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  1. #1
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    New track rider/racer: Buy complete bike or build up over the winter?

    I recently did my first track clinic and plan on doing another next week before the season ends. I already know that I want to train and race for and during next season, so I'll need a bike. My first inclination is to buy a Felt TK3, it seems race ready out of the box. However, I know myself, and I would want to upgrade the crankset and bottom bracket right from the start. Looks are secondary to fit, but I'm not too keen on the aero-like tubing and the welds on the TK3.

    I want something stiff and responsive, and also that will last me at the very least 5 years of regular racing and training. So, I'm looking to buy once, or build once, and only change parts (i.e. chain rings, cogs, wheels, tires, etc as need be).

    I have been eyeing Carleton's advice that aero seat tubes are almost something you should stay away from, so I'm looking for a bike or a frame that will have a standard seat post, made from aluminum, and will be a dedicated track bike.

    Can anyone else recommend a bike, on the new market because I have had awful luck on the used market, that I should look at? I have been researching Felt and Fuji and they are my top picks.

    Ridley Arena 7005? Bianchi Super Pista? All-City Thunderdome?

  2. #2
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    Normally I wouldn't recommend building up a bike but track bikes are simple enough that its not a terrible idea if you find a good deal on a frame. Perhaps you already have a saddle and bar you want to use, maybe a spare chain, it could be cheaper.

    However, 'track parts' can be hard to come by locally and of course buying a complete bike is less hassle, and could be cheaper. Id really recommending trying to find a used bike or frame, as a track bike a few years old could be nearly brand new. They dont see the abuse of road bikes and some of them are hardly ridden.

  3. #3
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
    Normally I wouldn't recommend building up a bike but track bikes are simple enough that its not a terrible idea if you find a good deal on a frame. Perhaps you already have a saddle and bar you want to use, maybe a spare chain, it could be cheaper.

    However, 'track parts' can be hard to come by locally and of course buying a complete bike is less hassle, and could be cheaper. Id really recommending trying to find a used bike or frame, as a track bike a few years old could be nearly brand new. They dont see the abuse of road bikes and some of them are hardly ridden.
    That's what's stopping me, finding the frame. I'm okay with buying little by little like the crankset/bb and rear cogs and then wheels, and so on and so forth as it would be spaced out over the winter time and I'd be training on my road bike on a trainer and doing weight lifting.

    Any suggestions on a frame model or brand?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    My go-to recommendation right now for an off the shelf complete bike is the new Omnium:

    Omnium (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    Nice mid-level bike ready to roll for a decent price (Ive seen it for $1200 CND)

    Fuji has a few cheaper frames too. I know the TK3 is a cheap buy, but seems to have a lot of bits you will be taking off, especially the bars. Id rather spend the $400 more and get the Giant and way better parts. Yes it has aero seatpost, but I've personally not had issues with them as long as I crank it down manly style (IE way too much)

    What is your local track? Thats a good place to find used bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip. I checked my local track and nothing was in my size.

    Should I be looking for a bike/frame with similar geometry as my road bike, at least as far as the top tube is concerned?

  6. #6
    Uninformed Senior Member
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    I like my Dolan Pre Cursa frameset. It is most definitely an entry level frame, but comes with a proven fork, no aero seattube, and no integrated seatpost collar. It is relatively light, and seems to be stiff.

    Frameset came with Alpina fork, headset, Alpina seatpost, and seatpost collar.

  7. #7
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    What's your budget. It all starts there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    What's your budget. It all starts there.
    $1,000 with taxes.

  9. #9
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek.fulmer View Post
    Should I be looking for a bike/frame with similar geometry as my road bike, at least as far as the top tube is concerned?
    For the most part, yeah. Stack and reach are helpful measurements, too, since sometimes track bikes have high BBs or shorter-than-ordinary head tubes that can obfuscate some measurements.

    If you've got a slender budget, then buying a complete used is probably going to be cheaper than buying a new complete or piecing anything together. But if you enjoy building bikes and know how to identify and find good used parts, then go for it.

    The Felt Tk3 is a decent bike for sure*. I raced a TK2 for a long time, and know plenty of people race it at quite high levels. So are the options from Giant, Bianchi, Fuji, et cetera. A lot of companies make a good, tough, no-nonsense aluminum track bike that will last you as long as you want it to.


    *... though I'm not sure why it's specced with those absurdly deep sprint bars. I think way too many companies think that way too many consumers think that if it doesn't thave super deep sprint bars, then it's not a track bike.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  10. #10
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    I'm about to pull the trigger on a Look 464 for $700 and build it up over the winter.

  11. #11
    Senior Member derek.fulmer's Avatar
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    And I did it. I ordered the Look 464 aluminum frame for $700 new from a dealer a couple hours south of me. Should be at my place my Tuesday.

    Can you guys recommend a crankset and bott
    Bracket? I know SRAM omniums are popular, but what about the Miche stuff?

  12. #12
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    People are constantly having issues with the chainring bolts on the Omniums. DuraAce, Sugino or Campy.

  13. #13
    Proffesional Enthuisast Huskey's Avatar
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    I have Campy Record on my race bike and the Sram Omnium on my second bike. I've always loved the campys, but if I get a new crankset I'll most likely go for the Suginos. Most of the cranksets will feel much the same, unless you're putting out big wattage. Go for whatever brand you like the look of, trust, can afford, as you'll hear stories of people having problems with each brand and stories about how awesome each brand are.

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