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  1. #1
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Okay, Time to Tweak the bike..Thoughts on my direction

    As all things are if you ask for OPINIONS you WILL get them. I guess it will be a matter of sorting things out to see which would
    best benefit me, so here goes.

    I ride at Kissena 400m Track, 2nd season as a Masters Cat 4 am I am 55 yo. I do plenty of Road riding, but no racing yet.
    Masters can be 40+ and may be run every other week. I would say I am the newest in the group and for sure the weakest (for now).
    I get my points and hold my own and getting better and always in the field.
    Riding a Felt TK3 with original parts and gearing which is 48 x 15, this is a bit low for the track and I am not a spinner but have improved at it

    !st thing is up the gearing to 49 x 15 or 47 x 14 to see how it feels and how it changes things, reaction, explosiveness etc.
    2nd thing is to upgrade the crank to DA or Sugino 75 and put away the original FELT (No NAME) crank.
    I am thinking of a 170 or 167.5 as this bike has. My road bikes all have 175, so I think this will be fine. Pretty much believe that the 170 will not be an issue if I ride at other Outside Velodromes.

    So the plan is the gearing, THEN the crank.
    Thoughts on the plan, but more so the crank size. I have read the advise here and seem to get the impression of
    You're Right, You're Right and He's Right", so I guess I hope I'm Right.

    Thanks
    Robert
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  2. #2
    Sqrl
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    I ride on one of the steeper tracks out there, Burnaby in Vancouver, and run 170mm cranks with no troubles.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Broon View Post
    I ride on one of the steeper tracks out there, Burnaby in Vancouver, and run 170mm cranks with no troubles.
    Good to know, Thanks
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  4. #4
    what. kyle!'s Avatar
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    You can run 175s on a Olympic level velodrome and be just fine. Just don't slow down, IE no match sprints.

    5mm shorter than your road cranks is pretty much the common starting point. Considering your track is pretty shallow, I would even consider 172.5 as well. Depends if you like a little more torque over a quicker "feeling" cadence.

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    I've run 175s on the Sydney Dunc Gray velo on frame with 45mm BB drop and Shimano pedals with no problems. That should give you a start point to look at as far as the BB drop of your frame is concerned vs crank length.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    From what I understand the norm is going towards 172.5- 175. Seems in the last Olympics there were almost NO 170's at the track and all 172.5 - 175.

    My goal is not Olympic style, but MY STYLE. I was looking to just see if 170 made sens and my thinking is YES. However now from this forum and another comment from a fellow track rider who is a National Champ, I am getting a bit unsure as he thinks 172.5 - 175 makes sense.
    Hmmm, Looks like I may need to just test the water and see what works for me.
    It is good to know that the longer crank as I always was taught is not as big an issue as always promoted.
    Last edited by Not the Slowest; 06-03-13 at 11:11 AM.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  7. #7
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    You don't say how tall you are/ long your legs are - this is a factor.
    Bike skills (and weight) are also a factor, in terms of how slow you can go, on what sort of banking.
    and what sort of riding are you focusing on; sprints or endurance? leg speed or leverage?

    just a few more factors to throw into your thinking pot

  8. #8
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    The big boys are going longer? Even on 250 Olympic tracks? At our 250 someone strikes a pedal almost every week it seems (almost always in turns 1/2 during the neutral lap). I guess that depends a lot on whether you're a sprinter or an endurance guy. Endurance it doesn't really matter because you're going fast enough (especially the pros) but for sprinting I would think it would be a liability to not be able to go as slow on the banking and be forced to either speed up or go for the blue band while your opponent stays high and slow.

    Does anyone know the calculations for a track to see how slow you can go? I stay above 15 on ours with 167.5 cranks and a 59mm BB drop. I've seen 13 or so without striking a pedal. They say you can go to 12, but obviously that depends on the bike and the rider's skill. This is on concrete. Indoors on wood I gather the friction between the tires and the track surface gets you before the pedal strike does.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  9. #9
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post
    From what I understand the norm is going towards 172.5- 175. Seems in the last Olympics there were almost NO 170's at the track and all 172.5 - 175.
    Really? I'm not doubting you, but I haven't heard this. Can you point me to a source?

    170 has been the norm that I've noticed. I only know of 2 riders running longer than that, a very tall (6'3"?) male pursuiter running 175mm and Sarah Hammer riding 172.5mm.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I ride 165mm cranks; I'm a sprinter. I found when I went to longer (172.5 or 175) I couldn't spin as fast. It's a tradeoff between torque and rpm. Longer cranks give you more torque but lower max rpm. Shorter cranks; less torque, higher max rpm. RPM is my talent (I can spin really fast, even before I got into racing), so I choose to go smaller.

    In general, the additional leverage with a 175 vs. a 165mm crank is worth a chainring tooth. Sounds like a good deal except you lose maybe 5rpm off your max with the longer cranks. I found there is no net gain in speed or torque going between short (165mm) and long (175mm) cranks. You run slightly shorter gears with the shorter cranks and you spin those gears faster. I prefer shorter because it gives me better control over my bike (Alpenrose is one of the steeper tracks in the US) and I naturally have good leg speed and I felt bogged down with longer cranks.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re 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, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    In general, the additional leverage with a 175 vs. a 165mm crank is worth a chainring tooth. Sounds like a good deal except you lose maybe 5rpm off your max with the longer cranks. I found there is no net gain in speed or torque going between short (165mm) and long (175mm) cranks. You run slightly shorter gears with the shorter cranks and you spin those gears faster. I prefer shorter because it gives me better control over my bike (Alpenrose is one of the steeper tracks in the US) and I naturally have good leg speed and I felt bogged down with longer cranks.
    +1

    That's the basic rundown of everything I've read in respect to crank lengths in track racing. Longer cranks are for those who like to push a taller gear at a slower RPM, shorter cranks are for spinning as it's easier to do with them. Any differences usually get taken up with the gearing tweaks you can make. I run 175s and I'm 6'5". I run 180s on my road bike. Change them in respect to your riding style or height, but if that's not an issue then why bother. You will adapt to whatever you get anyway.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocirapture View Post
    You don't say how tall you are/ long your legs are - this is a factor.
    Bike skills (and weight) are also a factor, in terms of how slow you can go, on what sort of banking.
    and what sort of riding are you focusing on; sprints or endurance? leg speed or leverage?

    just a few more factors to throw into your thinking pot
    I'm atouch under 6ft tall.
    Inseam is usually 32"
    At 205 now
    55Years Old
    Banking at my track is Shallow, maybe 16 Degree, 400 meter long.
    Ahh, Not sure of what I'm best at yet. With Racing only once a week and we varie the races it's hard to tell. I would say I am a better endurance racer who is getting his
    sprint on. Not sure of Leg speed vs leverage. I am a very good climber for a big guy and do well on the flats, but am still working on turning over the cranks in higher cadence. It is something I am focusing on as well as my explosiveness. Most races I am with the 4/5 younger riders by about 15-20 years or more. We do not have Masters 1-4 each week and when we do I am a few catagories and years behind them. I hold my own and do fine but am looking to get that jump or ability to latch back on and pass. If the breakaway starts I need to be able to CRANK UP and stay with them. So it may be my gearing but also my ability to get UP TO SPEED and react faster.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  13. #13
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Andrew LaCorte rides at Kissena and usually at T-town, Nationals Master Champ (Match Sprint?) in 2012 had mentioned that to me in a conversation I had with him. He is a BIG BOY and looks like he can turnover anything. He may be 6"-3" or more, but he knows my sizing. I am NOT trying to say because he said so then its gospel. My only thought is for Lil Ol Me and whether I move up to a 170 or stay at 167.5.
    Looks like I will change my gearing UP tommorow night a bit, see how it feels and then take care of the crank. I am looking at the 170, see how that feels with the new gearing and then go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Really? I'm not doubting you, but I haven't heard this. Can you point me to a source?

    170 has been the norm that I've noticed. I only know of 2 riders running longer than that, a very tall (6'3"?) male pursuiter running 175mm and Sarah Hammer riding 172.5mm.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  14. #14
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Understood and I am looking at the 170 at this point. In any case Kissena is shallow maybe 16 degrees and 400m longer. So you are what you crank for most races.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I ride 165mm cranks; I'm a sprinter. I found when I went to longer (172.5 or 175) I couldn't spin as fast. It's a tradeoff between torque and rpm. Longer cranks give you more torque but lower max rpm. Shorter cranks; less torque, higher max rpm. RPM is my talent (I can spin really fast, even before I got into racing), so I choose to go smaller.

    In general, the additional leverage with a 175 vs. a 165mm crank is worth a chainring tooth. Sounds like a good deal except you lose maybe 5rpm off your max with the longer cranks. I found there is no net gain in speed or torque going between short (165mm) and long (175mm) cranks. You run slightly shorter gears with the shorter cranks and you spin those gears faster. I prefer shorter because it gives me better control over my bike (Alpenrose is one of the steeper tracks in the US) and I naturally have good leg speed and I felt bogged down with longer cranks.
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  15. #15
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post
    I'm atouch under 6ft tall.
    Inseam is usually 32"
    At 205 now
    55Years Old
    Banking at my track is Shallow, maybe 16 Degree, 400 meter long.
    Ahh, Not sure of what I'm best at yet. With Racing only once a week and we varie the races it's hard to tell. I would say I am a better endurance racer who is getting his
    sprint on. Not sure of Leg speed vs leverage. I am a very good climber for a big guy and do well on the flats, but am still working on turning over the cranks in higher cadence. It is something I am focusing on as well as my explosiveness. Most races I am with the 4/5 younger riders by about 15-20 years or more. We do not have Masters 1-4 each week and when we do I am a few catagories and years behind them. I hold my own and do fine but am looking to get that jump or ability to latch back on and pass. If the breakaway starts I need to be able to CRANK UP and stay with them. So it may be my gearing but also my ability to get UP TO SPEED and react faster.
    You are simply going to have to experiement. There is no "right length" based on height, leg length, etc... All studies have shown that the most power is produced by the test subject's favorite crank length irregardless to their body dimensions.

    I say borrow cranks of multiple lengths and try them out for at least 2-3 weeks before deciding.

    I've raced complete seasons on 165, 167.5, & 170s...and I still haven't decided which is best for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post
    Andrew LaCorte rides at Kissena and usually at T-town, Nationals Master Champ (Match Sprint?) in 2012 had mentioned that to me in a conversation I had with him. He is a BIG BOY and looks like he can turnover anything. He may be 6"-3" or more, but he knows my sizing. I am NOT trying to say because he said so then its gospel. My only thought is for Lil Ol Me and whether I move up to a 170 or stay at 167.5.
    Looks like I will change my gearing UP tommorow night a bit, see how it feels and then take care of the crank. I am looking at the 170, see how that feels with the new gearing and then go from there.
    I know Andrew He's a smart guy.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Dude, did you really just say, "irregardless"?

  17. #17
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Dude, did you really just say, "irregardless"?
    Ha! The word has been in use since 1795. I figure it's OK to use here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

  18. #18
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    Oh man, I'm shocked and appalled! But I guess I can forgive you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    You are simply going to have to experiement. There is no "right length" based on height, leg length, etc... All studies have shown that the most power is produced by the test subject's favorite crank length irregardless to their body dimensions.

    I say borrow cranks of multiple lengths and try them out for at least 2-3 weeks before deciding.

    I've raced complete seasons on 165, 167.5, & 170s...and I still haven't decided which is best for me



    I know Andrew He's a smart guy.
    Andrew seems nice enough but am sure I will stay on HIS GOOD SIDE.
    Not sure I can borrow cranks, but will try (no one offered).
    In any case I have a few leads on some cranks that even if I buy I can resell.
    Thanks
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  20. #20
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    The big boys are going longer? Even on 250 Olympic tracks? At our 250 someone strikes a pedal almost every week it seems (almost always in turns 1/2 during the neutral lap). I guess that depends a lot on whether you're a sprinter or an endurance guy. Endurance it doesn't really matter because you're going fast enough (especially the pros) but for sprinting I would think it would be a liability to not be able to go as slow on the banking and be forced to either speed up or go for the blue band while your opponent stays high and slow.

    Does anyone know the calculations for a track to see how slow you can go? I stay above 15 on ours with 167.5 cranks and a 59mm BB drop. I've seen 13 or so without striking a pedal. They say you can go to 12, but obviously that depends on the bike and the rider's skill. This is on concrete. Indoors on wood I gather the friction between the tires and the track surface gets you before the pedal strike does.
    Pedal strike on turn 1/2 on a steep track happens sometimes. People back off from going hard and get sloppy. That is when things happen.

    For measuring a bike/crank, there is no general rule. You can take your bike, stand it vertical on a turn (turn 2 or turn 4), and see what clearance you have.

    Our track’s (200mm, 44degrees) designer said you are perpendicular to the track at 27+mph, and generally doesn’t want new people riding slower than 15mph. Bike, bottom bracket, pedals, crank length, and user ability all make a big difference though. New riders are told to lean the bike into the turn at slow speeds to keep the bike vertical to the track.

    Generally a good experience rider can ride slow as he has the required technique.

    Pedal strike is a bigger problem than traction – just about every person sliding off the track shows evidence of pedal strike (or hitting another bike)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    Our track’s (200mm, 44degrees)
    Wow, must get some awesome lap times & you'd get pretty dizzy doing a flying 200m!

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