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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 07-18-05, 08:23 PM   #1
kevinmcdade
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Newbie track advice...

I am going to be doing my first session on the track this weekend. I own my own track bike (Bianchi Pista) that I currently use on the road as a single speed or a fixie. I have a front brake installed on the bike. Will I have to remove this brake before doing my track class? If so would it be easiest to just buy a second handlebar and swap them out when I am going to be riding on the track? I also thought about just keeping my Pista for street riding and buying a dedicated track bike with better frame and components.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I am so pumped about riding on the track.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:42 PM   #2
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Yeah no brakes allowed on the track. Are you currently using a brake that is wrapped under your handlebar tape? Just get a flat bar brake lever this way you can remove whenever you want. Something like a BMX type.

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Originally Posted by kevinmcdade
I also thought about just keeping my Pista for street riding and buying a dedicated track bike with better frame and components.
This sounds like a good idea. That's what I'm doing got another bike on the way.

Last edited by vindicator; 07-18-05 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindicator
Yeah no brakes allowed on the track. Are you currently using a brake that is wrapped under your handlebar tape? Just get a flat bar brake lever this way you can remove whenever you want. Something like a BMX type.


This sounds like a good idea. That's what I'm doing got another bike on the way.
Yes, my brake is wrapped under my handlebar tape. The flat bar brake lever sounds like a great idea.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:22 PM   #4
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hey Kev-
welcome aboard! I would say remove the brake or see if you can get a loaner - make sure you like what you do on the velo first. THEN buy a new bike!
Make you you get a feel for how the frame carries you in the banks and flats. Sometimes bikes aren't the same on the street and on the velo. Just something to consider. Also talk to some of the people in your session. There's a lot to learn, and sharing helps for sure. I learned 2 weeks ago that putting my hand forward into the drops a few more centimeters really helps. Who knew? The woman next to me...
Have fun! Learn much! Let us know how it shakes out for you
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Old 07-19-05, 05:33 AM   #5
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Kevin

If you are riding in a group, don't ride underneath or to the inside of the wheel in front. If the rider or riders in front of you slow down, you will run straight into their back wheel! If you ride slightly to the outside of the wheel in front of you will have an escape route.

Good luck and have fun
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Old 07-20-05, 10:50 PM   #6
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Kevin

If you are riding in a group, don't ride underneath or to the inside of the wheel in front. If the rider or riders in front of you slow down, you will run straight into their back wheel! If you ride slightly to the outside of the wheel in front of you will have an escape route.

Good luck and have fun

I learnt this the hard way in my first madison as a 16 year old!
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Old 07-21-05, 12:08 PM   #7
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I have two sets of bars for this reason and I swap out my to my brakeless 3T track bars for the drome. The more bikes the better (if you can afford it) but I would agree with 165 that you should really give the velodrome at least two or three visits before you buy a bike that's dedicated for track racing. You might not like it... it's... "different". If you're anything like me, it will probably be a very humbling experience for you. Then again, if you were going to get a new bike anyway, go for it.
I'm relatively new to the track too. Three suggestions from me to you as a fellow newbie:
1) Try to get a feel for what an appropriate gearing would be for you in your first few races. I started with 48 x 16 and found myself spinning out way to easily. Now I'm at 48 x 15 which while it may not seem like much of a change is a GIANT improvement. You're gut response (like mine) will probably be to gear up even higher ( 48x14, 50x15 etc.) because you want to keep up and do well. I wouldn't do this quite yet. Not until you get used to the movement of the track and the other riders. I still don't feel comfortable enough to go higher than 48x15 because what you gain in power you lose in control (i.e. if you suddenly have to slow down or decelrate a little it will be much harder and you might crash because of it).
2) Get used to riding in a pace line. Most people are very timid at first, but after a few laps start figuring out how to keep their line and get closer to the wheel they're sucking. You might have experience with this from road racing. IF you don't, get some. I wouldn't want to ride with you on the track if you have zero paceline experience. I'm pretty sure most others wouldn't want to either.
3) Don't be afraid to ask anyone and everyone questions if you're not sure about something. Most people are really friendly about it and would rather have you ask about something than have you screw them up during a race or practice even, for whatever reason. Trackies, in my experience, are much friendlier than roadies. More of a comraderie. Less attitude. The older guys have LOADs of knowledge to share. Ask them for it.

Hope that helps. I still have lots to learn too and I look forward to it! Good luck.

Cheers,
J
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Old 07-21-05, 03:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the great advice. I will hold off on spending a ton of money until I get the hang of the track thing. I will buy a second set of handlebars that I will only use at the track and use my other bars when I want to ride on the road as a single speed or a fixed.

I don't have much experience with riding in a paceline. I am going to start doing more Saturday and Sunday group rides to get more familiar with this type of riding and where small mistakes aren't so critical.

I am going to use the rest of this season to learn as much as I can but I will not even attempt to race until next year.

Thanks again for all of the great advice!!!
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Old 07-21-05, 03:30 PM   #9
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If they have coaching or development training...GO!!

It costs $7 at Northbrook and you will learn a lot.

jeff
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Old 07-21-05, 03:32 PM   #10
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Kevin -

I hope the posts didn't dissuade you from racing. I think you should definitely race this season, but only if you feel comfortable doing it. It seems like a very scarey big deal before you actually do it. Once you get over the "first time", you'll realize it's not as scarey as you thought, and no longer have all the nervousness about it. I would strongly recommend and hope that you give racing a try as soon as you can. Maybe you meant not being competetive in the race. If so, that's all good and up to you. It's good to just get experience. Does your track have a beginner's clinic? Go to one or two of those and you'll be good to go.

Hope it all works out. Have fun this weekend.

J
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