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  1. #1
    degeared
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    Track noob. Need a bike

    I'm looking at a few low-priced track bikes. Let me just state that I'd like to buy local, so internet orders are out. I like to support my shops.

    So the obvious choices are:

    Specialized Langster (not the pro model)
    Trek T1
    Felt TK3

    Specialized is the cheapest of the three. This bike would be used for riding to and from the track and of course, racing (beginner class). Which would be the best choice (assuming they all fit fine).

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    They are all about the same. All are good choices. Pick the one that excites you.

  3. #3
    degeared
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    Cool. If that's the case, I'll get the Spec. since it's the cheapest. Granted the fitting is ok. Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    NO!

    You can't use the specialized (base model) as a track bike. It is road bike geometry. Its not even close.

    Pick the Felt or the Trek, but not the Specialized.


    the Langster pro bike (or S-works) is a track bike. The standard Lanster is not.
    Also, the Felt or Trek are not going to be great on the road. They are pretty stiff and certainly the Felt has a lot of toe overlap.

  5. #5
    degeared
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    chas58 - Thanks for the reply. However, I'm failing to see much difference between the Langster and Langster Pro. Looks identical except for a slightly shorter wheelbase for the Pro?

    Langster

    Langster Pro

  6. #6
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    Specialized also makes a series of ss/fixed gear bikes called Langster. I didn't bother to count how many bikes under the Langster moniker, but there's a bunch. The links palu posted seem to have full on track geometry, and should serve well on the velodrome.

  7. #7
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Oh, I am wrong! (Kinda)

    In reference to the standard bike (~$750):

    The current 2011 and earlier models were not track compatible (still a valid comment)

    The newer 2012 model has much, much different geometry. It looks to me to be track compatible, if a little less aggressive than the "pro" version. Shoot, it even has a real track crank for the first time ever! (BCD 144, 48T). I'm shocked (pleasantly)

    Don't think of taking a 2011 or earlier Langster to the track. But if you can get the 2012 model, they look like they will work.

    Will wonders never cease...
    Last edited by chas58; 09-22-11 at 02:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    here is the current (2011) bike (which hasn't really changed for 10 years)

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...4&menuItemId=0

    Not a track bike

  9. #9
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    So I shouldn't buy this sweet Langster New York edition for sale in my area??


  10. #10
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    The Langster Pro looks like a good bang for the buck.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Nope, not for the track.

    I love riding them on the road. Light (~18lbs) and stiff, they are a great road bike (aside from some pedal strike when riding FG). But, unless your track is as flat as a pancake, it won't do on the track. Among other things, the head tube is too tall, the bottom bracket is too low, and the gearing and crank BCD is wrong. Its a nice FG road bike, but doesn't work on the track.

    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    So I shouldn't buy this sweet Langster New York edition for sale in my area??


  12. #12
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    The felt is fine on the road-- my GF has an old TK2 (about like the TK3, now) and has ridden it a ton on the road, including a lot of serious climbing and some fire roads. She's been pretty happy with it-- toe overlap has never been an issue.

    The street langsters are a step below the other two anyway, regardless of geometry. The langster pro is pretty nice- I rode one for a couple years. And you'd have to change the bars and the crank's probably not a 144, so it will end up costing as much or more than the other two for not as nice of a bike.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  13. #13
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    Oh, I am wrong! (Kinda)

    In reference to the standard bike (~$750):

    The current 2011 and earlier models were not track compatible (still a valid comment)

    The newer 2012 model has much, much different geometry. It looks to me to be track compatible, if a little less aggressive than the "pro" version. Shoot, it even has a real track crank for the first time ever! (BCD 144, 48T). I'm shocked (pleasantly)

    Don't think of taking a 2011 or earlier Langster to the track. But if you can get the 2012 model, they look like they will work.

    Will wonders never cease...
    Wait track bikes HAVE to have 144bcd cranksets?
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  14. #14
    Senior Member shrinkboy's Avatar
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    i recently went to the track (Frisco Superdrome) with a friend who wanted to use his Langster, but the monitors would not allow it b/c of some parameters they deemed unsafe, and i think it was bottom bracket height

  15. #15
    yoked homebrewk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
    Wait track bikes HAVE to have 144bcd cranksets?

  16. #16
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrinkboy View Post
    i recently went to the track (Frisco Superdrome) with a friend who wanted to use his Langster, but the monitors would not allow it b/c of some parameters they deemed unsafe, and i think it was bottom bracket height
    That is what I keep saying. you can't take road bike to a respectable track because of the bottom bracket height

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
    Wait track bikes HAVE to have 144bcd cranksets?
    No, but it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    The felt is fine on the road-- my GF has an old TK2 (about like the TK3, now) and has ridden it a ton on the road, including a lot of serious climbing and some fire roads. She's been pretty happy with it-- toe overlap has never been an issue.
    Its all personal preference, eh?

    The current TK3 has more toe overlap than anything I have ridden (54cm size) - it is a PITA for road riding. And the stiff rear triangle of a modern (non steel) track bike will beat your kiester up over anything but the smoothest roads.

    The fire road comment doesn't make sense. She use 23mm tires off road?
    Heck, my track bike has a sticker on it specifically saying not to use the bike on roads like fireroads.

    It depends what you are looking for, but the stiff rear triangle of those two is going to send any road bumps straight into your pelvis and spine. Sure, it can be done, and those two are very stiff when ridden on the road.

  17. #17
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    No, but it helps.
    I mentioned, because that was something I never heard. I've been perfectly happy running 130 bcd cranks for years.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  18. #18
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Yeah, its not the end of the world. 130s can work fine. The 144s are going to tend to be a bit stiffer and have less flex, and it is a lot easier to find 1/8" chain rings in that size (if you are using a 1/8" chain). The change in the langster to 144 cranks are just indicative of the new direction the 2012 bike is headed in.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    The fire road comment doesn't make sense. She use 23mm tires off road?
    Heck, my track bike has a sticker on it specifically saying not to use the bike on roads like fireroads.
    Sure, we both ride our road bikes on fire roads all the time (with 23 mm tires)-- when it's mostly sand and small rocks they work just fine. When you live a few blocks from a lot of different fire roads you experiment a little and find it's not so bad. A few of them are better done on a road bike (or FG, if you're into that) than an MTB, but most people don't realize it. And it's easier to carry the road bikes over the big rock falls than the mtbs.

    We do a 6 day bike ride around SoCal every year (or almost every year)at xmas where the official route has some unpleasant bits of paved road (one on a freeway) where there are really nice alternatives that are fire roads-- quite a lot of people on the trip do them. One year she took the FG instead of the road bike, and the fire roads were fine, even in the rain. I sent our regional Felt rep a picture of her with the bike in the middle of nowhere on a fire road in the rain-- he loved it.

    Road bikes are great on hardpacked dirt or decomposed granite-- one great example is Bar Harbor, Maine-- they have a bunch of really awesome bike trails around the island that are well maintained DG or gravel. A bunch of shops rent mtbs for people to ride around on, but road bikes are totally fine on them (which few people realize).

    but then I probably read too many posts by Jobst Brandt in the early days of the intarwebs...
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  20. #20
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
    I mentioned, because that was something I never heard. I've been perfectly happy running 130 bcd cranks for years.
    If you ever need to borrow stuff from people, or have teammates you want to be able to lend stuff to, you pretty much need 144. It also helps with compatibility if you start accumulating a lot of track bikes...
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  21. #21
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    If you ever need to borrow stuff from people, or have teammates you want to be able to lend stuff to, you pretty much need 144. It also helps with compatibility if you start accumulating a lot of track bikes...
    I may just go for a set of 144's over the winter, am about due for a fresh drivetrain.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    here's a pic of my 12 year old Trek 5000 and a friend with her Look 595 on the Mt Wilson toll road. We only went down, not up-- the lower part is too steep to do with a double. We counted it as a road ride, since we started and ended on pavement...

    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  23. #23
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    And the TK2 off road...

    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  24. #24
    degeared
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    That's sick, bitingduck. My old steel fixed sees off road occasionally with 700x32's.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

  25. #25
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Pretty impressive. TK2, Mavic Ellipses and all!

    Yeah, I don't mind riding a Langster on a fire road so much as I hate the flats I tend to get when it hits one of those odd shaped rocks at the wrong angle.

    Still, riding fireroads is expressly prohibited with my track bike. Bummer!
    (not to mention that it (like a newer TK3 or T1) is a lot stiffer than the bikes photographed above)
    Last edited by chas58; 09-24-11 at 09:32 PM.

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