Crit Racing newbee

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
kgibbo1868
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Any advice?

I am wondering if a bit lower tyre pressure is a good idea (90 psi) for increased grip?

Avoid being in the back of the pack, less chance of being taken out in a crash or having to bridge a gap?

Thanks!!!
:beerchug:
Pain is my friend!

Hexsense
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

Yes for the lower pressure for more grip.
Watch what other people do in crits, tire choice and their pressure choice here:
https://youtu.be/g_W9PH4UuZA?t=280


But no for the 90psi part. That is not low. It is just standard high.
Try 60-80psi.
Last edited by Hexsense on Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


kgibbo1868
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Hexsense wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:38 pm
Yes for the lower pressure for more grip.
Watch what other people do in crits, running 26-28c and their pressure choice here:
https://youtu.be/g_W9PH4UuZA?t=280


But no for the 90psi part. That is not low. It is just standard high.
Try 60-80psi.
Thanks, I'll see how 80 psi feels, I will be running tubular 25s so hopfully that should be good. I will be racing on a normal road bike, no fixed gear red hook racing for me.... lol
Pain is my friend!

Hexsense
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

25 tubular normally is even narrower than 23c on modern wide clincher rims (Challenge my 23c Conti 4000sII on 21mm internal width @27.3mm wide with your calipers!).
That's fine but to super optimized for crits, maybe 28 next time.

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VTR1000SP2
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

Work on your corner speed and leg speed. Crashes happen so be ready for them. I like staying on the outside of a pack vs inside or mid-pack unless the wind direction makes that the worst position. If you’re feeling particularly strong, join or start a breakaway. It’s never worked for me but a couple of guys I know can maintain the peloton pace in a solo and they managed to win with a breakaway.


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Bigger Gear
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:58 pm
Location: Wet coast, Canada

by Bigger Gear

1. Warm up well. The start is almost always full gas for a few laps until things settle. Try to remain calm and control your breathing, it's easy to go into oxygen debt at the start of a crit if you let the nerves and efforts combine on you. And, if it is warm weather and you are racing for an hour try to drink a little in the first 2/3 of the race.

2. Endeavour to stay in the first 1/3 of the bunch. Try to ID strong riders and follow them into break attempts. Also try to ID riders who leave gaps and are not good bike handlers and avoid them. Work on riding the turns as smoothly as possible with as little braking as possible. Remember in a crit you will pay for every acceleration, that's why riding in the front is so much easier as the "accordion" affect of the group is highly reduced. I've surfed the back in some big Pro/1 crits and survived but believe me it's like doing 200 sprint intervals out of the turns, and not recommended.

3. Contrary to VPR1000SP2, I believe it is best to be on the inside especially in corners. At speed crashes tend to flow from the inside to the outside due to momentum. Being inside reduces the chances of being taken out by a slideout crash. Reduces, but never to zero. Also, if there is any kind of hill on the course you can use the climb to move up if you are strong, especially on laps where the field eases off. One decent effort can regain good positioning on a climb that would take laps to execute on a fast flat race.

4. Adjust your tire pressure after you see the course. If you are on tubulars is less of a concern but racing on clinchers I'd always want to see how rough the course is before I went to a marginally low tire pressure. AND MAKE SURE YOUR TUBIES ARE WELL-GLUED, for your safety and for the safety of everyone else. Rolling a tire is a good way to make a whole bunch of new enemies. If you are running carbon wheels and you are starting out in the lower/novice categories, consider that wheels are ususally the highest casualties of crit crashes. In general, a good rule of thumb when starting out racing is "don't race anything you can't afford to go out and replace the next day." Racing the bling is nice, but it sucks when it gets destroyed.

5. Wear gloves. Many years ago I got in the habit of not wearing gloves (back in the 90s, I used to train without a helmet too :shock: ). One night as I left for the mid-week crit I threw my gloves in my jersey, rode to the start and then put them on. I don't know why that night I decided to wear them, but on the last lap, 2nd last turn a guy slid out in front of me and I T-boned him and went over the bars. With no gloves both of my palms would have been absolutely shredded. I never ever thought about racing without gloves again after that one. A lot of guys will wear a lightweight full-finger MTB glove in crits.

I could probably give you another page of info here, but everyone is different and you'll have to figure out what works for you. Most importantly, have fun.

AJS914
Posts: 3237
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

The trend these days is towards lower pressures but if you are on a course with smooth pavement you can use 90-100 for the least rolling resistance. You should be able to corner full blast on tubulars at those pressures on smooth roads.

dcorn
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:21 pm
Location: NoVA

by dcorn

First crit I did, my friends told me to be at the front into the first corner. I was on the front inside line at the start. Nobody started out the race fast but me. Everything I had heard said crits start out super fast but this was exactly the opposite. I rode on the front multiple laps at like 18 mph, no idea why people were chilling so much.

The last lap instantly jumped up to 30mph after the bell rang. Watch out for this and be prepared to jump. I saw videos of other people in the race that got instantly dropped here. I was around maybe 15th place and since we hardly put any power down in the previous 28 minutes, I had plenty of strength to catch on. I really wasn't prepared for the huge surge in speed and was waiting for the pack to come flying by me near the end, but it never happened. Railed the last corner, jumped on the sprint, got 3rd place.


Basically just hang on the first few laps if it's fast, chill in the pack the whole race, be near the front in the last couple laps, and be prepared for the huge surge at the bell. Next slow crit, I might try a breakaway since I get bored easily. A guy on my friend's team at the same race above broke away, got caught by 2 others, lapped the field, and got 3rd as well.

Connor
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:47 pm

by Connor

I'd say learning how each course works is the most important piece in doing well in crits. Figure out how and where gaps open up, where people tend to slow and bunch, and where attacks are made. Do a pre-ride of the circuit and figure out where you'll be sprinting from if it comes down to a bunch sprint and test anything on prime laps if your race has them. Lastly, have fun and keep your head up!

NiFTY
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

Everything bigger gear says is correct IMO. First third so you can get into breaks. Inside but not if you will get boxed in. Watch for the usual guys wjo will work in a break. Timing of the break is the hardest to get right. A dozen might fail before one gets away. My personal favourite is to use the prime to start a break - usually 6 or so will contest the prime properly the bunch assumes you will sit up after contesting. I sit bheind the prime sprinters and don't contest properly just follow wheels, then after line come around to front and yell at the guys to form up and i do a long turn to get it rolling. By the time the bunch realise the sprinters haven't stopped 6 keen guys have 50 metres gap.
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wintershade
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

What chainrings are folks running? I've also never done a crit, but was thinking of giving it a go in 2019. I was thinking a compact might actually be ideal, as you can just stay in the big ring, no futzing with the FD. But given higher speeds, maybe a standard makes more sense?

AJS914
Posts: 3237
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Back in my crit racing days, compacts didn't even exist. We rode 53 chainrings, 12-23 or 12-25 cassettes and only needed the small chainring for one or two odd-ball races per year that would throw in a short, steep climb in the middle of the course. I'd usually start my sprint in a 53x14 or 53x13 and finish it in the 53x12.

In most crits you'll be going 25-30mph the whole time. I don't get dcorn's 18mph start. No crit I ever did started like that. Maybe there were 20 people in his race? All my crits had 60, 80, or even 100 riders and with everybody jockying for position it always heated up really quickly. If you started in the back in a crit with a 100 guys, it was almost impossible to move up through the field to get into the top 15 for the final sprint.

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themidge
Posts: 1102
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:19 pm
Location: underneath sweet Scottish rain

by themidge

^^It depends on the course. A compact would be perfect for a technical crit, maybe even 1x (shock horror! :D), but if it's one of those out and back courses with a drag up and a drag down, a compact might be on the edge of spinning out.

nemeseri
Posts: 771
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

Awesome advices. I will add mine: If you find yourself in the last third of the pack and there is a gap opening up, never-ever wait for the guy riding in front of you to close it down, just get out of the saddle and sprint for it. In the wrong moment even a few seconds of hesitating can end up in chasing for a long time.

And I will just list the ones that are the most important from the guys above: *always* wear gloves. If it's a cat 4/5 race, never bring your best wheels / frame / kit.

by Weenie


jorryt
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:37 am

by jorryt

Don't race what you can't replace. And if you happen to find your self in last place it can help to back off a bit before a slow corner. This way you can keep your speed and go past the other guys on the exit.

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