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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 10-18-12, 06:11 AM   #1
Snap
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Wheels

I'm a newbie track racer....

I am putting together a track setup, do I need a disc wheel (to be competitive)?
Thinking of a set of 85mm tubulars for now and the disc, if necessary later.
Any reason I can't run a wheel cover on the 85's?
Good idea or do I get some lower end wheels for now and a disk and 5 spoke later?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:47 AM   #2
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If you're a newbie, you can comfortably save your money and know that your wheels won't be holding you back in the low categories.

I know plenty of people who are competitive in cat 1/2 fields w/o aero wheels. And one or two who have won master's national championships on box section wheels.
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Old 10-18-12, 10:14 AM   #3
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Strength and skills first. Then experience, then fancy carbon
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Old 10-18-12, 11:56 AM   #4
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you don't need fancy wheels for a year or two. Its nice to have something less expensive to train on and wheels that won't get ruined so easily in a crash. It is nice having equipment that is easy to repair.
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Old 10-18-12, 03:07 PM   #5
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From my understanding it depends on track location too. Discs need low wind speed so are more commonly used indoors (no wind). If you are going to be largely outdoors this will be a factor.

It also depends on the discipline. I have never used a disc but I've heard that they are heavier than standard wheels and because of the weight distribution away from the hub take longer to accelerate. So if you are a sprinter you might not be able to wind up the disc quick enough to benefit from the aero effect once up to speed, and can actually do the distance quicker using traditional wheels. For a pursuit you will benefit more from the disc (though perhaps not if outdoors).

Which leads me to my third point. Novices don't normally have the power that experienced riders have, so simply can't accelerate the disc as fast. I'd wager you need to be able to generate a minimum level of power in order to accelerate a disc fast enough so you can take advantage of the aero-benefit. If you don't make this power, then the time you lose getting up to speed cannot be gained by the additional speed you get from the disc.

Bottom line is don't get a disc unless you know your stuff (note that I don't own a disc).
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Old 10-18-12, 04:06 PM   #6
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Like everyone else has said-- learn to race first, then worry about aero stuff. The aero stuff is nice if you get to where you're regularly *just this close ><* to getting a lap before your eyes pop out, but racing skill is *way* more important than aero in mass start racing. Decent 32 spoke wheels with box rims are relatively inexpensive, very durable, and will do you quite well for at least a season or two.
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Old 10-18-12, 06:18 PM   #7
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As already alluded to - the disc is unnecessary. In the first couple of years it is fitness and race craft you need and not the bling equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordy748 View Post
Discs need low wind speed so are more commonly used indoors (no wind). If you are going to be largely outdoors this will be a factor.
Disagree with this statement. A rear disc due to the riders weight distribution has a minimal effect on handling even in strong winds*

I use a disc for most racing indoors and out on the track. And have never needed to swap out the disc for road ITT's either, even in shocking conditions! Front wheel however is a different story, usually dropping from a Hed Stinger 90 to a Zipp 404 on the road when the wind pick up...

As to weight, depends on the disc. Many are close to weight or can be even lighter than spoked wheels, especially when compared to the generic 85mm wheels the OP refers to.

*Unless you are a whippet
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Old 10-21-12, 05:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help. It seems like I'll end up with a set of training wheels and a set of race wheels eventually. I'll run the training wheels while I am getting started, and eventually buy some nice race wheels.
Two of the track racers I know are "top of the line gear" guys, and they have been adamant that a disc is the only choice for a rear race wheel. Almost all the fast guys at the track last weekend were running disc wheels, so that prompted the question.
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Old 10-21-12, 08:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help. It seems like I'll end up with a set of training wheels and a set of race wheels eventually. I'll run the training wheels while I am getting started, and eventually buy some nice race wheels.
Two of the track racers I know are "top of the line gear" guys, and they have been adamant that a disc is the only choice for a rear race wheel. Almost all the fast guys at the track last weekend were running disc wheels, so that prompted the question.
When new racers watch faster racers they notice the equipment first...as most of the faster guys use the nice equipment to racer other fast guys.

But, it's like watching a football, soccer, basketball, etc... player and seeing nice shoes and thinking, "It must be the shoes."

It's not the shoes



The same goes for any sport or hobby. How many new guitarists buy $1,000+ guitars?
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Old 10-22-12, 05:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
When new racers watch faster racers they notice the equipment first...as most of the faster guys use the nice equipment to racer other fast guys.

But, it's like watching a football, soccer, basketball, etc... player and seeing nice shoes and thinking, "It must be the shoes."

It's not the shoes



The same goes for any sport or hobby. How many new guitarists buy $1,000+ guitars?
I don't think I was smitten with the bling gear, but if I hope to be competitive I can't give away 1/10th's before the race starts either. While I am a newbie track racer, I've been racing bicycles for quite a while. I had good success my first time out, winning a couple of masters state titles and placing second in some others. I'm not so egotistical as to think I'm going to have this type of success every time out, but I think I can compete. More importantly, I had a heck of a lot of fun racing on the track that weekend. I was trying to get a gauge on what equipment I'd need to be competitive at the velodrome at weekly type races.
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Old 10-22-12, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I don't think I was smitten with the bling gear, but if I hope to be competitive I can't give away 1/10th's before the race starts either. While I am a newbie track racer, I've been racing bicycles for quite a while. I had good success my first time out, winning a couple of masters state titles and placing second in some others. I'm not so egotistical as to think I'm going to have this type of success every time out, but I think I can compete. More importantly, I had a heck of a lot of fun racing on the track that weekend. I was trying to get a gauge on what equipment I'd need to be competitive at the velodrome at weekly type races.
I guess what we are trying to say is:

- When you are consistently losing by 1/10ths of a second then it is time to invest in aero gear.
- There are LOTS other things that will make you faster on the track first...even if you've already got thousands of miles in your legs already from other cycling disciplines.
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Old 10-22-12, 12:26 PM   #12
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I read this wondering how fast the guys of old would go on their non-aero wheels, and found this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx_5pQSWdRY One of Nakano's sprint championships.
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Old 11-15-12, 11:36 PM   #13
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Hope this is a good place to ask - I am building a Track bike and looking for wheels. I am not interested in aero, but I would like tubulars (I ride them on the road). I don't want to break the bank, are there any cheap prebuilt wheels? Tubular rims and loose ball bearings? Thanks
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Old 11-15-12, 11:44 PM   #14
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Hope this is a good place to ask - I am building a Track bike and looking for wheels. I am not interested in aero, but I would like tubulars (I ride them on the road). I don't want to break the bank, are there any cheap prebuilt wheels? Tubular rims and loose ball bearings? Thanks
Campy Pista wheels are the only ones that come to mind pre-built that are loose ball and tubular: http://www.campagnolo.com/jsp/en/whe...a_catid_15.jsp

But, you could probably have a set built from scratch for less. Velocity makes a good tubular track rim called the Pro Elite: http://www.wheelbuilder.com/velocity...bular-rim.html . It's the same rim style as the clincher Deep V.
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Old 11-16-12, 09:33 AM   #15
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Do most people run sealed bearing hubs and/or clinchers? 25 years ago I did the Air Products and Burger King development programs, but I haven't raced on the track since. Loose balls and 3 in 1 oil was the hot setup then... I have an old track bike and don't plan on setting any records, but the idea of racing on commuter wheels doesn't appeal to me
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Old 11-16-12, 11:14 AM   #16
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Looking at your state of PA, most people at T-Town will be riding a tubular and looseball set up. But here in St. Louis(an a lot of other places I am sure), lots of people are riding on what would be concidered commuter wheels. They are set up for racing on with different tires and more finely set up. But there are lots of formula hubs and low profile clinchers.

Like has been said a thousand times before, a fast racer will be fast on any bike that fits. A smart racer will always be a smart racer. A winning racer is one that is fast and smart.
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Old 11-16-12, 07:21 PM   #17
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Why the regional differences in equipment? Is it the design / condition of the track, or more of a cultural thing? Thanks for the advice, I don't plan on riding this bike until spring so I'll save up for the Campy hubs and build the wheels. I think if I buy some cheap wheels, I'll be too tempted to take it out and ride it on the street this winter
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Old 11-17-12, 11:28 AM   #18
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T-town is probably the best condition track in the country, and has a lot of the national champs. So they will be a little more equiptment heads.

Here is a worse track and less nationally focused, so other things take priority.
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Old 11-18-12, 09:31 AM   #19
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I understand, this is a vintage (1984) bike, and I'm a vintage (1970) rider, so I doubt I'll be looking for 1/10" in the kilo, more like 10"! That being said, I think this one is gonna get built fancy, and if I really start to race I will look for something like a Track Pro. Thanks again
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Old 11-18-12, 12:29 PM   #20
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Buy it if it'll make you ride your bike. At least that's my excuse
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Old 11-22-12, 05:39 PM   #21
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Use what you've got. When the time comes that you actually need the really good, fancy stuff, your trade team (or national team) will buy it for you.

The only guys who need to buy that stuff are over-the-hill masters who've never got to that level, like me!

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Old 01-04-13, 12:48 PM   #22
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Update: Got some wheels, used one season (1986). Campy hubs, Fiamme Speedy rims, Oval Spokes, 3x R, 2xF, (check those nipples!) Tiny little tires(rear is flat), Campy wheel covers. Really nice tension and build, and really light, maybe too light - original owner was 5'1" lady, I am 6'1" 185lbs
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Old 01-05-13, 06:15 AM   #23
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Update: Got some wheels, used one season (1986). Campy hubs, Fiamme Speedy rims, Oval Spokes, 3x R, 2xF, (check those nipples!) Tiny little tires(rear is flat), Campy wheel covers. Really nice tension and build, and really light, maybe too light - original owner was 5'1" lady, I am 6'1" 185lbs
Those wheels are over 25 years old.

You should get new tires glued on and have them thoroughly inspected by someone who knows what they are doing.
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Old 01-05-13, 06:50 AM   #24
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Good advice, Thanks.
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