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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 02-12-10, 05:00 PM   #1
ph4nt0mf1ng3rs
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IF i wanted to get in to track cycling?

haha. Can I race on a stock Windosor The Hour? XD. Idk...what are all of you riding? I actually dont race on a velo. I commute on a fixed gear. But I was just curious since the bike is technically built for track.
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Old 02-12-10, 06:58 PM   #2
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Yes.
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Old 02-13-10, 11:58 AM   #3
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Yes.
+1

You don't need all of the super gear. You just need a solid, safe bike, some good pedals, good tires, energy and enthusiasm. The engine is 95% of what makes you fast.

Racing is grouped in classes (A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) A/1 being the fastest. When I was a beginner racer I was racing, among others, guys that were 60 and also racing girls. I couldn't advance until I scored enough points against them.

Just like at the gym there is always a "A" court and a "B" court, one with the super fast/tall/powerful players and then other courts for those not as fast/tall/powerful but still just as fun (if not MORE fun) the track is the same way. The mood and atmosphere is about the same as a pickup game at the rec.

As with all sports there will be some A-holes who take it waaaay to seriously. But, there are more people that just want to have fun.
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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 02-13-10, 12:02 PM   #4
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Further...

Keep an eye out for "intro to the track" or "beginner racer" programs at Hellyer (I assume you will go to Hellyer). They usually happen this time of year as the season starts in April. At our track (DLV in Atlanta) we even provide the bikes, just bring a helmet and your favorite pedals.
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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 02-13-10, 12:48 PM   #5
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sounds good. Track cycling seems really interesting now that I actually have one. Although since I have an Hour, the position is kind of lax. Would like something mroe aggressive XD. But in any case, Ill loook into track cycling. Do you guys recommend cletes + clips, or are straps fine ?
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Old 02-13-10, 02:35 PM   #6
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Do you guys recommend cletes + clips, or are straps fine ?
You can start out using your current setup with toe clips/straps and whatever shoes you have, however, if you want to get the most out of your FG you should consider investing in clipless pedals and shoes designed to accept the cleats for them. You can continue to use your current pedals and shoes on the street, and swap them out whenever you go to the track.
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Old 02-13-10, 03:15 PM   #7
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I agree.

If you use your current setup, PLEASE learn how to use straps properly. It's not hard, but most folks keep the straps loose or just enough to slide in and out of. But, they should be cinched snugly when riding and slide the lever off to release your foot when you are slowing to a stop.

But, I agree that clipless is the way to go. Before you buy, check with the track. Some tracks don't allow MTB clipless pedals. I strongly suggest entry level Shimano SPD-SL pedals with entry level shoes. Total cost of $100 or so. Maybe less.
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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 02-13-10, 04:01 PM   #8
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Hellyer

Check out http://ridethetrack.com/ for info on Hellyer.

Bit of a drive / commute from SF but well worth it. They have Saturday morning sessions for beginners every week (cancelled if rainy / wet) and whoever is hosting the session will run you through basic drills on the track. the people who run the program are really friendly and knowledgeable. Sometimes more advanced riders go out for these sessions and they're always a good source for info.
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Old 02-13-10, 06:57 PM   #9
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+1 on investing on clipless pedals. even if you're going to just be racing at the track recreationally, clipless pedals will also be a good investment for the day to day as well. also, don't worry about running at the track and not having the gear that other riders have, nobody's going to judge. your bike will be fine. loaner bikes that our track and local shops provide are bianchi pistas and fuji tracks and many people race these entry level rigs as well.
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Old 02-14-10, 01:24 AM   #10
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I agree.

If you use your current setup, PLEASE learn how to use straps properly. It's not hard, but most folks keep the straps loose or just enough to slide in and out of. But, they should be cinched snugly when riding and slide the lever off to release your foot when you are slowing to a stop.

But, I agree that clipless is the way to go. Before you buy, check with the track. Some tracks don't allow MTB clipless pedals. I strongly suggest entry level Shimano SPD-SL pedals with entry level shoes. Total cost of $100 or so. Maybe less.

Most definitely. I have my straps tightened very snugly since I ride on the streets. I have them tight enough that I can lock up in case of an emergency because I havent had the time to invest in a front brake. XD dont laugh lol.

But thanks for the help guys.

I will definitely look into investing in clipless if I ever do get to ride on the track which I am seriously thinking about.
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Old 02-14-10, 03:53 AM   #11
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I say give it a try. It's a lot of fun and if you ride a lot on the street, you may be fit enough to hit the ground running. Many of the guys I race against are commuters and urban riders. They generally have a better level of cycling fitness than the regular weekend warriors out here for fun.

Track racing isn't (necessarily) an expensive sport, but you will have to make some basic gear purchases in order to participate. Most of which you may already have:

- Helmet - required at all times when you are on the bicycle, even in the warm-up area
- Grips/grip tape - no bare bars. Must have bar plugs
- Proper clothing - This is up to your track's director. But even if you are allowed to race in regular pants or regular gym clothes, loose fitting pants can be a hazard (picture basketball shorts getting hung on the nose of your saddle). You don't need an expensive cycling kit. I suggest one set of basic cycling shorts and your t-shirt of choice. Nike Dri-Fit type shirts work well.
- Your bike must be in good working order, not just for your sake but for the sake of others as well.
- Gears - Most beginners start with a 48/16 gear (or something similar). "Streetable" gear ratios like 48/18 won't work well.
- Tools - If you have to switch from your street gear to your race gear, then you will need the proper tool(s). Don't expect anyone to loan you stuff (even though folks will, just don't be that guy who ALWAYS needs tools)

Give it a try and have fun.
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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 02-14-10, 09:43 PM   #12
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well, I have everything except the jersey/shorts and a helmet XD burt ill definitely check it out. Thanks again guys. Btw.....ive asked the guys on the fixed-gear forums, but now I must ask u guys here.

Do track cyclist shave their legs?
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Old 02-14-10, 09:58 PM   #13
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well, I have everything except the jersey/shorts and a helmet XD burt ill definitely check it out. Thanks again guys. Btw.....ive asked the guys on the fixed-gear forums, but now I must ask u guys here.

Do track cyclist shave their legs?
I do, and most track riders who race regularly do as well, although nobody is going to rag on you if you don't. It's not really necessary, just a long standing tradition. It makes me feel serious and gets me psyched for competition.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:25 PM   #14
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i don't shave my legs, but my legs aren't that hairy to begin with.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:44 PM   #15
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Do track cyclist shave their legs?
Yes. Even in the off-season.
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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 02-14-10, 10:48 PM   #16
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Yes, do it. Get out there. :-) My local track even has rentals if you're so inclined.
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Old 02-15-10, 06:21 PM   #17
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What on earth does "XD" mean?
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Old 02-15-10, 07:49 PM   #18
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what on earth does "xd" mean?
:d

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Old 02-16-10, 01:49 AM   #19
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XD....its like a smiley that represents extreme histericalness. Or....just like very funny....in an honest way.

I am just used to adding XD on the end of various statements (as I do with lol) to make a seemingly serious statement that has the potential to be taken in a negative light, less serious so as to not be taken in a negative light, even if the statement has not potential to be taken as such, as is the case with my seemingly unserious and non negative-lighted statement which I made in a non negative, and in fact, VERY light manner. XD
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Old 03-22-10, 07:55 PM   #20
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I was told hellyer also has monday night beginners clinics now that daylight savings is here, I'm actually building up a machine to take down there- you should totally give me a ride and not ask for gas $. Hit up performance bike for a kit (spandex shorts and jersey) and helmet on the cheap. Oh and I believe you need to do 3 of the beginners clinics before you're allowed to race.


I will make fun of your hairy legs. XD (<--- so is that proper use?)
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Old 05-11-10, 02:41 PM   #21
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bump and hijack!

I've been kind of gaining interest in hitting the Kissena velodrome. But frankly, it all sounds and looks a little intimidating.

Taking into account the fact that I have a cheap, slightly TARCK looking bike, plus I'm not exactly in stellar shape (could stand to lose about 20 more lb)... how embarrassing would my first experience be?
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Old 05-11-10, 03:00 PM   #22
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It won't be embarrassing. Kissena is a friendly place. Go out there, ask questions, ride safely and in a straight line.
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Old 05-12-10, 05:38 PM   #23
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Cool, thanks. I'll look into it... maybe see what classes they have and the schedules if possible. Does Kissena also have off-hours in which any average joe can just drop by to try it out?
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Old 05-13-10, 05:28 AM   #24
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Taking into account the fact that I have a cheap, slightly TARCK looking bike, plus I'm not exactly in stellar shape (could stand to lose about 20 more lb)... how embarrassing would my first experience be?
i could picture an accident lol but seriously i think if you can keep a good pace you'd survive, and then keep getting better each time.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:38 AM   #25
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Cool, thanks. I'll look into it... maybe see what classes they have and the schedules if possible. Does Kissena also have off-hours in which any average joe can just drop by to try it out?
It's a public park. It's always open. Unless a permitted event is taking place, all that's happening is average joes dropping by to try it out.
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