Track bikes do follow the same rationale as road bikes, where wheels can be the best upgrade to a bike you can make. I agree with Carlton, that the TK3 is an awesome bike, but the benefits of going to Carbon on the track aren't the same as the road. You'll probably notice an improvement by:
If you're on clinchers, going to a pair of well built tubular wheels
Trying out some race specific wheels
Riding the bike to death. I always ask myself what my bikes owe me, and after a certain point resentment takes over and I try to ride them into the ground. The upshot of this is, I get a lot more riding in anger in, and I get faster.
I have no problem with it, more just annoyances. The dropouts give me a hard time, the wheel seems to travel and slip a lot. I assumed first this was just me being new and not knowing how to adjust correctly but then my friends who have been helping me have mentioned my bike seems really difficult.
The toe overlap... I've read about it, I guess I understand that is just a part of track bikes... But mine is like 1/3 foot overlap... The pedal itself seems like it nearly misses. It was suggest to get a new fork but I have no looked into that.
I was also thinking about wheels... I just have the wheels that come with the TK3. People have been really great about loaning out wheels tho and when I asked between wheels and a bike they were saying I could always borrow wheels. I do plan to get my own better ones tho for sure but just trying to find the best options since it can get pricey quick!
Just had my first track race today actually, it was quite interesting. Looking forward to the 2nd half tomorrow.
The TK3 is a decent bike frame. The best upgrade is probably wheels as was discussed. If it fits you right, you should be in pretty good shape. Are you sure you have it fitted properly? Maybe it is just the wrong shape for you?
IT is a short wheelbase, a little darty and has lots of toe overlap. Most of that is going to just be getting used to the bike. You will likely be fine with more time on the bike. Alternatively borrow some bikes and see if you like their ride better.
Don’t change the fork because of toe overlap. Even just a 5mm change in fork rake is going to ruin a track bike. Adding 5mm to that specific bike is going to make it very difficult to handle on the track.
I assume it is fits properly as it feels fine while riding. Actually the track races I had this weekend went well too minus a few mishaps that I've luckily learned from! I'll continue with this bike and see how it goes since it sounds like these are just things I can get used to over time.
Hey Cat, my first track bike was a 56 cm Felt TK2 I thought it felt a bit small so two years later I went to a 58 cm Masi Speciale Sprint, but that felt too big! After two more years I'm on a 56cm Van Dessel Drag Strip Courage, feels like home. Even John Ledford commented that it fit me best. Yes, wheels make the biggest difference in performance. Congrats on surviving the track races over the weekend. So when are you coming to TNR?