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  1. #1
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    Are all 'track' bikes created equal?

    So being in the market for my first fixie/track bike (to get me through until I can afford a second track only bike) to get into racing with I was recommend the Mercier Kilo TT after doing some research it seems this bike may or may not be the best bike to start on with in my budget (ID like to stay 500 or less but can maybe go up to a fuji track classic price) So my question is are all the bikes marketed as track truely track geo or is say the mercier or the fuji going to give me problems since I'm new?

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    I think most of the steel entry level 'track' bikes are going to be the same. The two you listed are similar and will be fine for your first year or two of track riding. You might be better off getting a used aluminum bike, but that is going to be less desirable as a street bike. However, finding a used bike will be easier after you spend some time at the track and get a better idea of what is out there and what you want. The steel bikes do OK as double duty street/track.

    One simple thing I look at with track geometry is bottom bracket drop. Road bikes have drop around 70mm, track bikes around 55mm. Obviously if it has braze ons for brackets or water bottles, its not really a track frame.

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    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Which track are you going to be riding on? What do you think your percentage of track vs street use for this bike? Would this be the only bike you own?

    Having rack braze ons and water bottle bosses doesnt really effect if a bike would make a good track racer or not.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    If you don't mind me asking, how much do you weigh? (Or just answer that you are "lighter", "normal", or "heavier"). If you are lighter guy, a Fuji Track may not be a bad option for the money. Lighter guys won't flex it as much if at all.

    The Kilo TT is HEAVY. I raced with a guy that raced one. One day I gave him a ride home and I loaded it on to my car and was like "HOLY MOLY this is heavy." The guy maybe weighed 140lbs. The bike felt like it was 25lbs (heavy tires, heavy tubes, steel bars, double straps, heavy saddle, etc...). The bike was like 17.8% of his body weight.

    I think bike/body weight ratio is an interesting number to look into.
    Last edited by carleton; 07-21-11 at 12:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Which track are you going to be riding on? What do you think your percentage of track vs street use for this bike? Would this be the only bike you own?

    Having rack braze ons and water bottle bosses doesnt really effect if a bike would make a good track racer or not.
    The Northtexas superdome in frisco texas.

    And for the moment it will be my only bike (budget restrictions are only going to allow one purchase right now would like to stay under 500 but of course can be flexible if theres just some amazing deal.

    As far as track:street Im not sure yet since its my only bike I will have to train on the streets with it too

    @carelton last weigh in was 182lbs 10% bf
    Last edited by jduvall; 07-21-11 at 12:17 PM.

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    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    So you wont be using this bike much for running to the grocery store, or going to and from work or anything?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jduvall View Post
    The Northtexas superdome in frisco texas.

    And for the moment it will be my only bike (budget restrictions are only going to allow one purchase right now would like to stay under 500 but of course can be flexible if theres just some amazing deal.

    As far as track:street Im not sure yet since its my only bike I will have to train on the streets with it too

    @carelton last weigh in was 182lbs 10% bf
    The Superdrome is awesome.

    If you are 182, I'd say shoot for an aluminum bike. Any steel bike that you won't flex will be sort of (if not really) heavy.

    If you can save a bit more and/or stretch the budget, the Felt TK3 is a great bike. There are lots of others, too. Of course, used in good condition is always a better value. Maybe the velodrome has a forum. I know there is some sort of Texas Bike Racing forum. Maybe check classifieds there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    The Superdrome is awesome.

    If you are 182, I'd say shoot for an aluminum bike. Any steel bike that you won't flex will be sort of (if not really) heavy.

    If you can save a bit more and/or stretch the budget, the Felt TK3 is a great bike. There are lots of others, too. Of course, used in good condition is always a better value. Maybe the velodrome has a forum. I know there is some sort of Texas Bike Racing forum. Maybe check classifieds there.
    Should I maybe buy a roadbike to train on and see if the track rents bikes since I wont be able to train on the track all that often?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jduvall View Post
    Should I maybe buy a roadbike to train on and see if the track rents bikes since I wont be able to train on the track all that often?
    If your goal is to race on the track competitively you will either:
    - Buy only a track bike and ride on the track several times a week and maybe on the rollers at home.
    - Buy a road bike and train on the road then rent/borrow a track bike for race days.
    - Have both road and track bikes and train where it's most effective and/or convenient. This is the most popular option for several reasons.

    If you live near the track and it's not a problem to go 3-5 days/nights a week, then the first option might be best right now. I know people who have done that with great success. If you live far away and will see the track only a few days a month, then a road bike will be more useful. There are lots of people that also do that with great success. I live 3.5 hours from the nearest velodrome. But, most serious racers have both and use the most appropriate bike for the job at hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    If your goal is to race on the track competitively you will either:
    - Buy only a track bike and ride on the track several times a week and maybe on the rollers at home.
    - Buy a road bike and train on the road then rent/borrow a track bike for race days.
    - Have both road and track bikes and train where it's most effective and/or convenient. This is the most popular option for several reasons.

    If you live near the track and it's not a problem to go 3-5 days/nights a week, then the first option might be best right now. I know people who have done that with great success. If you live far away and will see the track only a few days a month, then a road bike will be more useful. There are lots of people that also do that with great success. I live 3.5 hours from the nearest velodrome. But, most serious racers have both and use the most appropriate bike for the job at hand.
    After thinking about it I called my uncle who moved to wyoming and took his old trek 1000 (2003I think) with him and asked if he'd sell it to me. He is dropping it in the post today for the low fee of shipping so that'll suffice when I cannot get out to the track (its aobut 45 minutes away so I can probably go 3 times a week without to much trouble so long as the wife doesn't mind to much) She also ok'ed the purchase of the Felt Tk3 after I take a couple of classes at the track to make sure I'm going to enjoy it and not just throwing money away on a bike that isn't as good to ride on the roads

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are very well set. The next biggest expense you will probably have is a set of shoes, pedals, and cleats.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Sounds like you are very well set. The next biggest expense you will probably have is a set of shoes, pedals, and cleats.
    Im ordering the pedals off of ebay Shimanos for I think it was 40 bucks so thats not to bad. The shoes yeah those will cost some but not to bad I'll buy those from the shop that I pick up the felt from. My wife is very supportive in this endeavor cause its something I've very interested in (I was a road racer when we started dating, but I've since packed on a lot more muscle making me better suited to sprint or hopefully track than road race, not to say I wont still dabble in that now and then)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    SHimano makes a huge line of pedals, which ones are you looking at?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    SHimano makes a huge line of pedals, which ones are you looking at?
    pd-r540s

    or maybe just some nashbar pedals to get started with

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jduvall View Post
    pd-r540s

    or maybe just some nashbar pedals to get started with
    The R540 will do nicely; certainly much better than anything you can get with the Nashbar logo on it. Myself, I use the old-style Ultegra pedals, which are really very similar to the R540s (the clip and pedal body are identical, I think the only difference are the axle and bearings).
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  16. #16
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are all set.
    The TK3 is a decent bike (if you don’t mind the toe overlap). Alternatively you could rent and look around for a good used bike for the price of the TK3 (although some people do like new bikes). The Kilo has to be manhandled a bit on the track, I think you will like the TK3 a lot better. The nice thing about not renting is that you can really get your bike dialed in for yourself and don’t have to re-adjust everything every time you ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    Sounds like you are all set.
    The TK3 is a decent bike (if you don’t mind the toe overlap). Alternatively you could rent and look around for a good used bike for the price of the TK3 (although some people do like new bikes). The Kilo has to be manhandled a bit on the track, I think you will like the TK3 a lot better. The nice thing about not renting is that you can really get your bike dialed in for yourself and don’t have to re-adjust everything every time you ride.
    But the good thing about renting for a little while is going to be that if I really dislike track racing (esp with it not being really possible to ride there that often) I at least don't have to sell a bike

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