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Old 04-09-10, 12:54 PM   #1
jhaber
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Street bike and track bike?

Hi

I am hoping to get some input about a question that I have been thinking over.

I currently have a track bike I ride on the street and now that I have moved to a location with a velodrome I want to get involved with that.

I am wondering what will make it easiest to get on the track and start riding.

To get by bike on the track I have to do a bunch of things:

1) Change my bars over to my drops
2) Change my pedals from clips and straps to my clipless pedals
3) Change out my cog (I ride 70 gear inches on the street) and doubt this will be enough
4) Lengthen my chain

So I have been trying to think over how to make this easiest/painless. So far I have come up with:

1) buy another chain to use with the new gear ratio so I don't have to break and unbreak the same chain

2) buy another wheelset (or just rear wheel) that I can leave the right cog on (my current wheel set is not fixed/fixed) (then i have to decide if my current set becomes track wheels or i build a new light set for the street or build a track set)

3) rent a bike from the track

4) just change everything every time I want to go to the track

I am sure I am not the first who has thought about this. I also don't want to buy a specific track bike at the moment.

Let me know what you guys/girls would recommend.

Thanks.

---
The bike in question:

Wheel set is fusions laced to formula hubs (32 spoke)
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Old 04-09-10, 01:53 PM   #2
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I was in the same position as you, I just decided to get a track specific bike. I think it would be easiest to leave your drops on for street and track so you wouldn't have to change them out all the time. If you completely went to clipless for street and track it would simplify things. You may want to use a seperate chain for the track if you ride your bike out in the wet and grime. I'm not sure if this is looked down upon at the track, but a buddy of mine who rides on the street has a flip flop hub and uses sram power links on each end of the chain to add links and then takes off the extra links and second power link to shorten the chain. I myself would go with 2 sperate chains though. Since you dont have a brake it doesn't seem to be too much of a hasle.
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Old 04-09-10, 02:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaber View Post
1) Change my bars over to my drops
2) Change my pedals from clips and straps to my clipless pedals
3) Change out my cog (I ride 70 gear inches on the street) and doubt this will be enough
4) Lengthen my chain

So I have been trying to think over how to make this easiest/painless. So far I have come up with:

1) buy another chain to use with the new gear ratio so I don't have to break and unbreak the same chain

2) buy another wheelset (or just rear wheel) that I can leave the right cog on (my current wheel set is not fixed/fixed) (then i have to decide if my current set becomes track wheels or i build a new light set for the street or build a track set)

3) rent a bike from the track

4) just change everything every time I want to go to the track
I just checked and the Calgary track is concrete and doesn't look particularly steep, so your bike is probably fine unless they have some kind of special local rules.

1) yes, you need drop bars. With threadless headsets it's pretty common for people to have two sets of bars and stems (and maybe spacers, if needed) so they can change from drop to aero-bars just by swapping the stem. Then you don't need to re-align/orient the bars every time.
2) clips and straps should be fine. lots of people still race on them-- they're more convenient on the track than on the road. It looks like you already have double straps-- those were made for the track. Back when people rode clips and straps for everything, single straps was standard for the road and double straps (often just a second strap threaded through the pedal) were common for track sprinters.
3) yeah, you probably need a different chainring/cog combination. 88" is usually a good choice if you're only going to have one, but you'll probably rapidly accumulate cogs and chainrings to span the 84" to 94" range. Get used to changing gears more often than you change socks. It's not unusual to change gears between races, so it seems like overkill to get more wheels just to avoid changing cogs. You'll start getting new wheels anyway when you get hooked, but you'll still change out cogs on them.
4) Get a second chain and have quick links (whatever they're called for the brand you use) for both. You can swap out chains in 30 seconds or so with quick links.

There are so few parts on a track bike, that it's easy to swap things around really fast. I have a second frame in my locker that usually doesn't have wheels, handlebars, or pedals on it, but it only takes a few minutes longer to make it rideable than it does to pull out my built up bike and change gears.
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Old 04-09-10, 02:20 PM   #4
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I'm in the same boat.
I plan to get a fixed/fixed rear hub and gear one side for the street, one side for the track. There's enough adjustment in the dropouts for this without changing the chain length.
I use a brake, so i got a cyclocross lever to remove it without undoing tape.

Already ride clipless
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Old 04-09-10, 10:48 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat as well. Now I use the bike as track/road training and am in the process of building up a just street bike. It's really nice not having to swap out half your parts all the time.
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Old 04-10-10, 07:58 AM   #6
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I'm currently going with option 4.

I use my "track" bike as my daily commuter, there's no way in hell I'm going to lock up my road bike anywhere in this city. One thing that has made the transition from commuter to what I ride at the track easier was removing the free wheel from the "flip-flop" hub and putting the cog I use at the track on the freewheel side. The threading on the free wheel side is the same as a track cog, it just lacks the threading for a lock-ring. My local track doesn't require one. I was a bit skeptical about running my race cog on the freewheel side without a lock-ring but as long as your not skidding on it, which you don't do at the track, it's fine. A decent amount of the guys at my local track are lock-ring-less.

That saved me a good chunk of time converting the bike although I still have to switch out the chain, bars, remove the break and switch out the pedals from my road bike. As a student and n00b track racer, I can't justify buying a bike to ride once a week. Not having to switch cogs though has made it a lot less labor intensive.
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Old 04-11-10, 01:28 AM   #7
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I would say rent a track bike before you spend moneys on other stuff.
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