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  1. #1
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    what advantage do rear-opening dropouts on a track bike offer?

    This challenge was raised at this week's gathering of Toronto NoClick Cycling Club recently.

    Can anyone offer a practical purpose for the rear-opening "dropouts" traditionally found on track frames?
    While several disadvantages were quickly offered (e.g. if used as a street bikes, fenders become a huge headache) none of us (and this included some of the world's most brilliant bike minds, me excluded.) could think of a single practical (that is to say excluding aesthetics and tradition) advantage of rear opening dropouts over standard front opening drop outs (the chain can be tensioned with either.)

    who would like to take a crack at it?

    in the meanwhile, does anyone have a picture of Fausto Coppi on a track frame they can post?

  2. #2
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    From my memory, Firstly to have forward facing drop outs would mean it would be impossible to move the rear wheel as close as possible to the seat tube. For hipsters on the road, this probably is of little relevance, but for track bikes this has a lot more relevance for aerodynamics.

    Second, if you use a chain tensioner capping the end of a rear-facing dropout then it's very easy to adjust the axle so that it's very secure (and in exactly the right place) without having to tighten the living daylights out of the axle nuts. You could not do this nearly as effectively using forward facing dropouts. For hipsters on the road with their spindly little legs, this might not have more relevance, but when your name is **** Von Quadzillaberg and you have a wattage output that would make a Mack truck blush, this is a big thing.

    Basically, track racers produce a lot of power and go fast. Rear dropouts are better at facilitating this than forward facing ones. Hipsters do neither (to do so would spill their lattes) so can get away with forward facing ones.

    (Note I am an ex-hipster* and once owned a forward facing dropout road bike retrofitted as a fixie)

    * come to think of it, I don't think I even qualified as that.

  3. #3
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    Thanks

    But I am not clear on the Why of points 1 and 3 above.
    Why would FFDOs (I am just being lazy here) preclude positioning the rear wheel as close to the seat tube as RFDOs?

    Ditto "Rear dropouts are better at facilitating this than forward facing ones."
    Why?

    Peter

  4. #4
    Wear One IvyCap's Avatar
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    Interesting, but at the same time you say brilliant bike minds? Under all that tension and torque there is a force pulling the hub to the cranks. The main force here is applied on the upper contact areas of the chain as opposed to the bottom mainly because of the forward motion of the cranks. Because of this there is a likelihood of the wheel shifting forwards in the direction where the most force is being applied. When you say brilliant minds, does that include engineers and physicists? Seems like simple physics to me.
    something like this
    Last edited by IvyCap; 10-18-12 at 04:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    If it's good enough for Fausto Coppi...

    l'Eroica and museum. - 14.jpgaccording to a good authority, Fausto Coppi's track bike had standard road bike dropouts.
    Coppis track bike.JPG

    from Museo dei Campionisimmi

  6. #6
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    Note the name I was using that was asterisked out is O, t, t, o. Not sure why this is a banned word.

  7. #7
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    "brilliant bike minds"

    I don't know the emoticon for "just being facetious".

  8. #8
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    Regarding point 1, with either FF or RF DOs you need to be able to get the wheel out. FFDOs require some gap between where the rear wheel could be (tire within a hairsbreadth of the seat tube) and where you can actually place the wheel (given that you need to be able to pull the wheel out). Regarding point 3, I only made 2 points (the last was the example of what I did to an old road frame. It shows it can be done but it's not something I'd really want to do for track).

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Why can't you be a little more clever on the fender mounts? I don't see how rear facing complicates mounting fenders, anyway. I've never seen much need to put fenders on my track bikes, though I live in California where it doesn't rain much (we cancel rides if it's a little cloudy) and I mostly use my track bikes on the track.

    I think Gordy has it right on both counts regarding not needing room to move the wheel forward to get it out, and also easy use of chain tensioners (which I've never used, anyway). Road bike dropouts are also usually pretty short compared to track ends (probably easily remedied, but nobody seems to do it), so you'd need to carry more chains and keep track of them.

    Rear facing also keeps the wheel from pulling completely out if you pull the wheel. You end up with it jammed against a stay while you tip over. If it could pull all the way out you'd probably mess up the rear triangle and be much more unhappy than you are having to figure out how to mount fenders. With rear [accidentally typed forward before] facing dropouts most of the damage on a pulled wheel is to your ego.

    I don't see any advantage to forward facing dropouts though. If you guys used your track bikes more on the track than the road you wouldn't sit around asking such questions though...

    (maybe o,t,t,o is too close to b,o,t,t,o? I'm not sure what his current status is.)
    Last edited by bitingduck; 10-18-12 at 05:44 PM.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  10. #10
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy748 View Post
    Regarding point 1, with either FF or RF DOs you need to be able to get the wheel out. FFDOs require some gap between where the rear wheel could be (tire within a hairsbreadth of the seat tube) and where you can actually place the wheel (given that you need to be able to pull the wheel out). Regarding point 3, I only made 2 points (the last was the example of what I did to an old road frame. It shows it can be done but it's not something I'd really want to do for track).
    You could always deflate the tire to get it in and out...
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  11. #11
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    I don't understand why fenders were brought into this argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  12. #12
    Wear One IvyCap's Avatar
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    This really doesn't even seem like question of discussion.

  13. #13
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    They're called trackends, since a wheel cannot "drop out" of them.

    And "just because" is a fine answer (kind of like why we use 1/8" chains), with the added bonus of not requiring even a single use of the word "hipster."
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    I don't understand why fenders were brought into this argument.
    OP lives in a rainy place and rides fixed gears on the road-- probably a better topic for FGSS forum, but it was amusing and politely asked, so I didn't point that out in my first reply.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyCap View Post
    This really doesn't even seem like question of discussion.
    Yet here we are, discussing the question.

    What's more important than putting fenders on a track bike is why O.t.t.o is a banned word in the first place. My "brilliant cycling mind"* would love to know...

    * Some oxymorons in that one.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Coppi's bike also looks like it has a QR, which isn't even legal for mass start racing under current rules.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  17. #17
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    And a minimal amount of google-fu was required to find these: http://www.yellowjersey.org/trakends.html which are drilled to accomodate fenders...
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  18. #18
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy748 View Post
    why **** is a banned word in the first place.
    people abuse something and it gets put into the censor. Along with things that would get us blacklisted.

  19. #19
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    My point about fenders was not re: installing them but rather using them. to remove the rear wheel you have to dismount the fenders (i.e. pulling the wheel back would butt up against the fender.)

    (remind me the NEVER type a serious reply on a smartphone screen)
    Last edited by pstock; 10-19-12 at 04:27 PM. Reason: correct dumbphone typos

  20. #20
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstock View Post
    using them. to remove ghr wheel you hsve to dismount the fenders ( as pulling the wheel back eound butt up against the fender.
    Why is that an issue on a track bike?
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  21. #21
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    +1

    I think that is the biggest reason - the wheel pulling out of a front dropout would be a big problem. Tire rubbing against the frame is better than a catastrophic crash.

    I have fenders on my hipster bike. I don't see the problem there. The fenders don't need to be much further back than the top of the tire to keep things dry. Full fenders on a fixie bike rather lowers your hipster score anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post

    Rear facing also keeps the wheel from pulling completely out if you pull the wheel. You end up with it jammed against a stay while you tip over. If it could pull all the way out you'd probably mess up the rear triangle and be much more unhappy than you are having to figure out how to mount fenders. With rear [accidentally typed forward before] facing dropouts most of the damage on a pulled wheel is to your ego.

  22. #22
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    "Why is that an issue on a track bike?" I am not asking about fenders on track bikes. I am asking about track bikes period. and since many track bikes have migrated to the streets, fenders then become an issue.

    and I posted this question here and not FGSS because I expect that in FGSS I would get some answer like "well, because "slideouts" (or whatever they actually referred to as) look cool"

    I figured that to get an intelligent explanation of the purpose of "slideouts" (or whatevers) I should ask it where they originated, in the track world.

  23. #23
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  24. #24
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyCap View Post
    +1
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  25. #25
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    "FFDOs require some gap between where the rear wheel could be"
    But is the reverse not also true on a track frame? that you need a bit of space between seattube and rear wheel to tension the chain? (I've never actually spent time with a true track bike, just seen the FGSS street versions.)

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