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Old 12-26-17, 12:55 AM
  #4751  
carleton
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
Didn't want to start a new thread just yet, as I'm still up in the air about the whole thing.

My wife and I moved to the Colorado Springs area recently. And, for the first time in my life, I'm near-ish a velodrome. Less than a 20min drive from home to track. While I'd prefer to ride outside every day, that's simply not feasible, and riding/racing would be a welcome break from the monotony of the trainer/rollers.

So, I'm looking to build up a track bike. I've ridden a fixed gear a few times but never raced. I know I'll have to take a certification or training class in order to race and I'm fine with that. I'm a 2 on the road and "pro" MTB, so I anticipate moving up quickly, but the rules are the rules.

I have a lot of parts hanging around the house. Cranks, bars, stem, a front tubular wheel, pedals, etc. Really, the only thing's I'll need are a frame/fork, rear wheel, cog and chain.

So, should I just buy some dirt cheap steel frame off eBay? If I were looking for a road or MTB frame I'd know what to look for, but I'm a bit lost in terms of track bikes. I presume horizontal dropouts are a must, but what else should I be looking for? Any brands known for good quality at the lower price points? I don't care if the frame is a tank or has the aerodynamic properties of a brick. I just don't want to have a catastrophic failure in the middle of race. I'm probably looking at a 50cm or so frame, so, unfortunately the selection is limited when compared to other sizes.

Also, what kind of gearing should I be looking at? I plan on heading to their open training nights, as well as their endurance racing nights as well. Not sure if that will influence recommendations but thought I'd put it out there.
Hi, Duke.

As DMC states, a basic bike is fine until you know what you want.

Being that there are a reasonable number of popular frames and components out there, it's likely that someone here will be familiar with them and can give you a quick "yea/nay" on if you should buy it or not.

The equipment is all pretty basic. On the track, the engine and aerodynamics (rider on the bike) are generally what makes winners. The equipment choices are simply to avoid problems first then to add some sort of gain second. For example, a tried and true steel or aluminum frame with no issues would be a far "faster" frame than a new carbon spaceship with slipping seatpost due to bad engineering tolerances.

Also, carbon isn't necessarily better. There are aluminum frames that are lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, and less expensive than some carbon frames. It's all about the details.

Fit trumps materials every damn day. But, you probably know that.

Clinchers are fine. Use quality tires and tubes.

Chances are, you'll be bitten by the bug and replace whatever you buy now. So, maybe don't go too big right now.

Also, your race front wheel from the road would probably be fine on the track. But, as you take your certification classes and progress through the newbie ranks (as you learn rules, skills, and pay your dues (should only be a few weeks)) you won't need race wheels...and would probably be over kill. You'll know when you need the race wheels.

Chances are, during your first few races, the track director won't (or at least shouldn't) let you simply ride away from the field and solo to the win. That doesn't teach you anything. There is a lot to learn even in the lower ranks about how the "flow" of a race happens and the group dynamics. It would be a disservice if you'd never felt that then a few weeks later you are in a P/1/2 race and can't ride away and are uncomfortable and don't know what to do or what to expect. So, stay in the pack until you hear the bell.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:59 AM
  #4752  
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Duke, there are a couple of threads that should interest you:

See what normal folk are riding: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cyc...es-2014-a.html

What tools you might need and some general tips: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cyc...ack-racer.html

Some basic info and thoughts about frames: https://www.bikeforums.net/track-cyc...ete-bikes.html (all that glitters ain't gold)
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Old 12-26-17, 03:45 PM
  #4753  
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
.....................My wife and I moved to the Colorado Springs area recently. And, for the first time in my life, I'm near-ish a velodrome. Less than a 20min drive from home to track. While I'd prefer to ride outside every day, that's simply not feasible, and riding/racing would be a welcome break from the monotony of the trainer/rollers.

So, I'm looking to build up a track bike. I've ridden a fixed gear a few times but never raced. I know I'll have to take a certification or training class in order to race and I'm fine with that. I'm a 2 on the road and "pro" MTB, so I anticipate moving up quickly, but the rules are the rules.
.............................
Welcome to Colorado - great place for all types of cycling events.

Also check out the Boulder Valley Velodrome - it is often open during the winter weather permitting.
It has certification sessions that include both the bike and shoes if needed. Certification here also certifies you for the Springs track (and vice versa).
Racing every Thursday evening and training races and TTs on Saturdays April - Oct.
The BVV track is Olympic style; 250m with 41 deg banking.

You may not need to get a track bike immediately if the Spring track has rental bikes - check it out.

Last edited by 700wheel; 12-26-17 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 12-26-17, 04:22 PM
  #4754  
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The 'Springs velo is a 333 concrete track with relatively (compared to BVV) shallow angles on the turns. This means you can ride just about anything as long as it does not have brakes or derailleur. Thin, light tires, like Vittoria Speeds etc will not last very long if you use them for training and racing. I learned on LA's version of that track when I started out and still love it. BTW, its also very similar to the vels in Indianapolis and T-Town.
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Old 12-26-17, 05:00 PM
  #4755  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Chances are, during your first few races, the track director won't (or at least shouldn't) let you simply ride away from the field and solo to the win. That doesn't teach you anything. There is a lot to learn even in the lower ranks about how the "flow" of a race happens and the group dynamics. It would be a disservice if you'd never felt that then a few weeks later you are in a P/1/2 race and can't ride away and are uncomfortable and don't know what to do or what to expect. So, stay in the pack until you hear the bell.
+1

Learning how to race track is very much about rider safety. P/1/2/3's have certain expectations on how racers in their fields will handle their bikes and their positions within the field. In my book, riding off the front in every race, means there won't be a fast-track for an upgrade. I personally won't recommend an upgrade until I see that a new track racer isn't a danger to the other riders. Yeah, I'm the guy who has sit-downs with the riders who made me cringe while I'm up on the judges stand.
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Old 12-26-17, 08:40 PM
  #4756  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
+1

Learning how to race track is very much about rider safety. P/1/2/3's have certain expectations on how racers in their fields will handle their bikes and their positions within the field. In my book, riding off the front in every race, means there won't be a fast-track for an upgrade. I personally won't recommend an upgrade until I see that a new track racer isn't a danger to the other riders. Yeah, I'm the guy who has sit-downs with the riders who made me cringe while I'm up on the judges stand.
This reminds me of when I used to play tennis in HS. Our coach would often have players of mixed skill levels play each other. Coach wouldn't let the stronger player simply serve hard for an ace or blast the first ball for a winner. The better player would be required to serve a moderate serve and only go for a winner after the ball had gone back and forth 4 times.

This did 2 things: It gave the less powerful player a chance to setup and out-play the more powerful player by using ball placement. It also taught the more powerful player to learn to set up his opponent...because when the more powerful player were in an evenly matched tournament, (s)he can't simply blast the ball and expect it not to come back. It's definitely coming back, and with the same pace that (s)he gave it.

Nothing rattles a strong player more than to see his best move not work. "Now what? Oh snap! I have to think now."

Last edited by carleton; 12-27-17 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 12-27-17, 11:04 AM
  #4757  
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Sound advice, guys. Thanks.

Having seen super strong people come up REALLY fast on both the road and MTB, I know the feeling of being in a race with a guy who has more legs than skill. So, I don't want to be that guy. Although, I suppose at some point I was that guy in MTB racing, before my skill level caught up to my legs.

That said, I'm hardly a sprinter, so surfing the field for the first 98% of a scratch race isn't going to work so well for me. Not trying to put the cart before the horse, but what would people recommend I do in races, if not attack? When I lived in OR I got my upgrade to the 1s by attacking in crits and making it stick on occasion.
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Old 12-27-17, 12:28 PM
  #4758  
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
Sound advice, guys. Thanks.

Having seen super strong people come up REALLY fast on both the road and MTB, I know the feeling of being in a race with a guy who has more legs than skill. So, I don't want to be that guy. Although, I suppose at some point I was that guy in MTB racing, before my skill level caught up to my legs.

That said, I'm hardly a sprinter, so surfing the field for the first 98% of a scratch race isn't going to work so well for me. Not trying to put the cart before the horse, but what would people recommend I do in races, if not attack? When I lived in OR I got my upgrade to the 1s by attacking in crits and making it stick on occasion.
I think the point is to not worry about winning and just get used to racing on the track. I started racing track this year, and it is different.

Last edited by topflightpro; 12-27-17 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-27-17, 01:40 PM
  #4759  
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If you launch your attack with about 1000m remaining (give or take a few hundred meters), you'll get plenty of experience of riding in the field.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:50 PM
  #4760  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I think the point is to not worry about winning and just get used to racing on the track. I started racing track this year, and it is different.
+1

Donít focus on winning. Focus on being a good racer. This means learning to roll a pace line in a race and taking pulls, learning when and how the pace changes in each type of race, learning the rules, learning to count points of the other leading racers (underrated skill for sure).

If you arenít familiar with those concepts (you arenít expected to be) then ask.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:17 AM
  #4761  
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
That said, I'm hardly a sprinter, so surfing the field for the first 98% of a scratch race isn't going to work so well for me. Not trying to put the cart before the horse, but what would people recommend I do in races, if not attack? When I lived in OR I got my upgrade to the 1s by attacking in crits and making it stick on occasion.
There's a whole lot more to track racing than scratch races. During this past season, we've had the following track events at T-town:

1) Sprint
2) Team Sprint
3) Keirin
4) 500m/1000m TT
5) 2k/3k/4k Pursuit
6) Team Pursuit
7) Italian Pursuit
8) Scratch
9) Moto Scratch
10) Points
11) Point-a-Lap
12) Snowball Points
13) Tempo
14) International Tempo
15) Elimination
16) Super Elimination
17) Miss-n-out
18) Win-n-out
19) Unknown Distance
20) Chariot
21) Wheel
22) Madison
23) Tandem Sprint
24) Tandem Scratch
25) Longest Lap

I guess for most any race listed above, riding off the front early and staying there until the finish wins the day, but where's the fun in that?
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Old 12-29-17, 02:40 AM
  #4762  
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Ribble Eliminator

Just a question born out of curiosity.

I saw that Ribble (UK) has brought out a new track bike that was full carbon, long and low and looked pretty sleek - wondering if anyone had actually had a chance to play on it? I've only seen one person on one of them in the wild and the red is really nice.

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-eliminator/

If it's as stiff as they make out it could be a smashing bargain for someone. I'm not looking myself, for now anyways.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:31 AM
  #4763  
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff View Post
Just a question born out of curiosity.

I saw that Ribble (UK) has brought out a new track bike that was full carbon, long and low and looked pretty sleek - wondering if anyone had actually had a chance to play on it? I've only seen one person on one of them in the wild and the red is really nice.

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-eliminator/

If it's as stiff as they make out it could be a smashing bargain for someone. I'm not looking myself, for now anyways.
I've seen bikes from that mold around before, both at the track and on the screen. Looks decent, but I haven't heard many specifics about it.

What's curious is the sizing - the reach is 322, 366, and 408 mm (for XS, S, M, respectively). Those first two sizes are VERY short* (and then there's quite a jump up to a more conventional medium size). While at a glance the size chart is a little strange, I think there's a case to be made that this bike is good for pretty short people or, in the medium sizes, average-sized people with short legs (given a uniformly low stack across the board).

*By comparison, I'm 5'5" - Ribble recommends the size S to me. It has a 366mm reach. I currently ride a bike with a 382mm reach and a 120mm stem. There's no way either the S or the M would fit me with a reasonable setup.
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Old 12-29-17, 11:12 AM
  #4764  
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
I've seen bikes from that mold around before, both at the track and on the screen. Looks decent, but I haven't heard many specifics about it.

What's curious is the sizing - the reach is 322, 366, and 408 mm (for XS, S, M, respectively). Those first two sizes are VERY short* (and then there's quite a jump up to a more conventional medium size). While at a glance the size chart is a little strange, I think there's a case to be made that this bike is good for pretty short people or, in the medium sizes, average-sized people with short legs (given a uniformly low stack across the board).

*By comparison, I'm 5'5" - Ribble recommends the size S to me. It has a 366mm reach. I currently ride a bike with a 382mm reach and a 120mm stem. There's no way either the S or the M would fit me with a reasonable setup.
Yeah I had noticed that, I was looking at the medium. With the differences in geometry I had actually started to think they had made errors in the figures
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Old 12-29-17, 02:56 PM
  #4765  
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@dunderhi, I heard recently that Masters Nats and Juniors Nats were actually going to be "layered", same dates. When I saw the announcement a month or two ago, I assumed the dates were placeholders. I guess not. Do you have any insight on how the two Nationals will be run?
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Old 12-29-17, 03:33 PM
  #4766  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
@dunderhi, I heard recently that Masters Nats and Juniors Nats were actually going to be "layered", same dates. When I saw the announcement a month or two ago, I assumed the dates were placeholders. I guess not. Do you have any insight on how the two Nationals will be run?
We donít have our annual officials meeting until February, which is where Iíd expect to get some details about the upcoming Nats at T-town. T-town hosted the Elites and Juniors in 2016, so the link below might be an indicator on how it will look.

https://legacy.usacycling.org/myusac...permit=2016-28

Iíll post the details once I have the info in hand.
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Old 12-29-17, 03:47 PM
  #4767  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
We donít have our annual officials meeting until February, which is where Iíd expect to get some details about the upcoming Nats at T-town. T-town hosted the Elites and Juniors in 2016, so the link below might be an indicator on how it will look.

https://legacy.usacycling.org/myusac...permit=2016-28

Iíll post the details once I have the info in hand.
Thank you!
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Old 12-29-17, 06:52 PM
  #4768  
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I have one same mold - Cobra was its name at velodrome.org.uk.
I like it.
Stiff, easy "drivable" etc, but I have problems with too wide horizontal stays near the BB - impossible to use low Q-factor cranksets like Omnium, for example - had to order a 4mm larger ISIS BB and use FSA Carbon Track cranksets. Even with square BB crank options, one would have to buy the larger BB axle option.
Now I have a set of square Campy classic track set on it, but had to buy the 115mm axle, not a regular 111mm.. and it's near like 2mm from the horizontal stays..

Originally Posted by ruudlaff View Post
Just a question born out of curiosity.

I saw that Ribble (UK) has brought out a new track bike that was full carbon, long and low and looked pretty sleek - wondering if anyone had actually had a chance to play on it? I've only seen one person on one of them in the wild and the red is really nice.

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-eliminator/

If it's as stiff as they make out it could be a smashing bargain for someone. I'm not looking myself, for now anyways.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:21 PM
  #4769  
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has anybody here tried a "the black line" track bag? Not the "black line sprinting" bag, but the canadian company. This guy:
The Black Line?s Standard Gear Bag ? The Blackline
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Old 12-29-17, 07:47 PM
  #4770  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
@dunderhi, I heard recently that Masters Nats and Juniors Nats were actually going to be "layered", same dates. When I saw the announcement a month or two ago, I assumed the dates were placeholders. I guess not. Do you have any insight on how the two Nationals will be run?
Masters and Junior nationals will be run concurrently July 7-15 at T-Town. Elites will be a Aug. 4-7 in Carson. https://legacy.usacycling.org/national-championships?

I suspect the events will run similar to how Elites and Juniors were run last year.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:59 PM
  #4771  
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Originally Posted by MarkWW View Post
has anybody here tried a "the black line" track bag? Not the "black line sprinting" bag, but the canadian company. This guy:
The Black Line?s Standard Gear Bag ? The Blackline

Kind of looks like my old Track Sack , ---- no complaints -- holds just the basics, --- whip , a 3 way, cogs, chainrings and maybe a crack pipe (crack pipe being nomenclature for a disc wheel presta adapter for your pump )

Granted , a lot of these guys are far more active at the track than me - so may have a need for the more extensive BLS bags ----
For a bigger event I just used a plastic Stanley (maybe Black/Decker) tool cart with extendable handle and rollers -- shoes, flip flops and gloves in the bottom, the rest of the junk distributed throughout the rest of the box, and my air pump bungee corded to the side of the thing -- and rolled the whole thing into the infield
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Old 01-02-18, 11:48 AM
  #4772  
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I have an old Trak Sak, literally over 20 yeas old now, and still working like a charm. I haven't used or even seen the Black Line version, but a lot of folds at Carson use the Track Assistant: Track Gear Bag - The Track Assistant
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Old 01-02-18, 12:54 PM
  #4773  
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I'm currently using a chicago velocampus bag, but it started to show its age a few seasons ago, and now is basically unusable. Prior to that I actually used a nylon shower caddy type thing that I pulled out of the trash in college. I honestly liked that a lot better than the CVC bag. The problem I have with the CVC/EAI/standard track sack is the 2D nature of its construction. pack it with rings and cogs and the thing literally bursts at the seams.

My buddy uses a Track Assistant bag, but I'm not that big a fan of the separate holder for the chainrings, plus it's twice as much as this bag.

Long story short, I ordered one of these bags, so I'll let you all know how it is.
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Old 01-02-18, 01:32 PM
  #4774  
carleton
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I think track sacks need to evolve significantly from being EAI Keirin Tote clones. This includes the one I designed for myself:



I think the move should be towards modular pieces instead of "one bag to fit all things".

Making a "version 2" of my track sack is one of my winter projects.

EDIT:

Professional camera bags have made such a quantum leap in the past decade, going from basic box-shaped bags and camera vests to utility belts with modular accessories based on your style of photography and what gear you need to have on hand at the moment.



I'm not suggesting that we go to a Batman utility belt system for track sacks. I'm just using the example from the photojournalist world of a big shift in how things were done that was well-received.

Notice the old style (big rectangular bag) and new style (utility belt) in the same photo (who is more mobile with free hands?):


Last edited by carleton; 01-02-18 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 01-02-18, 01:44 PM
  #4775  
topflightpro
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I have a BLS bag, and it works fine. It's not perfect, but it's fine.

I also saw BLS made a duffel bag with it's track bag built in to one side. That seems neat, but I think I'd prefer it more if it were a backpack. I've been looking at triathlon transition bags and thinking they would be perfect for the track. I could fit all my stuff in the backback and easily haul it with me and still have two hands free.

I've been using a basic duffel and on big days, a folding cart to be able to haul my gear, track sack, cooler, chair, extra wheels...
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