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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 05-10-10, 07:51 AM   #1
sausagegravy285
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Is it worth using a track bike on the road?

Hey all,
I have been considering buying a track bike for non velodrome use.
Right now I'm riding on a Surly Crosscheck fixed and I'm lovin it. I've done it for about a year now, and I can't get enough. The problem is that I am going to have to turn it into a single speed to go to work because I have some pretty serious hills that I need to traverse. I've also run into the problem of the inability to have a fixed/fixed hub on a bike with the 132.5 spacing.
I have already converted an old road bike to a single speed, which got me started, and I crashed it pretty good and bent the frame. I want to get away from steel for a fixed/fixed no brake bike because I'm about 230lb and when I pound the hills on my crosscheck I can watch the frame flex. I'm hoping to get an aluminum track bike for quick jaunts of about 6 miles and convert the crosscheck into a geared cyclocross/road bike.

So my question is: Is it feasable to ride a track bike on the road, or is it so incredibly uncomfortable that it is a bad idea? Like I said, this would be a bike for going fast for short periods of time (no all day cross country rides). And if this isn't a horrible idea, what bike is worth getting on a budget? I'm looking at a Felt TK3 basically for budget and because it looks awesome and I'm pretty sure I can adjust to the geometry.

Good idea to ride track bike on road?
Felt TK3 as a roadable track bike?
Other suggestions for bikes with 120mm spacing and track drops to run fixed/fixed?

Happy riding!
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Old 05-10-10, 09:57 AM   #2
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I train on the road every week with my track bike. It's no problem.

But please use a brake.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:02 AM   #3
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I ride on the road on my team track (pre current gen Fuji Track Pro Clone) and it's great! Once you get used to the tighter geometry it's wonderful. As stated, get a brake.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:02 AM   #4
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I don't understand the question.

Enjoy
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Old 05-10-10, 10:03 AM   #5
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You can get a back wheel built to run Fixed/Free on just about anything. If the number of hipsters out there ripping around on track bikes are any indication, asked/answered, because if it were really uncomfortable...they'd not be doing it.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:51 AM   #6
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Just a small point, but I don't think it's impossible to build a fixed-fixed wheel that will be close enough to 132.5. The whole point of that spacing is that either 130 or 135 will be close enough, and if it really bugs you you can always add a 1mm spacer to either side of a 130 fixed-fixed hub, resulting in something that's 132 mm (which is as "close enough" as it gets) and spaced so that the chainline is the same on either side. If that aint enough for you, if you take your Vernier calipers to a bin of nominally 1mm spacers you will probably find two that are 1.25mm right away and get it dead-on.

TLDR: 120mm spacing is totally inessential for an adequate fixed-gear frame. You can adapt a fixed-fixed hub to fit basically any spacing.

Last edited by mander; 05-10-10 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:58 AM   #7
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I ride around on a bike with track geometry on street without issues, no brakes.
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Old 05-10-10, 12:55 PM   #8
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I have looked into getting a 130mm fixed/fixed hub for a wheel rebuild, but there isn't much on the market for true 130mm hubs that are less than $200. I'm too cheap to buy that kind of hub, so instead of spending 300 on a new rear wheel, I'd rather get a new bike for under 1000 and run the crosscheck as a singlespeed cyclocross bike. The crosscheck is my first serious bike and I've been running it as a good compromise between a smooth distance bike and fast fixed bike.

So, that being said, I see that riding a track dedicated bike on the road isn't a horrible idea. Therefore does anyone have any suggestions for a nice track bike under 1000. I see the Felt TK3 looks like it's up my ally.
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Old 05-10-10, 02:43 PM   #9
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I know guys that ride the same bikes on the track and street. Some actually ride to the track, change gear ratios, race, change gears again, and ride home.

It's not unheard of. Sort of like driving a weekend race car to work. It will have it's pros and cons.

Here's an option:
- Set the bike up as fixed/freewheel.
- Buy a set of road bars and install proper brake levers and hoods.
- Install the brakes and velcro tie the rear brake cable to the top tube for easy removal/install.
- Carry your track bars in your bag.
- Ride to the track and remove the bars and brakes in one piece. Then install the track bars.
- Flip your rear wheel over.
- Race
- Reverse the procedure above.


It sounds more complicated than it really is.
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Old 05-10-10, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sausagegravy285 View Post
I have looked into getting a 130mm fixed/fixed hub for a wheel rebuild, but there isn't much on the market for true 130mm hubs that are less than $200. I'm too cheap to buy that kind of hub, so instead of spending 300 on a new rear wheel, I'd rather get a new bike for under 1000 and run the crosscheck as a singlespeed cyclocross bike. The crosscheck is my first serious bike and I've been running it as a good compromise between a smooth distance bike and fast fixed bike.

So, that being said, I see that riding a track dedicated bike on the road isn't a horrible idea. Therefore does anyone have any suggestions for a nice track bike under 1000. I see the Felt TK3 looks like it's up my ally.
Yeah, but the thing is that many cheap 120mm hubs are easily respaceable to 130 and beyond. It's easy to do yourself, or you can get someone to do it for you for 5 or 10 bucks. Here is a place that will sell you a Formula and respace it for a fiver.

http://www.longleafbicycles.com/prod...ge-track-hubs/

What hub are you running on the crosscheck currently? I know my surly hub has acres of space on either side of the axle. I bet i could space it out to 145-150 if i wanted to.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting a new bike, just saying this particular issue doesn't present a significant reason to do so.
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Old 05-10-10, 04:05 PM   #11
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The guy at my LBS says that he is hesitant to extend the spacing in a 120mm because it presents itself to some extra leverage in all the wrong places. I tend to be very hard on my things, bikes included, and I worry that I would wear out the hub very quickly. Currently I'm running a 130mm standard allcity hub that does the job for me.

But this is beside the point now, because I put a second brake on it and am going to flip to freewheel so I can coast down some hills on my commute.

I've been looking at getting a designated fixed/track bike for some time now and want to pull the trigger. The difficulty of finding a good inexpensive 130mm spaced hub just sparked my interest in looking for a good track bike.

But it certainly doesn't seem that most people are hesitant to changing the spacing of a 120mm hub like my LBS owner/guy was. Thanks for the info tho.
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Old 05-10-10, 04:32 PM   #12
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Don't some/most indoor velodromes have a policy about tires cleanliness (must not been ridden on the street)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I know guys that ride the same bikes on the track and street. Some actually ride to the track, change gear ratios, race, change gears again, and ride home.

It's not unheard of. Sort of like driving a weekend race car to work. It will have it's pros and cons.

Here's an option:
- Set the bike up as fixed/freewheel.
- Buy a set of road bars and install proper brake levers and hoods.
- Install the brakes and velcro tie the rear brake cable to the top tube for easy removal/install.
- Carry your track bars in your bag.
- Ride to the track and remove the bars and brakes in one piece. Then install the track bars.
- Flip your rear wheel over.
- Race
- Reverse the procedure above.


It sounds more complicated than it really is.
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Old 05-10-10, 04:43 PM   #13
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Don't some/most indoor velodromes have a policy about tires cleanliness (must not been ridden on the street)?
I wouldn't be surprised if an indoor wooden track like the ADT in Los Angeles would have rules like that where dust/dirt could cause a rider to slip and fall. But, our track is outdoors made of concrete, so it doesn't matter. We get more dirt and debris from the infield and overhanging trees than we would ever get from street tires.
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Old 05-10-10, 04:48 PM   #14
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Yes, as long as you have a front brake. I have had too many close calls and most of them would be my fault.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sausagegravy285 View Post
The guy at my LBS says that he is hesitant to extend the spacing in a 120mm because it presents itself to some extra leverage in all the wrong places. I tend to be very hard on my things, bikes included, and I worry that I would wear out the hub very quickly. Currently I'm running a 130mm standard allcity hub that does the job for me.

But this is beside the point now, because I put a second brake on it and am going to flip to freewheel so I can coast down some hills on my commute.

I've been looking at getting a designated fixed/track bike for some time now and want to pull the trigger. The difficulty of finding a good inexpensive 130mm spaced hub just sparked my interest in looking for a good track bike.

But it certainly doesn't seem that most people are hesitant to changing the spacing of a 120mm hub like my LBS owner/guy was. Thanks for the info tho.
Ohh yeah, I forgot that you weigh 230. Still, 5mm of added leverage on either side really doesn't seem like a big deal to me, physics-wise. You could get a second, third, and nth opinion if you asked over at the clydes forum, but my suspicion (which i admit is unfounded armchair intuition) is that it would be highly unlikely to cause any kind of problem at your weight.

All of this said, I'm not trying to be a debby downer and totally support your wanting a new bike... I think everyone needs to get a new bike. I'm just debating what can and cant be done to get a 130mm fixed hub that's fit for a large fella. It might ultimately be impossible to do cheaply, but I wouldn't just take one dude's word for it.

You know what frame you might really like? The Cannondale Capo. They are light and stiff as hell; totally raceable on the track but with roadish geometry that could, at least theoretically, mean a relatively comfy ride; plus they have facilities for front and rear brakes and a bottle cage.

Last edited by mander; 05-10-10 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:50 PM   #16
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Track hubs use solid axels. Road hubs use hollow axels. I think spacing it out to the same as a road bike will be just fine.
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Old 05-10-10, 06:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The guy at my LBS says that he is hesitant to extend the spacing in a 120mm because it presents itself to some extra leverage in all the wrong places.
This guy should lose his job.
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Old 05-10-10, 06:42 PM   #18
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Now now, he's a hell of a builer who won't just put any random crap parts together and call it good. But that's just my experience.

I really like the Cannondale Capo, it's a little cheaper than the Felt TK3 that I've been looking at which is always a plus. I'll deffinately worry about upgrades later. Does anyone else know of any good laterally stiff bikes that aren't too harsh on the road.
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Old 05-10-10, 08:24 PM   #19
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for training or fast group rides, sure. i don't know about commuting or in a situation where you have to carry a lot of stuff (either on your back or on the bike). i don't like having a backpack or messenger bag when i'm in an aggressive position on the bike.
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