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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 05-06-09, 09:58 AM   #1
RunninWild
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n00b questions

I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help me out with and not flame me to badly


I have a Dawes SST that I ride as a commuter/all around fun that I would also like to use as a track bike from time to time. I run no brakes and it is legal here so no issues there. The bike is cheap and heavy so that brings me to my first question.

Should I even bother with the frame or just buy a lighter frame that is worth my time? The problem here is that I do not have a ton of money to build multiple bikes though.

The geometry of the Dawes is HT angle-72 and ST angle-74. It's not the most aggresive geometry either so one more bad thing about it haha

No matter what frame I build what should I do for components? I have no problem researching for the products and do not expect a list of what is good. I would just like to know what I should be looking for when it comes to components. I want durable stuff since I plan to ride street but I do not want extremely heavy either.


I have quite some time to build the bike as I do not plan on cheaping out on components and I plan on replacing everything on the Dawes if I keep it except maybe the seat haha
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Old 05-06-09, 01:45 PM   #2
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Here's my opinion. A fixie IS NOT EQUAL TO a track bike. If they're building a track near you as you said in the other post, go get an entry level TRACK BIKE to ride on the track. It will handle correctly and have the right BB height and crank arm length to avoid pedal strikes on the banks. You don't need to customize it or change any stock stuff other than possibly having a few extra rings and cogs. Of course you'll want to put on a saddle and pedals you're comfortable with.

If you really dig track racing after a year, go get a either A) a nicer track bike or B) a nicer frame and better components. After riding track for a year, you will know exactly which components you will want.
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Old 05-06-09, 06:14 PM   #3
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Do they have rental bikes at your local velodrome? Thats the cheapest option and will give you a much better sense as to what you should be aiming for.
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Old 05-06-09, 08:07 PM   #4
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If you're going to check out the velodrome a small handful of times, I'd suggest that you ride the bike you know and already have. Next best: rental bike.
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Old 05-06-09, 09:05 PM   #5
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They are in the process of building the velodrome and I am unsure if they will offer rentals but I did not know tracks offered that, I will try that option for sure if it's available. What is the height of a track bike bottom bracket?
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Old 05-07-09, 05:30 AM   #6
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^it varies, but some track bikes have higher bottom brackets so that you don't clip the track when you're going slowly on the banking. it's not terribly important, though, if the velodrome isn't very steep and if you're not going to be riding slowly on the banking.
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Old 05-07-09, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
it's not terribly important, though, if the velodrome isn't very steep and if you're not going to be riding slowly on the banking.
No, it's not very important until some moreon strikes a pedal on the bank and topple over knocks down two other guys and they all go sliding down the track and a big pack of people are trying to go uptrack over them and you have to drop under the whole mess and go shooting across the apron and into the grass. Luckily, the whole group had just come off the starting rail and was only going about 5mph and nobody got hurt, but that IS exactly when you're hit a pedal.
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Old 05-08-09, 04:05 PM   #8
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...which won't happen if the velodrome isn't steep or if you don't creep around high on the banking.

Yes, clipping a pedal is bad. No, bottom brackets don't need to be as high as some people think.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:41 AM   #9
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Track bikes do have a much more aggressive geometry than "single speed" bikes. Look for short chainstays and steep head/seat angles. Makes it easier to move around on the track.

As far as components go for a new trackie (assuming you fit the bike right) I figure that if you have the right gear ratio, you're half there. Put on light rims and tires and that's about it.

Anything else is just a bonus.

I'm a track newbie. Raced 6 days total, 2 of them back in the early 90s, 1 this year, 3 last year (or was it two? I forget). I have the same bike as I did then, with a much lower end front wheel (I lost my Trispoke track axle over the last 15 years).

I'm running a straight gauge steel frame (an actual track frame with steep angles and a really short chainstay, so it's nimble and the rear wheel stays planted), same rear wheel, same super heavy 2.0 straight spokes, same model saddle.

For new parts I have a triple crankarm (my old pedal was frozen in the old crankarm) on a non-compatible BB ("just tighten it more"). I changed the bar/stem to fit me better, ditto the post (to no set-back), and I'm running much heavier pedals (SPD-Rs instead of Aerolites).

I'll be upgrading the front wheel as soon as I get some axles in and can convert a road wheel to a track one.

Right now the bike is a touch under 18 lbs, and a different front wheel may take it down to 17 or less.

Other than that, the only planned upgrade I have is that I want to get a slightly smaller chainring (48 or 49 versus the 50 I have now). I figure I'll race the frame until I have a different job, and that might take me years.

Since races are short, I think weight is really important. Light weight rims/tires for fast acceleration. The track where I race is kind of slow so aero is less important. Nonetheless I want to try aero wheels to see if it makes a difference. At least I can lead out from further out or something.

Re: rentals - at the NE Velodrome, it's $5 to rent a bike. They get donated bikes - and if you get a blue 55cm Ross (the painter, not the brand) bike there, that's the frame I donated

cdr
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Old 05-09-09, 03:27 PM   #10
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I don't mean to de-rail this thread, but would a Masi Speciale Fixed be alright to ride at a velodrome w/ 47 degree banking? I know the geo isn't true track, which is why I'm asking if it's legit
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