Why no geared bikes on the track?



JoelTGM

New Member
Oct 21, 2010
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Having no brakes is the main thing. It's for safety because everyone is going at very high speeds, and extremely close to one another, so of course with brakes you could stop a bike way faster than the reaction time of the rider behind you and that would cause a crash. And if you took the brakes off your geared bike, well now you have no way of slowing down because you will just coast uncontrollably, whereas on a fixed gear you can resist the spin of the cranks to slow it down, and yes it takes a while to fully slow down but same for everyone else, so when the rider infront slows, you slow. The key is that the rider infront can never stop suddenly. And yes when you are out on your road bike riding super close in groups you all have brakes, but out on the road it is safer with brakes, and you are generally going way slower than in the velodrome. In the velodrome it is safer without brakes because there are no obstacles or any reason to stop for something; the only time you need to stop is when you are finished riding, so it is safer for riders to just roll around the track slowing down until they leave the track and come to a complete stop.
 

ankit1

New Member
Feb 16, 2012
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Hi Dancenacabre, Brakes or no? It's a deeply personal preference. There are many fixed-gear riders who ride with front and rear brakes, or just the front brake. Entry-level track bikes and off-the-shelf street fixes usually come with brakes, or at least brake holes in the front fork.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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There are no gears on a track bike because trackies spend too much time anerobic and all that lactic acid has disolved their brains. Gears? Change? Does not compute... Must pedal faster, Igor...

If there were no brakes on a track bike for safety reasons (because people are so close together) - why don't the do that for road races since fields are typically many times bigger, often ride as closely and with a bit of a tail wind or a slight down hill they tend to go faster too - for an extended period of time. That said, looking at the increase in the number of crashes in the Tour these days, maybe they just need slower bikes and padded suits...

How many more "answers that are not really answers" can we post? :p
 

keyon

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Mar 19, 2012
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[COLOR= rgb(24, 24, 24)]he purpose built track has been engineered in Germany by Velotrack, the team that built the velodromes for the Atlanta Olympics and the Delhi Commonwealth Games. The Red Bull Mini Drome track will maintain race-worthy [/COLOR]
 

keyon

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Mar 19, 2012
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[COLOR= rgb(24, 24, 24)]If there were no brakes on a track bike for safety reasons (because people are so close together) - why don't the do that for road races since fields are typically many times bigger, often ride as closely[/COLOR]
 

keyon

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Mar 19, 2012
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kana_marie

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Mar 24, 2015
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I would definitely enjoy the extra control of the bike, but that would wear me out SOmquick. I wouldn't it half a mile! I definitely give those riders their props
 

kylerlittle

Member
Apr 25, 2015
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I think it's because it could be a safety issue. It might cause damage, or cause a really bad accident perhaps due to the structure.
 

BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
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Wait I am confused. A poster above said they do have gearing but it's just one gear. That doesn't make much sense, typically when talking to other riders if you say your bike ia geared that means it has more than one. If you say singlespeed or fixed gear then it has a single gear. If I show up at the park with my singlespeed bike and tell people hey I have gearing but just one! They will prob think I am being a goof on purpose. I want to start track riding and I want to make sure I have the lingo down so I can fit in. Can someone please clarify?
 

Jcycle

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May 14, 2015
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The added mechanical parts and the risk of things coming off or breaking at high speeds around other people. In other words safety. It also levels the playing field a bit.
 

kylerlittle

Member
Apr 25, 2015
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I think it has a bit of risk to mess up completely and it can put you at risk so it would make sense.
 

Corzhens

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May 26, 2015
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daveryanwyoming said:
The basic problem is safety as you were told.

Track racing bikes have no brakes and they do having gearing it's just that it's a single gear choice for each race and the gear is fixed meaning it' not possible to coast. If the rear wheel is turning, your legs are turning and if you want to slow down or control your speed you do it through your legs. That means that riders can't just coast and slow down suddenly when they get tired or nervous in a group and don't have any brakes they can slam on all of the sudden.

Fixed gear track bikes and freewheel road bikes don't mix well as all it takes is a road bike rider who taps their brakes or coasts suddenly to cause a big pileup. Some tracks allow open access and anyone can ride during open training but even then etiquette holds that the road bikes and fixed gear bikes give each other a lot of room. It's real spooky to be hammering along in the sprinter's lane on a fixed gear bike and to hear the ratchet of a freewheel, that'll make most track riders flinch.

Some tracks don't have open training times and don't allow any road bikes, others are more flexible, but it sounds like your local track has a pretty clear policy. Many tracks have a track bike loaner or rental program, usually associated with beginner track clinics. You might want to check into that, there's a few things to learn if you want to be safe and race effectively on the track and it's a great place to develop speed and race tactics.

-Dave
When I was young and I was already biking, I noticed the bike of the newsboy one afternoon when he was collecting the weekly payment for his newspaper delivery. I borrowed his bike for spin but he said it has no brakes. And then I got to try it and I was really surprised because the pedals seem to be directly connected to the wheels. When the wheel is moving, the pedals move with it. It's only now that I know the reason for that... no brakes.