Old 12-28-18, 03:07 PM
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ChrisRob01
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Originally Posted by Ricovonsuave View Post
I thought I'd weigh in also as that Protips thread has some very good advices - and you should read it - but it sounds like with that sort of a squat (to depth, right? safely? You've read Starting Strength, right?) you should eventually be riding some properly-big gears once you start learning and getting into track racing properly...

Gears:
By all means start with a 90-92" for outdoor club racing at beginner level - but 180kg is getting up to be a very decent squat for a bike rider assuming you can still do leg speed too - and most of us sprinters are riding bigger gears now, so you if you pursue sprinting seriously you may need to graduate to larger gears in the future than anyone here seems likely to advise. But you still need to train leg speed, and learn trackcraft in slower club-level races first, so something *between 92-98"* is not at all a bad place to start for club racing and should cover most scenarios as beginner to intermediate.

For reference for the future, as an formerly-decent-athlete now doing this for fun, I'm sprinting on 108-117" gears these days. 117 is still too big for me, but 112 is starting to seem about right. But I'm still aiming to get them up to 125+ cadence for a flying 200 - so like others will probably tell you, watch the cadence, pick your gear based on what's realistic for you on the day.

[NB - We used to actually sprint on 93-94" back in the day (early 2000s, ahem) but times have changed. Most sprinters are aiming to max out at a bit over 130 rpm cadence, not 160 like we used to... this is because most people hit max power lower RPMs than we used to think, and it saves some neuromuscular capacity, assuming you can still accellerate it up to speed quickly enough. This does not mean you should not train on smaller gears though. Track is still about leg speed. (Basically - follow the advice in the Protips thread, print yourself a gear chart and start buying a few chainrings and cogs once you get out there and get ain idea what you need - and consider those 13 and a 12 tooth cogs for the future if you're turning into a sprinter or even planning to be a fast enduro...).

Bike
If you haven't had a bike fit, consider one. At a minimum, get an experienced track coach to look you over, but for track you are likely to want your saddle to be as close to the BB as is UCI legal (5cm behind for most people), and then adjust the height to get the right amount of extension on your leg. There's a lot that goes into this, so best not to advise over a forum, but many people start in their road position, which is a good starting point, but typically too far back and too low to be optimal for track. Good track positions for fit, flexible people without injuries or weird morphology are *usually* a little higher, and a little farther forward.

Are you in the UK looking at Dolans? Different good bike options are common in different countries. Dolans are perfectly good bikes to start out on and pretty common in the UK. I have a similar Dolan stored at my mother in law's garage just in case I feel like doing track sessions when I'm in Wales

Assuming you get a proper track frame that fits you, *the wheels and tyres will matter more than the frame* for speed, and you can always upgrade these later. Again look at that Protips thread. NB - sooner or later *you will probably need to change the bars, and the stem to get any stock bike to fit you*, so bear that in mind. If it's one of the larger Dolan alloy frames, they tend to have a high head tube so bear this in mind - you'll almost definitely need to get lower to get in a good position, so you may need to get a good stiff stem with some drop like a Deda Pista, and maybe some non-compact drop bars like Alpinas (also from Dolan) in order to get a low-enough position (I can vouch that this is the case for the XL Pre Cursa, and probably the large too).

Again, get an experienced track coach to have a look over your position.

A good alloy track frame like the Dolan can take you up to national level in theory, but for regional and national championship races you'll want to use a rear disc, and a front trispoke/Zipp/Mavic Io - which maybe you can borrow (or rent) once you have track mates/coach. There are plenty of decent alloy bikes. For the UK, the PlanetX carbon frames are also sharply-priced new and come up used from time to time at good prices. *Make sure you get a frame with a proper track geometry* - higher BB height, steeper angles. I'd personally avoid Specialised Langster and the new Cannondale track for that reason, as (among others) they have a road-adapted geometry to appease the fixie crowd (although they are still raceable on the track and not terrible... but if you have a choice get a proper track geo...). That said, I know decent juniors who race on Langsters.

Pedals -
Get something you can't clip out of, and get track straps if you're sprinting. You can transfer your road pedals for now if you have them. Use the fixed cleats, not floating, for track. They clip out less easily. Shimano Ultegra or Dura ace with the tension cranked to max are the standard, Keywins are good with track pin+ strap, or even the newer Looks. I ride Shimano SPD-Rs which are impossible to unclip, but I'm showing my age as they don't make them anymore...

Training
You didn't ask, but you might have some potential there, sooo.... Get advice from your good local coaches on riding the track, as there is a general learning curve, and also pay attention to your top local sprinters.

And as a likely-sprinter you should have a look at the things on UpUpUp as well... ignore the advice on it about single-leg dynamic gym work - just do it with two legs - but otherwise it's still mostly pretty current...

It won't let me post this as a URL because I'm such a lurker but it's at: upupup.aboc dot com dot au

Basically, once you know how to ride the track, sprint training is gym (Starting Strength) + short sprints + rest. But as a new track rider, you should get in all the track racing that you can, of all distances, and get a good coach

Good luck matey. Go fast, stay rubber-side down.
Thanks very much for taking the time to post such a detailed response!

Iím very grateful 👍

Yes I squat to full depth, I have done 200 before and hope to get back to that level.

Ive still got decent rpm, did a 200rpm on the watt bike, I think bmx background has helped with that.

My conditioning is my main issue, which iím working on.

Thanks for the gear advice, I will definitely look at mid 90ís as a starter on that basis.

Yes I am looking at Dolan and in the UK, do you know if you need to go to the showroom for a bike fitting?

Getting my pedals and shoes tomorrow from Evans

thanks for the link 😁

Great resource

Really appreciate the help

Cant wait to push a big gear 😊
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