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  1. #1
    Because it's good
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    How about some advice on my new (really old) track bike?

    Well I just bought my first track bike, it's probably a late 70's or an early 80's version. It's a Sekai Professional 4000 with chrome lugs and nice blue paint. I paid $100 to take it out of a doctors garage.

    First question: The hubs are Zeus, from Spain (never heard of them before). Are they worth keeping as a beginner wheelset? They are laced 36 to Mavic rims. They are tubular, and I'm sure they are loose ball and cup. Any reason to not ride this wheelset the first year? The rear tire is an old Clement that looks in good shape, but seems a bit brittle or hard, as I'm sure it is. I need a new front tire at a minimum, if not both (see below).

    2nd...Gearing: The crankset is a Sugino Mighty Competition with a 50T chainring. The cog is a 15. This looks pretty big from what I'm reading. What is a good starter set of rings/ cogs? Like a 48, 49 and 50 with 14, 15, 16 cogs? I'm a 44 year old, new to the track, but raced cyclocross, road, expert mtb cross country, etc. and riding now for 26 years solid. I put in a moderate amount of miles, so far 2100 this year if that helps at all.

    3rd: Tires? I want good tubulars, not cheap, but not top-o-the-line either. Any good suggestions? i ride TUFO tubular cross tires and think they are pretty good, but the selection of tubular track/ road tires is vast, and I'm lost. I could see paying in the $75-$100 range per tire. BTW, I will be riding only on the track at Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, WA. Outside track, 400 meters long, concrete, shallow banking (I think like 28 degrees?)

    Crank length: I'm sure this has been beat to death in these forums, but just have to ask...165cm (which I have) seems old school according to what I'm reading. I run 175 on my cross/ road bike. Should I switch the crank out to a 170? 172.5? That old Sugino crank is so darn pretty I hate to not use it, but I want to develope a good spin, and I believe I need to get the cranks a bit closer in length. Thoughts?

    Sorry this is long. I just have been scouring around the internet trying to get all this figured out. Thanks for your help.

    Yoyosh

  2. #2
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new addiction!

    I don't know anything about Zeus, but if the wheels seem solid and true, I'd ride them. I'd put new tires on them-- I wouldn't trust the age or the glue job.

    50x15 isn't a bad race gear, but you might want to add a 48 and a 49, and maybe something a bit smaller for spin training (or add the 16 cog)

    Check with locals about tires. I haven't ridden there, but it sounds like you could be fine on just about anything. Some tires are slipperier on some wood tracks, but if you're only racing Marymoor, talk to other people who ride there.

    I still ride 165 cranks, but my primary track is 45 degree wood, and I ride the whole track, and often need to go slow up high. People do occasionally call me old school. You could probably ride longer cranks, but despite a lot of argument, there doesn't seem to be much documented performance difference with crank length. On a pursuit bike you can use just about any length, as long as you're really careful in warmups. Sprinters (all the way to the top) still use 165. I'd keep the existing cranks at least for the first year-- any performance improvement is likely to be miniscule compared to the improvements just from racing a lot.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  3. #3
    dead mileage techone's Avatar
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    Sounds like a nice solid bike. Congrats on the steal!

    Zeus hubs are one of the higher quality of the old Campy knock-offs so they should be ok as long as the wheels are built well. Are the spokes in good condition?
    50x15 is perfectly ok for a 400m track, my local is 450m and I use 49x15 and sometimes a 14 in the back.

    For all around riding, 165 is good. I wouldn't go higher than 170 but if your track really is that shallow of banking, you could possibly get away with 172.5. I find it all a matter of personal preference, really.
    You'll soon figure out what will work for you and your track.

    Thats a really good suggestion about checking with locals on tires. I would bet you probably couldn't go wrong with Conti sprinters though.

    I would just repack the BB and the hubs with fresh grease and replace the tires with what the locals use and get to riding!
    un por ciento...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. I like the comment about just racing a lot, and not worrying too much about equipment. Now i just need to figure out what the differnet races are and what i might be best at. That could take awhile to figure out as well!

  5. #5
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    If your really new to track bikes you may consider running an even lighter gear than sudgested. For instance most bikes come with a 48 / 16 a 81" gear. Its a great beginer gear aswell as a warm up gear. A 90" gear does coast at a good clip but it takes alot of fitness and strengh to spin a 90 at sprint speed. I go even lower for warm ups and training with a 47 / 16 a 79"

    The one problem you may have is some of the older sugino cranks have their own BCD size. Meaning most aftermarket rings are 144 and may not fit. It may be a 151mm. Thats somthing youll have to look into. You may wind up Ebaying chain rings. before you unload some serious cash on rings and cogs remember : If you have a 47, 48, 49 and a 14, 15, 16 you can make all of the usable gear sizes and may not need to shorten or lenthen your chain. And speaking of chains, the cheap Izumi chains in the green box work great.

  6. #6
    Because it's good
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    Another good point. I just assumed that the crank would be a 144bcd. I'll check that out before I buy any rings!

  7. #7
    _______Member Litespeedy's Avatar
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    Hey yoyosh,
    I also race at Marymoor. If you do change your cranks (and they are 151 BCD) I would be interested in buying them. Send me a PM at this site.
    Also, the Zeus stuff is good quality. Contact Charles at Wright Bros Cycles in Freemont for information. he has several restored bikes from that era.
    Maybe I will see you at the Thursday night training sessions at Marymoor. I'm riding a a blue steel frame "no name" bike from the '70's which we re-conditioned at Wright Bros.
    rj

  8. #8
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
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    worthless w/o pics

  9. #9
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    Zeus is a Spanish company that made everything for a bike. They made all componets plus lugs , fork crown Very good company with very good parts.

    The gear ratios you mention are very good choice to use.

    There are tires that are in the $25 - $40 range for racing. I have seen your track when I lived in Washington. World Class Cycles have discounts for multiple tires. http://www.worldclasscycles.com/

    170s should be good for you to ride. Try it out first before committing. some body can lend you a pair.


    Good luck and have fun.

    S.F,
    CEYA!
    Last edited by Ceya; 07-27-06 at 09:32 PM.

  10. #10
    _______Member Litespeedy's Avatar
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    My bike...
    Picture 001aa.jpg

  11. #11
    Because it's good
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    Well ended up buying the tufo s3 lites from World Class Cycles. holy cow, some of the prices on their website look like mistakes, they are so much lower than even other mail order. I paid $55 each for the tires (tubular). I also went with a Izumi V track chain for $55, which i think is also a very good price.

    I'll keep the cranks and gearing that i have for now and see how it all pans out when i ride it. I'm just waiting for a new seatpost to arrive, then I'll post a picture.

  12. #12
    L-time Cat4 & proud of it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoyosh
    Well ended up buying the tufo s3 lites from World Class Cycles. holy cow, some of the prices on their website look like mistakes, they are so much lower than even other mail order. I paid $55 each for the tires (tubular). I also went with a Izumi V track chain for $55, which i think is also a very good price.

    I'll keep the cranks and gearing that i have for now and see how it all pans out when i ride it. I'm just waiting for a new seatpost to arrive, then I'll post a picture.
    The nice thing about track stuff is that it don't really wear out! You'll have whatever rings/cogs/etc. that you buy now till you decide you're tired of em, not because they're worn out!

    Good luck!

    M
    remember: never, EVER stop pedaling!

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