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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 10-19-12, 11:52 AM   #1
Gordy748
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Best drop bar for a complete noobie?

Casually looking at the track bar market I see a lot of different bars out there. I get that the steel bars like Nitto's will be as flexible as a brick, but equally they seem to be pretty pricey. As a newcomer could I get away with getting an alloy dropbar instead?

Note I'm trying to try out track on the cheap but I'm also worried about safety. I don't want to get something that saves me $20 bucks if it's really not a great idea.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:04 PM   #2
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Cheap handlebars won't be unsafe - they're just likely to be a bit heavier and flexier than more expensive ones.

There is no "best" drop bar. It depends on a few things - your preferences; the types of events you're likely to be doing; and your budget.

I used steel drops for a while. Even though I'm not a sprinter, I liked the forearm clearance. I don't like bars with ergo bends - I like the multiple hand positions afforded me by curved bars. So that informs my choices.

Most people use some form of road drop bar. Some people drop coin on fancier carbon sprint bars.

Sounds like you'd be fine with any old road drop bar that you think is comfortable.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:37 PM   #3
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The best drop bar for a complete noob is the one that I (or some other greedy bastid) can make the most money off of.
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Old 10-19-12, 01:34 PM   #4
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The best drop bar for a complete noob is the one that I (or some other greedy bastid) can make the most money off of.
Good one! I'll bear that in mind.
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Old 10-21-12, 04:33 PM   #5
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38-40cm wide alloy road drops!
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Old 10-21-12, 06:39 PM   #6
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I use the Deda Pista bars that came stock on my Fuji. I find them to be a good shape and the price is nice too.

Only negative I can see is the width at 42cm. Would really like something narrower.

When choosing the bars, they have to be something you are happy being in the drops all the time. As this is how you will be riding and racing.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:32 PM   #7
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What event are you jumping into? Sprints if you got muscles, like Hoy.
make it a strong one..

pursuit then something lighter..
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Old 10-22-12, 07:34 PM   #8
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Get a road bar that fits well. Since you are new you will be doing a lot of differenet events, so a specialized bar would not be needed yet.
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Old 10-23-12, 09:04 AM   #9
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38-40cm wide alloy road drops!
Yup, pretty much.
If you like an ergo bend, get an ergo bend.
If you like a round bend, get a round bend.

A lot of people use compact bend handlebars. The short reach means that there will be good wrist clearance while sprinting, compared to tranditional bend bars.

I like PRO Vibe 7S Round bend bars. They have an early curve to them, slighter than criterium bars but reminiscent of them. And they have an otherwise fairly traditional bend and drop (albeit optimized for shifters, though that's moot for track bikes, obv). They're super stiff, partly because the OS diameter continues along the top. I just wish they came in 38cm.

Most of my teammates have whatever Ritchey shape they like. I also like HED GTO bars, and Zipp handlebars.
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Old 10-23-12, 09:57 AM   #10
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What event are you jumping into? Sprints if you got muscles, like Hoy.
make it a strong one..

pursuit then something lighter..
That's the $64 question, sir. I'm an ex-international lightweight rower (of little consequence, you won't have heard of me). In my rowing training, I always tested better in shorter tests (e.g. sub 3 minutes) than longer tests of around 40 minutes. So my anaerobic endurance is relatively better than my aerobic endurance.

For track events, I reckon the shorter events will suit me better, sprints and kilos. There may be things like madisons that I could also do, but to be honest I am only familiar with the shorter events. I have no real idea how the points or Madison races work.

My idea was to just give the track a go next year for any old event but aim for the sprint/ kilo. I got a hipstered Felt TK2 on Craigslist a couple weeks back, it's got bullhorns so I'm going to get a drop bar I can just swap out depending on what I'd be racing.
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Old 10-23-12, 10:48 AM   #11
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the difference between your rowing testing, and track racing, is that the rowing testing (presumably) tested you under one long effort. track endurance races are rarely one long effort. rather, they're bursts of short-term power followed by some moderate recovery, and then short-term power over again. Lapping the field? that's a within-3mins effort thrown in there. Some people go for long moves, but usually, one either laps the field, or is within striking distance.

re: you have no idea how points or madison races work:
in points races, there are sprints every predetermined number of laps. on a 250m velodrome, they're every 10 laps, and a race might be from 40 to 100+ laps long. the winner of any given sprint gets 5 points; 2nd gets 3, then 2, then 1 point. somebody who laps the field gets 20 points. the winner of the race is the person with the most points.

the madison is similar - there are sprints contested at predetermined intervals - but the difference is that the main scoring in a madison is laps. if you lap the field, you are ahead. points are just used as tiebreakers among teams who are on the same lap. if me and my teammate score no points but lap the field, and our rival team wins every sprint (collecting maximum points), guess what? we win.
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Old 10-23-12, 04:31 PM   #12
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the difference between your rowing testing, and track racing, is that the rowing testing (presumably) tested you under one long effort.
You presume right, sir. Usually we'd have a 750m erg test (rowing machine, about 2:20) early in the season to establish season expected training times, a series of 2,000 m erg (about 6:30 - 6:40), and the occasional 5 & 10 k erg test (17 and 36 minutes respectively). My 750 meter time always suggested I should do a faster 2, 5 and 10 k time than I actually ever did.
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Old 10-23-12, 09:12 PM   #13
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DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SPECIALIZING IN YOUR FIRST SEASON

This forum is mostly filled with more experienced riders, so when we talk it is usualy with some knowledge and specialization. So when a question about bars comes up every one goes to their personal experience. So a sprinter will think about all the issues of sprint bars. But for your first season, maybe two, track time is more important than anything else. So go out there and race as much as you can over a wide series of events. You will figure out what you like and what youre good at. From there you go into more specialization.
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