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Old 06-19-13, 02:22 PM   #1
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Starting Gate Cost

So I like the Chariot race, but considering how extremely important the start is on this race (especially on a 250m track), I end up leaving them feeling a bit "meh". So and so always looks like they went early, or the holder held them too long, or someone get's DQ'd for a false start, etc, etc. It seems like every other race has a problem like this.

Not to mention once you get into actual time trial events and people's feelings start getting hurt. Seems like the starting gate solves all of this. Giordana velodrome doesn't currently have any gates (at least that I'm aware of) and I was curious how much they cost. Do most tracks have their own or do they just rent them from someone like Swiss Timing for big events? How much do these things cost?

Seems like it would be relatively easy to build your own, if you have some welding and electronics skills. I've got the electronics part and I'd consider working with someone to build some DIY ones. Linking two or more together doesn't seem that difficult either. Seems like the hydraulics to run the brakes are the hardest part, and then getting them to release really, really quickly at the exact right time. You could certainly do better than a human holder without getting to the 1/1000th of a second accuracy of a UCI qualified Swiss Timing/Tissot Timing one.
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Old 06-19-13, 07:30 PM   #2
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Unless you're doing it for big events, then why bother honestly. I don't see the relevance of holding on for too long. If you start correctly, a holder would really have to put in some effort to hold you back. As for going early, that one's up to the judge/ref/timer. They can call that one.

Over here at dunc grey, they have a starting gate that has an adjustable arm that goes to the seatpost. The back wheel has a spot to sit and it's all held back by a cable operated hand brake. If you're doing a whole lot of starts for training, costs can run high with equipment maintenance and reliability when the crunch time comes. Something simple and basic like mentioned will cover most bases up until you get to major events.
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Old 06-19-13, 08:33 PM   #3
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Giordana velodrome doesn't currently have any gates (at least that I'm aware of) and I was curious how much they cost. Do most tracks have their own or do they just rent them from someone like Swiss Timing for big events? How much do these things cost?

Seems like it would be relatively easy to build your own, if you have some welding and electronics skills. I've got the electronics part and I'd consider working with someone to build some DIY ones. Linking two or more together doesn't seem that difficult either. Seems like the hydraulics to run the brakes are the hardest part, and then getting them to release really, really quickly at the exact right time. You could certainly do better than a human holder without getting to the 1/1000th of a second accuracy of a UCI qualified Swiss Timing/Tissot Timing one.
1) They aren't cheap.
2) They aren't necessary. Hand-held starts are done at masters and elite nationals.
3) I don't think they are easy to build (I don't mean to be a buzzkill)
4) You'll have to have an electronic timing system in place before the starting gates will be of use. That in itself is a challenge.
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Old 06-19-13, 08:35 PM   #4
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Humans are very adaptable and easily programmable machines!
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 06-19-13, 09:12 PM   #5
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Good holders will eliminate half of the problem. A proper hold should not be able to inhibit the movement of a rider when they want to go. So holding too long shouldn't be a real issue. The best way we have figured out to hold is actually to do it on the downtrack side, rather than behind. One hand goes on the headtube, the other on the seatpost. After getting properly positioned the holder can just use their palm to lean the bike properly. There is no holding, so no problem.

As for early starts, make the rider really really not want to jump the gun. The easiest way to do that is to institute a no warning/ instant DQ rule. Punish the problem big enough that people will be used to waiting for the whistle. If you do that for a while people will be ready to go, and you can get more lenient.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:58 AM   #6
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Good holders will eliminate half of the problem. A proper hold should not be able to inhibit the movement of a rider when they want to go. So holding too long shouldn't be a real issue. The best way we have figured out to hold is actually to do it on the downtrack side, rather than behind. One hand goes on the headtube, the other on the seatpost. After getting properly positioned the holder can just use their palm to lean the bike properly. There is no holding, so no problem.
Yes, this is a very good method. Using this method the holder can also push in races that allow for such like the Keirin.



One added tip is for the holder to place his/her right foot behind the rear wheel to prevent the bike from rolling backwards if the rider decides to rock in that direction. That foot really helps when the rider is mounting the bike at the start line.

Also, this holding position allows for the holder to walk the rider (already on the bike) from the apron to the start line with one hand on the seat post area. Very helpful for those who use straps:

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Old 06-20-13, 05:49 AM   #7
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Yes, this is a very good method. Using this method the holder can also push in races that allow for such like the Keirin.


Where did you find that photo? Looks like my local track...
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Old 06-20-13, 08:10 AM   #8
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Yeah, I guess the holders are part of the problem (or all of it). They try to hold from the back, are timid about it, can't hold you still enough to even get clipped in (my pedal tension is really high and I had trouble the other night not rolling around), plus they put us SUPER close together at the start. Like, all four riders below the stayer's line.

They also DQ'd the guy with no warning on the first offense.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:51 AM   #9
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Where did you find that photo? Looks like my local track...
I found it via a google search on "Keirin start". I think you are right: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ah_blak...7623194341215/
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Old 06-20-13, 11:53 AM   #10
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Yeah, I guess the holders are part of the problem (or all of it). They try to hold from the back, are timid about it, can't hold you still enough to even get clipped in (my pedal tension is really high and I had trouble the other night not rolling around), plus they put us SUPER close together at the start. Like, all four riders below the stayer's line.

They also DQ'd the guy with no warning on the first offense.
Yeah, I'm sure that they are all still learning.

Track racing does not (should not) DQ on the first offense. However, that does happen in Track & Field.
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Old 06-22-13, 04:52 AM   #11
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I found it via a google search on "Keirin start". I think you are right: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ah_blak...7623194341215/
Nice. It is our track! Recognised those empty seats in the background...
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Old 06-22-13, 01:54 PM   #12
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If anything, I think it would be cool to build a starting gate just as a fun project, not necessarily to employ it with any sort of formality. Of course I would want to use it if it became functional to add to the fun.

I say find someone with mechanical skills that complement your electronic skills and go for it! If I lived around I would want to help out, although my electro/mechanical skills wouldn't be quite up to par to execute it on my own.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:38 AM   #13
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Does the gate need to be electronic? Our club had practice gates build which uses a bike brake to hold the bike which is manually released...

Having said that I have never seen them used. All club events including club championships just get holders.
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Old 06-23-13, 11:31 PM   #14
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Does the gate need to be electronic? Our club had practice gates build which uses a bike brake to hold the bike which is manually released...

Having said that I have never seen them used. All club events including club championships just get holders.
Yes, they work fine. Doing a stack of standing starts yesterday with my trainer holding me has me thinking of trying my hand at this kind of project.

My dec. father was into metal working and as such I have a whole lot of steel lying around that I've been chipping away at with little projects of my own. I should be down at Dunc Gray Friday next week for racing and I'll try and take a heap of photos of their start gate. If I can put it together, it would be great to have available for our club. I'll post some pics up if it all comes together.
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Old 06-24-13, 12:16 AM   #15
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Yes, this is a very good method. Using this method the holder can also push in races that allow for such like the Keirin.
To my knowledge pushing is specifically disallowed for Keirins per UCI / USAC rules. It's still ok for match sprints.
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Old 06-24-13, 04:32 AM   #16
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Yes, they work fine. Doing a stack of standing starts yesterday with my trainer holding me has me thinking of trying my hand at this kind of project.

My dec. father was into metal working and as such I have a whole lot of steel lying around that I've been chipping away at with little projects of my own. I should be down at Dunc Gray Friday next week for racing and I'll try and take a heap of photos of their start gate. If I can put it together, it would be great to have available for our club. I'll post some pics up if it all comes together.
I can take photos of our clubs gates if you like. But won't be up at the club rooms till track season starts in October...
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Old 06-24-13, 04:41 PM   #17
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I can take photos of our clubs gates if you like. But won't be up at the club rooms till track season starts in October...
That would be great to get some comparison for design. I'm the kind of guy who really plans things out and thinks about them a lot before getting stuck into the practical. The DG gate is a gas operated one with the hand brake adapted on, so I think I would have to redesign a bit but the essential idea is there.
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Old 06-24-13, 07:14 PM   #18
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Nice. It is our track! Recognised those empty seats in the background...
Wish we had a board track in QLD.

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Old 06-25-13, 04:03 AM   #19
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[MENTION=112641]JMR[/MENTION] - isn't one to be built for the Commonweath Games in 2018? Considering we are a nation of just over 22 million - the fact we have 6 indoor velodromes around the country (and two here in Melbourne) is pretty impressive considering other bigger countries like the USA aI believe only have one...
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Old 06-25-13, 07:07 PM   #20
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Yes mate, they are building one for us... unfortunately, it looks like they are going to bulldoze the existing velodrome in Brisbane (Chandler) to build it where it currently stands. This will leave us without one for probably 2 years or so.

Construction is supposed to start in 2015.

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Old 06-25-13, 08:11 PM   #21
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Yes, when I went searching to confirm the building of the new indoor velodrome I read that instead of building another velodrome, they were demoloshing the old velodrome to build the new. Very short sighted of the people involved!

Are there no other velodromes up your way?
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Old 06-27-13, 12:40 AM   #22
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Tell me about it! I have raised the issue with Cycling Queensland on a number of occasions but they seem content to sit on their hands and do nothing. The most frustrating part is that there is a huge carpark (as well as plenty of other land at the complex), but the QLD government seem convinced that building it on the existing velodrome is the answer.

One at Nerang (Gold Coast) and one Caboolture (about an hour north)... neither are particularly good, and with evening traffic it would be about a 2 hour drive to get to them for training.
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Old 06-28-13, 05:02 PM   #23
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Not necessarily a good circumstance losing your track for some time, but I couldn't see the point in building one track next to another, unless the intention would be to knock the old one down once the new was complete.

When I think about how I have to travel to Sydney for winter racing which is 1hr45m away, I remind myself of how often I read of the US guys training without a track at all and travelling hours to ride or race on a velodrome. We get it pretty good here in Aust as a general rule.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:05 PM   #24
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[video=youtube;tXtgUj5me7o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXtgUj5me7o[/video]

So I'm sitting here at work supposed to be being busy and thinking about taking photos of the start gate at racing tonight and I do some searching and the video above is the result. For anyone thinking of building a start gate, then this video should be an enourmous help. It's not too hard to decipher the Norwegian (I think) for the appropriate measurements. The one at Dunc Gray is the same, just with a manual brake adapted onto it for training sessions.
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