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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 11-15-10, 04:33 AM   #1
Chaderotti
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Has anyone bought the cheapy carbon track wheels from China?

I understand quite a few people here as well as other cycling forums (not sure if it's a sin to mention) have bought the road variety, 50mm deep wheels for about $550-$600 usd shipped, but I haven't found any info on the track wheels.

Here are the road wheels, may ring a few bells for people who have seen them
here
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Old 11-15-10, 03:39 PM   #2
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I've been curious about the cheap wheels, too.

As I'm sure you know, track racing puts way more g forces than road riding (during a flying 200M for example), but on the other hand, there are no potholes or uneven surfaces on a velodrome. I think most of the cheap carbon wheels will work fine for most riders. But, I wonder if quality control is on par with non-budget wheels. I read one review that stated that the first generation FFW 5 spoke (Mavic Io copy) made no accommodation for bearing adjustment which became loose affecting handling at high speeds.

It's amazing how very small things have a big impact on one's riding on the velodrome. I had a friend who had a bad headset adjustment (old bike, loose ball headset). The bike felt absolutely fine on flat ground. The second she got on the banking at everything was "wonky" and had to end her training session. She could never get it dialed in so wound up buying a modern sealed headset.

Between the unusual angles of force on the bike, higher than normal G forces, standing starts (lots of unusually high torque) and higher than normal pack speeds, I think that track wheels should be better than average and definitely not budget. I think that some of these budget wheel manufacturers simply throw parts together and not really test their stuff and simply produce stuff that looks fast. That being said, I've never seen a wheel fail catastrophically (knock wood). I've seen 3 sets of Kazane branded carbon wheels (similar to Zipp 404) being used with no complaints from their owners.

Personally, I can live with a $10 carbon water bottle holder or some $50 carbon brakes not being rigorously tested. But, not the wheels...especially not on the track. I have custom built training wheels made around Dura Ace hubs and Zipp race wheels both for piece of mind.


(sorry for the rambling)
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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 11-16-10, 10:46 AM   #3
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Virtually all the carbon rims come out of a couple of different factories. After that you're talking hub and build quality.
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Old 11-16-10, 02:50 PM   #4
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Virtually all the carbon rims come out of a couple of different factories. After that you're talking hub and build quality.
I agree. I read an interview of the president of Zipp or Hed (can't recall) who said that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars designing a wheel and it's carbon layup just to have a Chinese company bake the wheel which releases the resin and they simply unravel the carbon and reverse engineer it. This is the equivalent of buying ONE $300 North Face jacket, cutting away the seams revealing the pattern, mass producing it, and selling it for $50 because you have no R&D costs to recoup.

I guess the big question is, would a wheel that was rejected from Zipp/HED quality control pass for Brand X?
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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 02-01-11, 08:35 AM   #5
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Virtually all the carbon rims come out of a couple of different factories. After that you're talking hub and build quality.
Couldn't the hub and spokes be replaced/rebuilt by a competent wheel builder?
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Old 02-01-11, 10:37 AM   #6
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there are no potholes or uneven surfaces on a velodrome.
You haven't ridden some of the older concrete tracks...
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Old 02-01-11, 12:07 PM   #7
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You haven't ridden some of the older concrete tracks...
Haha! I heard that at Alpenrose (I think it's Alpenrose) that if you aren't careful, you can catch air coming out of turn 4.
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Old 02-02-11, 02:02 AM   #8
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Haha! I heard that at Alpenrose (I think it's Alpenrose) that if you aren't careful, you can catch air coming out of turn 4.
I didn't think the pole lane was as bad as the locals seem to, but the transitions are horrible up on the banking. Not due to potholes, but because the track seems to actually be convex at the transition from straight to curve up high on the banking.

Encino has a very sharp transition from the track to the apron (there's no blue band), and there are grooves/ruts in some places so it can be a little interesting when you make a madison exchange at the bottom and need to avoid going to the apron. When I raced San Jose one of the straights felt like it was going to bounce my teeth out (I'm not so old that they're removable) when I was in aero bars. I haven't been to kissena, but there are rumors that a front suspension isn't a bad idea...
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Old 02-02-11, 05:41 PM   #9
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I didn't think the pole lane was as bad as the locals seem to, but the transitions are horrible up on the banking. Not due to potholes, but because the track seems to actually be convex at the transition from straight to curve up high on the banking.

Encino has a very sharp transition from the track to the apron (there's no blue band), and there are grooves/ruts in some places so it can be a little interesting when you make a madison exchange at the bottom and need to avoid going to the apron. When I raced San Jose one of the straights felt like it was going to bounce my teeth out (I'm not so old that they're removable) when I was in aero bars. I haven't been to kissena, but there are rumors that a front suspension isn't a bad idea...
Hahaha.

I've told people that riding Dick Lane in aerobars is like riding a horse...in aerobars. There is a "whoop-de-doo" between turns 3-4 that sent Espinoza from the pole lane to the stayers line during a flying 200m. He still qualified first. The locals know that to get through that section you gotta hover 1" over the saddle moto-cross style.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:18 AM   #10
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Damn. I am not looking forward to US tracks. I've been spoiled over here. The worst track I've been on is still pretty damn smooth...
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Old 02-04-11, 11:55 AM   #11
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Damn. I am not looking forward to US tracks. I've been spoiled over here. The worst track I've been on is still pretty damn smooth...
We are being dramatic. You'll be fine.

When you relocate, what part of the country will you live?

Welcome back!
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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 02-04-11, 05:59 PM   #12
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San Francisco, so Hellyer will be my home track. I hope to be at ADT as often as possible as well.

It's a bitter-sweet thing: The track scene in Japan is pretty much ideal! I'm sorry to be leaving it.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:26 PM   #13
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San Francisco, so Hellyer will be my home track. I hope to be at ADT as often as possible as well.

It's a bitter-sweet thing: The track scene in Japan is pretty much ideal! I'm sorry to be leaving it.
Well, you can bring your experience and enthusiasm back home and help out here
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Old 02-05-11, 10:08 AM   #14
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when it comes to carbon u get what u pay for
so if u buy cheap carbon products it will be really low quality
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Old 02-06-11, 06:33 AM   #15
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Carleton, I wanna give you a public thank you for the nice words. I appreciate it.
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Old 02-06-11, 10:20 AM   #16
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San Francisco, so Hellyer will be my home track. I hope to be at ADT as often as possible as well.

It's a bitter-sweet thing: The track scene in Japan is pretty much ideal! I'm sorry to be leaving it.
People seem to carpool pretty regularly from the bay area down to here to race or prep for big races. Once you get hooked up at San Jose you'll probably find it pretty easy to get down here.

There's a caricature of all the US tracks that someone at Hellyer made before nats last year: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7247999/?ref=nf after a year or two back here it will be even funnier.
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Old 02-06-11, 12:53 PM   #17
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I ride at Burnaby & from some of the stories it makes me nervous about dragging my bike across the border & riding at some of the other close tracks (Marymoor, Alpenrose)
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Old 02-10-11, 06:34 PM   #18
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Marymoor isn't that bad -
not ideal, but not bad either.
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Old 02-10-11, 08:56 PM   #19
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People seem to carpool pretty regularly from the bay area down to here to race or prep for big races. Once you get hooked up at San Jose you'll probably find it pretty easy to get down here.

There's a caricature of all the US tracks that someone at Hellyer made before nats last year: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7247999/?ref=nf after a year or two back here it will be even funnier.
-Ha! Awful lot of name drops in that one...
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Old 02-11-11, 06:36 PM   #20
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really funny!
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Old 02-14-11, 12:14 PM   #21
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Baby Puke, welcome to Hellyer (in the future)! There are usually good carpool groups heading up north (alpenrose) and south (adt, encino, san diego) for races through out the season. imho, Hellyer's surface isn't bad at all.
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Old 02-14-11, 06:24 PM   #22
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Thanks, Pelikan! I look forward to getting started State-side. I've been on Hellyer once, two years ago during a visit. The surface does seem fine, but shallower banking is gonna take some getting used to. Really excited to try ADT.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:58 PM   #23
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Glad I found this thread. There's a group buy for these in lafixed and was actually considering these
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Old 02-25-11, 10:30 PM   #24
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You can get Reynolds carbon track wheelsets from $300 - $700 on Ebay.
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