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Help with bike choice (newbie)

Old 06-07-16, 07:35 PM
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new_trackie
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Help with bike choice (newbie)

So I tried out riding at the local velodrome for 4 beginner sessions and really like it. I am at the point where I need to get my own track bike. Not all of the sessions have rentals available and of course I'd like to try racing. What do you guys/gals advise for a starter bike? So far I am looking at

Fuji track classic = around $450 and I saw one on ebay for $300 in my size
Felt TK2 = retails around $1799
Felt TK3 = retails around $999
Specialized Langster Pro = saw one on ebay for $1100 to $1400 in my size

The Felt geometry looks different from the rest with the higher BB. The TK2 seems like the *best* quality bike from this list but I am not sure I should spend that kind of money when at my level I could race ok on the Fuji? No one at the track races that I have seen were racing Fuji classics. I saw a lot of Felts, Dolans and other custom builds. Will it make me less competitive to race in a cheap bike? How long did it take you guys to upgrade from your first track bike? 6 months? A year? Five years? I don't want to be wishing I had gotten a better bike within a year...

Thanks for any advice. This forum is a great resource. Loved all of the pictures of your bikes and from your races. It will take a while to get through the old posts!
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Old 06-07-16, 07:57 PM
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I personally recommend Dolan track bike and Hoy track bike.
Dolan and Hoy have good price and geometry.

Cannondale, Specialized, and other big brands have road geometry,
so if I were you, I would buy Hoy track bike.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:58 PM
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Hi, and welcome to the forum and to the sport.

Read about frames here: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycl...ete-bikes.html

I don't want to be wishing I had gotten a better bike within a year.
You are right.

Don't buy a bike that matches your current skill level. You will advance quickly as a beginner. Buy a bike that is "better" than you currently are. That will keep you from buying a new bike every few months

Don't forget that you will also need tools, chainrings, cogs, gear bag, and various other accessories. Read here for details: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cycl...ack-racer.html

You don't need all of this to get started. That thread is to help you plan your purchases so you don't buy the wrong thing now and have to re-buy it later, thus wasting money.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:55 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses! I will check into the Dolans and Hoy (not familiar with that brand yet). I've been reading the threads, Carleton. There is plenty new to understand here.

Looking forward to finding and purchasing a "better" bike. Heh heh. Maybe I can get lucky and find one gently used.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by new_trackie View Post
Thanks for your quick responses! I will check into the Dolans and Hoy (not familiar with that brand yet). I've been reading the threads, Carleton. There is plenty new to understand here.

Looking forward to finding and purchasing a "better" bike. Heh heh. Maybe I can get lucky and find one gently used.
I've been really impressed by Hoy Bikes (Chris Hoy's company). His Fiorenzuola bike sort of hits all of the major marks that a good beginner/intermediate bike should do. It's got the right angles and dimensions. It uses standard components (seatpost, stem, cranks, etc...) that are reliable can easily be upgraded without hassle with parts from a local bike shop. No need to special order a seatpost if you need a new one.

This bike can be raced as-is at the elite regional level and with race wheels, at the elite national level.

The best part is the price. It's hands-down the best quality, functionality bang for the buck that I know of right now. There are a few others in this same category. But, that's one of my personal favorites in the market right now. The only down side is that you can't get them locally in the US (that I know of), so you can't get sales, service, or try-before-you-buy. You have to mail order from the UK. If you are in the UK, you get that stuff, though.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:05 PM
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In my experience, do not buy used stuff.
I bought slightly used parts, but I always found a problem except SRM headunit.
So try to buy new track bike instead of used bike, and if you are buying an used bike, buy it from a track cyclist.


As Carleton said, Hoy track bikes have good geometry and parts. So if you decide to get a new bike, you just have to replace the frame.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:33 PM
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What I love about this post is the OP's choice of handle. Someday he'll be as knowledgeable as Carleton, with 10,000 posts and still be rocking the "new-trackie" handle.
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Old 06-08-16, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
What I love about this post is the OP's choice of handle. Someday he'll be as knowledgeable as Carleton, with 10,000 posts and still be rocking the "new-trackie" handle.
Hahaha, I thought about that, too. He's only gonna be a newbie for a few months.
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Old 06-09-16, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Hahaha, I thought about that, too. He's only gonna be a newbie for a few months.
Well, I really do feel like a novice. I mean I only started road biking a year ago and I still feel behind the curve on that stuff! One reason I decided to try the track was to learn to ride in a group properly. In some ways the track seems more safe than road riding. At least you don't have to worry about cars.

Hoy bikes look great but...they do not have any XS frame size which would be my presumed size. Evans cycles responded to an email, and informed me that there aren't any 2016 versions of the .001 and .002. They are just selling off 2015s. No talk about getting any new stock anytime soon. Rats. I am leaning towards a brand new Dolan at this point. Thanks again to all that responded.
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Old 06-09-16, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by new_trackie View Post
Well, I really do feel like a novice. I mean I only started road biking a year ago and I still feel behind the curve on that stuff! One reason I decided to try the track was to learn to ride in a group properly. In some ways the track seems more safe than road riding. At least you don't have to worry about cars.

Hoy bikes look great but...they do not have any XS frame size which would be my presumed size. Evans cycles responded to an email, and informed me that there aren't any 2016 versions of the .001 and .002. They are just selling off 2015s. No talk about getting any new stock anytime soon. Rats. I am leaning towards a brand new Dolan at this point. Thanks again to all that responded.
Track cycling is generally safer than road. The racing definitely is.

That sucks about the Hoy bikes. I hope they aren't closing the line.

Road and track cycling aren't rocket science. The basics can be learned fairly quickly and advanced topics will come with experience.

The biggest lesson you can learn now that will save you LOTS of time, energy, and money: You cannot buy speed.

You can buy reliability and quality, but you can't buy speed or endurance. This is why you can (and will) see fit riders riding budget bikes and kicking ass. You will also see unfit rider riding Olympic quality bikes and sucking ass. This goes for road or track gear.

Bike equipment is like basketball shoes. There is a very low minimum bar of equipment that is necessary to support the athlete's on-court activities. LeBron James will still be LeBron James in a basic $50 basketball shoe just as he would be in his $250 signature shoes. I can buy and wear the $250 LeBrons and still suck.

So, spend money to buy quality and solve problems. But, don't spend money hoping to buy speed.

"Stiffest", "Lightest", and "Most Aero" mean nothing. Most bikes are stiff enough, light enough, and aero enough.


Caveat:

Aero stuff works...but at varying degrees. A skinsuit or aero front wheel will provide a noticeable difference (5-10% maybe?). Aero frames, discs, seatposts, etc... provide very little benefit. Yes, there are benefits, but they are very, very small. If you are losing races by less than 1 second is the only reason to spend that kind of money. Otherwise, your money is better-spent elsewhere...or just better in your pocket
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Old 06-21-16, 06:11 PM
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It may not be what you want to hear, but I would just go out and find something with good track geo that's going to only cost you a few hundred $$.

Without a doubt, you don't really know where your track talents lie and you will upgrade whatever bike you can afford now because....... cycling! So get something that is relatively cheap and get yourself going. You can still be fast and you WILL still have fun. Take whatever money you have leftover now and keep it in store ready for your impending upgrade. That future upgrade would then be dependent on what style of track riding you like, and what you're good at.

I went down the path of researching the crap out of bikes and ended up with my first bike being something nice but basic in the frame, but with good bits attached that I still have most of 7 years and 3 frames later.
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Old 06-22-16, 12:08 AM
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It's rare to wear out quality track gear. I find if I ever NEEDED to replace something it was because it physically broke. Wanting to replace something is up to you and will happen soon enough. Get yourself a good buy on something nice and basic with true track geometry. That will get you 90% of the way to being an experience and serious track racer. It will be 2-3 years before you'll really know what you want and what you want to spend on a new bike.

I find the best way to approach it is to think that you can have two bikes. One provided to you free of charge, the other you have to purchase. "What bike could I have if money were no consideration? OK, now what bike WILL I BUY TO BE MY BACK UP BIKE?" Except you don't get the freebie. You just get to dream about it.
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