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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 01-16-07, 04:12 PM   #1
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Cycle computer at the track?

I've noticed that very few track bikes have computers? Are they superflous? Tacky? Too much of a distraction? I think it would be a valuable training tool to see your max speed for different intervals as well as distance.
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Old 01-16-07, 05:11 PM   #2
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We use them for training but computers are prohibited for serious racing. You can get around this by putting, say, an SRM control unit on the seatpost where the rider can't benefit from it.
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Old 01-16-07, 05:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 11.4
We use them for training but computers are prohibited for serious racing. You can get around this by putting, say, an SRM control unit on the seatpost where the rider can't benefit from it.
Why are they prohibited? Because they could potentially cause a dangerous distraction?
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Old 01-16-07, 08:05 PM   #4
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That's as good a reason as any. Since an SRM is allowed on the bike as long as you can't see it, it can't be anything else. Telemetry is allowed so you can have data called out to you during a longer event by someone reading the telemetry data trackside. If you're racing hard on the track, I can assure you that you don't have time to look at the SRM. Perhaps it might help, but you're either in very close quarters at high speed, or the event is over pretty fast. I wouldn't want to be around someone who was fiddling with their cyclocomputer while racing on the track. Remember that many of the key functions that you'd like to have (distance elapsed, speed, etc.) are posted or otherwise available, the more so at a more sophisticated track with good signage.

The current SRM PC-V control head doesn't give you start-up readings at the beginning of a kilo or pursuit, and it doesn't offer sufficiently fine divisions of time to give the data you'd really like. SRM is about to release an upgrade that addresses this problem, but it won't affect use of a computer on the bike while racing.

All this being said, however, I'd rather make the decision myself. I certainly live by one while training on the track.
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Old 06-01-07, 07:35 PM   #5
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Anyone used a Garmin on the track?
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Old 06-01-07, 10:03 PM   #6
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Anyone used a Garmin on the track?
Never seen one used. I can't believe it'd be all that accurate, since distance is measured from GPS readings and you're just going in small circles. The error level has to be pretty high. You want an accurate cyclometer so you can set accurate pace line speeds and so you can measure your performance accurately.
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Old 06-01-07, 11:16 PM   #7
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In my experience, few trackies use computers because you already know how far you're going and you are more interested in elapsed time than speed. That generally means someone on the infield with a stopwatch, as trying to manipulate buttons or remember figures at speed is fraught with pitfalls.

Computers not being legal for racing must be a new thing. In my time there was no rule against it, but few people did it because it's pretty pointless.

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Old 06-02-07, 12:59 AM   #8
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I actually looked through the equipment section of the UCI rulebook tonight and couldn't find anything about it-- I had thought that the thing with the SRM computers was related to protrusions from the handlebars, but that doesn't seem to be it. It could be that they count as an electronic pace device and you can't put them where you can see them in a TT.

In a mass start they're irrelevant and a distraction. You have to cross the line in front of other people at the appropriate times and how fast you're going when that happens doesn't really matter. A friend of mine used to try to convince me to use one "so you can know how fast you have to go to take a lap". I know exactly how fast I have to go to take a lap-- faster than the pack. And I can see them and have a lot of fixed reference points to see if I'm gaining or losing.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by chuck_norris
Anyone used a Garmin on the track?
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/player/2589307

That's from a friend of mine, and it looks like it was during the 2k pursuit.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:38 AM   #10
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If your track uses pacelines for warmup and training and they aren't motorpaced like at ADT, then it's very helpful to have a basic cyclometer on your bike so you can maintain a set speed. Otherwise someone hopped on testosterone gets to the front of the line and suddenly puts several mph on everyone else. It's newbie behavior, but it messes up a paceline nonetheless. At some tracks, people just ride whatever speed the person at the front wants to set, but at others it's common to do, say, 10 km at 20 mph, 10 km at 24 mph, 5 km at 28 mph, and 2 km at 30 mph, or some similar protocol. This lets everyone get a warmup or a workout without burning off newer riders (ever been on enough Saturday spring training rides where three or four riders want to blow the pack apart right from the start and then are burned out ten miles later?).

The other use of a cyclometer in training is to determine your speeds at less than a lap -- e.g., assess your speed after you've jumped down from the rail. If you're doing 31 when you got to the sprinter's lane, you aren't likely to be doing 36 at the finish line, since you've already wasted the opportunity to use gravity in your behalf. For racing, I've never really seen much use for a computer either unless you are collecting power data with a track SRM to see why one did (or didn't) do well on a particular night. The only exception might be in a madison where you want to stay under a certain output level so you don't burn out -- unless two riders are both peaking together at similar levels, you tend to ride better if you can divy the work up and not kill one rider early in the event.
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Old 06-02-07, 01:21 PM   #11
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Many of us use computers at our track probably for the same reason that I do - I like to see the stats on all my rides whether they be mtb, road or track. I check the duration I have ridden, distance, average and maximum speeds. I, like many others at our track, don't race. We just ride recreationally or for "training" if you will. It's nice to see any improvement.

There is a maxium speed that I'm dieing to attain and I'll only know I've achieved it by seeing what's stored on the computer.

Quite often we will decide to ride paceline at a certain speed so everyone will know whether to join in or not.

Don't worry about them being "tacky". Only the gear-snobs would think that way.
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Old 06-02-07, 01:40 PM   #12
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I guess speed is important, but isn't cadence even more important? The whole thing about going fast is building revs. Knowing what you are spinning can also help you fine tune gearing.

Cadence is also a much more accurte measure of speed. On my road bike, the speed will be, for example, 23.7 mph and will stay right there even though my cadence varies 5 or so rpm.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
I guess speed is important, but isn't cadence even more important?
Track is pretty much about racing -- riding in hundreds of small circles isn't quite as interesting as a long road ride on country roads. And in racing, it's all about speed.

Not to put down cadence, but cadence without speed doesn't win anything. In training, we'll be riding 28 mph pacelines in a 78 inch gear at this time of year. When we start with a motor, we'll be doing 34+ mph in a 88 inch gear. Cadence tends to take care of itself, since we're really paying most attention to speed and wattage in training.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:49 PM   #14
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I guess speed is important, but isn't cadence even more important? The whole thing about going fast is building revs. Knowing what you are spinning can also help you fine tune gearing.

Cadence is also a much more accurte measure of speed. On my road bike, the speed will be, for example, 23.7 mph and will stay right there even though my cadence varies 5 or so rpm.
you do realize that on a track bike speed and cadence are easily convertible if you know your gear, right? On a road bike you have 5 rpm variation at 23.7 because you're powertap is inaccurate, you are changing gears or because you are just moving your feet while coasting. None of these can happen on a track except the first one and in that case cadence is worthless anyway.
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Old 06-03-07, 04:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 11.4
If your track uses pacelines for warmup and training and they aren't motorpaced like at ADT, then it's very helpful to have a basic cyclometer on your bike so you can maintain a set speed.
I always end up using the seconds clock near the homestretch pursuit line. The warmups aren't motorpaced (and lately are lap time schedules), and during the intervals I keep track of how I'm doing with the seconds clock as I come around each lap.
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Old 06-06-07, 11:02 AM   #16
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Anyone used a Garmin on the track?

I prefer a tom-tom
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Old 06-06-07, 11:12 AM   #17
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"Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn..."
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Old 06-06-07, 12:45 PM   #18
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"Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn in 100 meters. Left turn..."

I LOL'd
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Old 06-06-07, 02:30 PM   #19
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I LOL'd
He'd be in major trouble on our track - 138metres around.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:08 PM   #20
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Eek. Riding in the fish bowl. You'd think that in the vast snowy wasteland of Canadia they'd be able to fit in a full-sized track!
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Old 06-06-07, 03:16 PM   #21
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Eek. Riding in the fish bowl. You'd think that in the vast snowy wasteland of Canadia they'd be able to fit in a full-sized track!
It could be a lot worse Six.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:26 PM   #22
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Lol!
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Old 06-06-07, 03:29 PM   #23
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You'd think that in the vast snowy wasteland of Canadia they'd be able to fit in a full-sized track!
But the only place they can afford to build them is in abandoned hockey rinks.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:32 PM   #24
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But the only place they can afford to build them is in abandoned hockey rinks.
Your sir, are dead on. Otherwise, the cost is millions.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:47 PM   #25
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But the only place they can afford to build them is in abandoned hockey rinks.
Do they use spiked tires to keep from sliding down the icy banking???
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