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The track topic

Discussion on bikes, and whatever...

The track topic

Postby Ypsylon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:44 pm

It looks as if we can get our local track back from the pot hole and moss society.

So that's the perfect excuse to get another bike and it turns out I'm totally unprepared. I know nothing about track bikes other than that they don't have brifters.

The truth is that 99% of the guys will ride their road bikes and it will likely just be crit practice, but those are points races in Germany anyways. What are those called on the track? Point Race?

Would the geo be the same as for my road bike? More agressive?

Are the handlebars the same? Crank length? Pedals?

What kind of gear am I looking at? 53x1sumpn? The turns don't have much of a banking (at least right now), it's 400m long total, if that matters.

I've been surfing around fixedgearfever and it seems there are so called sprint and endurance events, do I get two bikes? :grin:
Last edited by Ypsylon on Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The track topic

Postby Boonen » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:17 pm

Two or three :wink:

Geo is much more agressive, bars are narrower, cranks could be the same if you don't want to change to much from your road bike but are (or should I say were?) often chosen shorter as well. Gearing depends on the events you'll do, if you'll do omniums you'd need a few rings and cogs to be ready for all the events. General gearing depends on the track and what you're training for but would be something like 52x17, 52x16/47x15 ... Stumpy??? Maybe you can help me out here, my memory is a bit dusty :wink:

Beware though, if the track is flat enough for it and you're going to ride with guys that are on road bikes it's probably not a good idea to ride a fixed gear as you'd have to brake by steering up the banks and they can brake at any time. Normally the fixed gearing is to prevent you from loosing pressure on your rear wheel and sliding down the track, if the banks aren't very steep you won't need the fixed gearing at all. We had a track much like what you describe on my old university. It was smaller though but didn't have any serious banks either. They rode normal road bikes on it.
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Re: The track topic

Postby stumpytrunks » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:16 pm

Geometry will be steeper and with a shorter wheelbase as you want a more responsive frame. Handlebars are personal but a lot of guys tend to go a bit narrower as it is more aero and allows you to squeeze through gaps a bit better (marginal I know). Crank wise the fashion seems to be heading toward longer cranks. it used to be everyone rode on 165. Now most are on 170 and the taller guys and pursuiters are going 175. Pedals have improved out of sight in recent years and as a result a road pedal will do just fine. A massive generalisation but you want your saddle as close as is comfortable to 50mm behind the bottom bracket as it allows you to get lower at the front due to the angle of your leg/hip/gut. Further back may make the angle too tight and restrict your spinning. Also reduces the time taken to get completely forward when out of the seat sprinting, which isn't as trivial as you'd think. (you guys probably think I'm insane now!)

I haven't got a gear chart on me and the online one I'm looking at seems wrong, so sorry if I lead you astray.Gear wise, for motor pacing/general training I use roughly an 82 inch gear which is around the 43x14 area. This is in Aussie slang terms so I can get used to 'spinning my date off'. An 88, 49x15 might feel more natural for you to start with though. 3 on the front is roughly worth 1 on the back, i.e 43x14 is roughly 49x16. For a club race level I've always used a 91.8 (51x15) or 92.6 (52x15?) as the pace is generally slower and acceleration more important. You'd want this type of gearing for a points race as the accelerations are constant and unless you're really strong your legs will disappear quickly with anything much bigger. For higher level scratch races I use 53x15 which is roughly 94 inches. That's getting fairly big though. I don't know anyone who rides over 96 down here apart form in timed events. If I were you I would start off by racing everything on whatever is most comfortable between (49/50/51x15) 88/90/91.8. It's too easy to overgear and not realise. 90 is an awful gear for some reason though, it just doesn't roll at all well, I actually find 91.8 easier to push. A lot of people find the same thing and have no explanation.

If you were to buy three front rings I'd get 49, 50 and 51. 15 tooth is the great all-rounder on the back. Hope this helped a little bit
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Re: The track topic

Postby stumpytrunks » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:19 pm

My memory is a bit dusty too to be honest, my Christmas foray didn't eventuate because I had a few things crop up...left poor Dalai to fend for himself in the wilderness! Sorry Dalai! Next year...
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Re: The track topic

Postby c50jim » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:43 pm

We don't allow road bikes on our track. They can stop too quickly and create crashes, particularly if there's a mix of track bikes with no brakes. Track geometry is steeper and bottom brackets may be a bit higher to allow more clearance. However, with a 400 metre track your banking should be fairly shallow and you can get away with something lower BB. On that track, you could probably get away with old road bikes with semi-horizontal dropouts, although they might not have enough length to permit you to change cogs much.

Here's a gear chart. As Stumpy said, most male riders use front rings in the 48-51 range. Women often seem to use lower front and smaller rear. Most track riders seldom use a rear cog smaller than a 14. Gearing might look low relative to what you do on the road, but you spin a lot. My son used to do sub 12 second 200s (that's over 60km) on 50/15, or 90 inches. He won a lot of junior national championships and still holds our national junior pursuit record and never used anything bigger than a 92. Track riders here, as they seem to do in Oz, usually talk of gear inches as shown in this chart. They also usually just use the whole number (e.g. 48/14 is usually called 92, not 92.6) Our former best local rider (he moved away a couple of years ago when he joined a higher level team) won two world cups on the weekend and used to do points races in 92. I think he used something like 94 for pursuits. I've read that the Australian pursuit team uses something like 108, but they average over 60 km/hr for 4 minutes so need a bigger gear than the sprinters who would only be going a total of 800 metres, 150-300 hard, on your track.

Gear Chart
Wheel Size 27

44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
11 108.0 110.5 112.9 115.4 117.8 120.3 122.7 125.2 127.6 130.1
12 99.0 101.3 103.5 105.8 108.0 110.3 112.5 114.8 117.0 119.3
13 91.4 93.5 95.5 97.6 99.7 101.8 103.8 105.9 108.0 110.1
14 84.9 86.8 88.7 90.6 92.6 94.5 96.4 98.4 100.3 102.2
15 79.2 81.0 82.8 84.6 86.4 88.2 90.0 91.8 93.6 95.4
16 74.3 75.9 77.6 79.3 81.0 82.7 84.4 86.1 87.8 89.4
17 69.9 71.5 73.1 74.6 76.2 77.8 79.4 81.0 82.6 84.2
18 66.0 67.5 69.0 70.5 72.0 73.5 75.0 76.5 78.0 79.5
19 62.5 63.9 65.4 66.8 68.2 69.6 71.1 72.5 73.9 75.3
20 59.4 60.8 62.1 63.5 64.8 66.2 67.5 68.9 70.2 71.6

I was going to send you a link to our club's website, which has a description of some common track races. However, the site (http://www.cbtl.ca) is down - I'll see if I can get it brought back up. I've put together a new, updated version of the list since the one on the site misses a few races. I can PM it to you if you like.

Track is a lot of fun. The atmosphere here is very supportive and since it's a small community everyone gets along well. It's also a good place for kids to get into racing since you don't have the dangers of the open road and since you can get in a lot of races in one evening. Kids can try out different tactics and learn about their abilities.

Sorry that the chart didn't turn out right. It looked fine when I copied it onto my screen. If someone can tell me how to post an Excel sheet with columns, etc. I can fix it.
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Re: The track topic

Postby stumpytrunks » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:36 am

That was a lot more eloquently put than what I wrote Jim! Out of curiosity, what time did he ride for the pursuit? For the 200, the last Australian u17 nationals results that I could find showed that everyone in the top ten was riding sub 12 at age 15/16 on an 83. In u19 if you weren't sub 11.4 you wouldn't go to nationals, sub 11 to be a medal chance. Down here I suppose we're just a bit pickier with gear ratios, to me 90.6 is completely different to 90 flat, as is 94 when compared to 94.5. It seems a shame to put them all as flat numbers.
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Re: The track topic

Postby c50jim » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:20 am

His pursuit time was 3:27. Finished 13th when Cameron Meyer won with something under 3:20, although I think the bronze medal ride off was contended by riders who did something like 3.23. He used to do 11.2-11.5 200s as a junior, low 12 at U17 but never won sprint at nationals (won kilo and all the longer races including team pursuit). Canadian track fields are pretty small - the sport is nowhere near as developed as Australia. I think there were 16 junior men his first two years at nationals (U17 riders can ride juniors here with a coach's recommendation) and 28 his last junior year. CCA has devoted more attention to track the last couple of years with a good coach who was trained in the UK working most of the year with national athletes. We had some good coaches before but they worked with their own athletes and there wasn't a coordinated long term national effort. We're learning from the UK and you guys. The change in approach has been reflected in improved performances this year including some gold medals at track world cups (all won by athletes who started their track career on Calgary or Edmonton's old concrete outdoor tracks which both have short seasons). Too bad my son's been injured most of the time since 2007.

I never saw any gearing limits at track events when my son was competing, only on the road. You're right that 92.6 is quite different than 91.8 even though most riders call both 92 here.
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Re: The track topic

Postby Ypsylon » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:59 am

Some great stuff so far. I'm not sure if I need to know what gear I'd need to become national champion, but it sure is interesting. I'll ask again should I ever move to Andorra or Lichtenstein.

My current shortlist of bikes, mainly because it's what I could get from my LBS, is

look al 464 which has the slackest seat tube, but should still be fine for 5cm behind bb.

cinelli vigarello which seems to have a longish headtube

Felt tk3 which seems to get a lot of love at fixedgearfeaver, but SuperDave is there, so I'm taking it with a lil bit of salt.

Then there's the Cervélo T1 which is not actually on their site and seems to be the most expensive by far. Also, would that be more aimed at kilo riders and otheres who use tt bars for their events?

About getting out of the saddle being non-trivial, a lot of roadies (including myself) have trouble keeping the power up while sitting back down after a jump which is still critical if you want a gap. I got a little better just by being told, maybe track racing can help that a little more.

I watched some Madison on youtube and that stuff scared the shit out of me. There are so many riders on the track going at different speeds and the getting thrown to speed by your partner. :shock:

I couldn't do that while coasting, I think, let alone while having to pedal. I forgot I was on a fixed spinning bike once when I dropped my towel to the floor and almost flipped over that damn thing bending down to pick it up. I hope I don't forget on the track.

But let's see if we actually get that track, first. :roll:
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Re: The track topic

Postby c50jim » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:31 pm

For all I know, those aluminum bikes all come from the same factory. I've seen the Cinelli and it's a good mid level bike but haven't seen the other two. They're probably OK as long as you're not trying to win on the world scene. I don't know the Cervelo T1. They had an aluminum bike they discontinued about 5 years ago that was OK but they'd be pretty worn out today unless stored for all that time. The P3T (now T3) is a good all around bike although it looks like a pursuit bike. I think Llaneras rode it when he won points at the Olympics and Zach Bell (top Canadian) was riding one last year when he won silver in the UCI Omnium at worlds. Here's a clip of last weekend's world cup scratch race. http://www.pedalmag.com/index.php?modul ... m_id=17441 If you look at the picture in the corner, Zach looks to be on a Felt. However, it sure looks like his Cervelo repainted into a Felt if you ask me.
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Re: The track topic

Postby stumpytrunks » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:01 pm

Regardless a national champion is a national champion and with a record to boot it is impressive. Bell's bike is definitely a felt due to the bayonet style fork. The Cervelo P2T I think it was was a great little frame, with an amazingly sharp tubeset. A real shame they aren't made still as they were great value.

All of those bikes look nice. Some other suggestions could be

Koga: http://www.koga.com/uk/bike.asp?collect ... id=3599044
Duratec: http://www.duratec.cz/en/modely/drahova-kola/

I nearly bought a Duratec myself and I think they're brilliant value.

The fixed gear definitely makes the transition to a seated position a lot smoother which must help. It also seems to help power in the saddle as you are forced to sit back down a lot earlier due the the smaller gearing while sprinting. You wouldn't think sprinting on the track would help seated climbing but I find they compliment each other well.
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Re: The track topic

Postby Ypsylon » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:50 pm

The Cervélo T1 is apparently rather new. No idea why it's not on their website, but the P1 they are selling isn't there either.

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/first-look-cervelo-t1-track-frame-24359

I don't know why it says madison underneath it and the fork looks like a funda and not the new cervélo fork.

my LBS quoted me €1250 for it though, which I'd probably get down 10 or 20% but it'd still be around what a complete bike costs.

I so hope the track rebuild will happen.
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Re: The track topic

Postby Thomskie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:13 pm

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Re: The track topic

Postby dunlinii » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:54 pm

So I think what you defiantly need, is one of the GB track team bikes :roll: apparently they break a few every week pissing about so they should be easy to get hold of...

On a side not a friend of mine who is Greek but lives in the UK is technically rowing for the Greek national squad so he gets to go to the world championships. Thats a cool experience.

Good luck on the track.
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Re: The track topic

Postby stumpytrunks » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:51 pm

That's a great achievement dunlinii! Thomskie reminded me of pro-lite just then, sorry for the other shop link Jason. http://www.pro-lite.net/index.php?optio ... &Itemid=58 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=28794
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Re: The track topic

Postby dalai » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:09 am

stumpytrunks wrote:My memory is a bit dusty too to be honest, my Christmas foray didn't eventuate because I had a few things crop up...left poor Dalai to fend for himself in the wilderness! Sorry Dalai! Next year...


It would have been good to catch up and put a face to the name. I will get around eventually to writing a bit of a trip/race report for the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals...

As to Ypsylon's question, already answered well above by more experienced trackies* 8-)

*Though I did fluke to win the Victorian State Masters Scratch titles last April with a solo breakaway with 4 laps to go. :D

From my very limited experience having only raced on the track since October 2008, one bike can suffice but of course two would be nice. :wink: I purchased a 2008 Fuji Track pro on advice that the bike will be good for some years - I was looking for a bike that wasn't too expensive but also wouldn't need upgrading a year later once I gained experience.

Crank length is what came stock 170mm. My road fixie is running 172.5 and my road winter and TT bikes 175mm. I have found no problem switching between the bikes.

As for gearing - My first summer which was predominately on our outdoor concrete track was on what came stock 49*15 other than a couple of races on the indoor timber track where I borrowed a 14.

Before the Tasmania trip, I bought a 48 and 50, plus a 14 and 13 though have never used the 13. Racing outdoors at my club races I have moved up to racing on the 50*15 (small numbers - many solo break attempts :D I find a bigger gearing too much at the moment). For the Christmas carnivals in Tasmania which are mostly handicaps, on the outdoor tracks I chose 48*14 and my indoor gear I'm currently using is 49*14 for all events including points and pursuit events.

Definitely give it a go Ypsylon. Racing track is great fun!
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