First track bike: TK2 vs Track Champion
Finally got into track cycling after years on the road and having more fun than I thought possible on a bike. However, after several training outings on loaner Schwinns, I think its finally time to add another steed to my stable. I've been doing a lot of reading on intro bikes and even more deal hunting and I think I have settled on either a TK2 or a Track Champion. The main issue I've been having in finding something is size. I'm 6' 5" with somewhat odd dimensions so my options are pretty limited short of custom.
My competitive cyclist fit calculator (oh so scientific) says I should have the following:
The Competitive Fit (cm)
Seat tube range c-c: 61.7 - 62.2
Seat tube range c-t: 63.6 - 64.1
Top tube length: 56.7 - 57.1
Stem Length: 11.8 - 12.4
BB-Saddle Position: 91.7 - 93.7
Saddle-Handlebar: 56.1 - 56.7
Saddle Setback: 6.5 - 6.9
Head Tube Angle 75
Seat Tube Angle 74
Top Tube Horizontal 607
Top Tube Center to Center 597
Head Tube Length 195
Seat Tube Center to Top 610
Seat Tube Center to Center 541
Bottom Bracket Drop 55
Chainstay Length 395
Front Center 615
Track Champion 60:
Head Angle 74
Head Tube Length 167mm
Seat Angle 74.3
Seat Tube Length C-T 600
Also of concern is price. I definitely want something that's going to serve me well for a couple of seasons and be a good platform for upgraded components, but would like to start off with something with good value. I can get the Track Champion for about $1100 shipped from the UK or potentially get the TK2 at a 30% discount through the local velodrome club (~1400).
I'm leaning towards the track champion due to its reputation and price, but would really appreciate the input of those wiser than me. Thanks!!!
Ps: if anyone is looking for a large track bike, I have compiled a spreadsheet with a lot of what is available here
At 6'5", top tube length should be your primary concern.
Without knowing about your odd dimensions, I'd suggest the one with the longer top tube.
What size TT does your road bike have?
My road bike has a 59cm top tube but I feel comfortable on a friend's bike with a 57.5. My torso is somewhat short for my height so the recommended seat tube to top tube ratio makes sense (although its pretty much impossible to find).
Serenity is one that you need to throw into that list with a TT of 60cm. Another option for you is the Alien V3 that I have 2 of now, one of the first gen that's about to go on the road as a TT/fixed gear, and a later gen. The designer/maker is getting out of them now, but he might have some frames around still http://alienbikes.com/v3/
I'm the same height as you, but I definitely wouldn't be happy on a road bike with 57.5. I ride a Felt F4 on the road with a 605mm TT, after spending a few years on a 590 TT.
The TT length you need sort of depends on the style of racing you prefer too. If you like to get out of the saddle and really pump on the gas in sprint events, then a longer TT or stem will suit. For this reason I run a 140mm stem on my alien at 61cm TT. Really stretched out but great for sprinting.
Going back on track, I think you'd be more than happy with something around the 590mm TT mark, and that will then allow for some flexibility with stems. Perhaps you could invest in a couple of different lengths over time. It doesn't take too much fiddling to change a track stem. You can stretch it out a bit for sprinting, and go back to a more normal road style setup for longer events.
Also consider into the equation that the larger the frame, the more flexy it will be, so if you can be happy on something with a TT shorter than 600mm, then probably go for that.
Please keep in mind that effective TT length doesn't really tell you how far away from your seat your bars will be. Frame reach is going to be a much more accurate number to consider.
Forgive me if you know this, but TT length is highly dependent on seat tube angle (STA) and head tube angle (HTA) as well as headtube extension, actual ST length, and a number of other things. Frame reach ("reach") is the measurement of the distance of the top of the head tube forward of the BB centerpoint. There's also frame stack ("stack") which is the measurement of the height of the top of the head tube above the BB centerpoint.
Think about how you set your seat; measure the height above the BB and the distance behind the BB. Same thing for the front end.
One cup of coffee on a rainy morning might not be helping me get the point across.
I understand your plight! Being 6'6" myself, I can identify pretty well. Be very careful with the stem selections. I can help you with determining stack/reach by using other available numbers. I would like to take this convo off the public forum. Please email me at bond_380 at hotmail dot com
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