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Silly "i have never been on a track before" questi

daz51daz51 Posts: 159
edited August 2008 in Track
Hello Track goers,

Currently a road cyclist but with a fixie single speed on order my question is.....

Can you just turn up to cycle tracks and just ride with your bike?

I fancy travelling to the Telford track once or twice a month but no nothing about it ????

anyone ride at Telford? or could help me?

Regards and Thanks



  • BUICKBUICK Posts: 362
    Others will know more about this than I do, but I would say the answer is probably 'no' unless your bike is a brakeless track bike with track specific tyres - in which case you shouldn't be riding it to the track!
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    You'll need to do a few taster sessions first before you can ride the track racing league - you'll probably be able to hire a track bike there for a few quid. Note though that the outdoor track season is now nearly over, so you may have to wait until Spring.

    Some tracks have training sessions through the winter using geared bikes (safer than fixed on damp track).
  • andypandyp Posts: 9,157
    I can only speak of my experiences and observations from Herne Hill, where they are quite relaxed about letting people ride on the track on a fixed be it a track bike or a road conversion. Brakes and levers need to be removed and drop handlebars must have end plugs in them and either tape or keirin grips.

    They encourage participation above all else so as long as your bike is in good working order and is fixed then you can ride.
  • daz51daz51 Posts: 159
    I may have worded the question a little badly,

    I am buying a giant bowery at the nice new cheap price, and while i will use it on the road in the winter for training ...........

    i wondered if i dumped it in the car and drove the 100 miles to the track if i could use it???
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    As far as I know there isn't a velodrome at Telford ?

    If you want to run it at a track bike session, you'll need to make sure it's running fixed rather than single speed (iirc Bowery's come set up as single speed) and remove the brake levers and calipers. Most velodromes have bikes you can hire, so this may be an easier option than changing your Bowery.

    As Bronzie says, many outdoor tracks run road bike sessions over the winter, and you'd be able to ride it 'as is' ie single speed with brakes
  • daz51daz51 Posts: 159
    the removing of the brakes? whats the purpose of this?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,186
    in case you panic and stop suddenly - causing all behind to plow into you, I imagine the banking becomes more challenging at slower speeds too
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    daz51 wrote:
    the removing of the brakes? whats the purpose of this?

    Riding fixed without brakes actually makes racing on a track safer - no one is going to sit up and freewheel or slam their brakes on at the front of a bunch. There's no outside influences too (cars, people road furniture or even corners), so you'll never need to brake dramatically.
    It's fairly easy to regulate your speed, using either the fixed wheel or the track itself.

    Which area do you live in ? I should be able to point you in the direction of your nearest track
  • daz51daz51 Posts: 159
    Mid wales Ste, so i presume Newport ???????
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    Aye, Newport is probably your best bet. Newport has plenty of track bikes you can hire (Pinarello's iirc), so I'd probably do that to start with rather than strip your Bowery. If you do take your Bowery, check with Newport before you go. The Bowery has road geometry, so has a lower bottom bracket than a track bike. You *may* therefore have pedal strike issues on the banking (indoor tracks generally have steeper banking than outdoor)

    There's also an outdoor track at the Maindy centre in Cardiff.
  • daz51daz51 Posts: 159
    so whats the set up with these tracks, you hire a bike and then pay for track time?

    do you need an induction first etc ???
  • Many fixed wheel road bikes have an inappropriate bottom bracket drop (too big) for riding on banked velodromes.
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    You can hire bikes at Newport for £7 per session. You can either wear trainers and strap in or use Look cleats (which ones I don't know as I don't use them.
  • Normally you have to have an induction.

    Pay for the session and the bike may or may not be included in the session.
    You need to bring a helmet. thats it

    I started at herne hill with an induction session on a saturday morning 9am,
    You get taught the basics of track riding. Its about an hour long session

    Then you can go onto the trainning sessions straight after if you feel up to it.
    Its £3 for induction and the bike hire is free. then the trainning session is another £3.

    You only need the one induction session and after that you can do the trainning sessions each week.

    There are also session called 'go ride' where you can compete in races.

    Herne hill also hire fuji track bikes for the whole year for £35. This is your bike for the whole year, no one else uses it and is setup for you. You put your own pedals on it.
    This is the best option for beginners who want to do it ever week.

    Hope this helps
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Just call neport leisure centre and ask them for the dates for tester sessions.
    You could try veloriders forum and ask Cortney who is a coach and works there.
    The bikes are £6 to hire and are well good enough. You can use look shoes or trainers with toe strap adapters.
    I go regularly friday evenings for vets sessions, and there are other training sessions mid week but you need some experience for these so depending on your riding experience and confidence levels may need one or two testers first.
    I have seen these done on weekends.
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