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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Messenger on the track?

    Hello to all,

    I bought a used Motobecane Messenger frame last year and have been using it as a commuter with borrowed parts from other bikes I have. Having just graduated and possessing less money than I did when I was an undergrad, I'm pondering the most economic way to get into track cycling. Because the Messenger frame has track dropouts, I was wondering if building it up with inexpensive track components is an acceptable way to start. I know it's not the ideal frame to race on the track (cheap, drilled for brakes, etc.) and I am unaware of any stipulations of frames/bikes that can or cannot be raced on a velodrome. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!

    -Jeremiah

  2. #2
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    it depends. track bikes have higher bottom brackets to give you more pedal clearance on banked tracks. so:

    a) it depends on the height of the bottom bracket
    b) the length of cranks you are going to run
    c) how steep the track is you are going to ride on

    generally i'll hazard a guess that you'll be fine, unless you are riding on a 40+ deg banked track and running 170+ mm cranks.

    in australia its a bit more relaxed, but i understand in some us tracks, they'll measure the pedal clearance before letting you out on the track.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshow_bob View Post
    in australia its a bit more relaxed, but i understand in some us tracks, they'll measure the pedal clearance before letting you out on the track.
    I ride at one of steeper US tracks and sometimes teach the accelerated class for people to get cleared to get on, and I've never heard of anyone measuring pedal clearance. We emphasize that riders are responsible for their own equipment choices, and what they choose to ride will affect how they have to ride. I think we've had a few people riding 175s, and even a guy running custom 180 or 185 cranks. I ride 165s with a high bottom bracket...

    Haven't heard of it at other tracks either (and I've ridden some of the steeper ones, including one with 45 degree banking on road bike conversion with long cranks that was a rental bike at the track).

    (and it also depends on your pedals-- some have a lot more on the bottom than others.)
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  4. #4
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjleung View Post
    Hello to all,

    I bought a used Motobecane Messenger frame last year and have been using it as a commuter with borrowed parts from other bikes I have. Having just graduated and possessing less money than I did when I was an undergrad, I'm pondering the most economic way to get into track cycling. Because the Messenger frame has track dropouts, I was wondering if building it up with inexpensive track components is an acceptable way to start. I know it's not the ideal frame to race on the track (cheap, drilled for brakes, etc.) and I am unaware of any stipulations of frames/bikes that can or cannot be raced on a velodrome. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!

    -Jeremiah
    there's nothing that stops a cheap bike from being suitable for learning how to race on the track. same goes for brakeholes. if it fits you, it will meet your needs.

    but you'll probably find clipless pedals to be very helpful (if you don't already have them). there have been a few people who started racing at my local drome on clips and straps (without slotted cleats) and have quickly realized their inadequacy.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    there have been a few people who started racing at my local drome on clips and straps (without slotted cleats) and have quickly realized their inadequacy.
    seconded.

    clips and straps without cleats is fine for your first taste, and maybe a few rec rides on the track, but if you're going to spend any amount of time on it you'll at least want cleats, if not clipless pedals.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  6. #6
    Senior Member I saw Elvis's Avatar
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    Take your bike to the local velodrome and ask the coaches there what they think. At Manchester we had a quite a few guys turn up on Langsters when they came out, however at some point practically everyone of them clipped the banking and since the summer I haven't seen a single one in use.
    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/

  7. #7
    Dion Rides
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    Thanks for this thread, guys. I'm also considering this.

    My question is about gearing. I do a 25 mi. fitness loop and I'm running a 48/16 gear ratio. I have a smaller cog and lockring sitting in my tool box (13T) in the occassion I need to bump things up a bit. Is 48/16 too little for a track? I don't want to spin out, but I also don't want to get hurt.

    This is my poseur bike:


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion Rides View Post
    Thanks for this thread, guys. I'm also considering this.

    My question is about gearing. I do a 25 mi. fitness loop and I'm running a 48/16 gear ratio. I have a smaller cog and lockring sitting in my tool box (13T) in the occassion I need to bump things up a bit. Is 48/16 too little for a track? I don't want to spin out, but I also don't want to get hurt.
    I was running a 48x16 the first time or two I was out at the track, and during some of the interval work found myself spinning pretty fast, but otherwise it was tolerable. I switched to a 48x14 for the next few weeks, which was better for some of the interval work, but really sucks when you legs get tired.

    Last week I settled in with a 48x15 and will stay with that for workouts the rest of this month.


    All that said, the 48x16 will probably do you just fine while you're getting used to the track, but like most other track-sters, you'll probably end up with a pile of cogs and rings before long

    - TonyMo

  9. #9
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    iv seen numerous windsors "hour" on our 44 banked track. im not to sure if their geometry are identical.

    on another hand, iv been on our track on my road bike when no one was there. shhh... dont tell anyone as thats a big no-no. but if i can ride it on my road bike, you can ride that motobecane. just becarefull going slow, like match sprints and madisons.

  10. #10
    Building a better Strida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion Rides View Post
    Thanks for this thread, guys. I'm also considering this.

    This is my poseur bike:

    hey man, nice bike, is it a 54cm?

    do you really get all the way out there on the tips of the horns? that looks rather super stretch long with the stock stem, no?

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