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  1. #1
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Help picking a frame for velodrome use

    I am looking to get a new track bike to start racing at Alkek in Houston. I would like to keep it under $1600, and I plan on buying or starting to buy in the next 7-10 days.

    I am a 6í tall, 145lb(+/- 3lb), roadie, and I will remain primarily a roadie. I donít expect to gain a lot of weight any time soon, so I donít see myself needing an ultra stiff(expensive) frame.

    I havenít decided if I will be buying a complete or building one up(though I like the idea of getting a frame and building it up with deals I find on ebay).

    Complete Bikes: I am looking at the Felt TK2 and Specialized Langster Pro(matte black looks so good). There are shops that carry these in my size nearby. After taxes both of these are pushing my budget though.

    I saw that Velomine is selling built up Cinelli Vigorellis with what seem to be decent parts.
    http://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...vp95rdtfa1utm5 Would this build be a suitable track machine? Iím not sure how great the wheels and cranks are.

    Building up a frame:I have a good idea of what components I want if I decide to build up a bike. I also have pedals, stem, bars(compact road bars), and saddle that I can use while hunting for deals on better parts or parts to dial in fit. I really need help picking a good frame though.

    What Iíve been looking at in no particular order-
    Bianchi Pista Concept/Super Pista (ebay)
    Specialized Langster Pro $660
    Dolan Track Champion $575
    2013 Masi Coltello $700
    Affinity Kissena $750
    Cinelli Vigorelli $700-800

    Could you provide some input into which of these would be the best bet for track racing? Or is this a case of ďthey will all be good enough for little old me, and I should pick the one that I like most/get the best deal on?Ē

    Thanks

  2. #2
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Doesn't really matter honestly. In my limited experience on the track, and more experience on the road, the bike never makes much difference. It seems that on the track it makes even less difference than the road. Any track specific bike will be stiff enough, especially for someone as pro skinny as you. Whatever you can get a good deal on. I bought an older S-Works Langster off eBay, changed the crank, cogs, chainring, and chain to better stuff, and just ride it. Other than the drivetrain it doesn't matter much. As long as you have 1/8" chain and 144 bcd chainrings you're fine. 130 probably works fine, but I just prefer to not have to worry so I went with 144. Save your money so you can spend it on cogs and chainrings. You'll probably want a 48 and a 14-15-16 to start, although you're on a 333 (I'm on a 250) I doubt gearing changes too much.

    Bike importance goes something like this: track < road < mountain
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    The issue about bike frames on the track is usually handling. This will really only come up with you have a short track with relatively steep banking. There is a trend of bike companies putting out trendy track frame geometries and pairing it with a road fork. This can create a really twitchy handling bike.

    Look for the fork rake and head tube angle. If the head tube is 74 to 75 degrees, look for a fork that is 35 to 40mm rake. If the fork advertised for your size has 43-45mm rake (road fork), look for a heat tube angle of 73 degrees. Mix these dimensions and you get a very weirdly handling bike. If you mix a short rake with a shallow headtube, you get a slow handling bike. If you mix the road fork with a steep track headtube, you get a very twitchy bike.

    If your track is long with shallow banking, then you can pretty much ride anything.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If youíre new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, youíd probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  4. #4
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    I'll write more later, but:

    - Pay attention to the head tube angle, seat tube angle, and fork rake of all of the bikes that you are considering. Maybe make a spreadsheet.
    - Note the bikes that excite you. There is nothing wrong with buying a bike that you think is cool.
    - For all intents and purposes on the track, quality aluminum is just as good as carbon. I have one of each and they feel and perform more the same than different.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Brian makes an important note on TRACK SPECIFIC bike frames, be careful when deciding and keep an open mind.
    I would just add my limited but worldly experience on this.
    I'm 55, started track last year purchased a new complete Felt TK3 for under $650 delivered. IT IS NOT TOP OF THE LINE, but gave me a perfect fit for my needs.
    My velodrome is 400m outdoors but this bikes will work well indoors with some tire changes.

    Have I changed anything? Yes the bike came with 3/32 chain so only this year I swapped to 1/8 chain, cogs and chainrings and 1/8 chainwhip.
    Like most people I always drool at others set-ups, but there is always envy. Ride the bike, have fun enjoy and then see what you need or want.

    Are you better off building up the bike? Sure if you have the time to shop and wait for the right price etc. Nothing wrong with that, I do it but I wanted to start riding right away as our season ends Sept 9. Invest in a Good Crank from the get go, same for cogs and chainrings. Wheels, like road bikes can be bought for $200-2000. You can do just fine in the $400 range even less with tires.
    When you decide you LOVE the sport then you can buy those dreamy wheels you want and save the original for warm-ups etc.

    Good Luck and choose WITH your head not over it.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  6. #6
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Also, because I'm a heavy guy, I shy away from proprietary carbon seatposts and one-bolt saddle binder systems. They tend to slip under my weight when pulling Gs in turns. I think that 27.2 is king

    ...or at least any round seatpost that can easily be replaced at your local shop. It's a pain to have to call Fuji, Trek, LOOK to get a new seatpost when your local shop has lots of standard posts in stock on the shelf.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Track Geo.PNG

    Hopefully this uploaded ok. Geo of frames I'm considering.
    Thanks for the input guys.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Also, what is a good training wheelset? I'd rather get something something used of better quality if possible.

  9. #9
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Also, what is a good training wheelset? I'd rather get something something used of better quality if possible.
    I can't think of a wheelset that wouldn't work for training. You can easily get stuff under two hundred bucks that will satisfy you for a long time.
    Especially if you're a roadie who's gonna stay a roadie, who's just messing around on the track.
    Get tires that are appropriate for your velodrome, get a couple cogs, and spend your money on a saddle and handlebars that work for you.

    But cheap track wheels are a lot better than cheap road wheels. Anything will work pretty dern well.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  10. #10
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    It's remarkable how little the equipment matters in track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    No offense but you're an idiot.
    PedalRoom

  11. #11
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the help guys. It seems pretty much all of the frames I was looking at are suitable. I'm just going to go with whatever I like and can get a deal on.

    I have two remaining questions:

    Crank length. Is this purely preference? I ride 172.5 on the road, but was thinking of going with 167.5 or 170 for the track. I'll be on Alkek in Houston and the Baton Rouge velodrome. They are both 333 and not terribly steep. I see myself leaning more towards longer endurance events since I have the road background, if that matters, but I plan on trying everything.

    Spoke count. How low can I go as a 145 pound twig?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Thanks for all of the help guys. It seems pretty much all of the frames I was looking at are suitable. I'm just going to go with whatever I like and can get a deal on.
    ....
    Deal on Blue TR250

    and in case don't forget to mention the Dick Lane Velodrome

  13. #13
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman1965 View Post
    Deal on Blue TR250

    and in case don't forget to mention the Dick Lane Velodrome
    Daaaamn.

    That looks like an incredible deal. I'll have to look into it. I think the ML frame would work for me.
    EDIT: ML might be a bit small... and the L is too big.
    Last edited by MuppetMower; 05-10-13 at 10:42 AM.

  14. #14
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Track Geo.PNG

    Hopefully this uploaded ok. Geo of frames I'm considering.
    Thanks for the input guys.
    The Langster Pro seems to have a street geometry (73 deg head tube + 45mm rake). That sounds like it would handle sluggishly on the track.

    The Alpina Track fork (Alpina F04) is nice. Its rake is 30mm.

    Other than the Langster Pro, they are all pretty similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Also, what is a good training wheelset? I'd rather get something something used of better quality if possible.
    Any decent track wheelset will do. Look here for for ideas: http://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...x&cPath=87_172

    Go for a rear hub that is fixed/fixed meaning that it's double-sided and threaded for a fixed gear cog on both sides. This makes changing cogs easy during training.


    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    I can't think of a wheelset that wouldn't work for training. You can easily get stuff under two hundred bucks that will satisfy you for a long time.
    Especially if you're a roadie who's gonna stay a roadie, who's just messing around on the track.
    Get tires that are appropriate for your velodrome, get a couple cogs, and spend your money on a saddle and handlebars that work for you.

    But cheap track wheels are a lot better than cheap road wheels. Anything will work pretty dern well.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    It's remarkable how little the equipment matters in track racing.
    +1

    A quality, race-ready bike can be had at a very reasonable price.

    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Thanks for all of the help guys. It seems pretty much all of the frames I was looking at are suitable. I'm just going to go with whatever I like and can get a deal on.

    I have two remaining questions:

    Crank length. Is this purely preference? I ride 172.5 on the road, but was thinking of going with 167.5 or 170 for the track. I'll be on Alkek in Houston and the Baton Rouge velodrome. They are both 333 and not terribly steep. I see myself leaning more towards longer endurance events since I have the road background, if that matters, but I plan on trying everything.

    Spoke count. How low can I go as a 145 pound twig?

    As far as crank length goes, the rule of thumb is usually 5mm shorter than your road setup. But, that's just a starting point. It's a very loose rule of thumb. If you are a spinner, then I'd start with 167.5. If you are a masher (big gears) then maybe 170.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help everyone. I've started picking up parts, and I have decided on a frame. I'm going to go with a Bianchi Super Pista or Pista Concept.

    I am trying to decide between a 55cm and 57cm frame. My road bike is a 56cm Specialized Venge.

    Here are the comparable geometries:
    geos.JPG

    Here is a picture of my road setup:
    20130513_073846.jpg

    I am currently running a 100mm stem, but I really need a 110mm.
    Saddle height from center of bb to top-center of saddle is 77.5cm.

    Just looking at these geometries, I am leaning towards the 57 because I think the 55 would be to small. Unfortunately trying one out is not possible.

  16. #16
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Thanks for the help everyone. I've started picking up parts, and I have decided on a frame. I'm going to go with a Bianchi Super Pista or Pista Concept.

    I am trying to decide between a 55cm and 57cm frame. My road bike is a 56cm Specialized Venge.

    Here are the comparable geometries:
    geos.JPG

    Here is a picture of my road setup:
    20130513_073846.jpg

    I am currently running a 100mm stem, but I really need a 110mm.
    Saddle height from center of bb to top-center of saddle is 77.5cm.

    Just looking at these geometries, I am leaning towards the 57 because I think the 55 would be to small. Unfortunately trying one out is not possible.
    When in doubt, and you can't try the frame before you buy it, it may be worth the $ to call a shop that has a "fit bike" and then you send them the geometry charts of the bikes that you are considering. The fitter will plug in the numbers on the fit bike and then tell you to sit on it to see how it feels. That's exactly what Mr. Tiemeyer suggested that I do when I ordered my first custom frame from him. I wasn't able to fly out to meet him in person. The whole process took about 30 minutes, not including the prep time the fitter used before I got there. When I arrived he said, "I've already setup the bike. I just need you to sit down and see how it feels."

  17. #17
    Senior Member MuppetMower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    When in doubt, and you can't try the frame before you buy it, it may be worth the $ to call a shop that has a "fit bike" and then you send them the geometry charts of the bikes that you are considering. The fitter will plug in the numbers on the fit bike and then tell you to sit on it to see how it feels. That's exactly what Mr. Tiemeyer suggested that I do when I ordered my first custom frame from him. I wasn't able to fly out to meet him in person. The whole process took about 30 minutes, not including the prep time the fitter used before I got there. When I arrived he said, "I've already setup the bike. I just need you to sit down and see how it feels."
    Wow, that is a good idea!

    There is a shop nearby with the guru fit bike. I'll look into this.

  18. #18
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuppetMower View Post
    Wow, that is a good idea!

    There is a shop nearby with the guru fit bike. I'll look into this.
    Professional fittings can take over 2 hours run from $100-250. But those involve lots of measurements, saddles, spinning, etc... Tell them that you aren't looking for a full-on fitting session. You just see what the two different TT lengths feel like because you aren't sure which is for you.

    If you can talk them into simply plugging-in the same geometry with 2 different top tube lengths, then maybe you can get away A LOT cheaper...maybe $30-50. That would be money well spent.

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