Beginner Junior Needing Equipment Advice


New Member
Jan 6, 2013
My son is a new track rider. He's 14 years old and he is a Junior Cat 4. Has been riding a loaner at the track and today an older racer gave him a Raleigh Rush Hour Pro frameset with a chain. So I need to get a crank (we have pedals), handle bars, and a wheel set. I am not wanting to put a ton of money into this as we all know 14 year old boys change their minds fairly quickly. Since I know absolutely nothing about the equipment I am wondering if anybody has any advice.


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
FYI. YOU can use almost ANY Road crank (and, appropriate-to-the-crank English threaded BB) & achieve the proper chain line ...

  • if you opt for a Road crank, then simply (?) replace the standard length chainring bolts with BMX chainring bolts
  • the single chainring is mounted on the outer shoulder of a Road crank's spider the BCD (bolt circle diameter) of Track chainrings VARIES, but 144mm is the popular size for the pro-level riders because the combination of crank + chainring will be stiffer BMX chainrings have a 110mm BCD & may look cheesy to some of the cognoscenti at the Track, but they are available in a variety of Tooth counts & will probably be more economical than TRACK chainrings
  • Road cranks generally have a 130mm BCD [this is where the critical mass is] you can use 3/32" (Road) chanirings with a 1/8" chain & Cog ... it just won't last quite as long because it is narrower ...
[*] Campagnolo's BCD is 135mm ... MICHE makes 1/8" (Track) chainrings which fit Campagnolo's Road cranks

BUT, you need to choose a crankset which has the correct CRANK ARM LENGTH which suits the rider's preference ...

  • 165mm is the "popular" length because it allows for pedal clearance on steeply banked tracks
  • 170mm (probably, still the "standard" length for Road bikes, particularly bikes with smaller frames) is probably okay ... but, ask the track operator(s) + the clearance is partially dependent on the frame's BB "Drop" which is typically less on a "Track" bike than on a "Road" bike (I think the Raleigh Rush Hour Pro would actually be classified as a "Road" bike, BTW) FWIW. some people have successfully adapted their clipless (LOOK & SHIMANO SL) Road pedals WITH clips ... doing so provides more crank/pedal clearance than 165mm crankarms with traditional Track pedals

HANDLEBARS. The handlebar's width is dependent to some extent on the rider's size, but 38cm is probably still the width of choice for the "serious" riders regardless of the rider's size ... a set of STEEL handlebars which would now be only found on an inexpensive bike is the best choice ... it won't have the TRACK BEND, but is otherwise the same ... the problem is the Raleigh's FORK which probably uses a THREADLESS STEM ... so, choose the least expensive handlebars which fit the stem which have a 38cm width (presume that crashes MAY occur & require subsequent replacement of the handlebars ... cheaper alloy handlebars are generally stouter than all other options other than the fore mentioned steel handlebars).

WHEELS. You can buy a set of wheels off of eBay which have a flip-flop hub starting at about $100 (excess inventory) ... the "serious" riders pay over $200 just for a rear hub

  • FORMULA hubs which have solid flanges have LOOSE BEARINGS (which is what you want) & will probably be found on most of the wheels which cost between $100-to-$200 that you find on eBay
  • CAMPAGNOLO, SHIMANO, MICHE are three other hub brands of "Track" hubs which cost more than Formula hubs cost (with the Miche being the least expensive of the three) ... Are the Campagnolo, Shimano, and Miche hubs better than the Formula hubs? Maybe, maybe not ... probably not enough to justify the difference in price for most of us.

BTW. Why don't you ask the "older racer" + other riders at the track what they recommend?


New Member
Feb 17, 2015
It's amazing when I read this form because I had no idea that bikes were this complicated. I had no idea that bikes were selling for the same price as cars either. I think the idea of a bike being expensive as a car really threw me for a loop. But now that I've been looking over the site I understand that these people who really feed into biking culture are serious about it. I have a bike but I only paid $250 for it. I actually have at least 10 bikes but they're not this expensive.