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  1. #1
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Thinking a little more and borrowing some ideas

    I like to immerse myself in things I find interesting. I ask a lot of questions and spend some time wondering why things are done the way they are.

    Bikes have been going around in circles for a long time but honestly I haven't paid much attention. I do handle a lot of aluminum bike tubes and absolutely love racing bicycle and bicycle racing. I figured I would play around in autocad over the weekend and draw something up just to see how it might go together.

    I may not have the wheel diameters perfect and some other things a bit off but it's just a start. I see a lot of conversation regarding aerodynamics which is not my expertise but I figured some bending of the stays where the bike gets wider may be a bonus. I also didn't study the UCI rules either. The (aero) tube profiles are similar to the open source tubes available but not true "wing" shapes. The open source tubes are extrusions and mechanically inferior to the drawn tubes I usually use but may be better in the wind.

    I am 6' tall and ride a 57 top tube so this is basically for me. If you wouldn't mind commenting on my geometry I would appreciate it. Ill slip it into bikecad if it looks good and add some real bike parts.

    Click on the image to sharpen it up.

    Thanks, F


    track-bike by frankthewelder, on Flickr
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  2. #2
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    It looks like a proper sprint bike, that's for sure.

    Got any particular reason why the seatstays meet the seattube so low? I'd wonder, for a sprint bike underneath a serious sprinter, if that could result in some flex. But I also assume that you might not be putting that bike through the paces that an elite sprinter would, and I also assume you know what you're doing with aluminum.

    The tricky thing about designing track bikes is that how a bike handles on the track depends so so so much on the track, and the bike, and the rider, and the event.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    It looks like a proper sprint bike, that's for sure.

    Got any particular reason why the seatstays meet the seattube so low? I'd wonder, for a sprint bike underneath a serious sprinter, if that could result in some flex. But I also assume that you might not be putting that bike through the paces that an elite sprinter would, and I also assume you know what you're doing with aluminum.

    The tricky thing about designing track bikes is that how a bike handles on the track depends so so so much on the track, and the bike, and the rider, and the event.
    You are correct on both counts. The sprinters must put down amazing power.

    I will answer your question, then perhaps I will have another or two for you.

    Cantilevering the stays/seat tube like that puts a huge load on both the chain stays and the seat stays. I would use an internal bridge (inside the seat tube) between the seat stays and perhaps an additional layer of thin material as a doubler on the skin of the seat tube. The broad section of the seat tube is an important component.

    I also feel that the sweeping bends of the stays may cause some minor issues on the way the forces address the chain stays that haven't been completely "mulled over".

    When I design a bike, I do a bit of roll play and "take myself way to seriously" by thinking it really matters (to me) that my own bike is as good as it can be.

    I am sure all have heard the " look at three choices and pick two" analogy as have I but I don't really think about that too much at this point. My goals are to make it light, stiff (strong) and aerodynamic withing the limitations of reality.

    You mentioned sprinting only without much more of an explanation. Is that due to the steering geometry or potential handlebar drop or something I haven't even considered?

    I have an order from a small brand, for a batch of frames with totally different geometry than I picked. In speaking to the brand manager, he led me to think that some people use tires as large as 25c on track bikes and many frames have really long stays and room for really big tires. Perhaps this is for frame flex?

    I don't plan on marketing a pre-made track frame but I would like to build frames that are very good for the application. I don't mind being naive at this stage of the game or being the recipient of direct dialog (criticism).

    Thank you very much. Frank
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  4. #4
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    What a lot of people refer to as "traditional track geometry" is perhaps more accurately called sprint geometry. Mostly it's those 74.5 degree angles that indicate sprint geometry.

    By comparison, enduro or all-around bikes have slightly slacker geometry that looks a bit more similar to road bike geometry. One of the things you see a lot with these bikes is very short head-tubes, compared to a similarly-sized road bikes. This allows a rider to use the bike as both a pursuit bike and a mass-start bike, getting aerobars very low for pursuits and using an upward-pointing stem to put their drop bars where they belong (for example, bobby lea's bike in pursuit mode here and in mass-start mode here).

    re: what the brand manager told you - I haven't seen anybody using 25mm tires on the track, nor have I seen long stays or room for big tires. What is very helpful, from a racing perspective, is fairly long trackends. This lets you switch gears a lot without having to switch chains. Track racers might change their gearing twice in warmup and before every single event they race in a day. It's a pain to have to change chains, as well. I used to have a Felt TK2, one of their older iterations, and the trackends were so darn short that it very much limited my gearing options. Now I have a Specialized Langster Pro with much longer trackends (they are also steel-plated, which is a big benefit on aluminum frames), and I can use all of my relevant gear options (48 to 52 tooth rings, and 14 to 17t cogs) without changing a chain.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  5. #5
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I have an order from a small brand, for a batch of frames with totally different geometry than I picked. In speaking to the brand manager, he led me to think that some people use tires as large as 25c on track bikes and many frames have really long stays and room for really big tires. Perhaps this is for frame flex?
    This person may be referring to street "track" bikes. Basically fixed gear bikes that are ridden on the street as opposed to the track. 25c is popular on the street among that crowd. 25c is growing in popularity among road/crit racers. But, not among track racers. I have not seen any 25c tires at the velodrome.

  6. #6
    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    This person may be referring to street "track" bikes. Basically fixed gear bikes that are ridden on the street as opposed to the track. 25c is popular on the street among that crowd. 25c is growing in popularity among road/crit racers. But, not among track racers. I have not seen any 25c tires at the velodrome.
    FWIW, they tend to be (relatively) common on Track tandems. That said, those are sufficiently niche, and carry significantly more mass that it makes sense.
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    OK, thanks. I fully understand the logic behind the two different configurations. In Match spring events, having a major "snap" (BMX jargon) is super important (what an amazing race to watch!). I slacked it out 1 degree. I figure you can then change the trail by going to less fork offset also. 'smart fellers.

    I also lowered the top tube and made it bigger diameter. One reason is it's more behind the down tube and less in the wind and the other is I put the put tube "in charge" of torsional rigidity by having it a bit lower. This will make a BIG difference on the sprint bikes and won't hurt top speeds (in my somewhat sketchy brain)

    There are some open source track end forgings with steel inserts available and Ahrens has some really nice ones.

    I will look over the chain length requirements for the gear ratios you mentioned. 'Having done a little gear swapping in the past, I always looked for combo's that kept my chain stay length pretty equal so the bike was predictable on the rear wheel. Perhaps for track, you would rather just change one gear or the other and try to rest your body between efforts.

    Do you guys ever change crank lengths for events? I started calculating crank length into gear charts? Longer cranks require your foot travel a greater distance and at a much greater speed when the basic gear ratio is unchanged. I could see a long crank being better on sprint type events but would require a taller gear than a shorter crank for the same event.

    This is what I did this morning. more to follow tonight!


    Trackbike2 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
    Last edited by ftwelder; 07-10-13 at 01:31 PM.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

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  8. #8
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    From what I have seen:

    Serious riders use 20mm or 23mm tires. I have seen 25mm tires used by casual riders or for training. I'll put a 28mm on the rear for off season practice on the road. Many track forks will not take anything over a 23mm tires.

    Never seen anyone changing cranks at the track. Generally the shorter ones are better for higher RPM.

    What is your goal for this bike? Track only bike? Track bike for the street? Combo street/track?

    Back in the day (100 years ago when you road your race bike to work) they actually canted the dropout up a little to be parallel with the wheel at the seat stay – this allowed you to change gears (i.e. take the wheel off and use a different cog) without changing your brake positioning.

    It is an interesting idea for a fixed gear road bike, but obviously not something a pure track bike needs.

    Think about which bars you will use. Deep drop track bars have a much longer reach than short drop road bars - thus you may need a smaller frame if you are using long reach bars.

    P.S. I can't see that picture you posted.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Bike from 1914

    This bike is 100 years old. Probably not the geometry you want to use today. But that rear drop out looks interesting for a Fixed gear bike that needs brakes.



    Food for thought.

  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    My random thoughts:

    - Track racing geometry is sort of mature. Look at the geo of Dolan DF3, LOOK 496 for sprint bikes. Look at Felt TK1 for TT.
    - Look at Tiemeyer's work for a Modern Master. The Doland DF3 and Felt TK1 look like carbon Tiemeyers.

    I would start here, with the DF3:



    Here is a faint detailed geo chart of the DF3.



    I've owned a DF3 and it handled very well. I had a 1st generation with less-than-optimal dropouts so I had issues with pulling my wheel during standing starts...even when I used the chain tensioner (this has been addressed in later generations). But the geometry was awesome.

    I also have a LOOK 496. The only significant difference between the DF3 and the 496 is the fork offset. DF3 is 30mm, 496 is 34mm.

    I have owned a TK1 in the past. The fork offset is 40mm. In my opinion, that is great for aerobars, but sluggish for mass start and sprinting. But others love it for those disciplines.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    From what I have seen:

    Serious riders use 20mm or 23mm tires. I have seen 25mm tires used by casual riders or for training. I'll put a 28mm on the rear for off season practice on the road. Many track forks will not take anything over a 23mm tires.

    Never seen anyone changing cranks at the track. Generally the shorter ones are better for higher RPM.

    What is your goal for this bike? Track only bike? Track bike for the street? Combo street/track?

    Back in the day (100 years ago when you road your race bike to work) they actually canted the dropout up a little to be parallel with the wheel at the seat stay – this allowed you to change gears (i.e. take the wheel off and use a different cog) without changing your brake positioning.

    It is an interesting idea for a fixed gear road bike, but obviously not something a pure track bike needs.

    Think about which bars you will use. Deep drop track bars have a much longer reach than short drop road bars - thus you may need a smaller frame if you are using long reach bars.

    P.S. I can't see that picture you posted.
    I fixed the image posted earlier and made yet another drawing 74 head angle and 74.5 seat angle. I didn't go the extra 15 min. on the seat angle because It's only 2mm of bike length at the seat rails. Ill run it through bike cad next.

    This bike is a pure track race/training bike for myself. I normally ride a 58cm road bike. Ill have a fixed gear training bike with the same basic "bike fit" that is a reconfigured crit frame for rollers and some road work.

    Here is my oldest scorcher. 1900. It fits 700C tubular tires and weighs 38 lbs.


    29 751 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
    Last edited by ftwelder; 07-10-13 at 05:47 PM.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  12. #12
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    and I can use all of my relevant gear options (48 to 52 tooth rings, and 14 to 17t cogs) without changing a chain.
    If I did the math right, you should need around 25mm/1" of axle adjustment to use the same chain for any set of gears in your bag. Does that sound right?
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    H 530 570 620
    (H) 480 500 530
    a 73°15' 73°30' 74°30'
    b 75°00' 74°45' 74°00'
    F 38 38 38
    B 380 380 380
    A 525 535 555
    C 45 45 45
    D 568.2 574.4 578.9
    W 943.8 950 954.5
    L 105 122 145



    sorry to hijack your thread but how is my anchors geo? i have the middle one, 53.5 tt. it feels pretty good to me lol.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    H 530 570 620
    (H) 480 500 530
    a 73°15' 73°30' 74°30'
    b 75°00' 74°45' 74°00'
    F 38 38 38
    B 380 380 380
    A 525 535 555
    C 45 45 45
    D 568.2 574.4 578.9
    W 943.8 950 954.5
    L 105 122 145



    sorry to hijack your thread but how is my anchors geo? i have the middle one, 53.5 tt. it feels pretty good to me lol.

    Hey, I am the one asking for help here so you aren't jacking anything.. Thanks, I was having some difficulty reading that chart.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    If I did the math right, you should need around 25mm/1" of axle adjustment to use the same chain for any set of gears in your bag. Does that sound right?
    Depends on what gears are in the bag, but I would go bigger here than the exact range the math suggests. Hard to explain, but even a half-link chain won't sit perfectly at either limit. So I think you'll want to account for that as well as the range.

  16. #16
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    H 530 570 620
    (H) 480 500 530
    a 73°15' 73°30' 74°30'
    b 75°00' 74°45' 74°00'
    F 38 38 38
    B 380 380 380
    A 525 535 555
    C 45 45 45
    D 568.2 574.4 578.9
    W 943.8 950 954.5
    L 105 122 145



    sorry to hijack your thread but how is my anchors geo? i have the middle one, 53.5 tt. it feels pretty good to me lol.
    It's fine. Not as "sprint" as some with the 73deg head tube and 38mm offset fork, but probably very stable at high speed and in aerobars.

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The lowered seat stays is a design feature Arvon used some decades ago but it would not meet with UCI regulations... I need to take a few pictures of the TT bicycles he built that performed exceptionally well but were not approved.

    He came at this as a professional racer and a big guy who could bend lesser frames in half.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The lowered seat stays is a design feature Arvon used some decades ago but it would not meet with UCI regulations... I need to take a few pictures of the TT bicycles he built that performed exceptionally well but were not approved.

    He came at this as a professional racer and a big guy who could bend lesser frames in half.
    I should look at the rules very carefully. I got the tube ratio part and bend envelopes then everything went fuzzy.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

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  19. #19
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    If I did the math right, you should need around 25mm/1" of axle adjustment to use the same chain for any set of gears in your bag. Does that sound right?
    leave some room for adjustment. as JMCX mentioned, your starting point might not be at the precise end of the trackends, and furthermore, your tracknut is, what, a half-inch in diameter? and you don't really want that hanging out the end of the trackends.

    i've seen bikes with two-inch long trackends, and that seems generous, and i've seen ones that are really short, just about an inch, and those are a pain in the arse to deal with.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    I wasn't able to find the aluminum tubes I wanted to use and needed some brazing practice so I built a typical steel frame for my "track day" at Kessina (which was a really great day).

    When the bike was assembled and ridden around the parking lot, I could immediately tell the handling was very different than any type of road frame I had ridden. Once on the track it was totally clear why track bikes are built the way they are. I found the handling to be rock-solid and easy to ride but not having anything to compare it to doesn't mean much. My legs on the other hand were completely unprepared.

    When at the Velodrome I totally missed a great opportunity to have experienced riders take my bike around for an evaluation but I have another chance at T-town in a couple of weeks (I can't wait to ride again!) with a little more available time.

    I just wanted to thank you all for the help and advice. I am moving forward on sourcing/manufacturing butted aero section aluminum tubes and dropouts made properly like the Tiermeyer frames I saw.

    I would like to directly copy the Tiermeyer dropouts if one becomes available to me. I can certainly design my own but it would be advantageous to have others making the interchangeable parts. I tried the contact button on David's contact page but it's not functional.

    A couple of pics. It's mostly borrowed parts and thrown together but I really wanted to ride my own frame (the reason I make frames).

    I am the guy wearing the tall socks.


    30 133 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    30 135 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    30 088 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  21. #21
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Cool!
    Tiemeyer has retired, fyi.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    Cool!
    Tiemeyer has retired, fyi.
    Ya, Very nice bikes. I would like to get my hands on a .DXF or .DWG file to make more of those inserts for my own bikes. If you know the man, please forward my message.. thanks
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  23. #23
    VeloSIRraptor
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    FTW - some of the guys at work were just talking about your older work and I had the inside line on what you'd been doing recently :-)

    Re: Tiemeyer - potentially have a contact for him, I'll see what can be done.
    Good work thinking through this stuff so far - seems like most things have been covered. One thing that seems worth noting regarding the value proposition of a track bike is that the good ones work well as omnium bikes: mass start as well as timed events. To make this come out well, they need a low aero position available (usually involving a short head tube), as well as stability in mass start events (lots of methods of getting there)

    I'll echo the chorus, dropouts are such a key ingredient to track bikes - I have two track bikes I actually do quite like, but their dropouts are either too short or of a poor quality - and they are both up for sale as of yesterday.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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