Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Please school me on track bike maintenance!

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Please school me on track bike maintenance!

Old 10-21-21, 06:14 AM
  #1  
danbikes
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Please school me on track bike maintenance!

Have recently got into track cycling at an indoor velodrome and bought a track bike.

It is an aluminium bike with a carbon front fork (Felt Tk2). Metal drop outs on the rear axle and carbon drop outs on the front. Running Challenge pista clinchers on a Mavic Ellipse wheelset.

I'm interested in learning about:
i) what safety checks should be done every time before a ride (beyond just inflating tires back up to pressure). Should I check the torque of the rear axle / lockring routinely?
ii) How do I know when the completely slick tires need replacing?
iii) I cleaned the new tires with rubbing alcohol and then (after a few slightly hairy slippy laps of the velodrome) also used some sandpaper to roughen the tire surface. Should I use alcohol every time I go to the track
iv) How do I check chain wear, can I just use a standard chain gauge tool - and should I replace at 0.5% stretch like with my road bike?
v) Do I need to check chain tension if I am leaving the rear wheel on the bike? I looked at the Sheldon Brown page about how to walk back the rear wheel by alternately tightening and loosening the rear axle, but I'm not going to be changing out the sprocket on the rear wheel any time soon.

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. I was pretty handy with the road bike, but it does feel like fixed gear single speed is a different world!
danbikes is offline  
Old 10-21-21, 07:57 AM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,251

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3420 Post(s)
Liked 2,110 Times in 1,379 Posts
1- All fittings should be checked for tightness (bars, stem, post and seat) so nothing slips when riding). If running sew ups the glue job needs checking, the usual is to (only) try prying the tire off the rim with your hands. Axle nuts/bolts need to be tight. Pretty much the same as when entering a road race but with no brake or gear aspects.

2- When their condition is too worrying to you, when you see casing cords showing, when there are lumps or bulges that were not there before. I have to admit I never heard of wiping tires with alcohol (although in my child age slot car racing we did do this to the tiny tires) on track bike tires. This is where a local "mentor" is a great resource to have. BTW what track and what surface?

3- See local mentor for the track's preference.

4-check for chain wear the same as on your road bike. Are you running a 1/8" or a 3/32" wide drivetrain? The wider 1/8" will wear significantly longer and some say will feel more rigid or power transmitting. Also with the more frequent cog/ring changes that is part of track racing expect the wear on the teeth to be spread out over the various replacements you are using. Further is the conditions and miles that track bikes see compared to road riding. Tracks are cleaner so less abrasive grit and generally the miles ridden over the season (on the track) is less then on the road. At the Northbrook track, in 1985 when I was helping out our shop's riders, the riders would use their road bikes on the surrounding streets for their initial warm ups with the turbo trainer only used just before their events.

5- Yes, do routinely monitor chain tension. Only adjust it as needed.

Track bikes are much more like the bikes you learned to ride on when a kid. But now we have adult expectations and (we hope) adult understandings of the results of a poorly maintained bike. My suggestion of seeking a local rider to mentor you is my best advice. Each track will have it's manors, rules, allowances, and nuances. I've watched a newbie get worked over by the core groups of regulars because the newbie didn't know the "order of stuff". Some tracks require attendance of a pre race class to insure some of this goes well in the actual events. Good luck and make sure to have fun. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 10-21-21, 09:48 AM
  #3  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,041

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1502 Post(s)
Liked 2,151 Times in 1,122 Posts
Andrew covered it all above. The only thing I can add is that if you're slipping down the track you're not going fast enough. We wiped tires off w/ alcohol on the wood tracks, and also used a crepe eraser to wipe them down. There are only a few things to check on a track bike, put a wrench on everything every now and then, check wheel nuts every time. We, well...no one uses lockrings so don't worry about that. You'll end up getting a few cogs and chainrings so you'll be checking chain tension every time you change one. Loose is fast, you want the chain just tight enough you can't push it off the chainring w/ your wrench while pedaling. You'll get to know what this looks/feels like. You'll want a 90" gear for the mass start races (50 x 15 is most popular).
cxwrench is offline  
Old 10-21-21, 06:22 PM
  #4  
danbikes
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks both of your for your help.

We're riding at the Milton velodrome in Ontario (250m, wood).
We've done a certification weekend and are doing structured training - our emphasis at this point is very much on learning the technique and etiquette of track cycling.

Running 1/8" drive train.

Slipping definitely seemed to be new tire issue rather than speed (we have been riding rental bikes up until now) - the sandpaper treatment completely resolved the issue and the coach said this is a common problem with new clinchers on the track.

The rear axle is straightforward enough - drop outs are metal and Mavic suggests a torque of 40Nm - so not much danger of over-torquing. I'm less sure about the front axle because of the all carbon drop outs - does the "hand tight + a quarter turn" rule of thumb apply? Mavic/Felt don't seem to provide any torque specs for the front.
danbikes is offline  
Old 10-21-21, 08:51 PM
  #5  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,041

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1502 Post(s)
Liked 2,151 Times in 1,122 Posts
It would be really hard to crush a carbon dropout. Really hard.
cxwrench is offline  
Old 10-22-21, 08:09 AM
  #6  
Mr. 66
Senior Member
 
Mr. 66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,280
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
Liked 786 Times in 476 Posts
I thought that using solvent on tires would glaze the tread.
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 10-22-21, 09:10 AM
  #7  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,041

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1502 Post(s)
Liked 2,151 Times in 1,122 Posts
Now you know.
cxwrench is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.