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Frame sizing?

Old 05-06-19, 05:22 PM
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cormacf
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Frame sizing?

How much does frame fit matter when you're just getting started in track riding?

Per my PT, I'm "one of those 5% of my clients who can actually benefit from a custom frame" when it comes to road riding. But I imagine double centuries are more prone to fit-related injuries than racing (though maybe not, because of power output?).

I have very short femurs, a long torso, and average-length arms, so not a gorilla. More of a short-armed chimp...

So for road bikes, I go with:
  • steep seat tubes (track bike: check!)
  • very short cranks (also, check!)
  • kinda longish top tubes with some slope so I can swing a leg over
I did my first ride on a rental 54cm Langster. I'm 5'10, so it was a little tight with leg clearance and a little cramped in the top tube with the default stem. But it seemed fine for the distances I was riding. Should I just shake out 8 or 10 sessions and see how it goes, or is buying and fitting a track bike for myself from the start a good idea? I wouldn't go custom--just a pro fit and maybe a tweak to the stem/bars, as suggested by the fitter.

There seem to be a lot of entry-level used frame for sale through our Velodrome for $400ish.

Bonus question: At my (poor) level of skill and fitness, does frame stiffness matter? I do like retro-ish steel NJS/Pista-style frames, but I imagine something stiffer in AL or carbon is marginally more efficient when you're really hammering and comfort isn't an issue?

Thanks!

Last edited by cormacf; 05-06-19 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:31 PM
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If you're just starting out, then try using the rentals for a while first. You may not necessarily learn about what you like, but you will start to notice things you don't like in a frame/fit. This can help you narrow down your choices.

To start, fit is more important than stiffness, when you are starting out. Most people tend to upgrade their bike/frame after 2-3 years. The most important thing to consider for your first bike is getting a bike that is CLOSE to your ideal fit. This leaves you room for stem/bar/seat tweaks to find out what you really like. I like to think of it as you should get a frame that allows you to stretch a little as you grow into the sport. In other words, a frame that accomodates a comfortable position now, but will allow you to go longer and lower in a year or so.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:37 PM
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cormacf
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Thanks! I get 4 rentals included in my starter package (along with several free Cat5 nights), so I'll burn through those.
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Old 05-07-19, 10:22 AM
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carleton
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
How much does frame fit matter when you're just getting started in track riding?

Per my PT, I'm "one of those 5% of my clients who can actually benefit from a custom frame" when it comes to road riding. But I imagine double centuries are more prone to fit-related injuries than racing (though maybe not, because of power output?).

I have very short femurs, a long torso, and average-length arms, so not a gorilla. More of a short-armed chimp...

So for road bikes, I go with:
  • steep seat tubes (track bike: check!)
  • very short cranks (also, check!)
  • kinda longish top tubes with some slope so I can swing a leg over
I did my first ride on a rental 54cm Langster. I'm 5'10, so it was a little tight with leg clearance and a little cramped in the top tube with the default stem. But it seemed fine for the distances I was riding. Should I just shake out 8 or 10 sessions and see how it goes, or is buying and fitting a track bike for myself from the start a good idea? I wouldn't go custom--just a pro fit and maybe a tweak to the stem/bars, as suggested by the fitter.

There seem to be a lot of entry-level used frame for sale through our Velodrome for $400ish.

Bonus question: At my (poor) level of skill and fitness, does frame stiffness matter? I do like retro-ish steel NJS/Pista-style frames, but I imagine something stiffer in AL or carbon is marginally more efficient when you're really hammering and comfort isn't an issue?

Thanks!
Hi. Welcome to the forum and to the sport!

I, too, have a longer torso for my height. While some guys who are 6'1" ride a 57cm TT, I ride a 61cm TT.

A few things from the top of my head:

- Whatever frame you buy now won't be your last frame. It's not uncommon to go through 2 or 3 frames in a season looking for the right fit and features.
- Find a bike fitter that knows about track racing. Seriously. Not just one who thinks that "Track racing is just road racing without brakes." The races are shorter on the track therefore you don't need a fit that's comfortable for 2-4 hours of riding. This is like going to a distance running shoe store trying to get fitted for spikes from someone who has no experience on an indoor track.
- You just need a frame that stiff enough for you, not stiff enough for elite riders. That's like buying a car that can travel 200MPH when you never ever drive over 80MPH.
- NJS style steel frames can be perfectly fine...and stiffer than carbon. My custom Snyder is as stiff as my LOOK 496, Felt TK1, Felt TK FRD, and 2 Tiemeyers were. It just had round tubes instead of aero.

One thing you can do is to start collecting photos of riders who have a similar body style as you that participate in the events you like. They have the best fitters in the world. You can copy that fit. Years ago, I would copy Chris Hoy's "long and low" fit. This worked for me.


Last edited by carleton; 05-07-19 at 10:37 AM.
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