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  1. #1
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    Definitive Answer on Geometry

    Im in the hunt for a track bike to race, but since thats not until the spring, i was just curious how to tell which bikes have a correct track geometry and which ones don't. i've got the bianchi pista and concepts down, plus the fuji line of bikes, the trek t1 etc. but what about some of the lesser known bikes? i'll include some links to geometry, so if you could chime in to let me know which ones are more street style so i can avoid them, i'd be stoaked.

    schwinn madison
    http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=724

    pake track bike frame
    http://www.pakebikes.com/pakespecs.html

    cannondale capo (my lbs said this was track geometry but looks like its more messenger, unsure)
    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/cusa/model-8PR1.html

    and just for boot, the mercier
    http://www.cyclesmercier.com/geometry_tt.html


    i just realized thats a lot of clicking around...oh well, if anybody can get to it or just knows off hand if its good stuff, post back, i'd appreciate it mucho.
    matt
    http://mrmattjsmith.blogspot.com
    All about teaching high school and riding bikes

  2. #2
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    I haven't the slightest idea what "messenger" geometry might be. Regardless, it may be worth pointing out that track geometries vary widely, from the extreme of the sprint bike -- with upright geometry and twitchy handling -- to the six day bike, which is essentially a road bike without brakes or derailleurs.

    Ultimately, the performance of the bike depends entirely upon you.

  3. #3
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    my lbs defined messenger geometry to me as something that i guess would be more like a road bike but with horizantal dropouts. i wasn't too sure what that meant either...oh well, thanks for the input
    http://mrmattjsmith.blogspot.com
    All about teaching high school and riding bikes

  4. #4
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    IMO, what you really want is a stiff frame with predictable handling, IOW, no fancy foolishness that looks neat in the shop window but that will cause you grief on the track. I have not personally seen a track race that was won by a bicycle, but I have seen an awful lot that were lost by one.

    FWIW, any of the bicycles you listed would be adequate, I think. The Cannondale was the inexpensive favorite at the old Dominguez track for many years. They were/are strong and stable with no nasty surprises. The only problems that I can recall were A) the top tube dents easily from the bars swinging around -- at least half the bikes of my aquaintence were so damaged -- and B) the soft aluminum rear ends tended to get ground up pretty badly after a couple of seasons of cog changes.

    Also they're butt-ugly, but that isn't especially important.

  5. #5
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    The only absolute must-have for the track is a slightly higher bottom bracket if you are racing sprints on a steep track. Otherwise, look at seat angle and top tube length to be sure it fits your legs and upper body. Beyond that, it's personal preference. I always favored more trail in my own bikes so others would bounce off me. You may find that if your front center dimension is too short that you may tend to skip the rear wheel in a sprint, but that can probably be coached (beaten) out of you. I ride a 53 or 54 with a bit of wheel/toe overlap and never had a problem, but I've seen big guys who did have trouble until they got a longer bike.

    There are those who say your road and track positions should be the same and some who say everything should be steeper for the track. I don't know if I matched my track stuff to my road stuff or the other way around, but road and track I have the same seat position. My track bars are just a noodge lower than my road bars in the drops. When I'm out of shape, my thighs hit my belly; in shape, my knees hit my ribs.

  6. #6
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    No absolutes. It depends on the track, the rider, the event, speeds, etc. For example, a particular front end geometry will work for a particular track curvature at a particular speed. At higher speeds, it's not as good, nor at lower. Some tracks (especially public ones) are made to favor the larger community so they aren't as fast. Those are also more tolerant of different geometries. If you ride something steep and short, you don't just need bottom bracket clearance (though everybody has more than they need for pure clearance issues these days), but the right combination of trail, stem extension, body weight distribution, etc. Basically, you have to be riding on a track, analyze your own position and needs, work with a coach on what someone off the bike sees, and then pick a frame accordingly. If you spend a season in training sessions with other riders at a track, you can ask a lot of questions and participate in a lot of conversations -- you'll get a much better sense of what you uniquely need for yourself. Someone else's solution likely won't work for you. Sorry there isn't a clear answer to your question.

  7. #7
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    thats cool, i didn't really feel like i would get a definitive answer, but it seemed like a good question to debate on. thanks for the good info.
    http://mrmattjsmith.blogspot.com
    All about teaching high school and riding bikes

  8. #8
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    the best bet is to borrow and ride them. San diego is pretty flat and the corners are really loose a more roadish bike may not be a bad thing.

  9. #9
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    The Mercier is merely the KHS rebranded. Look into IRO too.

  10. #10
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falsemoniker View Post
    The Mercier is merely the KHS rebranded. Look into IRO too.
    Not to split hairs on this, but the Kilo TT isn't "rebranded." A third-party in Taiwan makes a frame which both KHS and Mercier (Bikes Direct) buy, and both put their respective logos on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Not to split hairs on this, but the Kilo TT isn't "rebranded." A third-party in Taiwan makes a frame which both KHS and Mercier (Bikes Direct) buy, and both put their respective logos on it.
    I learn! Thanks, I was just parroting what the LBS guy told me.

  12. #12
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    I think most LBS guys are just bummed that everyone is buying these bikes so cheap, because just about every mechanic I talk to tries to badmouth Bikes Direct any chance they get.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

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