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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 01-28-14, 04:46 AM   #1
Velocirapture
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The value of powermeters.

Powermeters are undoubtedly the latest and greatest in training tools. It seems all the noteworthy coaches recommend them, and all (?) the pros train with them, so clearly they are great.

There also seem to be many folk on this forum who train with powermeters.
My question is: its worthwhile, but how worthwhile?

If you own one, are you glad that you do? Would you forego fancy tubbies and carbon seat posts, and run a steel rig with box rims, cooking your food over a candle to save up for one? or is it a bit like wind-tunnel testing; which can give amazing information, but is defintely not worth the cost for everyone?
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Old 01-28-14, 05:12 AM   #2
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I have to do so much of my training on the turbo, to me they are invaluable at not just measuring effort and improvement, but also keeping the sessions interesting, particularly couple with TrainerRoad
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Old 01-28-14, 07:12 AM   #3
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On the track bike - least beneficial of the bikes I have a PM on as much can be ascertained via stop watch and a keen eye from a coach. Biggest benefit I've found here is having ride files from pursuits to tailor training for.

On the road bike - as AlexTaylor confirms - extremely helpful for interval sessions to train in the correct zones targetting relevant weaknesses after testing. Find having the PM means I can be more focussed as a masters aged athlete as I can't just go out and smash myself like I did when I was younger - quality over quantity!

TT bike - extremely helpful in training and racing. Though in racing I've learnt to only use as a carrot and keep above a certain wattage rather than race to an average power value. Did the later the first TT I raced with power and was the slowest time I'd raced on this particular circuit! FTP intervals are my bread and butter sessions through the winter TT season.

All bought second hand and I'm still racing on mostly Aluminium bikes. Definitely rank over a shiney new carbon bike anyday!

Another major benefit - with an accurate PM you can perform aerodynamic field tests. The wind tunnel is a great tool http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au/...view-from.html but expensive if you want to continue tinkering or are forced to change equipment due to the fickle UCI rule changes...
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Old 01-28-14, 11:05 AM   #4
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Along with the obvious training benefits mentioned above, they are great motivational tools. It is very encouraging to see the numbers, especially when track racing is such that you spend most of the year not competing, even during the season. So you don't have any measure of your progress (except gym numbers for the sprinters).
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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 01-30-14, 06:52 AM   #5
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For me, I only have one track bike and only spend ~30-40 days a year on it. Our road and mountain bike club has the track for daily three hour sessions six days a week in August and September and our club dues pay for access. Otherwise it's 9.50€ to get access to the track during any other time. I often wonder how you guys spend so much time at the track. In France, unless you pay dues to a track-specific club, you have to have a lot of cash to play on the velodromes here.

If I had a couple of bikes and trained with frequency on the track, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to build a G3 120mm wheel. Several of my teammates use these, and they are very economical, as you can buy a built wheel for 1300€ new and as low as 800€ on the secondary market.

I also agree with both Dalai and Carleton, even though they have divergent points. In track racing, the stopwatch IS the powermeter. On the other hand, everyone loves data, and seeing the numbers truly does provide for understanding and motivation. I think Perkins puts out 2450 watts or something crazy like that. I'm almost there!
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Old 01-30-14, 07:03 AM   #6
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Of the 9 velodromes in here in Melbourne, all but two are open to the public and free to use year round except when the clubs are training... The two that aren't free to use are both indoor 250m tracks but one is in a multi use stadium and rarely used. The other has racing year round Tuesday and Thursday nights, plus regular Sunday afternoon races in Winter plus other ad hoc races year round including the Masters National Track championships in a couple of months. Otherwise if not booked by the local Institute of Sport or clubs anyone with a current race licence can train for $5 an hour during the working week!
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Old 01-30-14, 08:30 AM   #7
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WOW!!! 9 in one city! That is amazing!
we have 8 in the whole country. Only two of which are 250m, and only 1 is covered. The covered one, fortunately, is also free access (Concrete & covered, the only one in the world!), but is a multi-use stadium, so often unavailable.
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Old 01-30-14, 10:08 AM   #8
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i have one for my road bike but not my track. i do most of my training on the road so that's my reasoning for not having one on the track. i'll probably end up switching my track bike to dura ace so i can run a stages arm. i would just want to see data from mass start events. not much for training.
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Old 01-30-14, 06:14 PM   #9
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Dalai, what is the background regarding construction and operation of those free tracks? Were they built with public funds for public use? Were they private tracks donated to the public as a park?

Australia sounds pretty awesome. If there were a free track in France I would be there every day. In France, if you can see something, it costs money to go inside of it.
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Old 01-31-14, 06:14 AM   #10
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i have one for my road bike but not my track. i do most of my training on the road so that's my reasoning for not having one on the track. i'll probably end up switching my track bike to dura ace so i can run a stages arm. i would just want to see data from mass start events. not much for training.
As I said above, that is honestly IMO the better option if just using the one PM.

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Dalai, what is the background regarding construction and operation of those free tracks? Were they built with public funds for public use? Were they private tracks donated to the public as a park?
Track cycling was a mainstream sport here in the first half of the 20th century drawing huge crowds to weekly races. I found a few historic photos - http://treadlie.com.au/tracking-time/

In total there is something like 97 tracks in Australia! Nearly every country town will have a concrete or asphalt track, often a lightly banked surface around the outside of a football oval. So they are all on public land and usually with a cycling club aligned with it. Not sure though if the velodromes or the clubs came first...

My clubs 307m concrete track was built I believe in the early 60's with the help of club members - couple of years ago when I took this photo the local council had just provided cash for and completed works to widen the duckboard and fix the worst cracks. Located in the same park are two ovals, tennis courts, an athletics track and indoor basketball stadium! I'll be there tomorrow for our clubs weekly Summer saturday afternoon racing.

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Old 01-31-14, 06:59 AM   #11
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That's really wonderful. France also had a similar background, with huge dailies and 6-day events until the 1960s. Those events still exist, but nothing like before. The 19th and 20th century concrete tracks all still exist, but you have to pay to access them. I don't think (but not sure) there's a single free, open-to-the-public track in all of France.

Australia 1, France 0.

What about indoor tracks? We have a lot of wooden indoor rings here, which obviously are private and €€€ to enter. Are your indoor tracks free? If so, I need to move to Oz!!!
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Old 01-31-14, 07:19 AM   #12
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Most States now have an indoor velodrome. Melbourne where I live has 2 - Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC) and Hisense arena (this is in a multiuse arena and only used for big events such as World Cups and maybe one of two other races each year).

Other indoor velodromes are Sydney Dunc Gray, Launceston - Silverdome, Adelaide Super-drome and Perth SpeedDome. They are currently building one in Brisbane for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Have only raced on DISC and Dunc Gray. Can't say about the other velodromes, but DISC is $5 hour if you are a Cycling Australia licence holder during weekday business hours. This weeks schedule http://www.vic.cycling.org.au/Portal...Jan27_2014.pdf

I race there Tuesday nights for $15. Could race Thursday nights and various clubs have it booked for training, but are usually fine with other club members paying a nominal fee to join their sessions...
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