WOULD IT MAKE SENSE TO CREATE A SPEC BIKE CATEGORY? A racing category where everybody raced on the same limited spec bikes? Something like this: 18lbs or more: metal frames, handle bars, seat rails, rims; 1 X drive train; a mixed surface bike good for road and gravel... something you could purchase for a couple a grand or less.
What if your bike race wasn't an arms race?
More of a Pinewood Derby race?