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Old 05-10-07, 08:39 PM   #1
cyclotoine
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For those who own/ride vintage track bikes

Is your track bike smaller than your road frames or the same size? Someone mentioned to me the other day that your "track size" is a size smaller. I thought that was a matter of preference. I find with a track stem and criterium handle bars I am quite comfortable in the drops, could be lower I guess... what are your thoughts? Pics welcome... I would post one of mine but I don't have a camera an I finished it today..

well why not here is an almost there pic:
I have glued the continental sprinters on and swapped the nitto for a 2A stem and criterium bars.

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Old 05-10-07, 08:58 PM   #2
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Very nice!
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Old 05-10-07, 09:15 PM   #3
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Maybe the smaller size is to get a tighter, more compact body position. For Aerodynamics?
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Old 05-10-07, 09:23 PM   #4
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30 years ago, it was common to get 1cm or 1/2" smaller frame for a track bike, purpose was to get one down farther, can also be acheived by a #2 or #3 drop Cinelli Pista stem, smaller was also considered better for stiffness of the frame. In the 40 and 50's often frames for a given rider were spec'd larger than in the 70's. The "correct" size for a rider changed over time, even when made to measure, also the pedaling style of the rider should be accounted for, it will change the "best" position as well, and for younger racers, the effect of a gear limit, many will creep forward on the sadle in an attempt to spin 200+ rpm.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:26 PM   #5
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quess I should be riding a 60 or 61cm... but I am not a competitor so it doesn't really matter but this bike is the same as all my others in seat tube.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:38 PM   #6
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Here's mine, with a temporary rear wheel:


As with all my bikes, the fit is a little kludged. As you can see, the stem is frikkin long (13 and a bit cm), and the campy post has a decent amount of setback, so the saddle is pushed quite far forward on the clamp. I'm not comfortable in the drops over long distances, but for short hustles, it's quite alright. Been wanting to swap ot to a shorter stem, and perhaps (horrors!) switching to riser bars, just for Schlitz and giggles.

Being more of a hunter/gatherer than a winning bidder, I've had to make do with some weird fitting parts, usually owing to the unholy trinity of vanity, cheapness, and laziness. Oh, and toss in rapidly shifting priorities as a result of multiple bike projects, and you have an ergonomic disaster on your hands.

As for sizing down track frames, my best guess is that saddle-to-bar drop is supposed to be much bigger for track than on a pure road bike. Bigger drop = more weight on your hands, so a smaller frame will get you over top of your bars better, as well as allow for that major drop.

Oh, and cyclotoine, if your nitto stem needs a good home, pm me.
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Old 05-10-07, 10:46 PM   #7
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Nitto stem and bars are already long gone... I would have easily traded plus cash for your setup! But yeah I would say that if you should expect discomfort on any length over 10km or so if your track bike is size properly for the track. That is what I am getting at ultimately, this bike is for the track. It's been a long time coming (got it in January) and i rode it for the first time today, feel great though maybe a tad large for track racing... oh well... just means I have to get another... like that 1971 Raleigh I can't afford in Seattle owner by a certain CR member, but is probably already sold.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:22 PM   #8
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the steep st angle on some track frames would give a marginally higher saddle height than the same st length on a more relaxed frame..

also a consideration (at least for the street) would be standover height.. track frames with their high bb throw things off a bit..
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Old 05-11-07, 05:29 AM   #9
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Would someone please tell me what (and what for) the "thing" is on the top tube that looks a bit like a coupler? I've noticed it on several track bikes. I need to know for my continuing classic bike education program! ;-)

Al
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Old 05-11-07, 05:48 AM   #10
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Top tube protector. On most roadies the brake cable tension prevents the handle bars from swinging all the way around. Since track bikes don't run brakes, theres nothing stopping the bars from beatin the hell outta the top tube. So you attach a top tube protector to take the beating.

cheers.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahorner1946
Would someone please tell me what (and what for) the "thing" is on the top tube that looks a bit like a coupler? I've noticed it on several track bikes. I need to know for my continuing classic bike education program! ;-)

Al
That thing is called a top-tube protector. Its there to prevent your bars from damaging your top tube if/when you crash.
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Old 05-11-07, 06:10 AM   #12
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Here's mine! I ride, for preference, between a 24 and 25.5 (I have smaller frames too). This one is a 24, and it feels perfect. I have 25.5 on my tourer, which is good because I want a smaller seat - bars drop, but don't really want a tall stem.

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Old 05-11-07, 10:24 AM   #13
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I suspect that the reason for the smaller frame is that on most track bikes the BB is higher from the ground than on a conventional bike. If two bikes have the same size seat tube that raises the top tube to the point where it could get get uncomfortable if you dismount in a hurry. Roger
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Old 05-11-07, 10:58 AM   #14
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I did a little check on some of my bikes for standover. The 75 Jeunet with the slack seattube had the lowest (under 34), the tourer (nishiki international 43 and 7/16) and the track bike had the highest 34 and 7/8!... I have yet to check some of the other bikes. My cycling inseam is 37" though so it's okay. Sammyboy, I was alway under the impression your bates was a 62cm. Is 24" the C-t measure or c-c? Either way that makes it a size smaller than my monsternoni. Hmm I think I just named it... the Monster.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:25 PM   #15
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Speaking of classic track bikes, do I need to attend more velodrome events to find one? That E.G. Bates is sick. I also saw a Melton a while back. Beautiful bikes and I haven't been able to turn over any stones to find 'em.

Cheers.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahorner1946
Would someone please tell me what (and what for) the "thing" is on the top tube that looks a bit like a coupler? I've noticed it on several track bikes. I need to know for my continuing classic bike education program! ;-)

Al
It's a piece of clear PVC tubing I got from Rona (same as home depot). I just cut a slit lengthwise, put it on the bike, then taped it back together. In the event of a crash / barsmack, the cloth tape wouldn't afford much protection from a top tube ding, thus the protector. You can also get an NJS tt protector, which is much more attractive, somewhat more effective, and $40 more expensive than my setup.
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Old 05-11-07, 01:21 PM   #17
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you can also get the leather one (like on mine) from velo orange:

http://www.velo-orange.com/toptupr.html

very classy in my opinion and the price is reasonable since it comes with needles, thread and instructions.
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Old 05-11-07, 01:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltron
Speaking of classic track bikes, do I need to attend more velodrome events to find one? That E.G. Bates is sick. I also saw a Melton a while back. Beautiful bikes and I haven't been able to turn over any stones to find 'em.

Cheers.
These WERE for sale a month or two ago, I strongly considered the Raleigh. My size 61cm:


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Old 05-11-07, 02:25 PM   #19
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Bill Walton rode a track bike, a Falcon. With a HUGE seatpost. So, you are not too big.
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Old 05-11-07, 02:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repechage
Bill Walton rode a track bike, a Falcon. With a HUGE seatpost. So, you are not too big.
you mean seattube? seatpost would indicate he road a small frame for his size...
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Old 05-11-07, 09:02 PM   #21
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"That thing is called a top-tube protector. Its there to prevent your bars from damaging your top tube if/when you crash."

Thanks guys!

Al
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Old 05-11-07, 09:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclotoine
you mean seattube? seatpost would indicate he road a small frame for his size...
The biggest Falcon would make was like 25 1/2" or so, his seatpost was 18" long
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Old 05-12-07, 12:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repechage
Bill Walton rode a track bike, a Falcon. With a HUGE seatpost. So, you are not too big.
I have a picture of him in a older cycling book riding a track bike, but it is definately a custom affair if I ever saw one. I can't scan it, but will try to take a pic if I can find it.

As for track bikes I normally ride 63cm frames in road and have two vintage track bikes that are the same size(and one newer also same size). Here are pics:



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Old 05-12-07, 12:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repechage
Bill Walton rode a track bike, a Falcon. With a HUGE seatpost. So, you are not too big.
I wasn't thinking I was too big but maybe the bike... but it doesn't matter. Sometime you think something is so perfect and then some dark cloud comes into your mind and you dwell under it when there is sunlight all around. I took a spin tonight and am back in the sun.

redxj, thank for posting the pics. with that kind of post extension you must have a huge inseam! Then again with shorter track cranks you need to raise your post or you won't get full extension. In fact if my frame were any smaller I wouldn't be able to use my vintage posts. 180mm campy and all the rest would be too short.
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Old 05-12-07, 12:17 AM   #25
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Where do you guys find these bikes?! Velodromes, is that where these beauties are to be found? The velodrome in London, Ontario is very new so there are not any old track frames to buy for cheap, Ebay is an option of course, but they go for a hefty sum lately.
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