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New Track Rider, Need Bike Advice

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Old 08-05-18, 12:09 PM
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MrsIncredible73
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New Track Rider, Need Bike Advice

Hi all! I am currently a road rider and have started a training class at the local velodrome. I am hooked and absolutely love it! Loaner bikes for the class are Felt TK3. Saddle is killing me (takes 3 days to walk right again). I have the Specialized Power Comp saddle on all of my bikes. It has aggressively low drops and the toe cages are terrible to ride with. With that said, we are going to buy our own track bikes- my husband is riding as well.

Iíve looked at the Giant Omnium and Felt TK2. One of our friends built his starting with a Masi Coltello frame. As a new track rider, Iím not sure which direction to go. Iím leaning towards the Omnium, but I like the idea of just buying a frame and building it with the components that I like- although as I say that, Iím sure that the stock wheels will be plenty good for me and it will just be a matter of the bars and saddle.

Any advice? I did read through the thread about how to spend your money and while it was helpful, Iím finding myself lost in a sea of choices.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
~Angela
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Old 08-05-18, 01:52 PM
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if you are planning build your bike yourself, I highly recommend getting Duraace 7710 crankset.
my friend used Omnium crank(thread problem), Sugino 75 DD(left crank coming off), FSA carbon(BB is not secure), and duraace 7710.
According to him Duraace 7710, normal Sugino crankset, and Duraace 7600 are the best.
And if you are planning to buy 7710 crankset, do not buy used. Sometimes, they have play on the crank because of the bad care. This happened to me.

for the frame, I recommend Dixie Flyer BTB. And currently there is a huge sale for 52cm BTB(around 800)
Also, used steel frame is quite popular among new riders, because of price.

Some people might disagree with me, so please donít take my words too seriously.

thank you

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Old 08-05-18, 04:09 PM
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The bars *feel* like they have aggressively low drops, but they really don't. I felt exactly the same thing the first time I got on a track bike. But then I got used to it, and my current position is far lower and stretched out. The track position is really different from the road position.

My advice: don't spend more than $500 for your first track bike. Get something used. After you're at it for awhile, you'll have a far better idea of what you really want, and then you can spend the money properly.
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Old 08-05-18, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gycho77 View Post
if you are planning build your bike yourself, I highly recommend getting Duraace 7710 crankset.
my friend used Omnium crank(thread problem), Sugino 75 DD(left crank coming off), FSA carbon(BB is not secure), and duraace 7710.
According to him Duraace 7710, normal Sugino crankset, and Duraace 7600 are the best.
And if you are planning to buy 7710 crankset, do not buy used. Sometimes, they have play on the crank because of the bad care. This happened to me.

for the frame, I recommend Dixie Flyer BTB. And currently there is a huge sale for 52cm BTB(around 800)
Also, used steel frame is quite popular among new riders, because of price.

Some people might disagree with me, so please donít take my words too seriously.

thank you
Thank you! I will take a look at your recommendations. I also appreciate the heads up on what not to get...equally as valuable!

I have a lot to learn and have been reading and researching as much as I can.

Angela
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Old 08-05-18, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
The bars *feel* like they have aggressively low drops, but they really don't. I felt exactly the same thing the first time I got on a track bike. But then I got used to it, and my current position is far lower and stretched out. The track position is really different from the road position.

My advice: don't spend more than $500 for your first track bike. Get something used. After you're at it for awhile, you'll have a far better idea of what you really want, and then you can spend the money properly.
Thank you. That makes sense to me- we will see how well I fare. New bike fever is difficult to fight!

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Old 08-05-18, 07:58 PM
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Hi, MrsIncredible73. Welcome to the sport and the forum!

As an experienced road rider your current rig probably isn't the first bike you started on. You may have gone through several before you settled on what works for you based on research and trial and error.

That'll definitely happen with your track bike. Your first bike will not be your favorite. Your favorite bike will not be your favorite. It's a journey. The good thing is that track equipment isn't as expensive as comparable road, CX, or MTB.

There are several threads on the first 2-3 pages of this forum that cover 99% of what you'll need to know.

Take note of what components (not frames) the top riders use. Cranks, chainrings, chains, pedals, bars...this will go on on any frame you choose. So, go ahead and splurge in these areas. I'd suggest starting with 165mm cranks until a coach puts you on something longer (trust me...long story...doesn't matter how tall you are).

Fit is more important that materials. I assume that you are a woman based on your name and handle. If you are, then it's safe to assume that you aren't 250lbs and making 2,500W. So, having an Olympic caliber frame capable of handling such might be overkill (for you and your budget). You need a frame that's strong enough for you not strong enough for anyone. There are great options in steel, aluminum, and carbon.

I've seen new racers spend $3000 on a top carbon frame that doesn't fit them...when they would literally be faster on a steel frame that fit. But...guess what they felt obligated to ride every week? Yup, the more expensive frame that hindered their performance. Hell, I've been that person with my LOOK 496.

Focus on geometry and components. That's where the magic happens.
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Old 08-05-18, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
The bars *feel* like they have aggressively low drops, but they really don't. I felt exactly the same thing the first time I got on a track bike. But then I got used to it, and my current position is far lower and stretched out. The track position is really different from the road position.

My advice: don't spend more than $500 for your first track bike. Get something used. After you're at it for awhile, you'll have a far better idea of what you really want, and then you can spend the money properly.
I agree with southern fox except I would say $700.
Check for track bikes for sale at your local velodrome(s) - often some good buys - at my local track there are a few complete bikes in the $450 to $1,000 ranges. Also some very nice frames in the $300 to $1,000 range.
Post a want add if that is allowed.
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Old 08-06-18, 04:43 AM
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Check Craigslist also.
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Old 08-06-18, 05:43 AM
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I went through the debate of building versus buying when I decided to get a track bike a couple years ago. I'm glad I bought a used bike first -- I'd have bought a lot of the wrong stuff.

Like others said, I'd suggest finding something used on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook or another forum, and not worrying too much about the components now. $500-$800 is probably a good range. Felt TK2 or TK3, Specialized Langster, and Giant Omnium are all good options. I've seen plenty of people racing those frames at National Championships. Yeah, a DA crank is nicer than the Sram Omnium, but the Omnium is still fine. Bars and stems are pretty cheap, so they can be replaced pretty easily.

Once you get the bike and get experience, you'll figure out what you want/need and move on. Or, you might find that what you got is exactly what you need.

Don't forget, you're also going to need to buy chainrings, cogs, and a few assorted tools too. (NJS-Export is a great source for chainrings and cogs.)
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Old 08-08-18, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Also, especially for a brand new rider, you don't need to buy track specific bars. Just about any road drop bars you find comfortable will be more than adequate for learning, and even racing up through the elite level endurance races. If you do decide on doing sprint specific events, then bar stiffness becomes much more of a factor.
Actually, "Sprint" bars have a shape that allows for the arms to not be bruised by the tops of the bars during rolling jumps or standing starts.



I see a lot of beginners get the bruises and instead of swapping to sprint bars, they save their forearms by doing bent-elbow standing starts which is bad form.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:38 PM
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https://www.retro-gression.com/ is a great source for race-spec gear at great prices. I've ordered from them several times. The guy that owns it is a regular here on bikeforums. Nice guy.
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Old 08-09-18, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Also, especially for a brand new rider, you don't need to buy track specific bars. Just about any road drop bars you find comfortable will be more than adequate for learning, and even racing up through the elite level endurance races. If you do decide on doing sprint specific events, then bar stiffness becomes much more of a factor.
​​​​​​

Like Carleton said, the important thing about 'sprint' bars is their shape so that we don't smash our forearms into them doing standing starts. They may be a little stiffer than non-sprint bars, but it's the shape that matters more than the stiffness.
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Old 08-09-18, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I see a lot of beginners get the bruises and instead of swapping to sprint bars, they save their forearms by doing bent-elbow standing starts which is bad form.
True.

But I also see a lot of beginners (and not-so-beginners) with an uncomfortably long, low, and wide position because they're using the mega-drops that came stock on their bike or were told that they 'need' sprint bars to race track.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:08 PM
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Thank you for all of the input! Long week at work and I havenít been able to check back and respond to everyone. Some great content here!!

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Old 08-09-18, 12:50 PM
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BTW, you don't need your own thread.

You can ask small questions here: Ask your small, random, track-related questions here

Chances are, if you have a question, someone else is wondering the same thing.
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Old 08-09-18, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
True.

But I also see a lot of beginners (and not-so-beginners) with an uncomfortably long, low, and wide position because they're using the mega-drops that came stock on their bike or were told that they 'need' sprint bars to race track.
Yes, this! This is how I feel on the loaner bike, but I went down a frame size last night to a 51 and flipped the stem and it was much better!! Still have a bruised forearm though.

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Old 08-09-18, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Actually, "Sprint" bars have a shape that allows for the arms to not be bruised by the tops of the bars during rolling jumps or standing starts.

I see a lot of beginners get the bruises and instead of swapping to sprint bars, they save their forearms by doing bent-elbow standing starts which is bad form.
I was wondering why my forearm is bruised today!
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Old 08-09-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Hi, MrsIncredible73. Welcome to the sport and the forum!

As an experienced road rider your current rig probably isn't the first bike you started on. You may have gone through several before you settled on what works for you based on research and trial and error.

That'll definitely happen with your track bike. Your first bike will not be your favorite. Your favorite bike will not be your favorite. It's a journey. The good thing is that track equipment isn't as expensive as comparable road, CX, or MTB.

There are several threads on the first 2-3 pages of this forum that cover 99% of what you'll need to know.

Take note of what components (not frames) the top riders use. Cranks, chainrings, chains, pedals, bars...this will go on on any frame you choose. So, go ahead and splurge in these areas. I'd suggest starting with 165mm cranks until a coach puts you on something longer (trust me...long story...doesn't matter how tall you are).

Fit is more important that materials. I assume that you are a woman based on your name and handle. If you are, then it's safe to assume that you aren't 250lbs and making 2,500W. So, having an Olympic caliber frame capable of handling such might be overkill (for you and your budget). You need a frame that's strong enough for you not strong enough for anyone. There are great options in steel, aluminum, and carbon.

I've seen new racers spend $3000 on a top carbon frame that doesn't fit them...when they would literally be faster on a steel frame that fit. But...guess what they felt obligated to ride every week? Yup, the more expensive frame that hindered their performance. Hell, I've been that person with my LOOK 496.

Focus on geometry and components. That's where the magic happens.
Thank you for the warm welcome! Your assumptions are correct, I am a female and not 250 pounds cranking out 2500 Watts. You raise a good point about geometry. One of the track coaches last night said the felt TK3 didnít have the best geometry. I was going to look at a used TK2 from Craigslist. Itís the same frame with upgraded components but now Iím thinking Iíll research the geometry a little more first...or will it even matter for a newbie like me?
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Old 08-09-18, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
BTW, you don't need your own thread.

You can ask small questions here:

Chances are, if you have a question, someone else is wondering the same thing.
Thats great, thanks! Perhaps that should be a sticky at the top of possible?
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Old 08-09-18, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MrsIncredible73 View Post
Thank you for the warm welcome! Your assumptions are correct, I am a female and not 250 pounds cranking out 2500 Watts. You raise a good point about geometry. One of the track coaches last night said the felt TK3 didn’t have the best geometry. I was going to look at a used TK2 from Craigslist. It’s the same frame with upgraded components but now I’m thinking I’ll research the geometry a little more first...or will it even matter for a newbie like me?
It depends on which track you will be riding on. A steeper track, and you will benefit more from a track specific geometry. Longer, shallower tracks are more forgiving towards less aggressive/road oriented geometry. Most people who are new to track can't really tell the difference at first, unless they have been riding for many years and have experienced different geometries throughout their other bikes. Most people are more comfortable at first with a bike that mimics their road geometry and fit, but they soon try other bikes and find out what they like and their next purchase tends to be more aggressive and track oriented (especially on steeper tracks). The TK2/3 isn't a bad bike (you can certainly pick worse for the same price point), and I know a few people who use them as their regular ride on 200m and 250m tracks. Those are bikes that were specifically made as an entry level track bike that could carry you through a couple of seasons. My recommendation for first time buyers has always been to find a frame/bike that allows you to fit yourself up similarly to your road bike (while still being a proper track bike), but will allow you to get more aggressive with some component swaps (stem/bars/fork) as you get more experienced. I like to think of it as fit is the thing to focus on when you are new, and geometry is something to focus on when you are more experienced and know what type of racing you will be doing. It's pretty generic advise, so you'll have to take that with a grain of salt. The guy or gal who races only time trial races will have a vastly different geometry to someone who focuses on sprints. The Mass Start/All-Rounder will have a bike closer to that of a sprint bike, but maybe more relaxed in the front end depending on personal taste. Things that affect steering feel and response are: front-center balance, head tube angle, fork rake, and bar position over your front hub. These variables can be manipulated across different bikes to have a very similar feel, or conversely, differentiate similar bikes in vastly different ways. Start off with a frame that gets you the right top tube length.

Originally Posted by MrsIncredible73 View Post
Thats great, thanks! Perhaps that should be a sticky at the top of possible?
The small track questions thread never gets too far from the top, but there are definitely a few other threads on the first page that are kept "current" and have some really good info for those less experienced/willing to read that may answer questions that you haven't thought of yet. Either way, don't be afraid to ask. We're here to ride bikes, not people.
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Old 08-09-18, 09:57 PM
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If looking at used bikes too, keep an eye out for bikes with the nice bits already attached. My DA cranks and my DA hubbed wheels that I now use for training all came from my first track bike many years ago
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Old 08-10-18, 04:32 AM
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Having learnt the hard way, I'm very much of the opinion that once you have your first bike and start to understand what you actually want from your perfect machine....buy once.

What I mean by that is that I have on several occasions bought compromises, components that were almost but not quite what I wanted...but hey I got a good deal? Wasn't such a great deal when I had to sell it on 2-3 months later.

In a few years of track cycling I'm onto my third bike, fourth bars etc etc. Any time I have bought what I 'really' wanted...those bits have invariably travelled with me from bike to bike.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:46 AM
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I had a TK2 - the TK2 and 3 have the same geometry - and I used it to get started on a 250. It was a fine frame, and I would still be on it, but a buddy offered me a great deal on his Dolan DF4. It wasn't until I got on the Dolan that I started to understand some of the differences in how the geometry affected handling. Truthfully, if I was just doing pursuits and mass start stuff, those differences really wouldn't matter.

And as QP mentioned, you can start with a narrow compact road bar and be fine. I used a Deda Zero 100 for a while without issue.

But really, for just getting started, going with a TK2/3, Specialized Langster or Giant Omnium will be fine. (In fact, I saw a Langster or two in use at Elite nationals this past week.)

I'll add that my wife is going to try out the track too, and if she likes it, I'm going to build up that TK2 frame for her, since I still have it.

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Old 08-10-18, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
But really, for just getting started, going with a TK2/3, Specialized Langster or Giant Omnium will be fine. (In fact, I saw a Langster or two in use at Elite nationals this past week.)
I agree. There are TONS of decent, mid-range, aluminum track framesets - mostly from the major manufacturers but some from smaller ones too - and all of them are more or less comparable. Some will have more classical sprint geometry with 74-75 degree angles, and some will have more contemporary enduro geometry with headtube angles going down to 73 or even 72.5 in some cases (some people don't like that, some people do, carleton might post extensively about it ). They'll all have aluminum frames, carbon forks with aluminum steerer tubes. There are a few features that are a little better than others:
  • Long track ends that are plated in steel (alu track ends get chewed up; the more length of the track end, the more your bike can accommodate every gear combo you want to use with only one length of chain
  • Aero-looking tubing, which probably is a little more aerodynamic than non-aero-looking tubing
  • A reliable seatpost like a 27.2mm or 31.8mm seatpost instead of something proprietary (aero-looking seatposts tend to slip under larger riders)
  • Short head tubes, or a greater reach-to-stack ratio - this lets you use the same track frame for both a mass start setup (you might need a stem with some rise to put your handlebars where they belong) and a time trial setup with aerobars (where you probably need to mount a shorter stem much lower).
And, honestly, tons of bikes meet these criteria. I raced a Spec Langster Pro as a Cat 1 for many years. I wouldn't hesitate to use a Giant Omnium, a Bianchi Super Pista, a Dolan TC1, Masi Coltello, Fuji Track Whatever They're Claling It These Days, or a Felt TK2 in a pinch.

They're all pretty similar. Buy the one that you think looks best, get an experienced person to help you buy the right size, plan to spend some more money on accessories (chainrings and cogs, contact points that you like - bars saddle and pedals), and that bike will take you very far into the sport.
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Old 08-10-18, 09:57 AM
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One note:

Track riders generally use much narrower bars than road for generally a few reasons:
- Much of the racing happens in close quarters and wide bars aren't a good thing in close quarters.
- There is no "roadie sprinting" on the track. You know, the thing where roadies get out of the saddle and swing the bike back and forth like a flag. DO NOT DO THIS. This isn't a good idea on a fixed gear bike. I've seen many newbies unclip doing this. Also, not good because of the close quarters.
- They are more aero. This is minor compared to the safety concerns above.
- Wide bars are great for out-of-the-saddle climbing on the road. There is out-of-the-saddle climbing on the track.

They will feel weird at first. Don't throw them out. You'll get used to them after a session or two.

Narrow bars affect your fit. Basically, bringing your arms from a wide to a narrow position lengthens your arms thus pushing your back up. To undo this, you'll need either a longer top tube or longer stem. It could be as many as 2cm.
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