New to competitive riding

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Anonymous's picture

Hello everyone.. I'm new to this group, and am psyched about my first ride with y'all next month. Before I start, I had a few questions that someone out there might be able to help me out with.

With the exception of one messenger-race and a mountain bike race years ago, cycling has never been a competitive thing for me. I want that to change, and plan to race at the Kissena velodrome this summer. I want to join a SIG group in order to get in great shape for the start of the track racing season (i'm also looking forward to meeting other cyclists).

My two questions are:

Which SIG group should I join?

I did four laps around the park today in 1:19:30 (~19mph average) on my IRO track bike. I guess this means that I'm in the range of B18, A19, or A-Classic. After reading about each, I think I'd like to give the A-Classic a try, but I don't know if this will be too much for someone without any hard pack-riding experience.

Is it a bad idea to take a fixed-gear bike on SIG rides?

I'd prefer to ride my IRO fixie on SIG rides (as this is the bike that I plan to race with over the summer), but I think that riding my Lemond Zurich might be better for group rides.

If anyone on this list could offer advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

See you in March,

Anonymous's picture
bike man (not verified)

If you are riding 1:19s this early in the season, you should be able to handle the classic. The A19 is doing that at the end of the season. It is longer distance, but with the advantage of the group.
My personal guess is people riding 1:20-1:30 pre-season are good for the A19. But climbing seems to be the big unknown. Even if you are under 1:20, if you are big and have trouble getting up climbs, the classic might still give you problems.

The fixed gear thing is another story. I think the fixie is a bad idea. But the club has some fixie experts that would know better than I.

Anonymous's picture
lucy's mom (not verified)

"My understanding is that fixed gears are strictly verboten on the SIGS. However, people do ride fixed gears and single-speed bikes on other NYCC non-SIG rides. I do suggest a brake.

If you want to race, I recommend the A Classic. It's okay if you have no ""pack riding"" experience. Nobody does. Anyway, a pack is different from a cooperative paceline.

Good luck!"

Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)
Fixed gear on SIG's

Fixed gear bikes are not allowed on the A Classic SIG

Anonymous's picture
ed (not verified)
Fixed gear

I would be surprised if:
A) You would be allowed/encouraged to ride a track bike on the SIG, because:
1. How would you be able to climb some of those VERY steep hills, esp. Bear Mt.?
2. How would you control the braking in a pace line?

B) You intend to race that you would find the SIG:
1. Appropriate training for velodrome racing, as it is short distance, anaerobic and the SIG is mostly long distance aerobic.
2. Helpful in terms of technique building, as velodrome racing uses a very specific skill set.

If you can comfortably do four laps at 19 MPH average and given that the park is somewhat hilly, and given that the flat cruising speed of the A 19 is just that (19 MPH), then either the Classic or the A 19 might be suitable, not the B SIG. But given the nature of your question, I suspect that you don’t have pace line skills? And if this is true, then maybe the B or A 19 are better choices. Power/strength is secondary, if you lack skill, experience and technique. Good luck!

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