Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
If you're a newbie to the track like me, any wheel will do. I got one of those prebuilt yucky M13 rimmed, no name cartridge bearing hubbed wheels (full retail is something like $80 for the front wheel), stuck it on my bike, put my bike in the car, and went racing the first time I rode it (it was pinging when I was warming up). It was fine. Heck, I don't know if it's true, I just know the tire doesn't hit the fork crown.
For the record I did a 12 lap scratch race, 3 match sprints, and about 15 laps of a miss and out. Won the scratch, won 2 of the 3 sprints, and died in the miss and out (5th).
I have a nicer rear wheel (I built it a long time ago to race - M17 tubular rim, 19mm tire, 32H) but again, it really doesn't matter.
I can't find my scale but I know my track bike is noticeably heavier than my road bike. Like by a lot. Doesn't matter.
Of course I was at the shop today drooling over a nice carbon $1275 track bike (complete). So even though the bike really doesn't matter at a newbie level, I still want to get a nicer bike