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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 09-11-13, 01:27 PM   #1
Woolly Mammoth
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Track newbie needs help!

Hello everyone. I'm really interested in getting into track cycling, been riding the road for 8 years now. I have so many questions about the track, and Bike Forums looks like it is a place full of answers. I guess a little about myself. I have been itching to get into track racing for a year now, and live an hour away from a velodrome. Of course, 2 things seem to be in short supply these days, time and money.

I guess the first thing I'm asking is it possible to be half way decent at track with maybe, at best, getting one day a week of training on the track?

If the answer if yes, what do I need to get started? I know a track bike, and I DON'T pretend that have have great knowledge of bikes! I've been looking at the Fuji Track 1.1 and the Felt TK2. The local bike shop that I deal with is a Fuji dealer, so I lean that way. But what is with them putting brakes on it this year? I figure you can take them off, but does it mess up the look of the frame? If anyone has any input on these or other suggestions let me have it.

What other purchases will it take to get started? A roller?

With my limited time on the track, what do I do for training?

I know there are probably days worth of answers to these questions, but it will be a start. Like I said, just really excited to get on the track. Thanks everyone for the time you take to answer and a great forum.
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Old 09-11-13, 01:58 PM   #2
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Heya, welcome to the Nascar section of this forum

Most of your questions will be answered by reading the sticky'd threads at the top of the page.

As far as being good on the track with a day a week or so, yeah - that's not problem at all. This will vary based on what your goals are, but the vast majority of the stuff you need to be good at on a velodrome can be practiced on a road bike or rollers. I know plenty of people who went all the way into the 2s on a day a week of velodrome practice or less.

So - read up on the stickies and then check back with us, eh? :-)
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Old 09-11-13, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolly Mammoth View Post
Hello everyone. I'm really interested in getting into track cycling, been riding the road for 8 years now. I have so many questions about the track, and Bike Forums looks like it is a place full of answers. I guess a little about myself. I have been itching to get into track racing for a year now, and live an hour away from a velodrome. Of course, 2 things seem to be in short supply these days, time and money.

I guess the first thing I'm asking is it possible to be half way decent at track with maybe, at best, getting one day a week of training on the track?

If the answer if yes, what do I need to get started? I know a track bike, and I DON'T pretend that have have great knowledge of bikes! I've been looking at the Fuji Track 1.1 and the Felt TK2. The local bike shop that I deal with is a Fuji dealer, so I lean that way. But what is with them putting brakes on it this year? I figure you can take them off, but does it mess up the look of the frame? If anyone has any input on these or other suggestions let me have it.

What other purchases will it take to get started? A roller?

With my limited time on the track, what do I do for training?

I know there are probably days worth of answers to these questions, but it will be a start. Like I said, just really excited to get on the track. Thanks everyone for the time you take to answer and a great forum.
Hi, and welcome to the forum and the sport!

Some random comments here:

Being 1 hour away is awesome! Some in ATL travel from the north side of ATL down to the velodrome in about an hour. I used to drive 3.5 hours from VA to Trexlertown, PA to train/race. So, an hour is nothing

The Fuji and Felt that you mention above are very comparable. The only thing is that the TK2 comes with 3T Sphinx bars which I would not recommend for a newbie. Just take those off and install the road bars of your choice (I suggest 40cm wide or less, NOT the usual 42-44cm).

The brakes are due to the fact that track bikes are trendy and most of them are ridden on the street (just like most basketball shoes never see a basketball court). Just take them off.

You will find that track gear is MUCH less expensive that comparable quality road gear. You'll see guys winning US National Championships on $1,500 bikes. Their road bikes back home are over $4,000

What do you need? There are more ways to skin cats than there are cats! I trained my entire 1st season with only a track bike. Meaning, no road bike, no rollers, no indoor trainer. Just drove down the DLV and trained/raced my track bike 5-6 days a week. Your road bike and road training routine will be PLENTY during your first season. People use rollers to warm up at the track the same way people use mag trainers to warm up for crits. Nothing special. Some do roller workouts, but being that you can't adjust resistance on most rollers, the only real gains there are in smoothing out the pedal stroke. This is important, but not super important for beginners.

Spend your limited time on the track:
- Learning basic etiquette via a beginner's course. Even guys who are CAT1 on the road must take the beginners courses and race with the beginners then progress up. Jeff Hopkins at DLV won't let the CAT1 guys leave the pack of beginner racers until the final sprint. This forces them to learn how to ride in the group, not just go off the front because they are stronger.
- All etiquette is rooted in safety. Etiquette is strictly enforced at most tracks and this is why track racing generally has less incidents than road/crit racing.
- Getting comfortable on the track. Just riding around, being close to others, changing lanes, changing speeds, etc...

Equipment:
- You won't need fancy wheels, skinsuits, aero helmets, etc during your first few months. If you have these things, fine, but no need to go and buy them now. Just like in road racing, that stuff isn't needed to win beginner races.
- The basic off-the-rack bike is fine for now.
- You will need basic tools. I'll find the link to a thread we have on the subject and post it here.



Finally: Go get certified ASAP before the track closes for the winter! Use the rental bikes. That way you can train this winter and be ready to rock and roll next spring.
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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 09-11-13, 02:36 PM   #4
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Ah here it is: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ew-track-racer

(It was stickied haha)
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Old 09-11-13, 02:41 PM   #5
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Great feedback folks! I do have one thing going for me already Carleton, I have already been certified to ride on the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC. I did that over a year ago, but haven't been back to ride since. Just been one thing after another this past year, not least of all the birth of my second child, not to mention I work 6 days a week. But I'm tired of putting it off, and ready to jump into it.

I have been back a few time to see their Friday night races, and went down all 3 nights last month for the mass start national championship events, which were awesome!
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Old 09-11-13, 05:55 PM   #6
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Great feedback folks! I do have one thing going for me already Carleton, I have already been certified to ride on the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC. I did that over a year ago, but haven't been back to ride since. Just been one thing after another this past year, not least of all the birth of my second child, not to mention I work 6 days a week. But I'm tired of putting it off, and ready to jump into it.

I have been back a few time to see their Friday night races, and went down all 3 nights last month for the mass start national championship events, which were awesome!
Sweet.

I believe that Rock Hill is open most of the winter. So, maybe plan to go down once or twice a month just to stay familiar with her curves

Instead of doing that 3hr road ride one Sunday, drive 1 hour to the track, ride 100 laps (or 4x15 minutes, 3x20 minutes, etc), then drive back for an hour.

Congrats on the new baby!
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Old 09-13-13, 01:50 PM   #7
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Well, nothing beats time on the track. Other things to practice: learn how to ride in a tight fast pack (do any training club rides locally)? Finessing acceleration and deceleration were important for me, as was really concentrating on being smooth predictable, and safe.
Track events are short bursts of speed, even the long ones. So, practice intervals. Run hard, take a break for 5-10 minutes and run hard again. There is lots of info out there on interval training techniques. Acceleration is very important – Being able to ride at a relaxed pace, and then go all out for 30 seconds is important. Naturally, you need to be able to spin smoothly at speeds up to 130 – 150rpm.

The strategy is only going to come through time on the track, but some of the technique can come from the road.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:18 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I plan on getting back down to the velodrome within the next couple of weeks to familiarize with the track again, will let you know how it went.
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Old 09-16-13, 01:29 PM   #9
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I did spend the weekend reading up on the sticking info, which there is a lot of great stuff there.

Carleton, I have a couple of questions regarding info that you put in there.

You put centering isn't an issue, when changing the gears 2-5 times during a session. What are you talking about when you say "centering"?

What is so good about the Dura Ace front and rear nuts?
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Old 09-16-13, 04:09 PM   #10
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There is a certain amount of play in the spacing of the holes in a chanring and spider with the bolts. So your ring can actually be in a variety of positions when tightened down. But it doesn't really matter all that much. Just set your ring up however and make sure it is tight.

The durace nuts are top of the line. They have a really nice finish, don't strip easily, and have good teeth to grab the frame/ fork.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:34 PM   #11
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The Fuji and Felt that you mention above are very comparable. The only thing is that the TK2 comes with 3T Sphinx bars which I would not recommend for a newbie. Just take those off and install the road bars of your choice (I suggest 40cm wide or less, NOT the usual 42-44cm).

Carleton, what is the deal with Sphinx bars?
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Old 09-16-13, 07:07 PM   #12
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They offer another very aero hand position for the really long National/ International points races. They are a one race bar, just like the Scattos are a sprint only bar.

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Old 09-16-13, 08:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolly Mammoth View Post
I did spend the weekend reading up on the sticking info, which there is a lot of great stuff there.

Carleton, I have a couple of questions regarding info that you put in there.

You put centering isn't an issue, when changing the gears 2-5 times during a session. What are you talking about when you say "centering"?

What is so good about the Dura Ace front and rear nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
There is a certain amount of play in the spacing of the holes in a chanring and spider with the bolts. So your ring can actually be in a variety of positions when tightened down. But it doesn't really matter all that much. Just set your ring up however and make sure it is tight.

The durace nuts are top of the line. They have a really nice finish, don't strip easily, and have good teeth to grab the frame/ fork.
+1

The built in washers on track nuts tend to seize up and over time then when you tighten your nut, the axle spins and creates havoc. Dura Ace nuts last longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolly Mammoth View Post
The Fuji and Felt that you mention above are very comparable. The only thing is that the TK2 comes with 3T Sphinx bars which I would not recommend for a newbie. Just take those off and install the road bars of your choice (I suggest 40cm wide or less, NOT the usual 42-44cm).

Carleton, what is the deal with Sphinx bars?
Sphinx bars are generally wonky. Unless you are riding in that "invisible aerobar" position in the photo above (which is only useful in solo breakaways) then the bars will actually hinder you. Even world-class racers stopped using them. I definitely don't suggest them for new racers. Every person that I know personally who tried them, ditched them after one or two sessions on them. I really don't know why Felt puts these on that bike. I really don't.

Standard road bars or 3T Scattos are what everyone uses:


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Old 09-19-13, 02:39 PM   #14
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Carleton, are there any particular sites or forums you recommend for snagging used track-specific gear beyond just local craigslist, searchtempest, and ebay?
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Old 09-19-13, 02:42 PM   #15
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there's fixedgearfever.com
but it's not super active.
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Old 09-19-13, 06:13 PM   #16
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They offer another very aero hand position for the really long National/ International points races. They are a one race bar, just like the Scattos are a sprint only bar.
I agree that Sphinx are really only good for long points/scratch races, but Scatto's IMO can be used for any events you would use normal drop bars except madison. UCI rules state that in a mass start race, you must be in the drops at all times (excluding madison) so if it is the lack of hand positions on the scatto's that worries you, it shouldn't really be an issue.

It would be a shame to smash up a perfectly good set of scatto's in a scratch race pile up though...

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Old 09-19-13, 09:16 PM   #17
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Scatto bars, though, are quite narrow. They only come in 35 and 37cm wide - so that limits who will use them, and how.
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Old 09-19-13, 10:30 PM   #18
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there's fixedgearfever.com
but it's not super active.
Site is kinda useless for getting gear.

When you log in, the forums disappear so you cant PM anyone :| Using chrome at least...
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Old 09-20-13, 03:48 AM   #19
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Site is kinda useless for getting gear.

When you log in, the forums disappear so you cant PM anyone :| Using chrome at least...
It works fine for me using Firefox.

The site is sort of dead for various reasons. But the classifieds section is OK. I see stuff moving on there. Post a wanted ad and you'll likely get a response.
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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 09-20-13, 10:11 AM   #20
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I'm betting standard road bars will be the way to go for me at first.

I was looking at some more track bikes, and to me it looks like the Fuji Track 1.1 and the Giant Omnium frames are exactly alike, or am I mistaken? Could they be made by the same manufacturer?

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Old 09-20-13, 10:31 AM   #21
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They are different frames.
It's always possible that frames like those are made in the same factory or something, by the same contract manufacturer, or sometimes have some similar tubes - but just at a glance they are definitely different frames.
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Old 09-21-13, 12:34 PM   #22
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They are different frames.
It's always possible that frames like those are made in the same factory or something, by the same contract manufacturer, or sometimes have some similar tubes - but just at a glance they are definitely different frames.
Relevant: http://aushiker.com/where-was-my-bicycle-made/
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