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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 07-14-09, 01:19 AM   #1
bikerboyd
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general question

I wasn't sure if this should be posted here or in the fgss forum, but I'll give it a shot. I've been riding on the road for 3 years now - my friend let me try his fixie a while back and I've wanted one of my own since. I'm a competitive person by nature, and have the fortune of having several velodromes spattered around my location in california.. on to the question: Should I jump onto a track bike and get to it, or find myself a cheap fg to make sure it's really for me?
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Old 07-14-09, 06:59 AM   #2
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I'd suggest you go to the track and see if they have rental/loaner track bikes and what kind of practice/coaching/training sessions they have first. It's kind of difficult to make a fixed gear serve double duty as a road fixie and a track racer. The geometries are significantly different and brakes are not allowed on the track. I have a pure track bike for racing and an inexpensive fixie for the road.
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Old 07-14-09, 11:16 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm pretty aware of the differences - keeping a relatively neutral trail with a shorter wheelbase really changes up the weight distribution and riding characteristics of the bikes. I'll definately look into what services are available, though.
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Old 07-14-09, 11:29 AM   #4
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All three tracks in SoCal have rental bikes available.

There may be a few people using their street fixed gears on the track around here, but not very many as far as I know. You'd generally want different tires on the track and road, if nothing else, and you should have at least a front brake on the road, but none is allowed on the track.
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Old 07-14-09, 12:31 PM   #5
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Nevermind, thanks for the info guys.

Last edited by bikerboyd; 07-14-09 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-14-09, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
I'd suggest you go to the track and see if they have rental/loaner track bikes and what kind of practice/coaching/training sessions they have first. It's kind of difficult to make a fixed gear serve double duty as a road fixie and a track racer. The geometries are significantly different and brakes are not allowed on the track. I have a pure track bike for racing and an inexpensive fixie for the road.
Just go track specific.

A hybrid street/track bike is just like a hybrid road/MTB bike. Mediocre at both and won't be great at either one.
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Old 07-14-09, 09:43 PM   #7
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To clarify my point.

Being that you already have a streetable road bike, you will get your fixed-gear itch scratched at the track for sure. If you are riding hard enough, you won't even want to think about a fixed gear on the street. Seriously. Since I started training and racing at the track I haven't ridden fixed on the street once. Plus you will get frustrated at the slow speeds required to stay safe. Fast riders easily get to 35MPH+ on the track. 35MPH+ fixed on the street is absolutely crazy...even with a front brake.

So,
Step 1: Use the rental bikes until you see what others are riding on the track that you like in your price range. Ask them questions like, "Why did you choose A over B?"

Step 2: Once you've definitely gotten bitten by the track bug, buy a bike that you can grow into. Something faster than you think you are. You'll catch up to it.

Step 3: Cut financial corners by buying a complete bike with a rock solid frame like a Fuji Track Pro or a Felt TK2 and upgrading when things break or when deals fall into your lap. That's assuming you have a moderate budget (not a broke college student nor daddy warbucks).

EDIT:

If you ARE the broke college student, go for a Bianchi Pista, Fuji Track, or Fuji Track Comp.

If you ARE daddy warbucks, go for a Tiemeyer or Teschner and buy your parts a-la-carte.

For everyone: Track racers usually take good care of their gear and sell it relatively cheaply, so used gear is usually a great deal.

Last edited by carleton; 07-14-09 at 09:49 PM.
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