Fondo vs critsl

Hello everyone,
Fairly new to structured training and training road relative to others. Unfortunately throughout my training I crashed several times and I’m currently recovering from a car accident that totaled my vehicle. To say that I’m developing a little bit of a PTSD with crashing would be an understatement. Having said all that I also want to dip my toes into racing this year. Domain question that I would like to have asked for these weather doing grand phone dose at least once with time sections is just as competitive as crits?
Are there less crashes in Grand fondos? Would they be considered generally safer? And do they scratch the competitive edge that some of us have?
I would also like to know if carbon is all that? I am budget conscious and aware of my weight and I’m wondering if a well-built aluminum bike like the canyon endurace would be a better choice than an out-and-out race bike if I end up doing grand fondos versus crits. I have developed several kinks from my previous crashes into recent car accident and I’m a bit concerned that if I keep on crashing then my neck might never return to normal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post I’m looking forward to reading about your suggestions

Someone has crashed in almost every single crit I’ve ever raced (Socal).

Yes, Fondos are much better in that regard.

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Yes, crits are going to be a little more hazardous than a fondo…but I have a left field idea for you: try some cyclocross. It’s competitive and you don’t need an expensive carbon bike, and while it’s off road and technical, any crashes are usually lower speed and on mud or grass. Plus in my experience pretty much everyone who rides cross is friendly and willing to offer advice.


Yes to racing 'cross! Lots of fun, very competitive, friendly, and while everyone crashes, usually you only end up dirty.

The other optipn if you want to have a bit of competition is to try time trialing, while there is a risk due to the higher speeds and it being on roads, you won’t have other riders around you.


Fondos would be considerably less dangerous because they are usually much less technical than crits, the timed segments are usually climbs, and because the transfers are I timed you can split from large groups without impacting your time (unless drafting plays a role in the segment).

But it also stands out to me that you say you’ve crashed several times in training. That shouldn’t be happening. I would start by keeping things under control in training and trying to learn from why that happened because it sounds like you might just crash no matter how ‘dangerous’ the form of racing is. Obviously if all those crashes were out of your control then maybe you just have shit luck.


In crits you are aware of the risks and know that a crash can happen.
In fondos the perceived risk is much lower but you will find lots of unexperienced riders that don’t know the basics of how to ride in a group. I don’t have any experience un crits but I’ve seen many nasty crashes in fondos.

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Having raced 30+ sanctioned criterium per year and a couple fondo type events per year for decades I think fondo type events are way more dangerous.


For my competitive riding I started at 40 (6 years ago) doing cyclo-cross, then added time trials for some experience of speed without the risk of pack riding. Finally last year I did some crits. There were no crashes, but it was definitely the scariest thing I’ve done. I’m not sure of the fear was due to the bad reputation crits have or just doing something new.

Also, do sort out why you’re crashing. Because if you’re crashing in practice even cyclo-cross racing is going to be bad if you hit the ground too often


Dumb luck.
The first one was because my front wheel got stuck in the trolley rail tracks( I was trying to get on the shoulder and did not realize that they were there)
Second one
I spotted someone laying on the ground unresponsive and changed course to check on them ( another cyclist hit me head-on. When it was all done and dusted t, the person I meant to check on was just drunk)

I will definitely look into it.
I might be a way to help my handling on the bike.

Hope your luck changes now! I had worries about recommending a crit to someone who dropped the bike a lot. :wink:

Certainly enter a crit and give it a try. Even if you get dropped on the first lap (like I do) there will be lots of like minded souls around who you can stand around with and talk bikes to while you watch the other races.

In a crit you’ll have people aware of the risks, consequences and actions they can take. In a mass start event, particularly one like a fondo, you’ll have people not used to riding in a group who’ll overlap wheels, not signal where they’re going, pull out all over the place.

Per hour taken part, I’ve probably seen more crashes in audaxes than crits.

I raced on aluminium frames for years, only got carbon when it was time to upgrade and I realised I was being overcautious.

Intro level crit can be dangerous but the few race I was in, people knew how to ride close, hold a line, and deal with overlapping wheels. On a fondo you get everything. Guys getting nervous being the front wheel about guys behind overlapping wheels behind them. Hold your wheel, the guy behind goes down behind wouldn’t do anything to you in the front. Protect you front, not your rear. In a crit, stuff like this will get you a DNF or last place.