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Frame for endurance events for 17-year old junior

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Frame for endurance events for 17-year old junior

Old 01-11-21, 07:49 PM
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jajacek
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Frame for endurance events for 17-year old junior

Hi,

My son just got into our national junior track team. Last year he was starting in U17 category on chinese Winowsports WL-TRF11 frame.
We had very little experience on track and this is what he was given by our club. He won national championship in 2km pursuit, elimination race and got medals in Omnium and Scratch.

This year he will mainly be starting in endurace races and 3km pursuit.
Our guess is that this 55cm frame is too small for him. At least its stack is too low. We will be given Fuji Track Elite to try. What size would you recommend? He is 181 cm tall with 90 cm inseam, so extremely long legs and shorter torso. Unfortunately as a new user I'm unable to post photo of his current position. But you see it in his FB profile from signature link.

Are there any other frames worth checking? We can buy Dolans at reasonable price and some older Cervelo probably. We can buy Fuji for around 1500 Euro.

Last edited by jajacek; 01-11-21 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:25 AM
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Fuji and Dolans are probably your two best options. They are good quality for the money and have few proprietary parts. There is always a chance he will outgrow it in a year or two.

As for the size, I would guess he would need a 58 or 61 Fuji. I'm a few cm shorter than him, and my fitter wanted me on a 61 Fuji for sprinting.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:55 AM
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1: Congratulations!

2: The National Team should have a coach. Follow coach's advice. The last thing coach wants is for mom/dad saying, "I heard on the internet that my son should have..."

3: It's extremely difficult to fit anyone via text on the internet. The coach should fit him and give advice on what size frame to buy. That's his/her job.

4: IF you are forced to fit him yourself. Avoid the trap of making the track bike fit like the road bike. Road rides and races last 45minutes to hours. You need more comfort. Most track efforts/events are less than 15-30 minutes. Aerodynamics are more important than comfort. So, you can (and should) choose a more aerodynamic position. An easy way to do this is to find a pro track rider that has similar dimensions as your son, save pics/screenshots of that rider, then get on a shop fit bike and replicate that position. From there, take the settings from the fit bike and find an appropriate bike that has the same dimensions.

Take me for example. Before I raced track, my road bike top tube was 57cm (for comfort riding) and I bought track bikes with similar top tube lengths. As I learned more and more I realized that my optimal track top tube length was 61cm. I raced for years on 56-58cm frames before I found that it was too small for me.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jajacek View Post
Hi,

...

Our guess is that this 55cm frame is too small for him. At least its stack is too low. We will be given Fuji Track Elite to try. What size would you recommend? He is 181 cm tall with 90 cm inseam, so extremely long legs and shorter torso. Unfortunately as a new user I'm unable to post photo of his current position. But you see it in his FB profile from signature link.


Are there any other frames worth checking? We can buy Dolans at reasonable price and some older Cervelo probably. We can buy Fuji for around 1500 Euro.

Hi Jacek, 55cm does not mean much. For a long-legged rider it must take into account the measure named "stack (height)." 55cm at 75 degree and 57cm at 73 deg may produce the same stack, indeed.


For example, I am 184 but armspan is 194. So I consider other dimensions such as reach and front-centre and I am not so willing to buy Look AL 464 because of its 417mm reach. My current steel frame produces 411 but at 583 stack.


You may also consider a complete bike in the budget as BMC Trackmachine AL, that may be just renamed Trackmachine 01 (the later was UCI approved for legal competitions until January 2020). Either for training or for competition, this might serve for both. The stack was some 560mm. It likely appeared in Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian and German online shops.


Here is geometry and other specifications: https://www.bmc-switzerland.com/trackmachine-al.html. Try also to use the bike geometri calculator Bikegeo.net.

Last edited by 2500W; 01-13-21 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 01-13-21, 11:23 AM
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in general stack is a pretty easy fix, at least in timed events.

The frame you've got is on par with about anything you're looking at.
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Old 01-14-21, 12:52 AM
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Great discount on Look 875 Madison framesets at Ciclimattio. Various colours, drilled or undrilled, largest sizes prevail.
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Old 01-14-21, 07:51 AM
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Thank you for all the answers.
We got great deal on brand new Fuji Track Elite 2021 from Fuji Germany, 1200 Euro, so we will surely buy this frameset. It's only a matter of size. We will get 56 frame for testing and we'll see how my son feels and looks on it.
58 has 11mm more stack and 14mm more reach, so very little difference.
Unfortunately our national junior team doesn't have any bikes as resources that could be given to members of the team. So we have to buy the frame and crankset ourself. Whels are no problem, they have many of them including Campagnolo Ghibli from elite team if necessary.
Elite team has Cervelo frames but very old and 1 or 2 Argon Electron Pro.
National coach has 5 jobs and I'm not sure if he will be able to help us with the fitting. So far we used commercial fitting from the shop owned by famous pro Michal Kwiatkowski.
I will probably ask our top track riders what frames they ride, but might be difficult to find someone who has similar dimensions.
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Old 01-14-21, 11:16 AM
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You can experiment with fit faster using a fit bike than waiting for a frame to arrive then building it up. This is how famed frame maker David Tiemeyer did it with his clients. He would propose dimensions then send the client to find a qualified shop with a fit bike and have the fitter input the dimensions into the fit bike.

You literally can do that today using the dimensions of the Fuji frame from the website.

The best part is that you can experiment with different dimensions instantly. You can even experiment with crank length on these fit bikes as well. This is what the pros do.



A thread on the matter: DIY Bike Fitting for Track
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Old 01-14-21, 11:24 AM
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Further, Michał Kwiatkowski doesn't seem to have any track palmares. So, make sure that the person that fits your son fits for track cycling. A very common mistake is for bike fitters who are good at fitting for road bikes simply think, "Pffft. A track bike is a road bike without gears. I'll just fit the rider the same way."

That's like a guitar instructor saying that "A violin is just a guitar with less strings."

To make the National Team, your son must be talented. He will probably do well with any decent fit. But be reminded that this is a sport that is won and lost by fractions of a second...even in local races.
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Old 01-14-21, 05:27 PM
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carleton All true I guess. Bike fitter had very little experience with track cycling. My son was training with world champion in scratch on the same track, who told him to get track bike fit, cause he has pretty lousy position. So we aimed for best fitter in town. In general, it is very difficult to find fitter with track experience. I've spoken to my friend, whose son is a sprinter for national team about fit and cranksets. Regarding fit, his son rides Look size 58. He is same height as my son but much shorter legs and longer torso. As far as crankset is concerned, we currently have DuraAce Track in chinese bike. He recommends to keep it that way. What's your opinion? If we can choose, what lenght of the crank arm should we choose? My son was riding 52x14 in recent endurance trainings. I've spoken to our junior who was silver medalist in Omnium in European Champiosnships. He rode 55x15 in endurance events and 56x15 in 3km pursuit.
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Old 01-15-21, 09:17 AM
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52-14 = 100 inches
55-15 = 99 inches
56-15 = 101 inches

For all intents and purposes, those three gear choices are pretty much the same.

Based on what you've told us and the pics of your son on FB, I would guess the 58 Fuji would fit better than the 56. I'm shorter than your son, and my fitter, who is a very accomplished track fitter, would put me on a 61 Fuji for sprinting. You might try to find a track fitter online who can provide some guidance via online videos if you do not have someone local.
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Old 01-15-21, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jajacek View Post
carleton All true I guess. Bike fitter had very little experience with track cycling. My son was training with world champion in scratch on the same track, who told him to get track bike fit, cause he has pretty lousy position. So we aimed for best fitter in town. In general, it is very difficult to find fitter with track experience. I've spoken to my friend, whose son is a sprinter for national team about fit and cranksets. Regarding fit, his son rides Look size 58. He is same height as my son but much shorter legs and longer torso. As far as crankset is concerned, we currently have DuraAce Track in chinese bike. He recommends to keep it that way. What's your opinion? If we can choose, what lenght of the crank arm should we choose? My son was riding 52x14 in recent endurance trainings. I've spoken to our junior who was silver medalist in Omnium in European Champiosnships. He rode 55x15 in endurance events and 56x15 in 3km pursuit.
You can do this yourself following the instructions in the thread linked above.

Step 1: Find photos/videos of a top rider who has a similar body as your son. COPY his position. This is what aspiring artists do...they copy the masters until they find their own style.

Step 2. Take your photo/video findings to a fitter with a fit bike and start a relationship. This might take 1 hour or it might take 3. IT IS WORTH IT. This is like taking a photo of a haircut you like to a barber. It actually makes things easy for them.

Know that the ultimate goals of all of this are:

- Put your son's body in the optimal position to make endurance power.
- Put your son's body in the optimal position to make that power as aerodynamically as possible (even in bunch races). You don't need to go to a wind tunnel ($$$!!)...just copy the guys that went to the wind tunnel
- Find the bike that allows those positions while handling like a sports car. The keys to this are also in the photos of the pros. Note where their butts, legs, feet, head, and hands are with relation to the wheels and cranks. There are 6 fixed points on the bike: saddle, crank spindle, pedals, front wheel, rear wheel, and handlebars. How the riders butt, hands, feet, and head relate to those make the fit.

You can do all of this for whatever it costs to pay for the bike fitter's time (or simply tip him/her).

As far as cranks go, Dura Ace Track are the reference cranks. You can't go wrong with those. The key is to find the length that's appropriate. This will likely be shorter than what your son rides on the road (no hills to climb on the track). I don't know what the current best practices are for endurance riding on the track, but I do know that it's commonly easier to continuously spin shorter cranks than longer ones. Also, shorter cranks means that the knees don't rise as high into the belly area, allowing the rider to stoop lower for aero gains. But, there is a point where low is too low and the power from the glutes shuts off.
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Old 01-15-21, 09:53 AM
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When done correctly, the bike will feel like an extension of the body, not something that is in the way.

Once that is achieved, then the racer's mind is free to focus on managing their engine and the other racers.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:52 PM
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Thank you for all the tips. We have been promised an access to Fuji Track Elite test bike. Either 56 or both 56 and 58. We have 11 weeks to prepare for Junior World Championships.

We will be working on aerodynamics as well and we will ask for help with CdA a collegue who is an Hour Amateur World Record Holder. He has Notio Konect and knows how to use it. We have Velotec skinsuit and team skinsuit made by same company.

We have both Giro Aerohead and Aerohead Ultimate helmets. I'm not sure if it makes sense to invest in Speedplay Zero Aero pedals. Currently we have Look Keo Blade Carbon. Not a ceramic version. I've seen some Look Keo Track as well, probably with some way to stiffen a spring leaf used in Blade pedals.

We have 3T Scatto 35cm shallow drop handlebar for endurance races and some old, average Vison aerobar for individual pursuit. We didn't put too much attention into details on the track untill summer 2020, when my son won in national championships 2km pursuit and elimination race, was second in scratch and third in Omnium. Now he won scratch of final day of national junior team camp, beating all one year older. So suddenly he become a contender in national team for international races.

Last edited by jajacek; 01-16-21 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-16-21, 08:56 PM
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That equipment sounds great.

When I was in college, I used to work at a tennis pro shop lead by a former pro. I asked him what it was like to play against pros I'd seen on TV. He said, "Imagine the very hardest shot you've ever successfully hit into the court. The pros do that with every stroke."

That's sort of what it's like for international races. At age 17, he's racing with guys as fast as the big dogs. And the pace of the rest laps are faster than the sprint laps at some tracks.

Hopefully your son can settle on a fit and get enough track time (at speed) to feel comfortable at Worlds and further.

Also, don't forget Shimano SPD-SL pedals. The normal pedals can be tightened very snugly. A couple of years ago I had Ultegra, Dura-Ace, KEO and LOOK MAX 2 pedals and I found that the maximum exit tension setting on the LOOK pedals was equivalent to maybe 25% of what I could set on the Shimano pedals. So, if you want tight pedals, go with any of the Shimano SPD-SL variants. I really like 0-float cleats for a very "attached" feeling with the bike. This was recommended to me by a to US coach (Olympic medalist) that coached me at the time. Even for enduros. Even Cav used to ride them:



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Old 01-16-21, 09:04 PM
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Interesting video about pedals and cleats from road pros:
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