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Track geometry or not for a FG/SS bike?

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Track geometry or not for a FG/SS bike?

Old 02-09-14, 02:23 PM
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1987
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Track geometry or not for a FG/SS bike?

Do you like classic track geometry for fixed gear or single speed bikes? Or do you prefer a more slacked angle of the head tube for ride comfort?
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Old 02-09-14, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
Do you like classic track geometry for fixed gear or single speed bikes? Or do you prefer a more slacked angle of the head tube for ride comfort?
Any bike predominantly ridden on the road is better served with less radical geometry than is used in pure track racing bikes. Still, I like an in-between geometry that retains the liveliness of track geometry, while allowing a bit more room for wider tires and less toe overlap with the front tire. My favorite road FG bike is built around a Soma Rush frameset, which is a nearly perfect compromise IMO. It also has a sufficiently high BB to avoid pedal strike when cornering.
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Old 02-09-14, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Any bike predominantly ridden on the road is better served with less radical geometry than is used in pure track racing bikes. Still, I like an in-between geometry that retains the liveliness of track geometry, while allowing a bit more room for wider tires and less toe overlap with the front tire……. also a sufficiently high BB to avoid pedal strike when cornering.
I agree with this. Both my fixed and SS are actual track framesets, but both are also slightly 'tuned down' dimensionally, relative to the more track specific designs you see in the highest levels of competition. Both provide enough latitude to get a comfortable fit for longish road rides, yet you still have most of the handling attributes that track frames deliver.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Any bike predominantly ridden on the road is better served with less radical geometry than is used in pure track racing bikes. Still, I like an in-between geometry that retains the liveliness of track geometry, while allowing a bit more room for wider tires and less toe overlap with the front tire. My favorite road FG bike is built around a Soma Rush frameset, which is a nearly perfect compromise IMO. It also has a sufficiently high BB to avoid pedal strike when cornering.
Thanks for your informative reply. But the Soma Rush frameset is really close to classic track geometry.

Compare Soma Rush with Cinelli Supercorsa Pista:
http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/rush
http://www.cinelli.it/site/index.php...lliflypage.tpl

Note that Soma measurers frame size old school as center BB to top of seat tube.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:45 PM
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I feel like my Surly Steamroller is everything I ever wanted in a bike. I like that I can run 32c front and back and barely have any toe overlap. I wish the BB was a little higher but other than that it's my favorite bike ever.
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Old 02-09-14, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
Thanks for your informative reply. But the Soma Rush frameset is really close to classic track geometry.

Compare Soma Rush with Cinelli Supercorsa Pista:
http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/rush
http://www.cinelli.it/site/index.php...lliflypage.tpl
That Cinelli looks a lot slacker than any track racing bike I've owned, and its 60mm BB drop is too low for a steeply banked track like my local Frisco Superdrome, which has 44 degree banking in the turns. A better comparison would be to my Bianchi Pista Concept, which has a steeper headtube angle and 1cm less fork rake. Anyways, the Soma Rush has a very compliant ride on rough pavement and room for 28mm tires, but is very responsive when I hit the gas.
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Old 02-09-14, 06:08 PM
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My SSFG is a CX bike with even slacker geometry than my road bike. I find it very stable on dirt and comfy on the road. When we get a track though, I'll buy a track bike.
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Old 02-10-14, 03:28 AM
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My Hillbrick is custom made and was based around the classic 80s roadie. It's got the longer wheelbase and this probably adds to the stability. I specified no toe overlap as I ride in an urban environment and when playing in traffic, you can not always guarantee being able to avoid the pedal with your front wheel. I'm not sure what else the builder fiddled with but he's produced a bike that rides as easily with no hands as it does with hand on the bars - that may not mean anything to you but I have balance issues and this is the only bike I can say that for. Yet it's not some super stable battleship that needs a mile to turn around. She's lively and responsive to steer and no matter how late you see something going under the front wheel, you can flick around it.
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Old 02-10-14, 08:11 AM
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one thing to consider if you're riding in-town is tight, low speed maneuvering. trying to make a u-turn or pull onto a sidewalk and your foot bangs the front wheel is no good. some, not all, traditional track bikes have a lot of toe overlap because they never make 90deg turns.
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Old 02-10-14, 08:39 AM
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Generally I'm of the opinion that things like bike geometry and setup should be determined by what kind of riding you're going to do, not what kind of drivetrain you have. If you're going to do long road rides, you want the same things whether you have gears or not. Same goes for urban commuting, or offroad, or whatever. The only way the drivetrain matters is that it's maybe a little more important to have toe clearance on a fixed bike than with a freewheel (but it may not matter) and it's a little more important to have cornering clearance (but again, if you're cornering fast a lot you ideally still want that clearance even if you have a freewheel anyway).
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Old 02-10-14, 02:54 PM
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Unless your town's streets are maintained like a velodrome surface, you're unlikely to get any advantage from riding track geometry on the road.
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