Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question  RSS Feed

#1 2012-11-13 4:48pm

pjbjr413
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Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I've been thinking about getting into racing, never raced in my life, I've read all the pro's and con's I can find about 20" vs. cruisers.  Right now I have 2 24" bikes that I feel could easily be race ready and no 20" bikes that I want to race and no money to build or buy a decent race ready 20".  Common sense tells me that while I save up the money to get my hands on the right 20" bike getting some race experience no matter the class would be benificial to my riding skills, even if my butt gets handed to me most every race, is this assumption true? 

Hope I don't sound too dumb

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#2 2012-11-13 4:55pm

bird
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

any riding is good riding.    so yeah    go do it    if ya get whooped who cares.  you love riding/racing so thats what your doing.


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#3 2012-11-13 4:55pm

bird
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

ps   if your old    ride lightly at first


44T CHICAGO CLUB RIDER
WANTED::::anything reynolds racing
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#4 2012-11-13 4:55pm

Scraplord
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I race cruiser class and I like the bikes but it`s a very competitive class. Lots of former pro riders are racing the cruiser class here. And if you race a cruiser you are considered to be a pro no matter what your skill level is. If you race 20" you get to start as a beginner and work your way up.


Still searching for my missing bikes from BITD. 1979 Blue Max serial: CI9 221346 and 1977 Webco serial: 42667. Both were last seen at Spoke and Sport Bicycles in Spokane, WA around 1984. $600 reward if found!!

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#5 2012-11-13 5:00pm

pjbjr413
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Appreciate the input, brings me to another question, if I start in cruiser and then go racing a 20", do I still get to start out as a beginer in that class?

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#6 2012-11-13 5:02pm

pjbjr413
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

And I'm not old, only 31, but, I still plan to start out lightly at first.  I crashed a few times in the last couple years or so since I've been back into bikes and I feel the effects a whole lot longer than when I was a teenager

Last edited by pjbjr413 (2012-11-13 5:03pm)

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#7 2012-11-13 5:18pm

bigchad64
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Generally folks would say race 20" so that you can race in class (novice).  Cruisers are mixed class.  Problem with local races would be that there generally aren't enough guys weekly to make a good class gate, while there are usually plenty of guys over 30 racing cruiser.  I personally feel much more comfortable on a cruiser, but am going to try 20" next year as well.

No matter what you do, getting out to the track will be beneficial and fun!


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#8 2012-11-13 5:28pm

Axel10
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Race both classes, 20" and 24". Gives you more access to the track (practice and race), and familiarization of the track is an advantage.


C H I L L  B R O

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#9 2012-11-13 8:14pm

ProThunder4
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I'm new to racing at 41 and currently race only 20".  I don't know what kind of turnout you get at your local track, but around here, we don't have too many guys my age in the novice class.  That means I usually race either younger novices or guys closer to my own age who are intermediates or experts.  In other words, riding a class bike won't necessarily prevent you from getting your butt kicked on a regular basis.  Still, I think your assumption that any sort of race experience is beneficial is basically true.

I'd say race cruiser until you can build up a class bike, and then race them both.  I'm not sold on cruisers, but I've considered racing them just to stay warmed-up and focused between my class motos.

I don't know what your goals are, but if you find yourself racing just to stay on the same straight as the rest of the field (which describes me, at times), I would encourage a philosophical outlook.  Some of these guys have been racing since age four or five, and those entering the sport later in life have a lot of catching up to do.  You have to set your own goals and take satisfaction in your own progress.  It can be a humbling experience, but it's also the most fun I've had at a any sport.


But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

--Matthew 12:36-37

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#10 2012-11-13 8:49pm

GENERATORSHOVEL
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From: Springfield, IL
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Race Cruiser until you build a 20, you can still race novice on the 20.  I have been racing cruiser all year and just raced 20 for the first time a couple weeks ago, and will at ROC and Grands.  I feel more comfortable on the cruiser, and the only place that I don't make a main is at a National.  I made my main at the Redline Cup Central even.  This is my first year racing, I only raced a few times as a kid, spent my time at the skate park.  (I was lucky enough to have two abandoned skate parks near my house as a kid!)  For me it's all about the fun with my kids and the other kids/guys at the track.  I wish that I would of started years ago.  I am only racing 20 now because I want more track time, and at large events there is plenty of time to catch your breath.  I will probably only race Cruiser at locals unless we don't have enough guys to make a gate.  Then I will race 20 with the kids.

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#11 2012-11-13 9:12pm

pjbjr413
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Thanks for all the great insight. I guess it's time to tune up my GT and get some safety equipment. Well, that and start saving for a 20" build.

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#12 2012-11-14 6:05am

ProThunder4
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

pjbjr413 wrote:

Thanks for all the great insight. I guess it's time to tune up my GT and get some safety equipment. Well, that and start saving for a 20" build.

Safety equipment is definitely a good idea.  I recently cracked a knee pad in a bad landing off a steep backside double.  I didn't even realize it at the time and finished the race, but later I realized that without the pads, it could have been my kneecap getting cracked.

For what it's worth, I think you could definitely get your feet wet in class competition on that Interceptor (assuming you're comfortable with the fit).  Both of my race bikes are mid-school GTs,and one of them is a stock '97 Fueler (although I have since replaced the original rims).  On of the guys I race week after week is a 31-year-old novice who rides a low-end DK with one piece cranks that he bought off CL for $50. He's killing it on that thing. The week before last, I raced a 48-year-old expert who was riding what looked to be a 30-year-old Sting.  He was clobbering kids one third his age on that thing

As a novice, your main concern is developing your skills and learning basic strategy.  As long as the bike is mechanically sound and fits you well, it doesn't have to be the latest and the greatest.  .


But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

--Matthew 12:36-37

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#13 2012-11-14 6:09am

jasvanek
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

When you're first starting out, it doesn't matter all that much. Depending on the track (I'm assuming your going to Metroplex or Cowtown) you may or many not get a decent race in either class or cruiser. I learned at the beginning of this year that unless you raced before, expect to get beaten quite a bit. Most of the dudes in your area have been racing for several years even if they are still "novice" in 20". Not calling anyone out, but there are a few sandbaggers in the DFW area who are no more novices than some of the Dew Tour guys would be.

First couple of months will probably be somewhat rough, but it just comes with practice. Track time is the most important thing to build up your skills. At a Nationals, cruiser is a sucker bet for most grown dudes. Lots of NAG plates, lots of ex-pros. So unless you can run with the big dogs I would say only go with the 20" there.

Still, wouldn't trade this hobby for anything else. Enjoy it, meet some new people and have fun.


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#14 2012-11-14 6:11am

ProThunder4
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I should add that you obviously want to tune it up and may want to consider replacing the chain, brake cables & housing, and tires, but I'm just saying don't let the fact that you don't have a modern race bike keep you from racing,


But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

--Matthew 12:36-37

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#15 2012-11-14 6:24am

jasvanek
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

ProThunder4 wrote:

As a novice, your main concern is developing your skills and learning basic strategy.  As long as the bike is mechanically sound and fits you well, it doesn't have to be the latest and the greatest.  .

Amen! Too many dudes get wrapped in the machine forgetting that a good rider can do well on pretty much any bike. First things first, a good solid helmet and shoes. I personally like my Vans.


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#16 2012-11-14 10:06am

Therealpoorboy
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I came back in July and raced crusier because I didnt want to get any of the crazy default wins by crazy gates in class.  Tonight will be my first practice on my 20 as I will mostly race that next year and not worry about classificatation anymore.  Just get out there on your cruiser and you'll know if you want to stay, go to class or just be a race dad.

http://i800.photobucket.com/albums/yy285/scruff_mcruff/IMAG0102.jpg


WANTED:  Auburn prototype 20" frame (longshot I know)

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#17 2012-11-14 12:15pm

cwstnsko
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I would say that if you want to start on cruiser and protect your status as a novice on 20", then buy both memberships up front.  There's always a possibility that if you race cruiser for a while, someone  will spell out the "new to BMX" rule and try to sign you up as Intermediate on 20".  If you have both memberships on day 1, then the win count speaks for itself :-) 

Contrary to current observed behavior, when I was growing up the object was to get the wins to advance as quickly as possible.  Current thinking seems to be along the lines of; preserve the wins on 20" so you can maintain your ability to ride the class you have a chance of winning as long as possible. 

Armoring up is essential for old guys who like making it in to work on Monday morning.  If looking like a football player is not your thing, take a look at G-Form protective gear.


Chris W
MT-01 1978 - 1984
WA01 2011 - ???? - Running #71 on the 20" and #26 on the Cruiser for the 2013 season

Always looking for nice Schwinn XS parts also a blue retro Quadangle frame pad.

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#18 2012-11-14 12:36pm

VMS Motorsports
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

They are lucky to have 3-4 cruisers on any given date here at most tracks. Have seen many a race day where one guy will show up and go home because there was nobody to race against.
Best advice is to check with your local tracks for bike count

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#19 2012-11-14 2:39pm

jasvanek
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

cwstnsko wrote:

I would say that if you want to start on cruiser and protect your status as a novice on 20", then buy both memberships up front.  There's always a possibility that if you race cruiser for a while, someone  will spell out the "new to BMX" rule and try to sign you up as Intermediate on 20".  If you have both memberships on day 1, then the win count speaks for itself :-) 

Contrary to current observed behavior, when I was growing up the object was to get the wins to advance as quickly as possible.  Current thinking seems to be along the lines of; preserve the wins on 20" so you can maintain your ability to ride the class you have a chance of winning as long as possible. 

Armoring up is essential for old guys who like making it in to work on Monday morning.  If looking like a football player is not your thing, take a look at G-Form protective gear.

Ah, hold on there. That is called sandbagging. Riding to preserve wins is just as wrong as only racing class at Nats. If you're that hard up for a trophy, they sell the without having to do anything.


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#20 2012-11-14 5:24pm

Therealpoorboy
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

jasvanek wrote:

Ah, hold on there. That is called sandbagging. Riding to preserve wins is just as wrong as only racing class at Nats. If you're that hard up for a trophy, they sell the without having to do anything.

There's a difference if your doing it for 6 months its not really a big deal.  If you race cruiser for 5 years then sign up as a novice thats a bit different. I've thought they should do it more as career points, say 3000 points to move to Inter and 8000 pts to move to X.  With the win system its just too easy for guys to take advantage of the system and would make them think if they really only wanted to race the 2,3,4 multiple point races.


WANTED:  Auburn prototype 20" frame (longshot I know)

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#21 2012-11-14 7:14pm

GENERATORSHOVEL
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From: Springfield, IL
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

I don't see a problem with guys only riding 20 at a big event.  It is tough to race both at a local with a 10 moto count.  The problem is guys not moving up or not taking the 5th win at a NAT.  I am giving myself until June as a Novice and then moving myself up to Inter if I have the wins or not.  I do like the fact tthat a person will have to run 6 locals if they want to get a plate or title.  That should move some guys up, but not everyone, depending on their local motos.  At any rate, I am ready for Grands and also can't wait to get the 2013 season started!  I can see a guy trying to preserve his last win to race at grands or redline, if he made a valiant effort all year and is about to move up right before grands.  That would suck to work your ass off all year and get your last win and turn inter before grands.  That's why I want to just move to inter and have fun racing, not chase a RLC plate or anything in Novice/Beginner.

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#22 2012-11-15 5:54am

jasvanek
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Therealpoorboy wrote:

There's a difference if your doing it for 6 months its not really a big deal.  If you race cruiser for 5 years then sign up as a novice thats a bit different. I've thought they should do it more as career points, say 3000 points to move to Inter and 8000 pts to move to X.  With the win system its just too easy for guys to take advantage of the system and would make them think if they really only wanted to race the 2,3,4 multiple point races.

Agree with the career points/wins or whatever works best from the record keeping aspect. I don't have a problem with a rider who is one win away from moving up waiting a month or so until Grands/Nats/RL. The question is where do you draw that line? When does it become sandbagging? Unfortunately what happens is you have parents who think that holding their kid back (or adults themselves) from March until Grands in November is cool. Under the guise of "having a fair opportunity". So they get off their class bike and race cruiser. Pick up three or four more wins, then still race as novice or intermediate.

Novice is supposed to be for novices. Riders who are new to the sport. Instead it's been a loophole for a very long time for guys to pick up a cheap win. So if you count all wins (class, cruiser, open) you will make great strides towards getting the sandbaggers out and give real novices/intermediates a shot. Sorry, old pros, you're not intermediates either.


--http://www.youtube.com/user/javanek/videos
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#23 2012-11-15 8:05pm

GENERATORSHOVEL
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

A cheap win is just that, cheap.  I don't want one.  I don't understand why these guys would, but they do.

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#24 2012-11-15 8:18pm

pjbjr413
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

Thanks for all the information. I'm glad that there is so many people here so willing to share their knowledge so freely. I sold off one of my muscle bikes since my first post and have turned that in a 2000 GT Pro Series XL, it makes a good mate too the 2000 Pro Series 24 I already own.

I'm not after any free and easy wins, I always had more fun when I was drag racing when I had an evenly matched or faster opponent and I'm sure racing a bike will be no different, I'm no glory hound in need of trophies to clutter my house and really will just be another think for my wife to dust ;-)

I only hope I some day will be a bmx dad, my son is 7 months old and a few years away from racing or even being a bike at all.

Now I just need work to slow down so I can start freshening up my bikes.

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#25 2012-11-16 7:09am

GENERATORSHOVEL
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From: Springfield, IL
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Re: Thinking about racing, another 20" vs. cruiser question

pjbjr413 wrote:

Thanks for all the information. I'm glad that there is so many people here so willing to share their knowledge so freely. I sold off one of my muscle bikes since my first post and have turned that in a 2000 GT Pro Series XL, it makes a good mate too the 2000 Pro Series 24 I already own.

I'm not after any free and easy wins, I always had more fun when I was drag racing when I had an evenly matched or faster opponent and I'm sure racing a bike will be no different, I'm no glory hound in need of trophies to clutter my house and really will just be another think for my wife to dust ;-)

I only hope I some day will be a bmx dad, my son is 7 months old and a few years away from racing or even being a bike at all.

Now I just need work to slow down so I can start freshening up my bikes.

Don't push him, and he will follow your lead and see how much fun it is.  Being able to compete in the same sport as my kids, at the same event is very rewarding as a parent.  Good luck.

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