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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 05-30-12, 06:06 PM   #26
bitingduck
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Being a good road racer means that you will have a hard time learning on the track. You are going to be faster than most of the 4/5 or D racers, but not have any track knowledge. It is going to be very hard for you to learn much. While racing in the lowest group you will probably be able to win a lot on bad or no strategy beacause of your power. And you won't have to worry much about gear selection because you can just overpower most of the people in your group.
He has the advantage of being in SoCal. When I was promoting, we could sell out separate 4 and 5 fields, and there would be more than one strong roadie trying to ride away from people, a whole lot of people who are strong enough to at least sit in, and a whole lot of traffic to pick through while trying to ride away.
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Old 05-31-12, 09:25 AM   #27
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I'd suspect that there are few guys in gears larger than about 95", especially for a points race where there are a lot of accelerations.

Elite nats was one of the few places I'd pull out the 52 and 53 for, and that was to get ~94-95" gear. Guys I know who rode bigger gears than that tended to struggle on the accelerations. For reference, I managed to take a solo lap at elite nats in my scratch heat in a 94" gear, and I don't (and didn't) have the kind of spin that a lot of the fast kids do. I didn't really have any trouble staying in for the final in the same gear. A friend of mine who medaled in the same race was riding the same gear or an inch bigger. The kids I know who did well consistently were in the same or smaller gears. Normally for a local/regional mass start race I'd use a 92" gear because there's a lot more difference between the top speed and slowest speed, and the accelerations really get you in the big gears. At elite nats it starts out fast and gets faster, and never really slows down that much-- there's almost always an attack coming if it starts to slow at all, so you can roll a bigger gear. The twice-weekly open interval session at HDC ends with a motorpace race that basically shells all but the last 5 people or so most weeks and ends in the high 30s for the last 5 laps or so, and I've never ridden bigger than a 92" gear in that, and that's when I'm out of shape and want to cruise. If I'm in good shape and expect to stay in to the end I'm more likely to be in a 90.

One year at World Cup I sat next to a bunch of the kiwi team during the scratch race and asked about what kind of gearing Henderson would be riding. "90, maybe a 92". When the garmin guys came out one year to train before a world cup there was a special motorpace race session, and the speed pretty much started at ~30 mph and went from there. I think I was in a 92 and waited out the first lap that the fast guys took (in about 3 laps) figuring the second one would be slower. I got in for the next lap, which also took about 3 laps, and Magnus went on to take at least two more laps, including at least one solo. He was in a 92" gear and was just taking it easy-- I don't think he was breathing hard when he got off the track.
Thanks so much for the insight!

I know for a fact that Dan Holt rode a big gear, but it seems that he was an exception.
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Old 05-31-12, 11:48 AM   #28
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Thanks so much for the insight!

I know for a fact that Dan Holt rode a big gear, but it seems that he was an exception.
Some guys can, but there are a lot of guys who spin more-- I've seen juniors in junior gearing hold their own in a cat 1/2 field out here. They grow up to ride smaller gears. And *way* back when I was in Minneapolis and they had the EDS cup series, a bunch of people came from all over for that, and one of my teammates at the time did the fastest Flying 200 m of the day using an 86" gear. He was an ex BMX national champion.
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Old 05-31-12, 11:57 AM   #29
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Some guys can, but there are a lot of guys who spin more-- I've seen juniors in junior gearing hold their own in a cat 1/2 field out here. They grow up to ride smaller gears. And *way* back when I was in Minneapolis and they had the EDS cup series, a bunch of people came from all over for that, and one of my teammates at the time did the fastest Flying 200 m of the day using an 86" gear. He was an ex BMX national champion.
Those BMX guys are crazy fast. They make super high cadences on LONG cranks (like 180mm), which means that their footspeed* is astronomical.


*To the uninitiated, footspeed refers to the actual speed your feet travel in the circumference of your pedal stroke. Given a certain cadence, a longer crank arm will require more footspeed to maintain the set cadence than a shorter crank arm would.
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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 05-31-12, 10:58 PM   #30
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The answer to your question is personal and comes with experience (as you spend more time at the track).

Just because you can push a larger gear, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. A larger gear will give you a higher top end speed, will cause you to accelerate slower, and cause you to run out of energy faster.

Lower gears are great, but sooner or later you will just run out of oxygen.

Since you are new to track and a strong experienced rider, try doing a lot of training in a lower gear and learn how to spin. See how long, hard, and fast you can go with a 48x15. Efficient spinning is important to track racing. Once you get that down, then try the bigger gears.
Another reason to avoid too big a gear when you are starting out on the track is you will surge more... which can be very unnerveing if you are not used to moderating your speed without brakes.

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Old 05-31-12, 11:41 PM   #31
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Another reason to avoid too big a gear when you are starting out on the track is you will surge more... which can be very unnerveing if you are not used to moderating your speed without brakes.
Especially when the people in front of you can slow faster because they're in smaller gears!
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Old 06-01-12, 08:35 AM   #32
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Especially when the people in front of you can slow faster because they're in smaller gears!
Yes! That produces an "Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t..." moment.



There is a youtube video where a guy has a GoPro camera on his bike in a local points race, then he mates the video with Dashware software and his SRM file. This produces an on-screen telemetry of speed, cadence, and power. I posted it here before, but now I can't find it. If someone can find it, PLEASE post it. That video pretty much shows all that's involved in such a race. All of the surges, RPMs, speeds, etc...
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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 06-01-12, 04:18 PM   #33
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Yes! That produces an "Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t..." moment.



There is a youtube video where a guy has a GoPro camera on his bike in a local points race, then he mates the video with Dashware software and his SRM file. This produces an on-screen telemetry of speed, cadence, and power. I posted it here before, but now I can't find it. If someone can find it, PLEASE post it. That video pretty much shows all that's involved in such a race. All of the surges, RPMs, speeds, etc...
you don't mean this guy, do you?

http://www.youtube.com/user/hoopsnak...&view=0&page=2

he doesn't have any power though.
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Old 06-01-12, 04:19 PM   #34
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I do not mean this in any negitive way. It is true about everything, including my interests.

Being a good road racer means that you will have a hard time learning on the track. You are going to be faster than most of the 4/5 or D racers, but not have any track knowledge. It is going to be very hard for you to learn much. While racing in the lowest group you will probably be able to win a lot on bad or no strategy beacause of your power. And you won't have to worry much about gear selection because you can just overpower most of the people in your group. At some point your race level will at some point catch up with you, and you wont be able to just overpower people. And that is where you are going to learn. But that is much more annoying. When fumbling around with bad moves and overgearing in the D class youre like every one else, but in the Bs most people have figured that out. I am not trying to discourage you, there are ways to figure all of these things out, and ways to learn how to do it in the low ranks, but it will definatly be harder.
I suffered badly from this. My first year was just as outlined by Kayce. The last season just ended for us and it was all about learning. I didn't improve over the winter due to a lack of time. Our club only has 2 grades and for my second year I was thrown in with guys that had been racing since juniors. The pace was the first thing to cope with. There was a huge difference! Secondly, once I had the pace to simply keep up, then I had to try and work out how to race. I can see from my own experience that this will take some years yet. Power will be my trump card, but that is only a small part of the puzzle. Race craft accounts for so much more.
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Old 06-01-12, 10:40 PM   #35
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you don't mean this guy, do you?

http://www.youtube.com/user/hoopsnak...&view=0&page=2

he doesn't have any power though.
That guy only has heart rate in his track videos. He has all of the other data in his road videos. I don't think this is the guy, unless he removed the track vids that had more data.
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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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