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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 03-20-13, 08:06 AM   #1
Chop61
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Good tire for a concrete track?

Finally took a track clinic after being badgered by friends and co-workers. It wasn't hard to get hooked. Thanks to all of you, I've gathered some good info about building up a starter bike. but what about starter wheels and specifically tires? I'll be racing at DLV in Atlanta. Wondering about the Mavic Ellipse wheel set, since I can get a deal, but have no idea really about the rubber that goes on 'em. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:13 AM   #2
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Conti supersonics have been my favorites so far. Same situation for me with concrete track on Ellipses. If that's your main track go with 23's. Anything skinnier will be a harsh ride.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:55 AM   #3
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^^^You will hear a lot of Supersonic recommendations. And I will probably move to those next for my training wheelset. But just to throw a (possibly cheaper) alternative out there, I've used Vittoria Diamante Pro Light until now, and been very pleased with their durability/lifespan in mixed use (wood/concrete).
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Old 03-21-13, 04:34 AM   #4
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^^^You will hear a lot of Supersonic recommendations. And I will probably move to those next for my training wheelset. But just to throw a (possibly cheaper) alternative out there, I've used Vittoria Diamante Pro Light until now, and been very pleased with their durability/lifespan in mixed use (wood/concrete).
I absolutely echo this sentiment. I had those Vittoria tyres on my bike whan I got it 3 1/2 years ago. I replaced the rear after one season, but only just replaced the front over Christmas. Almost all of that racing was on a bitumen track. They still would have had life left in them, but we have plane trees (I think they're called sycamores over in the US) overhanging the track and the seeds sitting on the track had taken some decent bites out of the tyre. I changed the tyres for Conti SUSOs at Christmas and am yet to see how they rate for longevity, although they are highly recommended on outdoor and indoor tracks when you're using clinchers.
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Old 03-21-13, 06:24 AM   #5
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After recommendations and research, I'm shopping for a deal on the Mavic Ellipses now for my new build. I'm also going with the Supersonics. Currently running the Vittorias and have had great wear out of them.

I took the DLV clinic last March which is what got me hooked as well. Get ready to have the time of your life!
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Old 03-22-13, 03:23 AM   #6
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Conti supersonics have been my favorites so far. Same situation for me with concrete track on Ellipses. If that's your main track go with 23's. Anything skinnier will be a harsh ride.
I raced at DLV for years (I still have a track record ) and that track will eat up Supersonics. Supersonics are light and take high pressure, but they are sort of thin (to shed weight). Think of them as "race day clinchers". They are nice, but I wouldn't use them for training and weekly racing.

I've had success with lots of tires at DLV:
- Conti Grand Prix 4000
- Vredstein Fortezza (if you want really high pressure)

I've seen others race Conti Gatorskins and the like.

You just want a tire with the same compound on the sides and middle, not the grippy on the sides and slick in the middle kind. That grip difference will be unnerving.
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Old 03-22-13, 11:30 AM   #7
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Yeah, the supersonics don’t sound like a good tire for concrete unless you don’t mind them wearing out. I’ve got a Michelin Pro4, and that seems like a great tire although I haven’t used it on the track bike.
The ellipses are nice, but they are not particularly light. They are aero (for what they are, but heavy. Best use for longer time trials (Kilo, hour, maybe flying 200m), worst use – regular acceleration (scratch races, Madisons).

I got a set off of ebay for $300 including $100 worth of tires, so I can’t complain. Make sure you get them off of someone who raced track and not off of some hipster who is selling some trashed wheels with heavy tires. A set off a track bike should be pretty pristine.
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Old 03-22-13, 03:50 PM   #8
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Yeah, the supersonics don’t sound like a good tire for concrete unless you don’t mind them wearing out. I’ve got a Michelin Pro4, and that seems like a great tire although I haven’t used it on the track bike.
The ellipses are nice, but they are not particularly light. They are aero (for what they are, but heavy. Best use for longer time trials (Kilo, hour, maybe flying 200m), worst use – regular acceleration (scratch races, Madisons).

I got a set off of ebay for $300 including $100 worth of tires, so I can’t complain. Make sure you get them off of someone who raced track and not off of some hipster who is selling some trashed wheels with heavy tires. A set off a track bike should be pretty pristine.
I think the Ellipse are the best training/race wheelset out there. Yes, they are sort of heavy compared to other race wheels (Zipp 404/808, HED Tri, etc...), but you'd have to go with carbon fiber to get a lighter wheel that is just as aero.

A new racer won't need anything more for a long time.
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Old 03-22-13, 04:54 PM   #9
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Try to avoid any particularly hard rubber compounds. DLV is pretty steep at 37 degrees.

Old, hard tires should not be used. You'll slide off the track
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Old 03-22-13, 07:38 PM   #10
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Yeah I've been racing on my Ellipses for a few years and they've never held me back! The front hub still spins forever. Points and scratch races are my jam too.

As far as Supersonics durability, I got one full season out of them so far. Weekly racing, with some weekends peppered in there too. I pump to 120 psi and ride pretty rough. Our track is anything but smooth. Yeah they're not brand new, but I'm not replacing them yet.
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Old 03-22-13, 10:01 PM   #11
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I have the supersonics but how do you know when they are worn out? They don't have wear indicators.
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Old 03-25-13, 09:40 AM   #12
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I think the Ellipse are the best training/race wheelset out there. Yes, they are sort of heavy compared to other race wheels (Zipp 404/808, HED Tri, etc...), but you'd have to go with carbon fiber to get a lighter wheel that is just as aero.

A new racer won't need anything more for a long time.
Yeah, they are good training wheels. I use Ellipses for training a month or two before race season starts as the weight does not hurt for training. When race season starts, I switch over to American Classic 420s. They are a lot lighter (by a pound), a little deeper and just accelerate significantly faster. Cost a lot more too (unless they come with the bike). That acceleration is important to me.
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Old 03-26-13, 11:42 AM   #13
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Alpenrose is a painted concrete track. I use anything with a soft, carbon black tread. I usually use tubulars rather than clinchers; I've found Continental Stehers to be pretty good. Stay away from colored (silicone) tread as I don't think it does all that well on painted, smooth surfaces.
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