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  1. #1
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    Using Road Frame on Track

    I have an opportunity to start riding track this fall and am wondering whether I can get started by using my Specialized Allez frame. I understand the dropouts are different, but my question is whether this is possible? I would plan on purchasing track wheels and crank. Any thoughts or your experiences are appreciated. Once I am able to find out whether this could be a long-term proposition, I will look into setting up using a real track frame. BTW, I have been looking at the Giant and Bianchi Pista Concept as good starter frames. Thoughts?

    Thanks, Peter

  2. #2
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    Some tracks won't allow it since the bb is low. But most do have rentals you can get started on. Email someone at the track to find out and see when they offer intro classes.

    If you are going to convert a road bike don't worry about track cranks a shorter bb and road cranks will be cheaper and easier. Inless it's a really old allex with horizontal dropouts it's probably not worth the trouble.

  3. #3
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    If the banking of the track is really steep it may not be a good idea since your bottom bracket is lower and you will risk having pedal strike.

    Also if your road frame has vertical dropouts it will make it difficult to get the chain tension correct which could result in dropped chains.

    The fixed-gear/single-speed forum can give you more information on converting a road bike to a fixed-gear, just search for "conversions."

  4. #4
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    Thanks! Will check into a real frame. Bianchi Pista Concept looks very reasonable.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Senior Member I saw Elvis's Avatar
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    I'd say do worry about the crank length. My road cranks are 172.5 and 165 on the track 7.5 is a lot and on a steep track will pretty much ensure that you hit the deck. Track cranks are shorter for a reason
    Contact the track you'll be riding on they may have bike you can hire out to see if you like the track.

    Get yourself a cheap track bike - you won't regret it.
    I grew up as a kid idolising those hero's in the Tour de France, Indurain and everyone like that. It was almost a childhood dream to ride the Tour de France. The last 2 years my childhood dream which became a reality has been pissed all over by certain members of the peloton. - Bradley Wiggins 27th July 2007.

    My Blog. http://onthebanking.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    I agree to just rent at first, but if you want a track bike, bikesdirect.com has a windsor and a mercier for $300/350 which are track rideable right out of the box.

    By the time you convert your bike, you will probably have spent over $300 and have a bike that is not really track worthy.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  7. #7
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    I say, why it wont work? as long u r pedaling contantly u wont have a single problem. I have seen in london canada a few guys riding road frames in their track, and that track has a 55 degrees bank. I have seen people even running evnets in their road frames because they cant affor a real track frame.

    So I dont see why u cant. Just be sure to kick some asses hehehe...

  8. #8
    oldsprinter oldsprinter's Avatar
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    No one seems to have mentioned that you can't simply buy track wheels and use them with a road frame. The widths are different. You would need to buy road-width track hubs (Phil Wood does them).
    Last edited by oldsprinter; 08-25-07 at 07:28 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
    I say, why it wont work? as long u r pedaling contantly u wont have a single problem. I have seen in london canada a few guys riding road frames in their track, and that track has a 55 degrees bank. I have seen people even running evnets in their road frames because they cant affor a real track frame.

    So I dont see why u cant. Just be sure to kick some asses hehehe...
    Depending on the surface and your tires how slow you can go without clipping and how slow you can go without slipping varies.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsprinter
    No one seems to have mentioned that you can't simply buy track wheels and use them with a road frame. The widths are different. You would need to buy road-width track hubs (Phil Wood does them).
    Most frames with horizontal dropouts are steel. You can just compress them down 6mms. Otherwise the majority of formula wheelsets available for cheap have long enough axles to add a few washers and space out to 126 or 130.

  10. #10
    oldsprinter oldsprinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Most frames with horizontal dropouts are steel. You can just compress them down 6mms. Otherwise the majority of formula wheelsets available for cheap have long enough axles to add a few washers and space out to 126 or 130.
    But the OP said he's going to use a Specialized Allez - which, unless it's really old, has alumnium dropouts. I'd be worried about compressing them, and the stays, which would be aluminium, too.

    The spacer idea is a good one. Although, on my old Dura-Ace hubs I ran out of thread for the bolt and could only widen them to about 125 or 126mm. It helped though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsprinter View Post
    But the OP said he's going to use a Specialized Allez - which, unless it's really old, has alumnium dropouts. I'd be worried about compressing them, and the stays, which would be aluminium, too.

    The spacer idea is a good one. Although, on my old Dura-Ace hubs I ran out of thread for the bolt and could only widen them to about 125 or 126mm. It helped though.
    indeed but if he doesn't have an old allez it's probably not worth bothering with the conversion in the first place as I already said. Likewise getting DA hubs when you are trying to spend as little as possible to see if the track is right for you seems a little counter productive. Which of course doesn't matter since if he has an AL allez he would have to get the eno eccentric hub anyway to make the conversion feasible.

  12. #12
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    The first bike I raced on the track was a Motobecane Grand Record converted to fixed gear. I borrowed some wheels, used a 3/16 fixed sproket in the back and the 52 tooth chainring on my Stronglight crank. It was crude but got me started in track racing. Used it for a full season at the Northbrook,IL velodrome.

    During the mid 1970's Northbrook hosted the National Championships several years in a row. I broke into track racing at that time. The weeks leading up to the championships I raced in Junior races that had 60-70 riders. 1500 spectators was the norm. It was quite the scene. And one hell of a way to break into track cycling. You learn real quick how to handle a bike in tight quarters, especially during a "miss and out". We would fan out 10 abreast at the finish line trying to squeeze into impossibly tight gaps.

    The only problem with a road bike under track racing conditions is the added torque on the bike from resisting on the pedals. My Grand Record made all kinds of funky poping and grinding noises. The chainring, soft french Stronglight acquired many gouges and nicks from the chain stress.

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