In spite of my local track closing, I'm looking to buy a track bike. I work at my local shop which is a Specialized dealer, so I can get a very nice discount for their bikes. Ultimately a Langster Pro would cost me around $830. However, because of the track closing, one of the co-owners is selling off the rental fleet of Fujis. This one in my size is a bit cheaper. So to make things easier, here's a pro/con list for the both of them:
The all-black paint job is awesome
SRAM Omnium crankset, which is well-received in some reviews I've read
AC 420 wheelset, which I think is quite nice for a stock set
The fork is a bit relaxed. If I were to visit a more steeply banked track than Kissena or T-Town, would this be a problem?
Proprietary seatpost. However, my road bike has the exact same setup and its rock solid, so long as the bolts are torqued down hard.
The paint job matches my team kit. However, I'm not the biggest fan of how it looks, and I may be changing teams next year anyway.
The fork offset is more traditional, at 30mm
I am quite cheap, and this bike would be ready to race right away. The Langster is already a bit more expensive, and I may have to replace the fork at some point.
Though it is in good condition, it is used.
I'm not as impressed by its level of componentry.
It has a proprietary seatpost, though it's a traditional setup unlike the Langster's two-bolt setup.
I've been leaning towards the Langster for some time, perhaps because I am a Specialized fanboy, but also because it was the best bike I could get through my shop. However, I am pretty cheap, I like to save money wherever possible, and the Fuji is just a little bit less expensive, and I wouldn't have to replace the fork. To be honest, I think I'd be happier with the Langster, unless the Fuji is the better bargain. Suggestions, anyone?
I have a 2009 Fuji Track Pro which is very similar to the 2012. I've been very happy with it. It's a stiff frame with nice welds. Good enough for some national teams to ride them at World Champs/Cups. Sounds like you really want the Langster though. If it's not THAT much more then get it, just take into account you may be buying another fork for it. Did you get to ride one of the Fuji rentals at the track?
I did ride the rentals on several occasions, though they were '09 or '10 models. I loved the way they felt, but that's in comparison to my own track bike which is a '06 KHS Flite 100. I bought it off a guy who put ~20,000 miles on it. Needless to say, it's not exactly 'snappy' anymore. However, a friend of mine who bought a Langster Pro says that it's much stiffer and lighter than the rentals were.
Does anyone have any more thoughts? I feel that if I were to bring each bike up to the correct level of spec, the Specialized would be the better bargain. Does the fork really make that huge of a handling difference?
Iíve seen some langster proís over the years, and they seemed to do fine. Not sure why someone thought the American Classic wheels were less than 42mm. They are very deep and light. Contrary to Carletonís preferences, I use them as great race day wheels (obviously they are not tubulars). They are light, Aero and fast. At $1,000 a set they are not cheap, but are much better than ellipses.
That fork offset has me scratching my head. Iím not sure when or why they changed to that. Maybe it made the bike a bit cheaper to build/sell? I donít imagine Specialized putting together a track bike that doesnít work, so I wouldnít be too worried about it.
I think either one would work. It may come down to whether you would be happy riding on a high end clincher wheelset, or if you have your heart set on getting some tubulars. Then again, you can sell those American Classic wheels for some decent money.
Donít by a bike thinking you are going to change a fork. Changing a fork offset by 5mm isnít a problem on the road, but can destroy your bikes stability and/or reaction time on the track. Not good.
Iím thinking you could just use the Langster out of the box (unless you just had to have tubulars), while the Fuji would require some investment. Of course, if you really didnít like the langster you should be able to sell it and get your money out of it at that price.
(I gotta laugh when the web site brags itís tires ďoffers BlackBelt protection for a tough tire that still offers low rolling resistance, great traction, and light weight to allow for quick climps (sic) and fast decents.Ē
Yeah, that is what track racers look for. Especially for those quick climps (climbs?).
Thanks everyone for your input. Unfortunately, someone bought the Fuji, which certainly makes my decision a whole lot easier. That being said, will the fork have much of an effect racing at Kissena or T-Town?
I'm pretty sure the 45mm rake is necessary because the head tube angle is only 73į. Regardless, they wouldn't put an unstable fork on the bike, and even if they did (which I HIGHLY doubt, it would be easy to sell in order to buy a new one.)
A 45mm raked forks really isn't that obscure. ALL of LOOK's track bikes (except the 496) use a 43mm raked fork. Probably because they use slack headtubes too. The new Cervelo T4 uses a 43mm fork too. You can find "road" forks on a lot of track frames.
You are worrying too much about something that isn't a problem. Just ride the bike and enjoy it, and work on improving the driver's ability. You would be ruining that bike for the track by changing the fork. You'll be fine the way it is.