Beginner's Track bike



886014

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Mar 3, 2005
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I've been riding on the road for a few years and seem to be progressing ok and last season had a half dozen goes out at DG velodrome using their hire bikes. I really enjoyed the track and would like to get my own track bike to train on and maybe eventually race. I guess I basically fancy myself as a bit of a sprinter (reality is I'm not that good, but hey I enjoy that end of the race even if I'm constantly flogged). I enjoy the track to work on my top end regardless.

The DGV hire bikes are, I believe, essentially the most basic available and are the only track bikes I've ridden. Based on my experience with road bikes, rather than going super basic I thought I may be better off going to the next level up (say around A$1.5K) to save having to immediately upgrade once I get started. With most things there's a "sweet spot" where you get pretty good value for money, but not sure where it is in Track. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info on the net about this so was hoping others may like to throw out a few ideas as to what I should be looking at, and maybe even dealers in the Sydney area who specialise in this area.

Thanks for the help.
 

parawolf

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Jan 16, 2006
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Apollo Raceline Track - 'bout the only thing wrong with it is the handlebars.

*awesome* value for money. Particularly if you can get your hands on the '07 model.

Slightly more $$$ is the Jamis Sonik
 

mikesbytes

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Apr 12, 2006
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I got my beginners track bike for $250.

Check with the guys in your bike club, someone may have a spare one knocking around.
 

886014

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Unfortunately my club isn't really involved much with track except at the junior level. I was hoping to wander out to DGV on Wednesday night and ask the guys there but wanted to go with a few ideas in mind.

The bikes I rode so far were Hillbrick Pistas as I recall. They seemed fine but it all feels so foreign at first and I had nothing to compare. I had previously been looking at the Apollo and it was most certainly the level/price I would consider.

As an aside, another reason to get my own bike even just for training is to change the gearing; clearly not an option if hiring. The coaches suggested the gearing was too low on the Pistas even as a beginner. I have no idea what they were in "inches". I understand the cadence is real high on the track but I just seemed to spin the gear out whenever I did an effort. Given the stock gearing does that seem likely or should I stick with what the bike comes with? When buying a track bike do you typically get a few gears to change things around?
 

Billsworld

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Sep 6, 2005
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886014 said:
Unfortunately my club isn't really involved much with track except at the junior level. I was hoping to wander out to DGV on Wednesday night and ask the guys there but wanted to go with a few ideas in mind.

The bikes I rode so far were Hillbrick Pistas as I recall. They seemed fine but it all feels so foreign at first and I had nothing to compare. I had previously been looking at the Apollo and it was most certainly the level/price I would consider.

As an aside, another reason to get my own bike even just for training is to change the gearing; clearly not an option if hiring. The coaches suggested the gearing was too low on the Pistas even as a beginner. I have no idea what they were in "inches". I understand the cadence is real high on the track but I just seemed to spin the gear out whenever I did an effort. Given the stock gearing does that seem likely or should I stick with what the bike comes with? When buying a track bike do you typically get a few gears to change things around?
Jacko who posts here on occasion is an Assie and will sort you out. Either pm him here or check out www.fixedgearfever.com Bianchi and Fuji have some decent Aluminum bikes in that range and can be upgraded with better wheels later. I think BT makes an aluminum bike now too?? I find that the cadence in most mass start races are in the 120 range. Sprinting is 135to 170. Most loaner bikes will have a 48x15 or something like that and you will be spinning like crazy with that gear. In any event spinning fast is track racing. Good luck
 

BikingBrian

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Sep 25, 2003
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Another option you may want to consider is building up your own instead of buying one ready-made. That way, it has the parts you want on it from the beginning, instead of wasting time and money changing out or "upgrading" later. Actually, on a track bike, there isn't much to "upgrade". Good, solid dependable track parts are all pretty much the same and haven't changed much, or in some cases, at all in the past 30 years: check out stuff by Nitto, for example. Also, many built-up bikes come with crummy cranks or are built up to be used as part-time "single-gear" bikes; the companies save money by putting stuff on them that many times, is not really suitable for real track racing.

As an example, my own track bike specs:

Fort 7005 frame w/steel fork...dependable, stiff and cheap!
Cranks + BB: Dura-Ace Track, njs
Post: Dura-Ace track, njs
bar + stems: ITM forged alu and 330
saddle: anything is fine, I use an old selle italia mythos
chain: vertex njs
wheels: Araya adx aero rims w/suzue pro max hubs (36h), auction-bought
tires: vittoria pista

Something like the above would set you back about $1200, and probably be more than sufficient, as well as lasting a very long time, as well as being higher quality than anything you could get pre-built. You might even have money left over to buy extra cogs and chainrings....which you will need for different events' gearing.
 

886014

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Mar 3, 2005
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Thanks for that. I build all my own road bikes and actually quite enjoy that side of the sport but don't know much about the track bikes as some things are clearly different. Guess there's no reason I couldn't quickly find out even though it would be nice to just get a bike and start riding.

Although I'm in Sydney, Australia, I do spend a lot of time in the USA and just saw a Felt TK2 which seemed to also fit in the price range I had in mind. Certainly looked like a decent bike but will first check out the Apollo locally.

Regarding my comments on gearing above, I'm pretty sure the gearing was 48x15, 86"?? When first starting on the track I've heard people say to stay with a small gear and learn to spin, but it felt stupidly small. What is generally the advice in this area? Maybe it depends on the rider so I'm 43y.o. male, been riding on road a few years. I haven't been doing any sprint training this season yet (just out of base so just beginning HIT), my 15 sec power is only about 900W and drops pretty much on straight line (on log scale) down to 575W over 1 minute. My initial goals are to get a feel for the track and use it to work on the top end.

Thanks again for the good advice.
 

Billsworld

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Sep 6, 2005
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886014 said:
Thanks for that. I build all my own road bikes and actually quite enjoy that side of the sport but don't know much about the track bikes as some things are clearly different. Guess there's no reason I couldn't quickly find out even though it would be nice to just get a bike and start riding.

Although I'm in Sydney, Australia, I do spend a lot of time in the USA and just saw a Felt TK2 which seemed to also fit in the price range I had in mind. Certainly looked like a decent bike but will first check out the Apollo locally.

Regarding my comments on gearing above, I'm pretty sure the gearing was 48x15, 86"?? When first starting on the track I've heard people say to stay with a small gear and learn to spin, but it felt stupidly small. What is generally the advice in this area? Maybe it depends on the rider so I'm 43y.o. male, been riding on road a few years. I haven't been doing any sprint training this season yet (just out of base so just beginning HIT), my 15 sec power is only about 900W and drops pretty much on straight line (on log scale) down to 575W over 1 minute. My initial goals are to get a feel for the track and use it to work on the top end.

Thanks again for the good advice.
I am a masters rider with about the same amount of experience. The 48x15 seems small, but isnt a bad gear. I spent my whole first year on a 49x15 and have gone as big as 50x14 last year.(way too big) It is a process to build up to and you might have to ignore the powermeter while training at higher cadences for a while . My watts suffer when I do threashold type riding in small gears but you need to do it. In a mass start race you will need build up to be able to ride for 5 plus munutes at 115-120. Try using rollers on your recovery rides at first. I am not sure what speed the pros ride at, but my guess would be in the mid 30 mph range. The races that I am in average around 31~ mph. If you are going to be a sprinter you goal should be in the 160 range for 20-30 seconds. For sprinting, I look at peak power,5 sec power , 20 sec power and top speed. I look at them all as equal, but in reality top speed is king imo. The only pms that I would trust to get you real numbers are the PT and SRM. I use PT and it works fime, but is a bit slow to get accurate reads for sprinting. BTW, you dont have to get there this year.
 

886014

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Mar 3, 2005
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Ok thanks very much for that, I'm sure it will all be much clearer once I get back down to the track and now feel I can go armed with more intelligent questions to ask when there.

I'm not sure just how accurate my power readings are, particularly over very short intervals, but use them as a guide when training. I find the power meter is a good "rabbit" to chase when doing multiple efforts but on the track would prefer to use time. I couldn’t see a clock anywhere at DGV, maybe I need to look a bit harder, but was expecting some sort of clock like they have at swimming pools to pace off.

Unfortunately there really doesn’t seem to be that much information that I can find on all this once past the very basics, so appreciate the time and input offered here. Working shifts mean I often train by myself during the day which is great, but I’ve sometimes found myself in a beautiful multi-million dollar velodrome saying “ok, now what do I do?”
 

mikesbytes

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Apr 12, 2006
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Also try out some other tracks;

DHBC conduct training sessions at Canterbury (Tempe) velodrome on Monday and Wednesday nights.
LACC conduct training session at Hurstville on Tuesday night and (I think) race on Friday night
RBCC are currently conducting racing at Canterbury (Tempe) velodrome on Thursday night.

There will be people from all sorts of clubs on these nights and its a great opportunity to chat with various people and you'll also likely to come upon a cheap bike.
 

Billsworld

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Sep 6, 2005
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886014 said:
Ok thanks very much for that, I'm sure it will all be much clearer once I get back down to the track and now feel I can go armed with more intelligent questions to ask when there.

I'm not sure just how accurate my power readings are, particularly over very short intervals, but use them as a guide when training. I find the power meter is a good "rabbit" to chase when doing multiple efforts but on the track would prefer to use time. I couldn’t see a clock anywhere at DGV, maybe I need to look a bit harder, but was expecting some sort of clock like they have at swimming pools to pace off.

Unfortunately there really doesn’t seem to be that much information that I can find on all this once past the very basics, so appreciate the time and input offered here. Working shifts mean I often train by myself during the day which is great, but I’ve sometimes found myself in a beautiful multi-million dollar velodrome saying “ok, now what do I do?”
If you are heading to that track you will get much better info there than from me. You will be sorted out quick. Dont forget to check out www.fixedgearfever.com Plenty of fast Aussies and kiwis as well as coaches and an assortment of elite riders post there.