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Protips for a new track racer

Old 11-15-14, 09:52 AM
  #51  
carleton
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Originally Posted by FPC View Post
Where can I find information on proper form and position on the bike?
Fitting is not an exact science. It will ultimately come down to months/years of trail and error to decide what is best for you, your events, and your style of riding.

There are several ways start:

- Any local bike shop can help you with a basic fit (15 minutes) to a professional fit (2 hours) with prices varying accordingly. Only go for the expensive 2hr fit when you have been doing this a while and you are looking to fine-tune your fit.
- You can get a trainer and video yourself and compare that to photos/videos on the web.
- Ask for help at your local track (trackies are generally a friendly bunch).

If given the option, go with a person/fitter who is a trackie or is at least familiar with track racing. Track races generally vary from a few seconds to 20-30 minutes. So, a bike fit that makes you comfortable for a 4hr road right may not be optimal.

Also, cadences are higher on the track, so being able to spin (not mash) is preferred.
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Old 01-09-15, 01:02 PM
  #52  
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New Pro Tip: Make your own Lace-up "track" shoes.

"Track" shoes are called such because they use laces. Why laces? Because normal velcro straps are uncomfortable and don't seat well under leather "sprinter" straps.



You can convert your own using certain shoes. Good candidates use 3 velcro straps or 1 ratcheting strap and 2 velcro straps like these:




You can take a razor or small snippers and remove the seams holding the bottom 2 straps. They look like normal sneaker uppers after you do this.

Something like this:



Then you can use a hole punch and buy some shoelace eyelets and stamp them in.

I did this with a set of Sidi Genius 5s. They were functional, but they didn't have a clean look. I later had a bag maker (who was MUCH more adept at dealing with textiles) do my Fizik R3s and they came out MUCH more professional looking. He charged me like $30. You can get a Cobbler from your local mall to do this!!

So, if you have an old pair of shoes like those listed above, you may be able to make some laceup track shoes for a few bucks.

EDIT: Here are my Fizik R3


Last edited by carleton; 01-09-15 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 05-28-15, 03:33 PM
  #53  
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Would you guys recommend buying a bike straight away or is it sufficient to just use a rental for the first while after passing the intro courses and wanting to get into some beginner training/racing?
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Old 05-28-15, 03:37 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Dan515 View Post
Would you guys recommend buying a bike straight away or is it sufficient to just use a rental for the first while after passing the intro courses and wanting to get into some beginner training/racing?
Use the rental for a while while you do your research.

Buying a bike can take time. The key is to buy a bike that is "faster than you", something that you can grow into. Also, generally speaking, the more expensive standard components are expensive because they have better quality control and will last longer.
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Old 09-18-15, 07:28 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post

Clothing:

Cycling Kits are EXPENSIVE. You do not need to buy a $100 pair of shorts and a $100 jersey in order to ride. Just buy some quality shorts and mate it with a snug-fitting or compression dri-fit type Nike or Under Armor shirt. Those are around $25 and can be easily found. You don't need jersey pockets because carrying things in your pocket on the track shouldn't be allowed any way. Plus, you are never more than a few yards from your gear bag in the infield.

Buy the shorts with suspenders. They keep the shorts from sliding down. Trust me, you'll want these over the other type. Stay away from gel padding. To me these feel like a soggy diaper.

Skinsuits work, but are also expensive. Cycling Shorts + Nike/UnderArmor compression top is a "Poor Man's Skinsuit"...and much easier to get in and out of

Cycling socks are pricey. Running socks are not. They are pretty much the same thing. I've even used long soccer socks (long to allow for shin guards to be inserted) as my legwarmers

any recommendations on brands/models to look for/stay away from with regards to bib shorts?
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Old 09-18-15, 09:30 PM
  #56  
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It's personal after doing away with the terrible gel chamois. I prefer Castelli and DHBs chamois and didn't like hincapie. A lot of others do like Hincapie. I also road race and wear skin suits for TTs so I'm probably a little more into comfort for 20+ miles than I am worried about on the track and those two just happen to be what I have and like.
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Old 09-18-15, 09:47 PM
  #57  
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Any advice for a roadie? I haven't met a TT bike that would fit my legs and arms (extremely long legs, apparently). Is track a case like TT bikes where you just deal with it until it becomes normal?
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Old 09-18-15, 10:51 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by tonski View Post
Any advice for a roadie? I haven't met a TT bike that would fit my legs and arms (extremely long legs, apparently). Is track a case like TT bikes where you just deal with it until it becomes normal?
If you have abnormal proportions, maybe commission a custom aluminum or steel bike. Believe it or not, quality carbon, aluminum, and steel bikes all weigh about the same on the track.

Riding a $1,000 custom steel frame that fits would be noticeably faster than riding a $10,000 carbon frame that doesn't.
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Old 09-19-15, 10:16 AM
  #59  
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Roger that. I'm in the queue for an English TT bike currently. I have a Ritte 8055 that I'm still building but I'm not quite sure how the road fit transforms into a track fit. Is the saddle position further forward than road with the cockpit appropriately adjusted, should I put the saddle in the same place as the road (I'm not real aero, I know this is dumb to say), should I mimic the TT saddle position, this type of stuff..
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Old 09-19-15, 11:25 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by tonski View Post
Roger that. I'm in the queue for an English TT bike currently. I have a Ritte 8055 that I'm still building but I'm not quite sure how the road fit transforms into a track fit. Is the saddle position further forward than road with the cockpit appropriately adjusted, should I put the saddle in the same place as the road (I'm not real aero, I know this is dumb to say), should I mimic the TT saddle position, this type of stuff..
it depends on a million factors. but a rule of thumb is that on the track a lot of people ride a little bit higher and further forward than their road bike, and with handlebars a little bit lower.

but a lot of people do a lot of different things. i know some people who like to set all their bikes up with identical contact point relationships. i prefer to set up my bikes specific to how i like to pedal for different types of bike racing (road, track, and cx), and how to accommodate my strengths. so that changes things.

a good rule of thumb is to start with what you're already comfortable with... and then modify as you learn.
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Old 10-15-15, 02:46 AM
  #61  
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Hey Carleton, could you post a close up of your Fizik R3's? I have a pair too and im interested in seeing what it looks like up close. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-15, 09:17 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by luucanthony View Post
Hey Carleton, could you post a close up of your Fizik R3's? I have a pair too and im interested in seeing what it looks like up close. Thanks!
Top:



Side:



Notes:

These shoes are old now. I bought them in summer of 2011 and did this conversion soon after purchase. They are size 46. So, if your feet are much smaller, then your eyelet count will likely be smaller.

You will notice where the metal bits used to be that held the bottom 2 straps. Just take some plyers and bend them and dislodge them.

I used to have proper eyelets (notice the rusty circle prints near the holes). A few came loose over time so I removed them all. I would advise using them because they keep the leather from splitting. My eyelets have not split since I removed the metal parts, but it's possible. I could have replaced the eyelets...but I'm lazy

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Old 10-15-15, 09:45 AM
  #63  
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If you live near a Nike store, they have a wall of laces of all colors, patterns, and lengths. Those are Nike laces that I'm using.

The length of the laces is determined by the number of holes.

Here is a guide: http://www.shoelacesexpress.com/popup/shoelaces.htm
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Old 10-16-15, 01:40 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Top:



Side:



Notes:

These shoes are old now. I bought them in summer of 2011 and did this conversion soon after purchase. They are size 46. So, if your feet are much smaller, then your eyelet count will likely be smaller.

You will notice where the metal bits used to be that held the bottom 2 straps. Just take some plyers and bend them and dislodge them.

I used to have proper eyelets (notice the rusty circle prints near the holes). A few came loose over time so I removed them all. I would advise using them because they keep the leather from splitting. My eyelets have not split since I removed the metal parts, but it's possible. I could have replaced the eyelets...but I'm lazy

that looks awesome! Fizik should have done the R3 in a lace up version.
I'm thinking about having the eyelets done professionally
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Old 10-16-15, 11:12 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by luucanthony View Post
that looks awesome! Fizik should have done the R3 in a lace up version.
I'm thinking about having the eyelets done professionally
I'd have them done professionally, too. Any cobler from the mall or whatever can do them for less than the cost of the tools if you did them yourself. Plus, if you did them yourself, I'd suggest that you practice a lot on scrap leather first.
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Old 01-01-16, 09:55 PM
  #66  
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Asthma

Anyone here have asthma issues? Mine is adult onset, exercise induced, and temperature affected, cold or humid. I have problems at the Velodrome, when sprinting. It can get cold at Burnaby Velodrome. I had to bail from the Learn to Race last time I tried, though we had no warm-up at the time.

I have another shot at the LTR in mid January, so will obviously make sure to warm up. The LTR we do is three races:

1) 20 laps Scratch, with first 15 steady and then race last 5 (200M track)
2) Points race 4 X 5
3) Elimination race.

I guess I could just try to hang in there and not try to win, just to complete the LTR, but that's never been my style.
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Old 01-02-16, 12:34 AM
  #67  
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Do you need the LTR to be able to race at the track? If so, bite the bullet, swallow your pride, and focus on winning races when your asthma is controllable.
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Old 01-09-16, 01:49 AM
  #68  
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Since it is called Learn To Race and not Learn To Win, I'd suggest going at an effort that you can finish each 'race'. The aim of these types of sessions is to learn track craft and track etiquette, you won't learn these by trying to just ride away from everyone.

I'll often get pursuiters cough which often morphs into pursuiters gag and vomit anytime of year. Goes with the territory...
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Old 04-23-16, 05:04 AM
  #69  
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Honey is a great (and inexpensive) sports gel. I can't find it now, but I recall reading a scientific study that concluded that honey was as good or better than name-brand sports gels. I guess it's literally the first "sports gel" ever

Honey is obviously inexpensive and easy to find. As mentioned in the Allergy thread, it may also heal with regional/seasonal allergies as well.

Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
As a teenager, I never had allergies but in my 30's, I somehow became allergic to pollen, esp in the Springtime. IT got gradually worse until I hit 40 and then I needed prescription allergy pills. Then I read how those pills are bad for a male prostate and I looked for alternatives to overcome the pollen related allergies.
Blah, blah.... here is the take away, go to a local farm market and buy "local" honey. Make sure it came from your area and not far away. The bees made the honey from the very same stuff you are allergic too and that is important. No sense getting honey made from pollen 100 miles away, because you might be allergic to that pollen, or it might not help cure you.
Now, take the honey and eat or drink (diluted in tea, coffee, hot water, etc) a tablespoon full 4 times a day. After about 2 weeks, you will notice a significant improvement. After a month, you might be cured of allergies. The idea here is to consume in small doses (think along the lines of a smallpox shot) the very thing you are allergic too and your body learns how to handle the pollen without producing something to fight against it.
I did that over 16 years ago and still remain allergy free. Once in a great while, my eyes might burn a little, but then I hit the honey for a few days and it doesn't come back.
Get a good sized jar of honey (about $25), it's cheaper than medication and far healthier for you.


Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
honey is amazing!

a nutrion specialist had me start eating a good tablespoon of Raw Honey right before bed. Its great for athletes because it gives a steady stream of fuel to the liver to re-stock your glycogen levels while you sleep. This results in deeper sleep and better recovery, and it eliminates waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom...

im also using the honey mixed with milk and yogurt as a post training Carb/Protein recovery shake..
Honey: The Facts - Nutrition - Runner's World

So, maybe pack a plastic squeeze container of honey in your bag to keep energy up during long days at the track or put some single-serving packs in your jersey pocket during road rides.



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Old 07-19-16, 07:54 PM
  #70  
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Newb tire question

Any of the vets want to weigh in on suitable clincher tires for indoor wooden tracks which will be used in endurance races?

Are good road tires (i.e: Conti GP 4000s, Michelin Pro 4, etc) generally appropriate or is that a no no?
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Old 07-19-16, 08:02 PM
  #71  
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I'm not a vet, and haven't ridden indoors, but when I was researching track clinchers I wound up with Continental Supersonics. They're listed on their website as being for track use I think. They're similar to a GP4000S, but lighter, with no puncture resistance whatsoever.

But paired with a latex tube they feel damn fast.
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Old 07-19-16, 09:01 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by houleskis View Post
Any of the vets want to weigh in on suitable clincher tires for indoor wooden tracks which will be used in endurance races?

Are good road tires (i.e: Conti GP 4000s, Michelin Pro 4, etc) generally appropriate or is that a no no?
I can't comment about a wood track, but for the past couple of years, I have been running Vredestein Fortezza TriComp Slick clinchers on Velocity Deep V rims with latex tubes on a concrete track with no problems. I chose this setup because both the rim and tire can handle 145psi. I'm a big guy, so 120psi tire/rim combo just won't cut it for me.
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Old 07-20-16, 01:27 AM
  #73  
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I love my Veloflex records as clinchers on the track... closest feel to tubulars.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:03 AM
  #74  
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Vittoria Diamante Pro Pista w/ Vittoria latex tubes.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:23 PM
  #75  
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Wood tracks aren't all the same.

I've done fine with supersonics on the Carson track for occasional training. I don't think I've ever raced on clinchers.
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