill or judgement. IF I were to get back into racing, I would roll out on my 1990 Eddie Merckx and be proud to take the line with it. then again, after reading about the mayhem in the newer stages of racing....maybe not.
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Old 11-05-20, 12:37 AM
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That really does put things into the perfect perspective.
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Old 04-01-21, 12:33 PM
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I find myself in that same rowboat but different discipline, track.
Believing that my 1991 Eddy Merckx can still carry me across the line...First.
Have not raced in eight years but ride everyday and hit the gym three days a week
i consider myself in excellent shape.
EVERYBODYS on carbon (except men's keirin in Japan) .
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Old 04-01-21, 01:17 PM
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That bike is not going to hold you back. Not in the least. I had a '00 5200 and rode it from Cat 5 to Cat 3. (And I'm still a Cat 3!)
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Old 04-01-21, 02:12 PM
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I recently bought a newer carbon bike to replace my old carbon bike. My Strava PRs have not come tumbling down since the change.
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Old 04-29-21, 05:46 PM
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Find Botto’s post on here regarding starting racing. rinse, repeat.
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Old 05-17-21, 10:05 AM
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Well, it's been a year. Wonder how it worked out for OP.
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Old 05-18-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Well, it's been a year. Wonder how it worked out for OP.
Well. Thanks everyone for your continued interest. There are 4 amateur road races that take place this year that I am considering. I no longer feel that my bike is a limiting factor at all. The thing that concerns me now is simply my old body and my lovely bike with expensive wheels that I do NOT want to crash! I will probably be happy just doing fast training rides with the club A riders if I can.
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Old 05-18-21, 12:22 PM
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Do I see downtube shifters??
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Old 05-20-21, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Do I see downtube shifters??
yep. Dura ace 7900 10 speed indexed DT Shifters. I replaced my ultegra STI with these and I really like them. The frame has the drop outs so I thought Iíd give it a try. They are sooo much lighter and lots of fun because it feels
like driving a stick shift. Not the most practical and not for racing but for regular riding itís great. I have no intention of changing them on this bike. I find that I shift less often and think ahead more. Itís is mechanically sound and direct but requires some getting used to. You get very quick and skilled at taking a hand off of the bars momentarily but because of that certain cautions apply. Ie, rough terrain, strong wind.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by FM Jump View Post
yep. Dura ace 7900 10 speed indexed DT Shifters. I replaced my ultegra STI with these and I really like them. The frame has the drop outs so I thought Iíd give it a try. They are sooo much lighter and lots of fun because it feels
like driving a stick shift. Not the most practical and not for racing but for regular riding itís great. I have no intention of changing them on this bike. I find that I shift less often and think ahead more. Itís is mechanically sound and direct but requires some getting used to. You get very quick and skilled at taking a hand off of the bars momentarily but because of that certain cautions apply. Ie, rough terrain, strong wind.
I understand about DT shifters. I was under the impression that this is a bike you were racing, which is not a situation where I want any delays in my shifting, or have to take my hands off the bars in tight conditions. If you're happy with it, ride on!
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