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  1. #1
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    Track Length, difference?

    Okay, I train on an outdoor, tarmac 458m track (it goes around the perimeter of a full size -400m- running track). When we're doing high speed group stuff approaching our top speeds it feels like a tilt/lean is going on in the turns. How much of a difference will the be in terms of 'feel' from this tarmac 458m to an indoor wooden 250m (Manchester)? I ask because, I haven't yet ridden one, and I'm going to be racing there next year (maybe 2-3 different events). I feel at a slight disadvantage as my first steps on the track will be on the start line of a race.
    Sorry if this has been covered, I still can't quite get my head around the 'advanced' search tool and I didn't find anything with my searches.

  2. #2
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    It'll take some getting used to and you'll go around the turns much quicker.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    You may not be allowed to race until you have gone through some sort of introduction to a 250M track. That's how it is at the three 250M tracks here in the U.S.

    I would plan on getting some time on a 250M before your event, whether Manchester has such a rule or not. The transition won't be difficult. But you don't want it to be in a race situation.

    Every track is different...even if they are the same length! The subtleties of angles and transitions make a big difference at race pace. It will be evident when you can't hold your line when entering and exiting turns.

  4. #4
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    It's going to feel very different.

    You're going to have to learn the new feeling of having very steep banking do much of the turning for you; you're going to have to learn the feeling of managing the g-forces that push you in to the banking. Going at top speed and controlling, to a precise extent, your handling through a turn is very different. It takes skill to do very well and very fast, but there's no reason to fear it - it can be picked up reasonably. A class, some time warming up going up and down the banking around the track, and I think most people can pick up a steeper, shorter velodrome.

    The way that different tracks feel different is interesting. If you're looking at shorter tracks, short tracks on the longer end are faster - there's more straightaway to gather speed, and less need to back off of the speed in the turns (depending on the radius). This holds true until you get to long tracks with really shallow banking - sure, you can get up a ton of speed, but long gentle turns with minimal banking don't let you do much acceleration in the turns, and so top speeds are limited.

    You can really see how some of this stuff plays out if you watch videos of races on euro 6-day tracks - most of which are under 200. A lot of riders are content to stay on the front - if they can prevent somebody from passing on the straights, then that person has got to go further through the corners, and the shorter the track, the more turning there is, so trying to go around somebody really adds up to extra distance to that person's effort, fast. And that stuff can play out the way that technical sprint finishes in road cycling can - it can be better to ride it from the front than patiently wait, well protected, in the draft behind.

    Sorry - I wandered well away from answering your original question.
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  5. #5
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    Thankyou for the replies, and queerpunk, off-topic? I'd consider it well answered
    I've asked my club, and last year they were allowed to race nationals without being queried about previous experience (for some, it was their first time).
    I will venture to Scotland hopefully some time next year on the road bike and MTB (if there's trails). So maybe I could also go and query about sessions at the new Sir Chris velodrome if the transition will be as major as the replies say it will be.
    Off-note, yeah, I saw some 6-day 166m stuff on YT, some races I can't comprehend (the derny races where they didn't peel off?)
    Thanks for the replies, this is truly one of the only forums I've not been on that riders purely go on to moan, cheers guys!

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    Coming from a relative novice and having gone through a similar experience I'll throw 2c in.

    Our local track is around a cricket oval with relatively shallow banking. Last summer we got a group together to go down to Sydney and experience the boards. It was my first time and quite daunting to start with. It didn't take too long to get comfortable with though. Over the winter they do a race series and I decided to go over a few weeks. Having now turned the cranks in anger, I'll offer a couple of the biggest things I noticed.

    Coming out of the turns is a kind of art that you need to learn when you are really pumping. Very hard get that perfect exit. It's very easy to run high or low out of the turn. This is going to affect your times or lines in a group race. I rubbed shoulders with a guy when I did this in a chariot race, so I very apologetically backed off and let him through. Really lucky that was all that happened.

    Secondly, after spending nearly all my time on our outdoor 400m track, I hadn't come to terms with the different gearing choices needed for the indoor track. I found it hard to dial it in and never really got it quite right.

    Have fun

  7. #7
    Senior Member zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew. View Post
    Thankyou for the replies, and queerpunk, off-topic? I'd consider it well answered
    I've asked my club, and last year they were allowed to race nationals without being queried about previous experience (for some, it was their first time).
    I will venture to Scotland hopefully some time next year on the road bike and MTB (if there's trails). So maybe I could also go and query about sessions at the new Sir Chris velodrome if the transition will be as major as the replies say it will be.
    Off-note, yeah, I saw some 6-day 166m stuff on YT, some races I can't comprehend (the derny races where they didn't peel off?)
    Thanks for the replies, this is truly one of the only forums I've not been on that riders purely go on to moan, cheers guys!

    I think you can race in the track league at the Sir Chris without having previous experience / track accreditation so long as you have raced on other tracks in the past (although you will have to have your own bike to do this as you cannot hire the bikes to do this though without accreditation). This rule may change over time though. The accreditation itself is alot of fun with good coaching - it is normally a 4 stage process but i think if you have some prior experience you can jump past the first couple of introduction stages and start at level 3.

  8. #8
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
    Secondly, after spending nearly all my time on our outdoor 400m track, I hadn't come to terms with the different gearing choices needed for the indoor track. I found it hard to dial it in and never really got it quite right.
    Yup. I went from racing at an outdoor 400m to racing at an outdoor 250. And it took me two seasons to get comfortable figuring out the gearing changes I wanted to make for different races at the 250. And I'm still locking things down.

    There were other variables in the velodrome change - different type and length races, different field strengths, too - but I feel that the drome itself plays a role.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    I've been riding at Hellyer (335 shallow banking) for the past few months and I just did a keirin workout at Encino (250m steep banking well at least compared to hellyer) wow is it different. Is it was my first time ever at that track. The instructor was nice enough to let me train despite having no experience at his track. It took me a few laps of fast pace to get used to the banking. It was so fun and fast! I don't like my home track anymore lol.
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  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    I think you can race in the track league at the Sir Chris without having previous experience / track accreditation so long as you have raced on other tracks in the past...

    This means that one must have been accredited from another track.

    It works sort of like a driver's license. If I have been accredited to drive in one state, I am also allowed to do so in another without having to take the test again.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    This accreditation process some of you have seems like a really good thing. There is nothing like that here in South Africa, and in one of my first races, someone from out of town took down half the field, including one of our local champs just back from another injury - getting a broken elbow out of the deal. - My local track is a 250m indoor velodrome (concrete, though, not board), with a 42 deg embankment, and the out of towner came from an outdoor track with very shallow banking. The point of the story is, you don't want to race a new track without just riding it first, and neither do the people around you want you to do that!

  12. #12
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    Some people will just go out with all guns blazing no matter what the cost might be. You got an eye full of the results. For my own first boards race, I ran in a grade with others that I had raced against outdoors. I just sat at the back to watch but around mid way through the race, I found I would feel much safer about mid pack, and that's where I ended up. Some of the others hanging at the back were very sketchy and I really didn't feel safe there.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    In addition to the banking/turns, you'll need to get a feel for gearing as well. You might find you need less gear inches on a shorter track than on the longer track. Alpenrose Velodrome (267m, 43deg bank) has Marymoor Velodrome (400m) fairly close by; people coming from Marymoor seem to take something like 4-6" off their gearing when they come to Alpenrose.

    Make sure you get used to the track at full speed as well (30+mph). At Alpenrose, at around 25mph, you go from a negative lean relative to the bank to a positive lean, and the corners feel really different. You go from feeling like you have to steer uptrack when you enter the corner to feeling like you have to dive towards the apron to stay on a line.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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