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Old 03-26-09, 07:54 PM   #1
canflyboy 
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My New Track Bike Geometry seems off - need comments

This past Winter I had the chance to do some indoor track riding at FCV. All riding was done on rentals (KHS). I liked it so much I ordered a track bike and it just came in.

For sizing, I compared my two road bike dimensions and talked with a tech from the company and he suggested a certain size. I though of going the next size down, but this is what the tech suggested and yes the geometry dimensions are close to my road bikes.

The odd feeling I'm getting is when I put my hands on the drops. The bike has track handle bars. They have more reach and more drop, so when I'm in the drops, my body feels really stretched out compared to my road bikes. If I ride on the top bar though, everything seems OK but obviously I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the top bar.

Questions: Is this "stretched" geometry something typical with track bikes? Bike uses 74 degree seat and head tube geometry.


Is the bike just too big? I can still order the next size down. Am I wrong in comparing my "road" riding geometry to a track bike? Should they be similar or a noticable difference?

The only way I can make them similar is to get either a real short stem or get rid of the track bars for road bars.

Mostly do recreational riding at FCV and in the summer will give Bloomer Park in Michigan a go. May start some enty level racing next season.

Thanks

canflyboy
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Old 03-26-09, 09:59 PM   #2
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what kinda frame did you get? 74 degrees is on the shallow side for seat and head angles on a track bike, but sometimes they're built longer for more reach. Just please give us the information or your measurements and the exact frame you ended up getting. Also what stem size?
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Old 03-26-09, 10:18 PM   #3
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Stem length and TT length are more of a function of what you're describing than geometry, though ST and HT angle have a little to do with it too. Steepen the head tube and you put the handlebars farther out with the same length stem. Likewise with the ST, if you are keeping your seat in the same virtual plane. It sounds to me like you could just run a slightly shorter stem and be fine - see a bike fitting specialist.
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Old 03-27-09, 04:22 AM   #4
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74 degrees is on the shallow side for seat and head angles on a track bike
No it's not.
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Old 03-27-09, 04:25 AM   #5
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I got a Blue TR250 in a size Large - thinking a Medium Large would be more my size, but the tech at Blue recommended the Large.
http://www.rideblue.com/tr250.php

Bike comes with a 110mm stem. Me, I'm 6' (183cm) tall and have a 32' (81.5cm) inseam. Long torso, shorter legs.

I only had a few minutes on the bike last night. Today I'm bringing my roadie in for a side by side comparison, but from the back of the seat to the front of the hooks, my guess is that the track bike is almost two inches longer. Seat hieght is OK. That's a big change in the stem size and that's why I'm thinking I have a frame that's too big.

I'll have an exact measurement later today (seat back to hooks) when I bring the roadie in and compare.

Thanks

I secretly think that the manufacturer only had size Large in stock and were out of the Medium - Large.
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Old 03-27-09, 06:18 AM   #6
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do you have the saddle on the front position in the seatpost?
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Old 03-27-09, 10:05 AM   #7
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Is the bike just too big? I can still order the next size down. Am I wrong in comparing my "road" riding geometry to a track bike? Should they be similar or a noticable difference?
IMO, they should be very similar. Seat height should be exactly the same accounting for possible shorter cranks on the track bike. (seat to pedal is constant) The seat may be slightly (1cm or so) more forward on the track bike. If you use the same saddle and seatpost, the steeper seat tube angle will usually get you very close to right place on the track bike with the saddle in the same position on the rails.

Your position on the drops should probably be a bit lower, but not really any further forward than your road bike. 2 inches is way too much. Should be more like 2cm I go one size narrow with the bars on the track bike just for comfort in tight groups and maybe a bit more aero.

74 and 73 degrees are very typical HT/ST angles on track bikes. I think mine is 73 ST and 74 HT.

Last edited by andr0id; 03-27-09 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-27-09, 02:48 PM   #8
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How's the top tube length compared to your road bike? The drop and reach of those track bars is just too much for comfort. If the TT's are the same then swap those bars for a set of shallower drop road ones. If the TT is longer, get the smaller sized frame. You can't ride well if you're not positioned right.
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Old 03-29-09, 11:18 AM   #9
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According to the specs the "large" (good lord, what have we come to?) frame is 58 c-t, 57 tt. IOW, nowhere close to "too big" for someone six feet tall with a 32" inseam. And there's nothing at all wrong with 74 parallel angles on a track bike.

I personally think the OPs road bike is probably set up incorrectly for him.
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Old 03-29-09, 11:20 AM   #10
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Having said that, though, the drops on the pictured track bike are really deep. As Mike T. points out, simply swapping them out for a road bend might get the OP into a comfortable position.
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Old 03-29-09, 12:56 PM   #11
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Having said that, though, the drops on the pictured track bike are really deep. As Mike T. points out, simply swapping them out for a road bend might get the OP into a comfortable position.
Holy Cow! I didn't look at the picture before. Those are insane. I have some 3t track bars that are half that deep and I never could get them right. I don't see how anybody could ride those unless that had the build of an orangutan!
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Old 03-29-09, 04:30 PM   #12
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Problem Solved on Blue TR250 sizing - Jamis Sonik!

I spent most of the day playing with different stem lengths and I felt better with a 30mm shorter stem. As mentioned earlier in this thread by MikeT. a shorter stem will point in the direction of needing a smaller frame. Since the Blue TR250 came in, it's been raining track bikes at my LBS (http://thebicycleshop.ca/ ...shamless plug). A shipment of Jamis Soniks arrived. http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik.../09_sonik.html

I tried a 56cm and it was more to my liking. Looking at the geometries, the TT was shorter and the stem was shorter and for me, made all the difference. I just have to get used to those REALLY deep drops. I tried road bars on one test spin, but I think I'll look for some Pista bars with less drop as the Jamis has the same drop as the Blue. The Jamis does have lots of spacers between the stem and head tube, making the drop not as harsh, especially for a track newbie in his 50's

Many thanks for all your help.

Canflyboy
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Old 03-31-09, 02:37 PM   #13
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I had a similar problem with those bars. Too deep. I bought some Nitto 125s.

I don't really understand why Blue would put in so many spacers to raise the bar to compensate for the huge drop.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:46 PM   #14
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Are those bars rebadged Deda Pistas, or some OEM bar?
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Old 03-31-09, 06:56 PM   #15
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I spent most of the day playing with different stem lengths and I felt better with a 30mm shorter stem. As mentioned earlier in this thread by MikeT. a shorter stem will point in the direction of needing a smaller frame. Since the Blue TR250 came in, it's been raining track bikes at my LBS (http://thebicycleshop.ca/ ...shamless plug). A shipment of Jamis Soniks arrived. http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik.../09_sonik.html

I tried a 56cm and it was more to my liking. Looking at the geometries, the TT was shorter and the stem was shorter and for me, made all the difference. I just have to get used to those REALLY deep drops. I tried road bars on one test spin, but I think I'll look for some Pista bars with less drop as the Jamis has the same drop as the Blue. The Jamis does have lots of spacers between the stem and head tube, making the drop not as harsh, especially for a track newbie in his 50's

Many thanks for all your help.

Canflyboy
Man, you don't NEED to run track specific bars.

Track bars are unique in that there is not flat part in the middle like with road bars. There is no upright riding on the track. That extra material adds extra weight, so track bars go straight to the drops.

Track bars are a bit beefier to tolerate the ridiculous torque that some riders (not me) can put down.

I see quite a few ergo road bars on track bikes on tracks. So, I wouldn't count out high quality road bars in your search for the right bar.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:09 PM   #16
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Here's just one example. The lead rider appears to have the stock bars that come on a Trek T1 which have indentions for guiding the brake cables under the tape. It's a road bar.



The Trek T1 uses the Bontrager Select OS Road bar:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/track/t1/

http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=1

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Old 03-31-09, 08:25 PM   #17
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To answer Andre Nickatina's question about the bars, the Jamis has Deda Pista bars and the Blue has an Aerus Track bar. I think the Aerus is an OEM for Blue.

Both bikes came with lots of stem spacers. My first step is to use a road bar or the Nitto 125's as mentioned. I like the Nitto's because they look as if they have the reach that a track bar has, but not the deep drop like the Jamis/Blue setup.

I had a chance to spend about and hour on both bikes, stickly parking lot stuff, and I have to say that even a relative newbie like myself noticed an immediate difference between the two bikes. The best way to describe it would be to say the Jamis handles like a Lotus sports car whereas, in comparison, the Blue rode more like a Mercedes sports car.

The Jamis' 39mm shorter wheelbase, coupled with its 8mm less front rake and 20mm tires is what's giving the bike it's nimble, aggresive feeling. Jamis is also a pound lighter.

We'll see what it'll do at the velodrome, possibly this weekend.
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