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  1. #1
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    Tires for wooden velodrome

    Guys/Gals

    Just wanted some feedback on what tires (clinchers) you folks would use on a wooden velodrome. I just started riding at the ADT center in Carson, CA. and want to do it the right way.......So fire away- what do you suggest??????


    Thanks,
    Mack

  2. #2
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    The issue at ADT is not that it's wood, but that it's so steep. You need a tire that grips on the bankings or you'll slide, and then you'll be ousted for the day. A couple slides, and people won't want to ride with you.

    Conti Sprinters do pretty well on that track if you don't want to spend too much. For more money, Conti Sonderclasses are great. Vittoria Evo Pista CS's are OK but some people have had slipping problems; the CL's (with the smooth tread) seem to give some people more trouble than the file-tread CS's. Dugast cotton file-tread tires are great, albeit at a high price. I've ridden some Soyo A40's which aren't made any longer but do very nicely. I'd stay away from tires with colored treads by and large (Conti Olympics are the notable exception, and of course Dugast pinks if you are so inclined), from tires with narrower treads, and tires with very hard or smooth treads (some of the Tufo's come to mind).

    Once you have a tire that sticks, the wood is relatively resilient (compared to cotton) so the traditional wooden-track ride is a high quality cotton tubular. (You were talking tubulars, weren't you? If not, this is a very different discussion.) Not a hard and fast rule, but there's certainly no need to spend on silks.

    Then you need to consider your rims. If you are blessed with an Io front wheel, it has a very narrow tire bed. It frankly doesn't take a tire wider than 19 mm without the tire really hanging off the sides. A hard twist while diving down the banking and you can rip the tire off. So I'd look at a 19 mm tire for that wheel. Similarly, in lower price wheels, the Cane Creek Volos has fairly narrow tire beds. Wheels built up with Araya 16B Gold keirin rims, on the other hand, are relatively wide and are better suited to a 22 mm diameter tire.

    This is mostly just common sense. Don't get on a tire that lets you slip down the track and from then on just experiment with how you ride and how well you stick on the bankings. Different riders fare differently, and it isn't just a matter of weight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    He's looking for clinchers, not high end sewups.

    Go check out the rental Felts and see what's on them. I've looked recently, but don't remember what they are. The Felt website shows they they ship with Vittoria Rubino Pros, but I'm not sure if that's what's on them. If I remember I'll look next week (track is closed from 4/12-4/19).

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    Sorry, I didn't read your post carefully enough.

    Some of the nicest clinchers I've seen at ADT are the Veloflex Record and Pave. The Record is a significantly lighter version of the Pave. Both stick really well and have good lifetime on the track. And they have a nice supple feel as well and are quite round. I prefer the Record at 120 psi to the Pave, which is slightly larger and would need a bit more pressure not to feel a bit too flexible. Both tires fit nearly all rims well without being excessively loose, but as a general matter you might put a second base tape (one of the very narrow Velox tapes works well) on your rims. This small bit of thickness significantly increases the resistance of a blown or punctured tire to coming off the rim. That being said, the only times I've ever seen clinchers blow at that track have been when someone rode them over to the track and probably picked up a cut prior to arriving at the track.

    A clincher will last practically forever if all you're doing is racing on the track with it. Turn it around once it shows a flat on one side and you'll be on virgin tread again. If you want a less expensive tire, I'd stick with tires with as round a profile as possible -- those with an oval cross section tend to be a tad squirrelly on the track (I've had this experience with Vredesteins in particular). The Vittoria Rubino's and Diamante's are ultra-high mileage tires and don't seem quite as sticky as the Veloflexes. I've had mixed experiences with Conti's (they seem to start pretty sticky but get a bit more slippery after a while, plus they're a relatively harsher ride). If you're new to the track, you could also try the Michelin Pro-2 Grip. It's a very tacky rubber that will be a good baseline for testing low speeds and maneuverability on the track. Still, the Veloflexes are the same price and overall nicer tires. If you shop around, they are priced on sale in many places. Check www.worldclasscycles.com or some of the online tire folks.

  5. #5
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    It was mentioned that you are not supposed to slide down the track. Here is a picture of the sign I too the other day. As mentioned earlier ADT will be shut down for a week.

  7. #7
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    I would think that they would have a suggested list of tires with such a fragile track. It is great that we have this forum to draw on knowledgeable riders, but it would suck to be a beginner and show up with that sign in their face..

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    Ask Roger Young at ADT!

    S/F,
    CEYA!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZappCatt
    I would think that they would have a suggested list of tires with such a fragile track. It is great that we have this forum to draw on knowledgeable riders, but it would suck to be a beginner and show up with that sign in their face..
    The track isn't that fragile, it's for the safety of other riders on the track. I think it's actually less intimidating when you're there--the place is huge, the sign isn't all that big. It certainly doesn't dominate your ride. It seems like a pretty friendly place for new riders-- people, including Roger, are helpful and try to get new people to share in the addiction. I'm down there enough that I get to overhear the reasoning behind it fairly often while it's being explained to the class as I'm getting ready to ride.

    Rather than have a bunch of rules (you must have 165 mm cranks, you must ride these tires, you can't do this, you must go this fast, gears must be in this range, etc), you're responsible for your own equipment, and you have to ride within your equipment and abilities. Other riders also need to have confidence that you're not going to slide off the track (into them), and part of that, especially for riders you don't know, is that if you slide off your day is done, so you want to not slide off. Everyone who isn't a Cat 2 or above on the track gets the spiel as part of their intro to the track, and if you're a totally new rider you get a lot of instruction and help to be able to ride comfortably there.

    I think I've seen more experienced riders from other tracks slide off than noobs--people who are new tend to ride faster because they're afraid to slide off. People with more experience are more likely to ride the way they ride elsewhere, which may or may not work at ADT. For example, Blaine is a very similar geometry, but it's a different wood. The afzalia has a coarser grain than the siberian pine, and either it's a little grippier or you get a little more feedback from slipping a grain or two and can correct, but at Nats last year some of the guys from Minnesota were complaining about slippery spots. I've banged a 165 crank on the banking in the corner at Blaine without sliding, but I don't think I could do it at ADT (haven't really tried).

  10. #10
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    I love my Conti Supersonics that I've used 3x per week for a year on our 50 degree plywood banked The Forest City Velodrome . I just turned them around as they were getting flats worn on them from the banking angle. The rear one especially showed two distinct angled radial bands about 3mm wide!

    There are many types of tires ridden at our Vel and I don't know of a bad one. Even the stock tires on the KHS 100 rentals are doing fine.

    Here is a tip for you that we have found the hard way - before riding the tires sand them off to remove the shine and that white mold release stuff if it's still on the tire. We have had a few people slide off when they ride the first banking on new tires! It's now info given to all Newbs. We provide a sanding block in the track centre.

    What's the reason for throwing someone off the track if they slide down? Some form of punishment? Why wouldn't the session leader analyze the cause and cure it?

  11. #11
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    What's the reason for throwing someone off the track if they slide down? Some form of punishment? Why wouldn't the session leader analyze the cause and cure it?
    See the middle paragraph in the post just above yours. It's basically a relatively mild disincentive to sliding down the track so that everyone can feel safer.

    Usually people slide down because they were riding too slow (the exits of the corners are popular places to slide). Tires with colored tread seem to slide, too, but all the people I know who have slid on colored tires haven't crashed, just gone sideways in the straights, held it up, and then gotten off the track and gotten a different wheel.

  12. #12
    ya'll can't mush me vomitron's Avatar
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    I've heard rocking wider tires also helps (>=23c). Would anyone here recommend even 25c? Too much rolling resistance? I don't even know if a 25c tub exists.

    On a somewhat related note, my 170mm cranks aren't a problem on the shallow-banked Encino velodrome, but I'm thinking about switching to ADT. Should I definitely get 165's? I need to find these mavic cranks in 165mm!

  13. #13
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    As long as you keep pedaling, you should be able to get away with 170's.

  14. #14
    ya'll can't mush me vomitron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZappCatt
    As long as you keep pedaling, you should be able to get away with 170's.
    We're talking about the same sport, right? Track racing? I didn't know there was an option not to!

  15. #15
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    You youngin's....there is this cool little trick that all the hip cats like to do when they are riding their track bikes on the street....it is called a trackstand!!!

    Believe it or not, it actually STARTED on the TRACK...during TRACK RACES!!!!
    It is when you STOP pedaling....and your bike stops moving... ;-)


    Yes, I am kidding...
    I meant as long as you are racing/warming up qui and leaning a little, you should not have trouble with pedal strike..if you were to just tool around going slow in the steeper parts you might be in more danger

  16. #16
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    I ride 172.5 cranks and have had pedal strike at low speed while entering the track from the apron in the corner. I was following a motorcycle and we had just started out and that was why we were going that slow. I do have shorter cranks but when I use the 172.5 they don't strike when the speed is up. When I first started riding at ADT I always remembered rule #1 and always made sure I was going fast enough. The people that I have seen slide were just going too slow. On my USA Cycling license it lists EX (expert) and my age shows that I old but for sure I am not an old expert.

    Today ADT was closed and I usually ride on Thursday afternoon so I rode my rode bike for a couple of hours. Can somebody tell me what that big yellow thing in the sky is?

  17. #17
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I think quite a few people ride 170s at ADT, and as long as you aren't doing match sprints it's probably not a problem. Mass start races rarely go slow enough for you to hit a crank in the corner.

    I still ride 165's for a few reasons: It was the (unenforced) rule at Blaine. They've worked fine for me so far, and I can be pretty confident that I'm not going to hit a pedal if a race slows down or I feel like riding slow. Way back, before I was old enough to race masters, they had Masters World Cup at Blaine and I was helping out. A lot of people came from out of town with long cranks- more than a few managed to crash themselves riding too slow and hitting a pedal. Sometimes I think about trying 170s for the extra leverage, but I don't think that's really been a limiting factor in my racing.

  18. #18
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    "Thanks for all who replied"

    I appreciate all the responses.........When I took my first ride on that 45 degree bank, that was something for me. I will do some homework on the tires you folks suggested and when I go back for my next session I will look at the rental bikes and also inquire with Roger about a good set. Just want to say I'm "HOOKED" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... ..... I am looking into a new bike already.........Pista Concept 06 vs Felt TK2, Let the battle begin...........whatcha think?

    Thanks,
    Mack

  19. #19
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    If you don't mind used, I would wait and watch Craigslist, eBay and FixedGearFever.com to look into gettting a used bike from someone who is upgrading their bike(to carbon/custom, etc).

    Luckily I could not make up my mind on an entry level one and stumbled on a deal for a Fuji Track Pro for $650 NOS.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixiemack
    .........Pista Concept 06 vs Felt TK2, Let the battle begin
    Both nice bikes. What size do you need? I know someone selling a used Pista Concept.

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    Can anyone recommend the Vredestein Fortezz Piste clinchers (700x23) that World Class Cycles sells?

    On a related note, I actually just picked up a 2005 Pista Concept (at a deeply discounted price) with 167.5 mm cranks, which I plan to ride at the velodrome up in Blaine. It looks pretty fast sitting in my living room

    Do I really need track-specific tires, or could I just run with the stock Vittoria Ultra Speeds (700x20) that came with the bike?

  22. #22
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    I need a size 59cm

    Thanks,
    Mack

  23. #23
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    I need a 59 cm

    Thanks,
    Mack

    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck
    Both nice bikes. What size do you need? I know someone selling a used Pista Concept.

  24. #24
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    Is he just selling the frame only or the complete bike.......How much?

    Mack

    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck
    Both nice bikes. What size do you need? I know someone selling a used Pista Concept.

  25. #25
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    I was given a pair of the Vredestein Piste's by my sponsor just to see how they rode. I only did three training rides with them. They absorb rough surfaces pretty well, and are reasonably alive at 120-130 psi (I liked the suppleness at 120 but needed 130 to keep them from fluttering too much on a kilo start). I couldn't get them to be as solid a ride as a decent tubular -- they just wanted to wobble side to side in a start, although this is a problem I usually run into with clinchers, no matter how much I pump them up. The ride of these tires is quite pressure sensitive, so I'd really experiment with pressures a bit, depending on your weight and style, and your track.

    They didn't show any wear after about 70 miles of concrete tax use. These tires do come with quite a bit of mold release compound (a white wax that helps them come out of the mold without tearing, but that makes them quite slippery). Even a foam sanding block didn't really clean it off well enough, so I ended up just riding the wheels on a glass-free asphalt trail for about 12 miles, which did the trick.

    I was fitting them on some DT clincher rims which they fit pretty well. On a pair of Ellipses, my madison partner found they were pretty loose. We put a second rim tape on each rim and it tightened them up nicely so they wouldn't just flop off when deflated.

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