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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 03-17-12, 11:29 PM   #1
LeeRoySD
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Putting a Garmin Speed/Cadence sensor on a track bike?

So I just took my first developmental class and it was so much fun I went out and bought a track bike... In the process of learning, I think it would be helpful to monitor speed/cadence/gear inch relationships. I have an edge 500 on my road bike and love it.

1) Any issues with installing a Garmin combo sensor on a track bike (Jamis Sonik, I think its a 2009)?

2) Any other issues with computers/sensors on the track? Rules/Aesthetics or anything I am not considering?

3) My intent is to run SPD-SL Pedals and add straps either with Zip-Ties or another cut cage mod I saw... in case it is pertinent to to sensor installation.

Thanks for the help. I have about 2500 miles on the road bike so far but am a total track newb... It just looks like a lot of fun...

Last edited by LeeRoySD; 03-17-12 at 11:30 PM. Reason: SP
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Old 03-18-12, 01:21 AM   #2
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I have a speed/cadence sensor on my track bike. No problems. You may need to flip the little speed sensor arm up to get enough wheel clearance, though. Straps shouldn't affect it in any way, but if you really want to, it sounds like the cool thing to do now is stick a really strong rare earth magnet in the allen wrench hole on the backside of the pedal spindle instead of using the included cadence magnet. As for actually using a computer in races, I've never had trouble, but I think there is an official UCI rule against the use of them (more specifically, being able to look at your data as you race). That's why pros always have their SRM displays mounted on the seatpost. But, like I say, I don't think you'll have to worry about that at anything less than national championships.
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Old 03-18-12, 04:49 AM   #3
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I think the rule relates more so to the use of the comp as a pacing device. Our club strongly recommends that riders don't use computers. I do, but have found that during a race (I don't do TT style stuff anyway) I don't look at it anyway. There's too much going on in mass start stuff, and for things like sprints, you should be checking your opponent. I like it for track training, and I look back at max cadence/speed after a race, but I'm still only new to this game.
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Old 03-18-12, 11:33 AM   #4
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The rule is you are not allowed to have the screen visable while racing. Often times in mass start events that rule does not matter. But it really effects time trials, persuits, etc.
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Old 03-18-12, 12:01 PM   #5
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I would suggest it's a useful tool for training, but particularly for a novice rider, don't look at it. There is too much going on on a track to be not fully engaged with your surroundings. It's usually when there are only a couple of people on the track that folks get lazy and it goes horribly bad. Record your data and analyze it in the infield. For pursuit pacing, try to get someone to run splits for you. If you absolutely need an aid for pacing, use an iPhone and get an app called crank pacer. Use ONE ear bud and ride to the audible tempo. Better to do this than have your head down, but be prepard to get **** from coaches or staff about having something in your ear.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:57 PM   #6
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My 2 cents:

I'm a so-called "sprinter" (but if you saw me race you'd wonder...)

For me, logging max speed and cadence in training and racing is important. Having a file from a training or race day is great for analysis...IF you analyze it.

As Mark and Brawlo say, don't look at it in a race. Head up. Use it as a logging tool.

I recently got into a heated discussion from an accomplished veteran racer who had "logs dating back 20 years...". He tried to convince me to keep paper journals of my workouts and details from the efforts. I'd watch him scribble notes after every training effort. I told him that my SRM was better. He got pissed. He rattled off some soft stats from a workout. Then I countered that I could tell him my EXACT distance, average speed, max speed, average power, max power, average cadence, max cadence, average HR, max HR, rough splits, and atmospheric temperature from EVERY effort (race or training) that I've done since I got the device. I think I won that argument

The Garmin 500 and PowerTap Cervo gives you all of that great data without power if you don't have power meter cranks. That is still a LOT of data. One tip about Garmin systems, don't let it use the satellite to track your speed. This is great for long road rides where the average is more important, but this isn't as accurate as having a sensor on the wheel.

The combo speed/cadence sensors can be hairy sometimes because as you change gear ratios, your rear wheel will move in and out of the rear dropout, unlike a road bike where the wheel is always in the same position. So, when you change gears on the track bike you might have to move the magnet...and REMEMBER to move the magnet. But there is an easy solution: Get individual ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensors. Put the speed on the fork to pick up from the front wheel and put the cadence sensor on the chainstay to pickup from the crank arm. Your front wheel and cranks will always be in the same spot
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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 03-18-12, 11:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great advice. I have already ordered the Garmin sensor, but I have separate ANT+ sensors on my road bike. I guess I can just transfer them to the Sonik and use the Garmin Sensor on the Road bike. I had never thought about the rear wheel moving in relation to the frame as I have yet to change (or buy) a COG...

Maybe I can try to mount the computer somewhere less tempting to look at than the stem. With this aero frame I'll have to see what other options make sense and also work with the mounts. This is probably great advice as not only am I a noob but I am on the track with a group of others who are for the most part equally inexperienced and I need to stay 100% focused on safety.

Thanks not only for the advice here but to those of you who have contributed to the several hundred threads below this one that have been a great read and are a very much appreciated resource for a beginner that wants to learn.
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Old 03-19-12, 08:35 AM   #8
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Most top level guys mount their display under the seat. It is about the only place the UCI lets them, no way to sneek a peek under there.
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Old 03-20-12, 11:43 AM   #9
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Another vote using it during training. Even during a few "fun" races, but never when things are happening, high speed, etc.

Watching speed and cadence on a paceline is usually fascinating for me. In winter, I typically like to do a high volume / high cadence workout.
I get a kick out of how pacelines spontaneously form...they ride smoothly for 10 or 20 minutes...then the testosterone kicks up...then the speed/cadence kicks up....then it inevitably blows up after a much shorter time than probably 80% of riders wanted. Maybe 40-60 minutes later, the cycle repeats.
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Old 03-21-12, 02:14 PM   #10
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I race at the SD Velorome and have a computer mounted on my bars. It's great for training and it's still on the bike during TNR. When racing you really don't get a chance to look at it because there's a lot to be aware of. I love to check my max speed and cadence later.
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