Competitive bicycle riding. Trying to go faster.

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25
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is it easier to follow a cyclist up-hill

Watching the Tour de France on TV I notice that the riders like to ride close behind other riders when going up a steep hill. I understand that rider can benefit from a slipstream on the flat ...
21
votes
4answers
12k views

How are the categories for climbs decided?

In cycle racing, there are five grades or categories for climbs - Category 4, 3, 2, 1 & Hors (Above Category or HC). How do they decide what is category 1 and what makes it so hard it is a HC?
10
votes
3answers
12k views

Do Pros use compact cranksets?

Do pro riders use compact cranksets for hilly races? I'm trying to determine if switching to a compact double will mean I don't have the top end speed to be competitive in higher levels of racing (I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Needed training time or speed for each category of racer

What type of training time or average speeds are needed to qualify for each category of racer? I realize that it can varry based on a hilly or flat route so lets assume a time trial of 40km that's ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the 'easiest' ways to determine functional threshold power?

I recently picked up a powertap and have done a fair bit of riding around and a few races now with it on, so I've started to get familiar with some of the numbers. I would like to figure out what my ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What causes the noise that race wheels make when you are not pedaling?

A friend just got a new tri bike with Zipp wheels and they are loud when she is coasting. What causes that?
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What type of brakes are best for mountain bike racing?

Disc brakes are more expensive than v-brakes, but in a heavy rain they will break down. V-Brakes are becoming harder to find, but they're much easier to maintain and don't break down as easily. What ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Looking for a first race worthy road bike - What should I look for?

I am a runner and have been getting into biking just to add some additional flavor to my workout schedule and racing. I am wondering what I should look for when purchasing a new road bike. Is the ...
10
votes
13answers
11k views

What is considered the maximum safe downhill speed on a road bike?

I've heard between 30-40mph, but I am pretty sure I have hit 45 and felt safe and in solid control of my bike. If you look down and see you are above XXmph, you decide it is time to put on the ...
8
votes
3answers
334 views

Does the term “domestique” have negative connotations?

As far as I understand, the cycling term "domestique" (referring to a supporting member of a professional cycling team) comes from the French word for "servant". According to Wikipedia, it was first ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

hill climb tt pacing strategy for short steep hills?

There are several hill climb events in my area towards the end of the year, from august onward. Most of the hills are no longer than 0.8km long and well above an average 6% gradient. The main ones I ...