Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area - Need help for my son entering the sport
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My son is joining a local cycling club with a very experienced track coach and he believes the best way to really learn proper cycling is to learn on a track bike as well as race on the track. What we are looking for is a track bike that will fit him without breaking the bank. He just turned eleven, is 4'10" and has an inseam of 27"-28". Do you think he could fit on a small adult bike or do we need to put him on a youth bike. Youth bikes are a much more expensive than adult bikes, and we know he will continue to grow.
Your suggestions would be helpful, or do you know of any clubs that might have a family member ready to upgrade and sell a small adult or youth bike.
One of these in a 49cm might fit?
10-15-09, 01:06 PM
A 49 cm bike is probably going to be big for someone who is 4'10". I know 5'2" riders who have trouble with them.
Fuji makes some pretty small track bikes- that's what they use for the youth classes at Home Depot Center and Encino. You might be able to pick one up used fairly inexpensively-- they aren't light, but weight doesn't matter so much in a track bike, either. Havnoonian has also made some pretty small frames with decent geometry and used to have some sort of trade-in program. If you're in AZ, you're probably driving to San Diego to ride the track-- check to see what they have for rentals there before you buy -- it may be that he doesn't have to have a track bike of his own if it's a once/month thing.
The SD Velodrome has some 24" track bikes that some kids and small adults use. I know the Saguaro Velo (http://www.saguarovelo.org/velodrome.html) from Tucson comes to San Diego and uses the rental bikes.
10-15-09, 04:28 PM
Normally I'd say that even the smallest framed bike with standard 700c wheels would be to big for someone 4'-10", however, if indeed your son's inseam is 27'-28", then I think maybe a 49cm with a short top tube might work. I say this because I'm 5'-3" with a 28" inseam and my 49cm Bianchi Pista Concept fits me well. It sounds like your son's body proportions are relatively long legs and short torso, so unless his arms are long, then he will need a very short stem unless the top tube is real short (50 cm or less). Bianchi makes a basic steel Pista model in a 49cm for about $700.
10-15-09, 09:52 PM
My son is joining a local cycling club with a very experienced track coach and he believes the best way to really learn proper cycling is to learn on a track bike as well as race on the track.
couldn't agree more.
I'd call every track I could and ask about ex rentals in 24 inch or the smallest 700c size bikes they have and let him try them.
I have seen lots fo kids riding 700c bikes with what looks like a 50 or 55mm stem and the saddle almost sitting on the top tube.
Ever thought of getting out and joining him, or do you ride there already?
best of luck.
10-16-09, 05:15 AM
My son is also 11, although a couple of inches shorter than your son.
He rides one of these Fuji 650 (http://2009.fujibikes.com/Kids/Track/Track650.aspx)
It's proved an excellent bike :) and he's had great fun riding and racing it on a variety of tracks (including a 250m steeply banked wooden track at the age of 10 :twitchy:)
The only negative thing I'd have to say is that the components are all full sized adult ones, so I swapped the cranks for some 150mm, I'll put the 165mm cranks back on when he's grown a bit!
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