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  1. #1
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    first velodrom experience

    well, I liked the velodrome. It was fun. I could have biked for hours. I went out for a free class day yesterday thanks to a friend who suggested it. A few of us girls went up there and the management was wonderful and mother nature co-op'ed and gave us a not so hot nite with beautiful sunshine. I really liked the story of Tilly Anderson(that can be told at another time if you don't know the story, I didn't until last nite and I love women's sports history).

    I can see on the track how you do control a a fixed gear with your feet/pedels which are one. Well I think your feet and pedels are one on or off a track.

    I do see other advantages to clipless pedels. I do say they make you go faster, but to me that is not a valid reason for having them. It is almost cheating. It would be like having running shoes that had batteries and ran for you or a soccer ball that would roll itself into the net. (that is just how I see it currently)


    What I don't like about it is all the new equipment that would have to be rented or bought. I strongly dislike clipless pedels and toe clips. I feel I can go just as fast as anyone without those. I have been told that the reason you NEED them on the track is to keep balance and to keep your feet from slipping. I don't have issues with my feet slipping. So, what I will do is in a year or so when I have time maybe actually start doing this sport on a regular basis. Maybe. I will get good at it and then someday get to go alone on the track and I will put my old flat pedels on and go by myself and try my theory out. This will be after some practice and people have said they wouldn't trust anyone who is not clipped in, so I will go alone. Or maybe not, maybe you all will convince me, no actually what ever you say I will not listen to. My mind is made up on what I believe. I will have to experience it. You could tell me until you are blue in the face that I am wrong and I will not believe you until I have more experience and try it myself. I am not like this on every issue in life. I have singled out two things I am like this on and one of the things is my absolute hatred of clipless pedels and toe clips to make people go faster. I may go out with my clipless pedels that are still in the box, someday. I may say "hey those people were right, you do need to be clipped in", but you cannot tell me that and have me believe you. It is just one of those things I have to learn on my own. Well, you can keep telling me, but .................


    I want to emphasize I didn't have issues getting in and out of the pedels. That is not the problem. I am resistant to extra equipment too. It could be because for years I couldn't afford to even by a nice bike and shops were mean to me, but I biked everyday and would have bought nice things if I could have afforded it. I think we can do with very little to be a cyclist. Ya don't need fancy gears, hubs, clipless pedels, and jersey's + many more items. Those things may make a ride, safier, easier, or more enjoyable and that is great.

    And to the guy who wouldn't build me a fix gear last summer because he saw my biking and said I was not suited. I new you were wrong then, but now I have proof. I had previous proof, but I didn't have footage of me on a fixed gear from years past. I know I coast a lot, but if you have a bike that coasts you coast. If you do not have a bike that allows you to coast you don't coast. Well, I could argue that you can coast your feet just keep rolling around. You don't have to pedel hard all of the time.

    I would like to thank the nice people in Blaine who seemed to believe we all could learn how to ride on the track. It was super fun too. I would like to go again, but my current commitments to other things have me booked until next spring. So, next year when my list of things to do are a little less I will try it again, maybe even take a class.

    I like the front wheel on the bike I used last nite. The pedel control was nice too.
    Again, I had a good time and loved it, but it is just too much stuff to buy right now and you have to go to a special place for it. I guess ya do mountain biking too. It is at least outside. I like that. I am not an expert, I am however an expert at being able to ride a bike out of a dumpster and keep that ghetto bike going for a long while.

    Have a good day everyone!

  2. #2
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    You should move this to the actual Track Cycling forum:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycling-velodrome-racing-training-area/

  3. #3
    Senior Member freddiesan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    I strongly dislike clipless pedels and toe clips. I feel I can go just as fast as anyone without those. I have been told that the reason you NEED them on the track is to keep balance and to keep your feet from slipping. I don't have issues with my feet slipping.
    I like your attitude; Do what you feel like and don't bother what everyone else says. But there's alot of wisdom out there and I disagree with you on the point that you can go as fast as anyone without clipless pedals.
    When it comes to sprinting for example being able to use up force as well as down force on your pedals makes you go alot faster. Try pulling up the pedal on the up stroke while accelerating and you'll know what I mean.
    I have never even been close to a velodrome(not a big sport in Sweden) but I wish I had the opportunity you've had. Keep up the good work and do your thing but listen and respect the experienced track riders(yes I know what I'm saying is contradictory), maybe you'll learn something useful which in the long run will make track racing more fun.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddiesan
    I like your attitude; Do what you feel like and don't bother what everyone else says. But there's alot of wisdom out there and I disagree with you on the point that you can go as fast as anyone without clipless pedals.
    When it comes to sprinting for example being able to use up force as well as down force on your pedals makes you go alot faster. Try pulling up the pedal on the up stroke while accelerating and you'll know what I mean.
    I have never even been close to a velodrome(not a big sport in Sweden) but I wish I had the opportunity you've had. Keep up the good work and do your thing but listen and respect the experienced track riders(yes I know what I'm saying is contradictory), maybe you'll learn something useful which in the long run will make track racing more fun.
    yeah, i know they have a lot of wisdom and i should listen and respect them. i do respect them.

    next time i am in sweden i will race or a long ride you with out clipless pedels and we will see who is faster.,,,ha ha we could start from stockholm and go up to riksgransen? i am serious. it needs to be done. i guess people ride up there all the time. i hear. i love riksgransen. it is so beautiful there.

    var kan jaf fa tag i en cykel?

  5. #5
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    P.S. Don't mean to be a forum nazi or anything but there's good people in the track cycling forum who will give you some insight (and props!).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by absntr
    You should move this to the actual Track Cycling forum:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=210
    nah, cuz i think this for me was more about riding the fixed gear, maybe it didn't come across, but next time maybe i will write it over there, but i wanted my audience to be people i know who are read things from here. if that makes since.

    if i get into this sport it will. i do like the fixed gear and still do not appreciate the clipless pedels/toe clips. maybe someday after tons of experience using them for daily use and racing.

    thanks for responding.

  7. #7
    Banned zelah's Avatar
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    clips/clipless wont make you go faster necisarily (they most likely will if you're pedaling correctly though), but they will increase efficiency.

  8. #8
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    hey angel - there are a few people who ride the Blaine velo in here that can give you some nice insight. Riding on the street versus riding on the velo are very different, as you have mentioned. Equipment, comfort, and personal needs can all be addressed by going to the velo and riding frequently. It has taken me 5 trips to get my stem length where I thikn it should be for length and height so it doesn't feel like me neck is breaking afterwards. As far as pedals, I started off with some Speedplays, but quickly found at that the inherent float in the pedals was too much for stability coming out of the banks as well as for efficient power transfer. I have spoken with a few veterans and even had one check my pedal choice, and all have replied: get the proper tool for the job. But that does not mean you have to run out and buy a slew of new gear. You can do the rental program (assuming one is offered at your local velo) until you get a really good idea of fit and comfort. Talk to other seasoned vets. And, as you have done so well, think about what it all means as far as what you want to accomplish. Great start, great report! Keep us informed!
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by absntr
    You should move this to the actual Track Cycling forum:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=210
    sorry lady, i am just crabby today too. maybe i should have put it over there! sorry to be crabby at you!
    i am better, i ate some breakfast.

  10. #10
    deep fried goodness harlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    I will get good at it and then someday get to go alone on the track and I will put my old flat pedels on and go by myself and try my theory out. This will be after some practice and people have said they wouldn't trust anyone who is not clipped in, so I will go alone. Or maybe not, maybe you all will convince me, no actually what ever you say I will not listen to. My mind is made up on what I believe. I will have to experience it. You could tell me until you are blue in the face that I am wrong and I will not believe you until I have more experience and try it myself.
    I won't waste my time getting blue in the face, but I want to emphasize that another reason track racers use clips or clipless pedals is for safety reasons. When you're going > 25 mph and pedaling at over 100 rpms in a paceline or in a pack of people with no brakes, finesse is the defining line between finishing safely and having a crash. When you're going at that speed, you cannot possibly afford to have your foot come off the pedal. There is no way you can recover the pedal at that speed and you will end up flailing as you try to recover your balance, swerving around, and causing the people around you great peril. This happened the other week at our velodrome (someone came out of their clipless pedal) and the other riders in the paceline were not happy about it, as it could have ended quite badly.

    Good luck with your track endeavour and keep learning!

  11. #11
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    sorry lady, i am just crabby today too. maybe i should have put it over there! sorry to be crabby at you!
    i am better, i ate some breakfast.
    I didn't move it.

  12. #12
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlot
    I won't waste my time getting blue in the face, but I want to emphasize that another reason track racers use clips or clipless pedals is for safety reasons. When you're going > 25 mph and pedaling at over 100 rpms in a paceline or in a pack of people with no brakes, finesse is the defining line between finishing safely and having a crash. When you're going at that speed, you cannot possibly afford to have your foot come off the pedal. There is no way you can recover the pedal at that speed and you will end up flailing as you try to recover your balance, swerving around, and causing the people around you great peril. This happened the other week at our velodrome (someone came out of their clipless pedal) and the other riders in the paceline were not happy about it, as it could have ended quite badly.
    I had started a post about the benefits of clipless, but thought better. There are a myriad of reasons why clipless is better and the analogy you drew about it being cheating is quite naive and ignorant. You're making judgement on something you've never tried. Anyhow, harlot summed it up right.

    Hope you keep learning and do try clips or clipless at some point -- it'll be a world of difference, but then again, you're not going to listen are you?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by absntr
    I had started a post about the benefits of clipless, but thought better. There are a myriad of reasons why clipless is better and the analogy you drew about it being cheating is quite naive and ignorant. You're making judgement on something you've never tried. Anyhow, harlot summed it up right.

    Hope you keep learning and do try clips or clipless at some point -- it'll be a world of difference, but then again, you're not going to listen are you?
    yes i have tried them and so you are making an assumption about me. i find them easy to get into and out of. they are not difficult. i just don't like them at all. i have several pairs of them. different styles, different shoes, different bikes. and i think you are making more of a judgement on me than i am about my feelings on a certain subject. i cannot help how i feel. i don't like them. some people don't like to wear jeans or hats, i don't like using this piece of equipment and wanted to tell everyone here because daily they tell me what they like or don't like.
    and the big sail on them in general has been they make you faster. i can see the ++ and minus's, but it is not enough for me. and i don't think i am naive or ignorent about them, i just don't like them. everyday i read other people's grips, well, this is one of my two biggest grips in life. that means my life aint' bad if this is one of the things erks me most!

  14. #14
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    next week will will talk about how i don't like jersey's either.
    and yes someday i will probably, unfortunatly to my head, i will be using my clip less pedels and shoes, but be looking for my rant about jersey's. the funny thing is i got one for my b-day.

  15. #15
    heliocentrist cicadashell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    ...and the big sail on them in general has been they make you faster....
    angel, i would not try to sell you on toe clips or clipless by saying they "make you faster" - they don't. what they do is help you go the speed you already go, in a way that makes better use of your feet, ankles, legs and muscles, which in turn leads to a higher state of well-being and general enjoyment. at that point, you may become inspired to go faster. :-)

  16. #16
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I'll second the comment that being clipped in is more about safety and ability to control the bike in a group at all speeds than it is about getting more speed.

    I learned to ride the track at Blaine, and have ridden a bunch of others. If you're all by yourself out there, do what you want, but if there are other people on the track, you have very few ways to control your speed, and the pedals are the one with the most control. If something happens in front of you and you need to change speed fast, being clipped in is important. It's also important if you're getting out of the saddle in the corners to go from low speed to high-- you can get the bike at weird angles and you don't want to slip off the pedal.

    On the track it doesn't matter if they're easy to get into and out of-- you can do that at the rail. I recently switched from Looks back to cages and double straps because it's harder to come out of cages and straps (I did a little flip after breaking a look cleat in a flying 200). It takes me a while to get into them when there's not a rail, but I still like them.

    They also don't need to be expensive- if you're not doing serious sprinting, you can just move your road pedals and shoes around. Decent cages and straps are also available pretty cheaply, though cleats are getting hard to find and expensive. Track is probably the least expensive kind of racing when it comes to equipment-- bikes are more of a buyers market and equipment lasts a long time unless you crash it. I race in the 1-2-3 fields in shoes that I got 10 years ago on sale from Nashbar for about $12.

    Do whatever you want about jerseys, but I think the USCF still doesn't allow sleeveless in races.

    (edit because I wanted to comment on some of the stuff at the bottom of your original post):

    I'm glad the people at Blaine are still as nice as when I learned there-- Bob Williams actually talked me out of getting stuff that I didn't need when I bought my first new road bike from him at Flanders. It was a couple year old model-- like you, I didn't have a lot of money. I probably put 70K miles on it, and I still use it as a beater. It definitely proved that it's the motor, not the machine. Bob was the instructor later when I learned to ride the track, and he was great. I think the friendly attitude there was part of what kept it so fun for so long.

    Except for the amount of time it takes, riding the track can be more convenient than you think-- my friend and I used to keep our track bikes at the track and pedal up from the U or Downtown. I had a pretty cheap used bike, but it worked, and I managed to do well on it. I started out racing on the rentals. You can keep an eye out for used stuff and get reliable stuff for pretty low cost-- there are plenty of low cost parts that work fine, and if you can do your own work you save a lot of money. Sheldon Brown's site has lots of decent low cost new stuff, and Third Hand/Loose Screws also has decent stuff cheap.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 07-15-05 at 11:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tahoegramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cicadashell
    angel, i would not try to sell you on toe clips or clipless by saying they "make you faster" - they don't. what they do is help you go the speed you already go, in a way that makes better use of your feet, ankles, legs and muscles, which in turn leads to a higher state of well-being and general enjoyment. at that point, you may become inspired to go faster. :-)
    I beg to differ with you, I do not think that it is as philisophical or psychological as you put it, I think it is about simple physics... if you can pull up on the pedal AND push down on the pedal, then the pedal goes around FASTER as opposed to just pushing down and waiting for the pedal to come around again on its own. This along with good form will definitely make you go faster.

  18. #18
    Senior Member tahoegramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlot
    I won't waste my time getting blue in the face, but I want to emphasize that another reason track racers use clips or clipless pedals is for safety reasons. When you're going > 25 mph and pedaling at over 100 rpms in a paceline or in a pack of people with no brakes, finesse is the defining line between finishing safely and having a crash. When you're going at that speed, you cannot possibly afford to have your foot come off the pedal. There is no way you can recover the pedal at that speed and you will end up flailing as you try to recover your balance, swerving around, and causing the people around you great peril. This happened the other week at our velodrome (someone came out of their clipless pedal) and the other riders in the paceline were not happy about it, as it could have ended quite badly.

    Good luck with your track endeavour and keep learning!
    Well put....

  19. #19
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    Ummm, like BitingDuck stated, toe clips are rock solid and when strapped in, there is no way to pull your foot out if you have it cinched up. Straps and clips are the most solid, safest pedal system for track, road or basement.

    Perhaps I'm missing the point of this conversation, but with clips and straps, you CANNOT pull your foot out. You need to go to the rail, grab on and use your other hand to lossen the straps. That's not true with clipless, it just takes a little foot wiggle.

    Clipless is safe, but you can much more easily pull your foot out. If they are not properly tightened, you can pull your foot out without twisting, and that can be unsafe.

    In fact, that's why they are better for the road, because you can easily pull out of them and you won't fall over on your side at stop lights.

    Many, many fast, experienced riders use toe clips and straps on the track. Watch any sprint event, none of them will have clipless pedals. And in the rare event they do, they will also have straps supplementing the security.

    As for clipless being faster, it's the rider's fitness that determines speed more than equipment. But a given rider on clipless aversus clips and straps will probably not be much different.
    Always turning Left.

  20. #20
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BettyBump
    Perhaps I'm missing the point of this conversation, but with clips and straps, you CANNOT pull your foot out.
    The point was actually that you had to be connected AT ALL. The original poster stated that she didn't like clipless OR toe clips and ran neither on the track. It's not about clipless vs. clips and straps.

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