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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 01-31-06, 01:25 PM   #1
Toxanadu
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New Bike! tons of questions.

There is velodrome about 10 miles from where i live, so i had to get a track bike. I was at an LBS yaking with the sales girl. She mentioned they have a couple track bikes in storage from the previous shop owner, and now they wanted to be a only MTB shop. Of cource they had Bianchi pista in my size, with a price i could not refuse. $199 for a brand new 2003 bianchi pista. ...i love the bike, fixed gear is ausome!
But no i have tons of questions.

What is NJS? does a bike and parts have to be approved to do local races?
My wheels are clinchers, can i use regular road tires? 700x20 vs 700x23?
Does weight greatly effect a track bike?

thanks in advance,
cant wait till the track opens for spring here.
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Old 01-31-06, 05:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu
What is NJS? does a bike and parts have to be approved to do local races?
That's the standard for all bike parts that Japanese Keirin racers must use. Their governing body mandates it. It means nothing to anyone who doesn't race such races.


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My wheels are clinchers, can i use regular road tires? 700x20 vs 700x23?
You certainly can.


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Does weight greatly effect a track bike?
As you're not climbing hills, weight effect of a track bike (or even your own bodyweight) has less effect than the same weights would have in hilly road races.
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Old 01-31-06, 06:48 PM   #3
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What he said..and what LBS, Where?
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Old 01-31-06, 07:02 PM   #4
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good question zappp...

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Old 01-31-06, 08:15 PM   #5
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Rochester Bike shop, in....Rochester, MI
i got the 49, girlfriends brother got the 53, there is a 59 left. i have been thinking of buying it and ebaying it. but i doubt i would make much.
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Old 01-31-06, 08:54 PM   #6
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$199 is still a great price even for a 2003 model, they are well sought after bikes. Good deal, and welcome to the Pista club.
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Old 01-31-06, 09:35 PM   #7
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If all you plan on doing is just riding it I wouldnt worry about anything on your bike. NJS is really a waste of time in north america since we dont have Keirin racing here. Alot of high end track stuff (cogs/rings/bars) are NJS anyways but its not nesessary.

The clinchers will be fine, tubies are the best for racing but that being said, alot of people use high end clinchers for the less hassle.

Weight on a track bike isnt as crucial as a road bike, its more how stiff it is so your not wasting energy.

The only thing I would consider changing if you get more into high speed riding or racing is to get a good track bar, and even consider upgrading your drivetrain to a 1/8 width. But its a bike....GO RIDE!
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Old 01-31-06, 09:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CafeRacer
NJS is really a waste of time in north america since we dont have Keirin racing here. Alot of high end track stuff (cogs/rings/bars) are NJS anyways but its not nesessary.
There is keirin racing at a lot of tracks in the US, but no betting. The racing in Japan has betting associated with it, so NJS is a way to even the odds for the racers.

You should check with your local track for their rules, but a lot of the bicycle standards are the same: bar plugs, track nuts, fixed gear, no brakes, helmets, etc. You can read the UCI rules for a better idea of what's required for elite racing.
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Old 02-01-06, 01:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer
If all you plan on doing is just riding it I wouldnt worry about anything on your bike. NJS is really a waste of time in north america since we dont have Keirin racing here. Alot of high end track stuff (cogs/rings/bars) are NJS anyways but its not nesessary.
There's also some lower end stuff that's NJS stamped-- it can be a double check on the quality of something if you're on a budget but don't want junk. When I switched to clips and straps (after a bad experience with a broken look cleat), I picked up some NJS stamped MKS Sylvan track pedals and cages pretty cheap. There has also sometimes been reasonably priced Sugino stuff that's stamped.

But yeah, there's no particular reason to go out of your way to get it, and there's a lot of decent budget stuff available.
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Old 02-01-06, 03:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu
My wheels are clinchers, can i use regular road tires? 700x20 vs 700x23?
Aye, there are some good threads on this board on about clinchers. You can ride clinchers on most tracks and pretty much any road tire will be ok for training.

You may want to switch the stock tires though for ones that have a high threads per inch (TPI) count (makes the tire more supple and ride smoother) and are lightweight. You will notice this difference IMHO. Some folks rave also about the Tufo tubular clinchers which give you a lot of the benefits of tubular tires without having to ditch your clincher wheelset.

Also if you plan to take this down the local velodrome you may want to have a gearing higher than the stock Pista gearing. You may find you're legs have to spin like mad to keep up with whats on there.

Enjoy your new ride. Great bike for the money
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Old 02-01-06, 08:47 AM   #11
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And once you actually go down to the local track, people there will tell you what works well for them there. It's a cool short steep track-- I've never gotten to ride it, but when I'm there at christmas I sometimes go look at it. I've met a couple people who used to be based there and moved, and they seem very friendly and probably helpful for getting new people on. I suspect most people you meet there will want to help get you started with their addiction.
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Old 02-01-06, 11:13 AM   #12
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thanks for all the input. its all much appreciated. I am planning to change the seat, post, and possible a light/aero fork. mostlikly, i will us a tt/tri fork as they dont have much rake. you guys have any links for a good places to get track stuff? (i.e. gears, handlebars)

cant wait to ride, it was 50 here last sat (mich), so i got to ride it once. Wow, what a work out, i think stoping was where the muscles where burning. -not to mention the hills around here.

what kind of races would a local track have? how many laps?, times? i am asuming, when i take the 101 class at the local drome, they will teach me how to line up and things, correct?
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Old 02-01-06, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu
Rochester Bike shop, in....Rochester, MI
i got the 49, girlfriends brother got the 53, there is a 59 left. i have been thinking of buying it and ebaying it. but i doubt i would make much.

If u r lucky u can sell it like for 400 bucks, maybe 500 bucks totally equiped and brand new.

UM
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Old 02-01-06, 01:34 PM   #14
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I would spend my money on a front brake first..then worry aobut any upgrades...
The fork is fine...it just is not pretty. Swapping forks on track bikes often is more hassle then it is worth. There are less available so typically are more expensive, their is no standard(even less than road forks..)threaded/threadless, 1"1 1/8', rakes from 25-45.
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Old 02-01-06, 06:33 PM   #15
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unless you have some skills, don't change the gearing so soon... take the bike out there, dial it in and get used to spinning... then, once you work up some leg power, change the gears. ..

As a beginner, you won't really need such a high gear.

=)
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Old 02-01-06, 06:53 PM   #16
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yeah, the gearing of 48-16 is a typical "warmup gear" Most of the racers on the track are spinning that for most, if not all of their workout nowadays. That is on an outdoor track, indoor trackies often use that gear as a racing gear..

As I mentioned before ride it hard a few different ways, city, track screwing around, track racing..and figure out what you are going to do with it, and if you even need to upgrade anything before you start throwing money at it..

Even with the coolest fork, seat, seatpost..it will still be an entry level frame...Nothing wrong with that...but there is nothing wrong with the stock seatpost and fork either(seats are personal so I will not make a judgement on that...)
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Old 02-02-06, 02:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu
you guys have any links for a good places to get track stuff? (i.e. gears, handlebars)
http://www.businesscycles.com - is an excellent online seller of track stuff.

There is also this huge list of local bike shops and online sellers from the FG/SS forum:
LBS and OBS for Fixed/Track/Single Speed

I too would suggest leaving the fork alone. Its fine for both street and track. My girlfriend commutes on a stock 2003 pista and loves it.

Your local 101 sessions should cover basic rules of the track, how to draft, how to pull, different styles of racing, bumping drills, how to sprint etc. You'll get the basics in no time
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Old 02-02-06, 07:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordfasterr
unless you have some skills, don't change the gearing so soon... take the bike out there, dial it in and get used to spinning... then, once you work up some leg power, change the gears. ..

As a beginner, you won't really need such a high gear.

=)
We learned well my apprentice!

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Old 02-02-06, 07:40 AM   #19
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Oh about the brake? well if the fork has the drill on it... go ahead and get something cheap or an used shimano 105... those work fine... the next option is use 2 pieces of aluminum or wood, and a rear brake and use the bolt to press them against the seat stays... well, if u dont have any rear brake drill but i think the one u got it has drills in it...

UM
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Old 02-02-06, 10:01 AM   #20
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Like everybody else, I would leave the fork as it is--Bianchi generally does a fine job with the geometry. Same with the seatpost- that's one place you'll probably never notice any difference. One of the kind of funny things is you can tell when people got into track riding by their bike (until they go high end, and even then, similar rules apply)-- generally only a few manufacturers are making track bikes at any given time, and most don't do it for long. Bianchi has pretty much always had a Pista available, though they've split into high and low end versions. The low end is fine for getting started and moving up a bit.

If you're going to mostly ride it on the track, I wouldn't bother with a brake-- they might make you remove it anyway to ride on the track.

Your gearing is fine for starting out, but you'll want to pick up some more stuff. In addition to the places listed above, Ebay is a pretty good place to get parts, and Harris Cyclery often has good prices on stuff (http://harriscyclery.com). Before you start collecting chainrings, make sure you know what the bolt circle is on your cranks. The standard for track stuff is 144 mm, but the low end bikes are often different. The universal reference point for race gears is 49x15, and then people move up or down from there (lots of people race in 49x15, a few in smaller gears, quite a few in bigger, depending on the race, the track, and who's there). It's approximately 2 gear-inches per tooth of difference in front, and 6 gear-inches per tooth in back.

Your local track 101 class will explain a lot, and if you go watch/participate in the weekly racing you'll learn more. There are tons of weird races on the track, and different tracks often have little variations on them. Rochester Hills is big into the Madison (tag-team points race), which is a blast, but not for the faint of heart. They have plenty of other things for newer and saner people.
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Old 02-02-06, 10:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappCatt
yeah, the gearing of 48-16 is a typical "warmup gear" Most of the racers on the track are spinning that for most, if not all of their workout nowadays. That is on an outdoor track, indoor trackies often use that gear as a racing gear..
That outdoor track is 200 m with 44 degree banking-- it's like ADT, only more so. The gearing goes more short/steep vs. long/shallow, rather than indoor/outdoor. I'll drop a couple inches if it's outdoors and windy though.

Here's a nice article that Google found me about it:
http://www.freewheel.com/mvw/halfway-up.htm
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Old 02-02-06, 10:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitingduck

Your gearing is fine for starting out, but you'll want to pick up some more stuff. In addition to the places listed above, Ebay is a pretty good place to get parts, and Harris Cyclery often has good prices on stuff (http://harriscyclery.com). Before you start collecting chainrings, make sure you know what the bolt circle is on your cranks. The standard for track stuff is 144 mm, but the low end bikes are often different. The universal reference point for race gears is 49x15, and then people move up or down from there (lots of people race in 49x15, a few in smaller gears, quite a few in bigger, depending on the race, the track, and who's there). It's approximately 2 gear-inches per tooth of difference in front, and 6 gear-inches per tooth in back.

Your local track 101 class will explain a lot, and if you go watch/participate in the weekly racing you'll learn more. There are tons of weird races on the track, and different tracks often have little variations on them. Rochester Hills is big into the Madison (tag-team points race), which is a blast, but not for the faint of heart. They have plenty of other things for newer and saner people.

His cranks are 130BCD. Not sure he can find many track chainrings. The fork is functional but unicrown is quite the eyesore. Not sure if that matters to most. On the stock bianchi one thing i switch out from street to velodrome is the bars. You can actually feel the deda pista drops bend when you sprint.
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Old 02-02-06, 10:46 AM   #23
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I used to pick up chainrings at third hand/loose screws when I had weird crank bolt circles. They don't have as much as they used to, but it's worth a check.
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Old 02-02-06, 11:11 AM   #24
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Thanks all for the info! ya, ill leave the bike alone. Ill save the upgrading for when iv done some riding, so i know what i need.

BD thanks for the link, awesome read!

iv taken the bike out a couple times, i do have a front brake laying around here, so i think ill get some levers and slap them on. Ill just have to make sure i take it off for the track.
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Old 02-03-06, 03:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu
i think ill get some levers and slap them on. Ill just have to make sure i take it off for the track.
You may want to look at hinged BMX/Cyclocross levers that fit on your bars near your stem. Much easier to deal with than taking road bike style levers on and off.

For 130 BCD cranks, both Spécialités TA and Stronglight make high quality track chainrings in this BCD.

Last edited by fixedpip; 02-03-06 at 03:41 AM.
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