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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-22-07, 01:01 PM   #1
newnoise
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who takes their ride to the velodrome?

Anybody ride their track bike on the track? heh.

I'm just looking for possible insight, likes/dislikes, of riding on the velodrome. I've only ridden a velodrome once and it was like 10 years ago (I was 12) with my boyscout troop. I remember liking it a lot. I've been riding fixed for about 3 years, now I've got a track bike, and I'd I'm interested in doing some velodrome riding.

A couple friends and I are planning on heading up to Hellyer in San Jose this Saturday for the beginner training session. hopefully we don't get rained out.

anyways, just looking to hear some thoughts.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:02 PM   #2
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oh yeah, i'm looking for insight from people whose background is riding fixed on the road. hence my not posting in the track racing thread.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:05 PM   #3
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I have, its fun! after a few hours though there is nothing I want to do more than to turn right, heh. I want to do it some more but my current ride isn't very good on the track. hellyers gonna be having a lot of construction done in march and april so hopefully this summer it will be in better shape. as it is, its not exactly the nicest of tracks... kinda bumpy, honestly
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Old 02-22-07, 01:06 PM   #4
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i've heard it mentioned that san luis obispo is a shoplifter's dream... but anyway, now that i'm getting a track bike in the summer i think i'll have to ride it to the velodrome they're building a few miles from my house.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:10 PM   #5
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It's a lot of fun to dick around for a bit but imo there's not much to do in the velodrome unless you want to get right into racing or serious training. Usually if you haven't ridden track you have to take a course or series of courses on local velodrome etiquette, procedures for entering/ exiting the track, and that kind of thing. Conversions aren't allowed on my local drome because of the risk of pedal strikes in the banking at low speed.

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Old 02-22-07, 01:19 PM   #6
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yeah, every saturday at 8:30am at hellyer they do a beginning track course that goes over all the techniques and procedures as well as etiquette. I think you have to complete 3 of these to be able to race.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:38 PM   #7
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i race track. i love it. definitely take a beginner clinic if you want to get into it.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:43 PM   #8
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No tracks near me... if there is one, and you'd like to try it, there's really no excuse. Just pick up a Windsor or whatever for $300 and you're all set.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:49 PM   #9
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Just pick up a Windsor or whatever for $300 and you're all set.
Don't even bother with that most tracks have rentals.
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Old 02-22-07, 02:06 PM   #10
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^^ including hellyer. 5 bucks gets you a langster.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:00 PM   #11
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i already have a bridgestone keirin frame, but most of my friends ride conversions, so they're going to have to rent.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:35 PM   #12
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Don't even bother with that most tracks have rentals.
Crappy rentals. That may or may not fit you well and everything has to be adjusted perfectly.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:37 PM   #13
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Anybody know of one close to the DC/MD/VA/PA area? I'd like to try it out...
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Old 02-22-07, 03:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by operator
Crappy rentals. That may or may not fit you well and everything has to be adjusted perfectly.
My local velodrome has bikes in 2cm increments. I never had any trouble finding an ok fit for pootling around for a bit, though they may not have anything i'd want to base a racing career on.

When renting drome bikes it's a good idea to bring an allen key set, 15mm wrench and your own pedals.

Last edited by mander; 02-22-07 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:41 PM   #15
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Crappy rentals. That may or may not fit you well and everything has to be adjusted perfectly.
They'll probably fit as well as a windsor will and either be free or a couple orders of magnitude less expensive until you see if track racing is even for you.
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Old 02-22-07, 04:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnyland
Anybody know of one close to the DC/MD/VA/PA area? I'd like to try it out...
http://www.lvvelo.org/

trexlertown PA
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Old 02-22-07, 05:12 PM   #17
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I've never raced on a track before, but I too am signing up for the class at our local velodrome this Spring, and I'm pretty excited about it. Mostly I'm curious to see what it's like to use my bike for its intended purpose.
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Old 02-22-07, 05:30 PM   #18
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In my experience, my road gearing (48X17) was way too low for any realistis racing. Lots of fun though, I'll definatley be doing more in my future (somehow).
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Old 02-22-07, 05:37 PM   #19
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A smaller chainring makes it easier to switch from fixed road to track gearing (as well as having as little chain as possible for the road gearing) since the change in ratio will be more dramatic.
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Old 02-22-07, 05:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newnoise
Anybody ride their track bike on the track? heh.
I LIVE for the track - and RACING.

The track scene is pretty good in Melbourne with a number of outdoor and two indoor tracks. There is racing 3 or 4 times a week, and road racing the same which I've been having a crack at too.

The biggest meet of the year is this weekend in Melburn - many national and world champions all riding in a wheelrace against muppets like me. That's the great thing about a handicap race.

I did the beginners session at Hellyer back in '04 and it is a great track for beginners with helpful guidance by experienced riders. Shame its not closer to anything. Tell your friends, tell everyone. It's fun and you'll wish you'd done it sooner.

Good luck.

*tc
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Old 02-22-07, 05:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
I have, its fun! after a few hours though there is nothing I want to do more than to turn right, heh. I want to do it some more but my current ride isn't very good on the track. hellyers gonna be having a lot of construction done in march and april so hopefully this summer it will be in better shape. as it is, its not exactly the nicest of tracks... kinda bumpy, honestly
when they reopen in july I will be out to get my three weekends in and my license so I can start sprinting for now it is the rollers
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Old 02-22-07, 05:52 PM   #22
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when they reopen in july I will be out to get my three weekends in and my license so I can start sprinting for now it is the rollers
see you down there!
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Old 02-22-07, 06:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newnoise
Anybody ride their track bike on the track? heh.

I'm just looking for possible insight, likes/dislikes, of riding on the velodrome. I've only ridden a velodrome once and it was like 10 years ago (I was 12) with my boyscout troop. I remember liking it a lot. I've been riding fixed for about 3 years, now I've got a track bike, and I'd I'm interested in doing some velodrome riding.

A couple friends and I are planning on heading up to Hellyer in San Jose this Saturday for the beginner training session. hopefully we don't get rained out.

anyways, just looking to hear some thoughts.
The closest velodrome to me is Kissena Park, Queens New York. Interestingly enough, I live a short distance from Nipper Maher field in Waltham. A century ago, this city owned recreational field was Waltham Bicycle Park, and some of the biggest names in track racing rode there. On occasion, I'll ride through there on my own fixie, and I like to think that the ghosts of the past are smiling.

If there were a track near me, I would surely be spending a lot of time there. Sadly, the history of track racing in this country has been pretty well buried.
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Old 02-22-07, 06:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by skinnyland
Anybody know of one close to the DC/MD/VA/PA area? I'd like to try it out...

Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown PA. www.lvvelo.org. Air Products Corp sponsers a developmental series for all ages. It is a great program with all national and world championship caliber coaches. You should find info on their web site (programs tab, then look for Air Products).
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Old 02-22-07, 06:41 PM   #25
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Sadly, the history of track racing in this country has been pretty well buried.
i think it's picking back up though... ever so slightly.
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