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New Racer here, so many ?????? I've read a ton about ; the right bike,the right tire, the right well everything it seems like. I pose a simple one. Whats the most important place to spend the all mighty $. I know thats a tall order, also how much is rider and how much is the bicycle. 

thanks for help

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Comment by anthony sands on October 10, 2011 at 9:25am

I think my pony is a ok it just helped me to 5th out of 60 at rainier(got lapped in my second race this is my 5th). I tweaked my cornering, switched to michelin mud 2s, loving this tire ran'em  at 28psi. and pedaled and ran my ass off. it is me and not the bike. cheers I'll worry about that carbon crap, well i think I'll stick with steel and alloy, 


Comment by Rich on October 7, 2011 at 7:09pm
As someone that has yet to actually do a race but rides my CX bike everyday as my commuter, I say get the bike that rides the best.  I have a Bianchi Axis.  I mostly got it because it was the right size and I it's a good looking bike. I have never put proper CX tires on in, and tire size does effect handling, but I got ride Marin's top level  CX bike back in '09 and the handling just felt right.  I am hoping my Axis will feel like that bike did when I put proper CX racing tires on it.  As I have read, watched videos, and thought about what a CX race would be like, it seems the priority really should be handling and maximizing traction for momentum conservation in muddy corners and acceleration and braking in the slop and grass.  So it seems key to me to find a bike that feels right first.  Even if it's just the Al model, if the geometry is the same you can always upgrade to the carbon model later if you get serious.  And cheap parts are meant to be replaced.
Comment by anthony sands on October 7, 2011 at 6:44pm

Ok, I'll stop with the bike envy. I don't think I could trade with Trebon though he's about a foot taller. I know your right I was doing good last race till I flated in the 3rd lap. My engine is getting stronger every race. 

Thanks for the encouragement. 

Comment by Adam R. on October 6, 2011 at 2:30pm

I know what you mean. It starts to seem like you have to have a carbon frame, deep-section carbon rims, etc...Just pay attention in your first few races to how many guys you are passing who have better bikes than you do. It's your engine that makes the bike go!

Got any particular bikes you're thinking about?

Comment by anthony sands on October 5, 2011 at 8:35pm

Thanks Adam! I love the input. I was thinking about my ? and I like your 95% 5% ratio. that me makes me feel relieved. I see and read so much about carbon$ this and that. I want to be competitive, but I"m not a wealthy man. I guess I need to just go faster Dammmmit! 

cheers, tony

Comment by Adam R. on October 5, 2011 at 7:48pm

My $.02 to your 2nd question is this: 95% rider, 5% bike. If I switched bikes with Ryan Trebon, he'd still crush me like the weakling that I am. 

As for your first question, I'd say spend the cash on the best bike/frame that you can afford. Sure, I just claimed that it's 95% rider, but having a great bike makes it more fun to train, and that will help you be a better rider. And there can be a noticeable difference in handling, shifting, etc...between different quality bikes.

Tires are also very important, but I'll leave it to future commenters to weigh in on that one.

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