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Old 11-12-07, 08:41 PM   #1
CrimsonKarter21
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New Track Frame

I'm coming to the conclusion that it won't be a financially good idea to have two fully built, fully spec'd track bikes, so my NJS Erba is going to strictly be a backup frameset, or just for smaller races.

So, with my joining a new team, I'm offered with some good deals, not as good as my deals on Giant's and Raleigh's, but still good. Luckily all three major brand carried by the new bike shop all have track frames. I've already got a top-shelf build kit, so I won't need a full build.

The choices I have to make are between the Specialized Langster S-Works, the Felt TK2, and the BMC Track Machine.
Obviously, it sounds like the BMC would be the clear winner, but the frameset is twice the cost of the Felt. Does anyone think that the BMC is worth the extra cost? It looks like it would be a very wide bike, but it's gotta be stiffer than anything else I can shake a stick at.

The winner will share all track duties, from the sprints to the pursuit.
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Old 11-12-07, 09:59 PM   #2
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i have no experience with anything other than the tk2, which i currently own. it is a stiff bike, but that is only in comparison to my road bike (caad8), so may not be that stiff compared to other track bikes. the aero qualities are certainly good, likely better than the bmc for kilo/pursuit duties. the only knock on mine is the crappy rear dropout, but i think felt fixed this with this years model. bmc's are tight, though. don't think you can go too wrong here with any of the choices.

also, the geometry of the bikes is 73 for the bmc, 74 for the felt and 74/74.25 depending on your frame size for the specialized.
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Old 11-12-07, 10:10 PM   #3
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The Felt is the clear cost/performance winner there. Langster? You're kidding, right? Have you seen the head angles and fork rake on the smaller sizes? Those are ground up street fixers, imo.
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Old 11-13-07, 12:00 AM   #4
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Langster? You're kidding, right? Have you seen the head angles and fork rake on the smaller sizes? Those are ground up street fixers, imo.
Put down the pipe, man. The S-Works doesn't have the same geometry as the regular Langster.

The TK2 is probably the cheapest of the bunch, but still a solid machine. I'd be split between the S-Works or the TK2, depending on the track you'd be spending most of your time at. The BMC doesn't really compare with either one.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:40 AM   #5
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Put down the pipe, man. The S-Works doesn't have the same geometry as the regular Langster.
73 degree head tube with a 43mm rake - slacker than a Fuji Pro, standard Tiemeyer, Bianchi Pista Concept, Van Dessel, Raleigh Rush Hour Pro and most any other 'real' track bike I can think of.
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Old 11-13-07, 10:39 AM   #6
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Headtube angle isn't the only thing that affects a frame's handling. I could put down some numbers, but then someone will have a nit to pick because I left out a decimal point, or something.

This is all purely academic, anyway. The OP is buying a frame sight-unseen and choosing among three wildly different handling frames. Personally, if I was going to drop that much coin on a new frame, I'd be sure it was what I wanted. I wouldn't ask a bunch of random strangers to tell me what to buy, but I might ask my local shop to see what they thing.
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Old 11-13-07, 11:43 AM   #7
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Headtube angle isn't the only thing that affects a frame's handling. I could put down some numbers, but then someone will have a nit to pick because I left out a decimal point, or something.

This is all purely academic, anyway. The OP is buying a frame sight-unseen and choosing among three wildly different handling frames. Personally, if I was going to drop that much coin on a new frame, I'd be sure it was what I wanted. I wouldn't ask a bunch of random strangers to tell me what to buy, but I might ask my local shop to see what they thing.
If it were me I'd buy a cheap used frame, ride it for a year, decide what I don't like about it, then buy a more expensive thats closer to what I want. That's essentially what I'm doing now.

I bought my first track bike 15 years ago - a used Gitane for $200. My second was a custom two years later, which I got from the same guy that built my custom roadie.

Now that I'm getting back on the track after ten years away I'm building up a used Fuji Pro. Going low end on the frame because it will be replaced in 12 months or so anyway; higher end on the parts because they'll be moved to the new frame. I agree there's nothing like riding a bike to fit.
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Old 11-13-07, 10:09 PM   #8
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Headtube angle isn't the only thing that affects a frame's handling. I could put down some numbers, but then someone will have a nit to pick because I left out a decimal point, or something.

This is all purely academic, anyway. The OP is buying a frame sight-unseen and choosing among three wildly different handling frames. Personally, if I was going to drop that much coin on a new frame, I'd be sure it was what I wanted. I wouldn't ask a bunch of random strangers to tell me what to buy, but I might ask my local shop to see what they thing.
Funny that; I'm buying from my new team bike shop, so I'm getting sized, a good deal, and the possibility to return a frame if I don't like the geometry.
Right now, I'm thinking of getting the S-Works, especially if I can get a 2007 frame off of the clearance rack. If the Felt can't handle a big sprint, then it's obviously the wrong bike for me. If no clear winner is chosen I'll get a Giant Omnium from the LBS I work at and paint it black with Specialized decals on it like I'm going to do with my CAAD8.
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Old 11-14-07, 12:56 PM   #9
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. If no clear winner is chosen I'll get a Giant Omnium from the LBS I work at and paint it black with Specialized decals on it like I'm going to do with my CAAD8.
aren't you a 4 or 5? Painting stuff to match your sponsors should be reserved for real pros.

What's wrong with the bike you have anyway? You keep talking about all the equipment you want to buy but do you really need it? Given what I presume your wages are a new frame and fancy disk could instead be a lot less time at work and a lot more time on the bike.
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Old 11-14-07, 01:29 PM   #10
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I raced an '04 or '05 S-works Langster frame all this past season and it was fine, and quite an improvement over my old steel Pinarello. I race primarily mass-start races-- points, scratch, miss&out, the occasional madison, and race team pursuit at states (masters and elite).

For all the time I spend at ADT, I've never actually ridden one of the TK2's, so I couldn't tell you how it is. My SO really likes hers, though, and rides it as both a track bike and a street fixed.

I haven't paid much attention to the geometry of either, but the Langster is maybe slightly better for mass start/endurance, and the TK2 slightly better for sprinting. I don't think you'd do badly with either.
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Old 11-14-07, 01:33 PM   #11
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Raleigh Rush Hour Pro and most any other 'real' track bike I can think of.
I know a very small very elite rider who thought the Rush Hour Pro handled like a Mack truck.
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Old 11-14-07, 08:32 PM   #12
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aren't you a 4 or 5? Painting stuff to match your sponsors should be reserved for real pros.

What's wrong with the bike you have anyway? You keep talking about all the equipment you want to buy but do you really need it? Given what I presume your wages are a new frame and fancy disk could instead be a lot less time at work and a lot more time on the bike.
Sorry, give me a Windsor Hour because I'm not a pro. Damn, I forgot that.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:07 PM   #13
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Sorry, give me a Windsor Hour because I'm not a pro. Damn, I forgot that.
The pro comment and the maybe you don't need another bike comment were unrelated.

Painting a frame is either going to be expensive or look like ****. Unless someone is paying for it and paying you to do it rebranding a frame is just stupid.

You don't have a windsor the hour anyway though do you, you have an erba apparently with nice components. What's wrong with it? If you don't know yet or can only come up with the tubing is not aero shaped you're probably not ready to buy a new bike. If it was time to buy a new frame you should know why and therefore what you're looking for. You wouldn't be asking us which of four very different frames you should be buying. Why spend hundreds now when you could save it for when it'll do you some good or just work less. Unless you're currently riding an absurd amount I can pretty much guarantee that an extra 100hrs of training is going to make you faster then a different frame.

I just read your post a special frameset for "smaller races"????
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Old 11-14-07, 09:31 PM   #14
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The pro comment and the maybe you don't need another bike comment were unrelated.

Painting a frame is either going to be expensive or look like ****. Unless someone is paying for it and paying you to do it rebranding a frame is just stupid.

You don't have a windsor the hour anyway though do you, you have an erba apparently with nice components. What's wrong with it? If you don't know yet or can only come up with the tubing is not aero shaped you're probably not ready to buy a new bike. If it was time to buy a new frame you should know why and therefore what you're looking for. You wouldn't be asking us which of four very different frames you should be buying. Why spend hundreds now when you could save it for when it'll do you some good or just work less. Unless you're currently riding an absurd amount I can pretty much guarantee that an extra 100hrs of training is going to make you faster then a different frame.

I just read your post a special frameset for "smaller races"????
I work at a body shop, and can paint a frame for $50 and it'll look a lot better than a factory paint job. I also get bikes at super-low prices, I can get Giant's cheaper, but my new team says that if I get a new bike, it should be through them, but they don't carry Giant.
The Erba was free, and it hasn't been built yet. The components are all Dura-Ace which I got for very cheap.
It's not like I'm spending tons of money. If I buy either an S-Works or Felt, the ENTIRE build, minus a disc will be well under $1000, and if I get the Giant, the the entire build be under $850 including paint, and $6 for decals.

It's not like I'm some rich old fat guy trying to look fast.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:35 PM   #15
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I was talking to a Dutch rider this morning on the training road ride. He is in Sydney for the world cup track races later this month. He is a numerous times world champ.

He asked me what track bike I have and I told him, alloy frame that gets painted up as a few different brands. I knew the original brand though, he told me they are riding those next year as road bikes.

He also rides a painted BT done as a Koga in dutch colours. MOstly he shrugged his shoulders and didn't care to much what it was.

This guy is top level in the world. He needs it done.

Cant you just ride the bike you have and train your arse off?

Love the comment about the Felt not being able to handle your big sprint.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:39 PM   #16
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Wow, a bunch of ******bag's. **** you.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:48 PM   #17
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I work at a body shop, and can paint a frame for $50 and it'll look a lot better than a factory paint job. I also get bikes at super-low prices, I can get Giant's cheaper, but my new team says that if I get a new bike, it should be through them, but they don't carry Giant.
The Erba was free, and it hasn't been built yet. The components are all Dura-Ace which I got for very cheap.
It's not like I'm spending tons of money. If I buy either an S-Works or Felt, the ENTIRE build, minus a disc will be well under $1000, and if I get the Giant, the the entire build be under $850 including paint, and $6 for decals.

It's not like I'm some rich old fat guy trying to look fast.
$850 is how many hours of wages after taxes for you? Quite frankly I would be much more supportive if you were a rich old fat guy trying to look fast rather then a college student who recently complained about how little money he had trying to look fast.

What are you getting from your team? Pressuring you to use only sponsors stuff is bull**** unless those are paying for it and some of your other expenses. Maybe you should consider other teams that care more about their riders then sponsors.
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Old 11-14-07, 10:54 PM   #18
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What are you getting from your team? Pressuring you to use only sponsors stuff is bull**** unless those are paying for it and some of your other expenses. Maybe you should consider other teams that care more about their riders then sponsors.
If they're requiring you to use it, they should supply it. Otherwise, the conventional thing to do if you're not riding the sponsor's brand of bike is to put tape over the logos on the bike you're using. I've even seen pics of top 6-day riders with a stable full of tape-covered bikes.
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Old 11-14-07, 11:37 PM   #19
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If they're requiring you to use it, they should supply it. Otherwise, the conventional thing to do if you're not riding the sponsor's brand of bike is to put tape over the logos on the bike you're using. I've even seen pics of top 6-day riders with a stable full of tape-covered bikes.
If sponsorship is a real dollars matter or if it's a condition of sponsorship, then I agree -- either ride the sponsor's bike or if you ride anything else (if you're allowed to and still get dollars from the sponsor of any kind) then at least obscure the brand and don't criticize your sponsor's bikes while you're doing it. They put money up with both goodwill and marketing benefit in mind, so you don't want to stick a finger in their eye. It's not fair to them or to other riders who just might lose a sponsor if your benefactor is disillusioned by how sponsored riders respond to them.

As for the bikes, it's correct that the S-works is a pretty decent track bike. A super-short upright sprint frame it isn't, but especially if you're going to be putting on aero bars, the slightly slacker position and the longer cockpit don't cramp you. I can't tell you how many riders buy those short upright frames and then hate the ride in massed-start riding or in aero events. The S-works won't do badly for you for most events you typically have to deal with at a track (there honestly isn't a lot of pure sprinting at most tracks).

The BMC is stiff and responsive, but it has a couple quirks. Clearances are a bit tight so you have to work in a spacer on the drive-side bottom bracket to use bigger chainrings (anything over 50). The rear end is so stiff that it actually tends to skitter a bit too much on a start -- if you stomp at a kilo start the bike tends to hop a bit. The stay ends aren't as long as I wish they were, so you tend to need an extra chain to accommodate gear changes. But it's a fun bike to ride and is highly maneuverable at slow speeds on a steep track. It's a bit of a handful to ride with aero bars unless you practice a bit and keep your eye on it. You do get a fairly low position on the BMC with aero bars which is hard to achieve for kilo positioning (though again, how often do you really need that) but might be too much without spacers for pursuit and other more common events on the track. It's not really an aggressive geometry but gives you a very responsive bike (almost at the edge of too much) without contorting your position. It's actually really close to the positioning on my BT Stealth.

I've ridden the Felt a couple times and it's a nice handling bike. I wouldn't describe it as aggressive or as particularly super-stable, just a good compromise. It does most anything pretty well, which is good for most tracks where you want to ride everything from miss-and-outs to chariots to pursuits to all kinds of training programs. There are better Felts in the design stage now so I suspect that in a year, they'll have a significantly better bike available at nearly the same price. If you're shelling out your own money, you might want to consider this and think about the S-works.
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Old 11-15-07, 02:13 AM   #20
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If sponsorship is a real dollars matter or if it's a condition of sponsorship, then I agree -- either ride the sponsor's bike or if you ride anything else (if you're allowed to and still get dollars from the sponsor of any kind) then at least obscure the brand and don't criticize your sponsor's bikes while you're doing it. They put money up with both goodwill and marketing benefit in mind, so you don't want to stick a finger in their eye. It's not fair to them or to other riders who just might lose a sponsor if your benefactor is disillusioned by how sponsored riders respond to them.
The sponsor in question is probably a shop which means one of two scenerios is playing out.

A) Crimson is a kid and like many kids is taking things way more seriously then they should be taken. He interprets, "we'll give you a great deal on a frame" to mean "You better make sure everyone thinks your frame came from us." I don't mean this as any insult but teenagers will be teenagers.

B) The shop owner sponsor is an *******. Many shop owners are *******s and it's not unknown for this *******rly to take the form of sponsoring a team and then trying to rule it with an iron fist. They've lost sight of what amateur racing is about. They either think to much of their investment in the team, quite frankly you're logo on a low cat racers back is not going to bring much business in. The only people who see it are other racers and they already know where to shop. Or they want to play at being a DS and in addition to making complex strategies for cat5 crits that will never play out they want everything else to be done like a protour team. Such big talk can also seduce teenagers who are prone to taking everything too seriously.

Either way if he's better suited with his erba(which he probably is) or a new giant he should at least initially not paint it too see which scenario is the case. He's not going to be jeopardizing anyones sponsorship. If it turns out to be B he it's better he find out ASAP so he can decide what to do before he's sunken too much into this team. There is a very good chance that the *******s iron rule is going to end up negatively effecting his racing in some way much greater then having to rebrand a bike. Perhaps because little bruyneels strategy falls through and he isn't free to ride for himself or maybe he'll find a madison partner from another team only to be told that he can't partner with someone advertising the competitors shop. Unless there is some really compelling reason to join the team, great reimbursement, high quality free coaching, amazing discounts(which shouldn't really matter in this case since he works at a shop) etc. he'll likely be better off somewhere else.
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