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Thread: Stay on Track

  1. #1
    Kiss my Grits!
    Reputation: Chim Chim's Avatar
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    Stay on Track

    I don't own a road bike.

    I am considering a track bike for training. Anybody have any advice on buying a good track bike for rides on pavement? Brands to buy or brands to stay away from. Steel or aluminum?

    Where to buy?

    Thanks in advance.
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  2. #2
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    I bought a Surly Sreamroller and I love it. Built it up myself over a year ago. But it was for the pavement as well as an occasional singletrack (I can fit 38's). For pavement only, I would have gotten something like a Cannondale Capo. Langsters are nice, too, but I don't like the sloping top tube. Check out Bianchi Pista's, too.

    Are you looking to build from frame up or buying a complete bike?

  3. #3
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    What's your budget? Brakes?

    I just built up a Felt TK3 to replace my IRO Mark V. I didn't use any of the stock parts except for the frame, headset, and seatpost binder. One thing to look for is fork rake. Track bikes have track geo. You'll want something more like a 43mm offset fork instead of a 25mm.

  4. #4
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    I had a Fuji Track. They're not the best component-wise... or I guess not the blingiest but I rode that bike every single day commuting back and forth to campus and I never had one single issue/complaint. Highly recommend. Road only though cause 28's were about the biggest tire that would fit it.

    I'd go with a steel frame just for comfort. A track bike will be light due to lack of parts anyway so the small amount of extra weight wouldn't be too big an issue.

    Having said all that, my brother commuted on a langster for well over a year. Didn't have a car at all and went everywhere (in Atlanta) by bike, even got hit by a car once and that bike is still kickin' so... yea those are nice too.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    For riding on pavement (i.e. not closed track) I'd put at least a front brake on it. I think "pure" track forks are not drilled for a brake.

  6. #6
    The need for singlespeed
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    I built up an older Langster frame for use as my training bike. Langsters get a lot of negative press on the internets for being aluminum and not having traditional track geometry. As a mtbr at the core, I don't care about those things. Mine is 18 lbs (with cheapo 2400g wheels), rides great with a carbon fork, never beats me up, and looks good. Perfect for when the trails are wet!

  7. #7
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    So far I've learned...

    I will certainly have a brake on this rig, probably just a front. I plan to ride this only on pavement, but maybe should think about use on fire roads.

    I will make sure that the one I choose will allow larger tires.

    I intend to buy a complete unit, since I don't own any road stuff and I think the complete unit will get me "in" and I can go from there.

    More input would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  8. #8
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    If you're going to be on some off-road singletracks, I highly recommend the Surly Steamroller. Like I said, I fit 38's no problem. Though, I think I'll switch out to 32's for a bit faster pace on the pavement.

    (with 26's}


    Universal Cycles usually has a good price on these. Use coupon code VIP15

  9. #9
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    suggest reading posts on the roadbike fixed/singlespeed forum.

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=50

    have a look at the sticky at the top of the page with a long thread on 'fixed parts, resources' . generally helpful people over there. if you post a question, they will likely steer you away from true track geometry to a frame/bike more appropriate to your needs.

  10. #10
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    really, especially if you want to have room for bigger tires, or ride any off pavement, a Bianchi San Jose or other single speed specific cyclocross bike may fit your bill. Earlier ones even came with a flip flop hub.

  11. #11
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    Good suggestion, and I could have gone with a San Jose or Cross Check, but I liked the more track geometry of the Steamroller. Just personal pref.

  12. #12
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    Swobo a go go?

    Checking out a Swobo Del Norte on Tuesday.

    No reviews on site; anyone have any experience with this bike?
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chim Chim
    I will certainly have a brake on this rig, probably just a front. I plan to ride this only on pavement, but maybe should think about use on fire roads.

    I will make sure that the one I choose will allow larger tires.

    I intend to buy a complete unit, since I don't own any road stuff and I think the complete unit will get me "in" and I can go from there.

    More input would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    I built a Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno this month and it's the only bike I ride these days. I do have it in single-speed and not fixed mode, though. If you're down for fire-roads, I'd consider a 'cross bike.

    I've been riding fixed for a couple years now and I just converted my fixed Motobecane Messenger over to freewheel (kept the fixed cog on the flip-flop). However, for road rides, I still choose my road bike (Surly Pacer) > fixed gear. Here's why: when things get steep, it's nice to have gears. My fixed gear (now single speed) is geared 48X16, so some hills are just not doable for me. I'd rather be able to change gears and climb than to not climb at all.

    My Fantom Cross Uno is geared 38X19 for the trails. I love that bike.

    Consider a geared road bike. Just because a bike is geared doesn't make it any less of a workout. If you're set on one speed - check out the Fantom Cross Uno. Oh, and steel... all the way.

    Stay on Track-img_0048.jpg

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    Stay on Track-img_0021-copy.jpg

  14. #14
    Single Speed Junkie
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    EAI Bareknuckle has been a great track frame. First ride I was shocked at how quiet the bike is, and I've been riding single speeds for years. Getting an alloy frame would be a mistake in my opinion. Steel is pretty much all I would consider, perhaps carbon but the price would be a limiting factor there.

  15. #15
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    I have a Felt Curbside. The whore in my harem of mistresses. Easy to find on any street corner, great for a quick fix. See my profile for the other mistresses.

    The Curbside is a great bike. Very nice aluminum frame, carbon fork, very light weight, flip-flop hub. This thing has been a blast to ride. I use it for commuting. I have done some longer rides, centuries, etc. No problems with that. Cheap too. Cost something like $600.
    I'm really not sure how big of a tire will fit. I'm not familiar at all with road tires and sizes. I get all of my road tires second hand from a sponsored road racer friend.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  16. #16
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    Forgot, you should also check out the Jamis Sputnik. VERY nice steel frame. Nice carbon fork.

  17. #17
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    frame material

    i have a small fleet of SS and fixed bikes that are Ti, Steel, and Aluminum.

    The two i like riding most are both aluminum, one in the dirt (bianchi buss--with a carbon fork) and one on the road (IRO). One even has an aluminum fork (IRO). Go figure.

    I know there are strong opinions on materials, but don't discount AL until you've done some test riding.

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