Simple laymans terms

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by stevenb, 6 Sep 2007.

  1. stevenb

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    What is Audax? What is Sportive? What differences are there to Road bikes? Am I right in guessing that Audax bikes are tourers? ie Dawes Galaxy? I had a Bianchi Via's classed as a Sportive.....seemed like a road bike to me. Excuse my ignorance. :biggrin: Steve
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    Audax is a sport. It involves trying to ride events of set distances between 200 (sometimes 100) kms and 1200 kms (or occasionally longer) in a given time, which is estimated on a minimum speed of about 13 kph. They exist all over the world but the spiritual homeland is France, where every four years the most prestigious event, Paris to Brest and Back, is run (1200kms, 90 hour time limit).

    Although you can do these events on any sort of human powered machine, there has evolved a style of bike which does suit many people on these events. It's somewhere between a racer and a tourer, where out right performance has been traded where necessary for comfort, steadier handling, wide range of gears, the ability to take mudguards (as it makes riding in company more pleasant in the rain) plus the ability to run long lasting bright lights and carry some gear (as these events champion self sufficiency - warm clothing, tools, some food, etc). This style of bike has now been marketed as 'Audax' although the same sort of thing is also known as a winter training or light touring bike.

    Sportives are to stage races what the London Marathon is to most of the runners except the 20 at the front. They are generally one day, 100 mile plus, often hilly rides done as a challenge, but against the clock. The route is often signed and there may be food stops provided along the way as less emphasis is placed on being so self reliant. They are often run as commercial ventures with an associated higher entry fee, but also more 'hoopla' in the way of event mementos such as shirts, certificates, start and finish venues, etc.

    Often sportives are run in association with specific cycling races where they often follow the same route as the pros but on a different day, such as the Etape du Tour, or Paris Roubaix. However, some are run each year (or so) on the same course such as the Marmotte or the Fred Whitton. Although the vast majority are single day events, some, like the Ride of the Rockies are multi stage events over the course of a week. There are even off road events such as the Marin Rough Ride or multi day variations like the TransAlp.

    Sportive bikes are basically full on race machines, but they may have a wider range of gears for non pro use and have more emphasis on comfort rather than stiffness and low riding position.

    There are also events where the course is fixed. but you choose when to ride it. These are the 'raids' and often traverse mountain ranges over the course of a week. You collect 'stamps' on your card as you go and some club will 'validate' your achievement.

    Alternatively, you can just go for a ride on your bike.
  3. OP

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    Top reply that Tim.

    Many thanks....I though I was right about the Audax...the Sportive did confuse me.
    I knew lots of bikes had Triple chainset options and so I thought that most bikes that offer this option were Sportive models.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

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