So, I've recent started track riding.
I've been renting bikes from the track every time I go. It's not a "bad" thing. The rates are reasonable, at $5 a day. And the bikes are high quality, being schwinn paramount track bikes. They're old, but they came from waterford if I understand schwinns history right.
That said, I'd like a bike of my own. I can't change gears on the rentals, and I don't like the tires on them. Also, the biggest point of contention is that they have these selle san marco saddles on them. They cause me pain like you wouldn't believe. :-)
It should go without saying, that this bike will live on the track, and only be used on the track. I've got road bikes for roads.
Now looking for a track bike gets interesting. Track bikes seem unduely expensive in comparison to their multi speed breatheren. You can get a complete, taigra equipped fuji for the same price as their track-comp bike. WTF is up with that?
BD carries "A" bike they call a track bike. That's the Windsor Hour. I've not seen bad reviews of the bike, which is good. However I'm also allergic to quill stems. And there's no way of garunteeing I"ll get a threadless bike if I order it. The other bike I'd be intersted in is the Dawes SST-AL. I've had good experiences with Dawes bikes. My Lightning 1000, and my friends Haymaker 1500 both are serving us well. The only lesson I learned was to take the time to re-tension the wheels before you put them into service. They're built like crap ;-)
The Hour is $299. The SST-AL is 359, and comes with deeper section rims, and brakes as part of the deal. Obviously the brakes would be taken off, and sold, making the bikes only $30 or so apart.
Though the coupon expired, I do expect others to show up. My other option was to go through performance and buy a Fuji Track Comp. That would have run me $680, with the 15% off coupon. And I'd get $68 in store credit as I'm a member. Even as such, $612 is a big bullet to bite on a single purpose bike.
I should stop by my local non chain bike shop to see what they can do for track bikes. Something tells me they will also be in the $800-1200 range.
Right now, I'm leaning towards the Dawes SST-AL. To me dawes is something of a known quantity. And the big tubes on the aluminum frame lead me to believe it will be a little stiffer than the hour.
Now the balls in your court. Tell me not to buy anything, and rent till I get bored, tell me what else to buy, or tell me i'm on the right track. .... no pun intended.
EDIT: The Windsor clockwork seems to be a sane option too. It's $319, and comes with those wonderfully sellable brakes. And has a threaded headset. So is, and does the Dawes SST