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Old 02-06-17, 03:20 PM   #1
Divebrian
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Top track frames available in US for under $3000

What are the top track frames available in the US for under $3000? When I say top level, I mean a frame an elite racer would chose to race on and go to world championships with. It seems that the track industry sadly looses great manufacturers over time and the information about the newer offerings is almost non existant. So, what are the current elite level offerings in that price range for a frame,fork and maybe a seat post only, not a built bike. Anyone know the status on Teschner? I know of the Dolan DF4 and Look 564 fall into that price category and seem to have good availability. If your lucky, you can run into a sale on Koga Kimera that will be in that price range. I know there are more out there, but with the limited media coverage, most of us only get to see what is at our local velodrome, which is not the best representation.
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Old 02-06-17, 03:56 PM   #2
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The folks I know in the US who've raced World Cups and World Championships, and some others from this country who race internationally, use these bikes: Felt TK1, the Cervelo T4, the Dolan DF3, the Fuji Track Elite, the BT whatever-it's-called, and a sprinkling of small-label frames like the Serenity Marvel, Dixie Flier BTB, and Veloforma Pista. And, some holdovers still on Tiemeyer.

Something like this WC scratch race is a good look into top-level frames. You'll still see plenty of people on national-team bikes, though fewer than in some other disciplines like sprint and TP.

It doesn't quite answer your question with the "under $3k" qualifier, but it's a good look at what's used up there. Obviously, too, there's a "ride what the federation gives you" element but it's not totally general. And if you wanted to take another look from a different angle, you could look at videos from six-day races - there, a lot of racers race as privateers and use gear they choose.


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Old 02-06-17, 05:37 PM   #3
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Cervelo T4 frameset is 4500 usd
Felt TK FRD frameset is 4000usd
Dixie Flyer BTB frameset (no seatpost, standard round seatpost) is 1550 usd with some size/color currently on sale at 1162usd
Dolan DF4 is around 1300 usd
Koga Kimera is available and on sale currently at velodromshop.net for 2500usd
The only price I could find for the Avanti Pista Team is 3000usd
New Argon 18 Electron pro that the danes rode is 5500 usd

Just for comparison sake
Look R96 speed is around 8500 usd
BT Edge is you have to ask Bike Techonolgies for a quote so it's probably close to 10k for the frameset
British Cycling london 2012 frameset is ??????usd
FES frameset is ??????usd

Dolan DF4 (and it's older borther the DF3) is popular in stealth mode for six day racers and is a great bike. Dixie flyer is also a really good bike. After you start to get in the crazy price range for diminishing performance returns.
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Old 02-06-17, 05:54 PM   #4
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Fuji Track Elite is $1800
Argon 18 Electron C is $2000
BMC TR01 is $5000
Cipollini Speed is $5300
LOOK CR 564 P is $2700
Pinarello MAAT is $8500
Pinarello Pista is $1000 ...

Google is your friend.
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Old 02-06-17, 07:41 PM   #5
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Fuji Track Elite is $1800
Argon 18 Electron C is $2000
BMC TR01 is $5000
Cipollini Speed is $5300
LOOK CR 564 P is $2700
Pinarello MAAT is $8500
Pinarello Pista is $1000 ...

Google is your friend.
I've never seen any one of those in international competition.
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Old 02-06-17, 08:43 PM   #6
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I know of the Dolan DF4 and Look 564 fall into that price category and seem to have good availability
My 2c worth is I wouldn't touch either of those with a 20ft pole. The DF4 has a slew of documented issues, namely around the dropouts and seatpost, and Dolan don't seem to be wanting to help. The Look is widely purported to be a sibling of the much revered Axman Taiwanese frame. That makes it way overpriced in my book. Maybe they ordered some changes, but the mold appears to be the same, and the original is a very highly regarded, and relatively cheap frame for what it is.

If you're looking to part with up to $3k, I would seriously consider custom metal. I had my heart set on a BT in the long term, especially since they started making the 61cm models (I'm 6'5") but ended up with a custom Duratec frame. For such a big (63cmTT) frame it is very stiff and I honestly couldn't be happier.

I'd also consider on the second hand market, a Felt TK1. The most powerful rider I know had one of these. It was stiffer than the BT that replaced it.

At the other end of the spectrum is China carbon
Not to be snubbed, this frame has a very good reputation as well. It's the base for many a rebadged frame for much more $$. Volikakis is reportedly riding one and even took it to the Olympics. He can pump out sub 10s F200s on it.

There's many different ways to spend your money
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Old 02-06-17, 10:50 PM   #7
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BT are around 7k Aud... so thats about 5500 in everyone else's currency
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Old 02-06-17, 11:09 PM   #8
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I've never seen any one of those in international competition.
Do you consider 6-Day racing international competition?

Copenhagen ?6 Day? 2017 ? The Final Days! - PezCycling News

Scroll through the pics and you'll see Cipollini, Argon 18, Cannondale, Koga, Look, Dolan DF4, a couple Fujis, rebranded Merckx ...

The Inside Track - Ed's Berlin '6 Day' 2017 - PezCycling News

... Pinarello, Cervelo, BT, FES, and BMC. Whether these are the exact models I listed, I'm not discerning enough to say.
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Old 02-07-17, 07:45 AM   #9
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I've never seen any one of those in international competition.
There are a couple on that list that I haven't seen a few of those in international competition, but plenty of those are fairly common. Swiss riders use the BMC, the Cipolini is under a handful of Euro pros, the MAAT has been used by riders like Wiggins, Viviani, Kiryenka - basically anybody high-profile and associated with Sky - and the Pista is common with other BC adjuncts. Fuji doesn't seem to have a relationship with any federations, so those tend to be ridden by privateers - like all the Maloja Pushbikers.

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At the other end of the spectrum is China carbon fixed gear carbon track bike frame and seatpost single speed bicycle frame | eBay Not to be snubbed, this frame has a very good reputation as well. It's the base for many a rebadged frame for much more $$. Volikakis is reportedly riding one and even took it to the Olympics. He can pump out sub 10s F200s on it.

There's many different ways to spend your money
I considered that frame, but was weirded out by the low-trail combo of the steep hta and 45mm fork. Throw an Alpina on and it would make a lot more sense. Where'd you hear that Volikakis was on one?
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Old 02-07-17, 01:13 PM   #10
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Do you consider 6-Day racing international competition?

Copenhagen ?6 Day? 2017 ? The Final Days! - PezCycling News

Scroll through the pics and you'll see Cipollini, Argon 18, Cannondale, Koga, Look, Dolan DF4, a couple Fujis, rebranded Merckx ...

The Inside Track - Ed's Berlin '6 Day' 2017 - PezCycling News

... Pinarello, Cervelo, BT, FES, and BMC. Whether these are the exact models I listed, I'm not discerning enough to say.

Show me:

Quote:
Fuji Track Elite is $1800
Argon 18 Electron C is $2000
BMC TR01 is $5000
Cipollini Speed is $5300
LOOK CR 564 P is $2700
Pinarello MAAT is $8500
Pinarello Pista is $1000 ...
Further, I'm not saying that they are never used. I've never seen them. The burden of proof is on you to show that those frames indeed are being used in international competition if you are offering them as answers to OP's question

Also, the Cipollini is a joke at $5,300 for (what I can only assume is) a Chinese frame and the MAAT at $8,500 with no pedigree is insane. At least LOOK as jerseys and medals to show for their high asking prices.
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Old 02-07-17, 01:43 PM   #11
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They gave Elia a pretty nice medal after he rode his MAAT in circles in Brazil last summer.

I agree that the price is stoopit though. It's such a specialty item - I'm not sure why they pretend it's a consumer product. I think that's a worthwhile distinction that the OP is getting at. What high-level frames are actually produced with the intention, scale and price to be sold to actual people, instead of just distributed as specialty items via national federations to riders with the pull to get companies to produce frames just for them?
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Old 02-07-17, 02:25 PM   #12
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They gave Elia a pretty nice medal after he rode his MAAT in circles in Brazil last summer.
Good point.

Yeah, I don't really understand the bike business.

Why offer a frame at $8,000-10,000 USD? How many do they actually think they are going to sell? Any racers fast enough to race in international competition are able to get frames for free and many actually get paid to ride certain frames. So, that leaves the normal people to buy them.

Are they going for the "trickle down technology" thing where they say, "Hey, we made a bike worth $10,000...our lower priced bikes also have some of that tech in them, too."?

I think Dolan (with the known issues aside) has done very well at finding the sweet spot with price and features.

Mr. Terry Dolan, for the DF5: Go with a round seatpost, metal dropouts like the BT, higher modulus carbon, and sell it for $2,500 and you will make millions.

I literally don't think there has ever been a proprietary, aero, carbon seatpost that did not fail. Stop chasing that dragon
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Old 02-07-17, 03:21 PM   #13
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Yeah, I don't really understand the bike business.

Why offer a frame at $8,000-10,000 USD? How many do they actually think they are going to sell? Any racers fast enough to race in international competition are able to get frames for free and many actually get paid to ride certain frames. So, that leaves the normal people to buy them.

Are they going for the "trickle down technology" thing where they say, "Hey, we made a bike worth $10,000...our lower priced bikes also have some of that tech in them, too."?
I speculate that they are limited runs of convenience that are more about a company showing what it can do than it is about them trying to sell bikes:

So a major manufacturer sponsors a national team - the national team, not the track team specifically. Everybody makes some road bikes and some mountain bikes, so that's all good, but they need some track bikes too. And the company wants to look like it touches everything - like it's a jack of all trades.

So the company says, "Okay, we'll design you a track bike," and they design something, and produce a pretty small quantity of it. Maybe the Federation buys them from the company - maybe the company gives it to the federation. They never expect to break even on it - it's part of sponsorship, and it looks cool that they develop, have, or sell a super-high-end frame in the track market, too.

This is basically how I imagine things worked with Pinarello (and their relationship with Sky, and Sky's with British Cycling), and with Argon18 and Denmark. And probably Avanti and New Zealand, too. Hell, that's how BT got its start, too - except they sell their bikes to the general public a bit more accessibly.
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Old 02-07-17, 05:10 PM   #14
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Also, the Cipollini is a joke at $5,300 for (what I can only assume is) a Chinese frame
Made in Italy and still my dream bike.

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Old 02-07-17, 06:44 PM   #15
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Where'd you hear that Volikakis was on one?
Friends with connections that know. But I looked him up on Insta and it seems he's riding a blacked out BT Edge. I think that it is perhaps old and outdated news so I should probably retract that.

Definitely though, there is a 10s F200 Polish rider still currently using one and I know a guy that has built a few up for people and he's super happy with the product, they just don't make one to fit him and so he has to look and not ride. They're cheap enough to have a play with and not lose out too much, but they've got some experience behind them to say they're a good product. (I buy Chinese bits here and there, but never without some genuine experienced reviews to back up quality)
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Old 02-07-17, 07:28 PM   #16
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I wouldn't bother looking at elites for frames. They'll generally be getting sponsorships from somewhere and ride whatever they're given or can buy cheap on a deal. As long as it's not crap. Masters athletes would be a better proving ground. Those guys are mostly funding themselves and if they're seasoned riders, you will see them only riding what is proven to be good.
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Old 02-07-17, 09:14 PM   #17
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Show me:



Further, I'm not saying that they are never used. I've never seen them. The burden of proof is on you to show that those frames indeed are being used in international competition if you are offering them as answers to OP's question

Also, the Cipollini is a joke at $5,300 for (what I can only assume is) a Chinese frame and the MAAT at $8,500 with no pedigree is insane. At least LOOK as jerseys and medals to show for their high asking prices.
Some of the UK Academy riders were on the Pinarello MAAT maybe two years ago now? I saw them in use in some nationals and the Revolution series.
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Old 02-07-17, 09:17 PM   #18
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Good point.

I literally don't think there has ever been a proprietary, aero, carbon seatpost that did not fail. Stop chasing that dragon
Can anybody report on the BT aero seat post? There were a couple in use at my old track, never heard any complaints. But I do agree in principle, Carleton. Round works well.
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Old 02-07-17, 09:25 PM   #19
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I wouldn't bother looking at elites for frames. They'll generally be getting sponsorships from somewhere and ride whatever they're given or can buy cheap on a deal. As long as it's not crap. Masters athletes would be a better proving ground. Those guys are mostly funding themselves and if they're seasoned riders, you will see them only riding what is proven to be good.
+1

I've seen guys get fast using Brand X frames then join a pro team or national team and ride Brand Y frames and as soon as they are off of the team go back to Brand X.
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Old 02-07-17, 09:31 PM   #20
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My advice for buying frames (from my years of wasting money on them) is:

Step 1: List the real problems you have with your current frame. (e.g. slipping dropouts, slipping seatpost, flexyness, too small...)

If you cannot list any real problems that may cause you to lose a race, then you may not need a new frame.

Step 2: Do your best to avoid buying a frame with problems. Nothing sucks balls like having a brand new $4000 frame and having the seatpost topper allow the saddle to tilt when you are riding on the nose of the saddle...at 40mph...in turn 3...while bumping shoulders with another guy, because you will instantly shut off the gas when that happens. You'll curse your $4000 frame in the infield.

Step 3: Do your best to make sure that all (or most) of the problems you list in Step 1 are solved with the frames that make your short list of candidates.


Sexy looking frames look nice. Winning feels nicer
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Old 02-07-17, 10:44 PM   #21
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I wouldn't bother looking at elites for frames. They'll generally be getting sponsorships from somewhere and ride whatever they're given or can buy cheap on a deal. As long as it's not crap. Masters athletes would be a better proving ground. Those guys are mostly funding themselves and if they're seasoned riders, you will see them only riding what is proven to be good.
Self-funded Master here (I don't even accept funding from my team). In the past three years I have bought an All-City Thunderdrome(aluminum), an Argon18 Electron Pro(carbon), a Pinarello XTRACK(carbon), a No. 22 Little Wing(titanium), and a Cinelli SuperCorsa Pista(steel). I also spent a most of last season riding a 40 year old Schwinn Paramount(steel). They each have different qualities due to their different materials and geometries, but on any given day, any of them would be perfectly fine to race. Especially for a Master who isn't world class rider.
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Old 02-12-17, 11:11 AM   #22
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Friends with connections that know. But I looked him up on Insta and it seems he's riding a blacked out BT Edge. I think that it is perhaps old and outdated news so I should probably retract that.

Definitely though, there is a 10s F200 Polish rider still currently using one and I know a guy that has built a few up for people and he's super happy with the product, they just don't make one to fit him and so he has to look and not ride. They're cheap enough to have a play with and not lose out too much, but they've got some experience behind them to say they're a good product. (I buy Chinese bits here and there, but never without some genuine experienced reviews to back up quality)
Meanwhile...

I'm not entirely sure what this exchange I saw on Twitter means, but, that sure looks like one of those chinabron/killer whales - with Pervis's name somehow associated with it.

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Old 02-12-17, 12:54 PM   #23
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S1NEO was/(still is?) a sponsor of Pervis. He bsically endorses them as a bike brand, and they sold that Chinese frame as their top track model with his "signature" on the top tube. Any of the road bikes that he was riding to warm up, or on the road were supplied by S1NEO.

If you guys noticed, he raced with many sponsor labels on his equipment, and this was because until the twilight of his career, he wasn't one of the French team's top aces. He showed promise as a junior at the World Champs, but because he wasn't that big of a guy, with a light build, he didn't end up putting out a lot of power when it came to racing in the big leagues. For years he languished in their 2nd tier of guys, never receiving the fully supported ride the others did. Because of this he sought out sponsors to cover the cost of many of his World Cup trips to compete at that level. It was only later in his career did he become the giant killer that Kenny was already. Someone in Francois' camp had cracked the code when it came to all out speed for the little guys. His contracts with his sponsors were still in effect, so you can see the names and labels all over his gear. Great investment on their part if you as me.
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Old 02-15-17, 11:52 AM   #24
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Self-funded Master here (I don't even accept funding from my team). In the past three years I have bought an All-City Thunderdrome(aluminum), an Argon18 Electron Pro(carbon), a Pinarello XTRACK(carbon), a No. 22 Little Wing(titanium), and a Cinelli SuperCorsa Pista(steel). I also spent a most of last season riding a 40 year old Schwinn Paramount(steel). They each have different qualities due to their different materials and geometries, but on any given day, any of them would be perfectly fine to race. Especially for a Master who isn't world class rider.

This.

I went through some of these questions when evaluating a new frame a month or so ago and even posted a thread in here.
Ultimately ive decided on custom steel. Its a nice way to go if you basically know what you want but need some slight tweaks you might not get on an off the shelf rig

Steel has been used at the highest levels of masters competition---- that said, the relatively inexpensive carbon offerings out now just seem to make it easier to plug n play
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