Forum home Road cycling forum Track

Track bike for time trials?

frankiehfrankieh Posts: 85
edited May 2011 in Track
Please tell me if I'm being stupid but I want to buy a track bike to actually race on the track.

Now comes the stupid bit, for some reason I've got it in my head that it might be a good idea to also time trial on it as it would be easy to just swap the bars over as I wouldn't have to mess around with cables. I could run a front brake in TT mode and then any fancy wheels I get would benefit me for track racing and TTing where as I don't fancy getting tubs for road racing. I'm more a power rider so feel like I could make the fixed work in TTs.

I might be talking rubbish :oops: , I don't know much about track or tt bikes so any advice welcome. Thanks.


  • Down the RoadDown the Road Posts: 949
    Part a fine

    Part b - Don't be bloody stupid
    Racing is life - everything else is just waiting
  • frankiehfrankieh Posts: 85
    well that cleared that up :D
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,847
    Plenty of people do time trials on a fixed bike, I see no reason why you can't use the same bike to do both.

    It's worth checking CTT rules on brakes though, as most track bikes are not drilled for a rear brake and you may need to run both front and rear.
  • SteveR_100MilersSteveR_100Milers Posts: 5,987
    Assuming the OP meant riding a road TT on a track bike, and not vice versa, which is not allowed.
  • frankiehfrankieh Posts: 85
    Yeah thats what I meant. I suppose what I was after is some info about the geometry and if its too big a compromise, I'm not really sure what figures are important looking at them.
  • Eddy SEddy S Posts: 1,013
    There is a forum member who use use a Dolan ARC as a road TT bike - his bike pics and some comments about the ride/handling are here->
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • frankiehfrankieh Posts: 85
    Thanks for the link, I missed that one. Loooks realllly nice. I think I'll just try and make sure whatever bike I get has an option to run a front brake
  • tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
    In essence - there is nothing particularly stupid about your proposal and I see it as relatively logical. There are some downsides and basically what you ideally want probably isn't even made - so it means a little bit of compromise. Parking up the 'you should go for x y z' for a moment, addressing the fundamental issues;

    To be 'legal' for TT isn't going to take much. You'll need two brakes if running gears or just a front if you opt for fixed. All the other requirements are fairly basic stuff and need not really be mentioned.

    Some tracks will stipulate a requirement on 'ground to bottom bracket height' and basically, if it isn't a genuine track frame, it's unlikely to have the required clearance. There may also be a stipulation on crank lengths - beginners may be required to use 165mm for extra safety etc. About the only other thing I can think of is the type of wheel axle, and again, tracks will have a total downer of anything with Q/R skewers.

    With regard to bars, depending on what you are 'up to' on the track, you might even opt to keep the tri-bars - ie pursuit set up.

    My experience with actually doing what you have thought about;

    On a fairly flat TT course, and given that I've chosen exactly the right sprocket, and that it isn't hellish windy (huge head/tail winds muck up gearing choice and mean under/over in either direction) then I'd actually put myself as being at an advantage of the guys with gears. Bring hills, strong winds, etc - then then that advantange quickly swings in the other direction. That said, there was a chap at my TT's last year (sadly now deceased) who absolutely annihilated the entire field on a fixed gear track bike (planet X) whether it was hilly or not.

    I have a Dolan Arc, which was used by Hoy and the likes and is incredibly strong. Strong beyond belief and utterly impervious to flex. Absolutely esential for Hoy during World Champs or whatever, but fairly unneccessary for me! I mention, because the side effect of an immensely stiff frame is a firm ride. (getting back to compromise)

    An other issue is rake/trail/head angle and what is right for an olympic class track athlete is probably a little ott for a club level time trial. Again - back to compromise.

    Personally, I think it comes down to just how feasible your tagetted TT's are in a fixed gear. Before you make the leap - might be worth experimenting and actually doing some in a single chosen gear (I'm assuming you don't already have a fixed bike). If you decide to go for it (on the basis of 'dual use') you need to avoid all the 'fixie' fashion tat that is out there, as most will fall foul of stuff like BB height etc. Planet X do a good carbon track frame and I'd also give consideration to their older carbon TT frames, which (to me) look the same but with a hanger. They even use track ends - so possibly ideal. Yes - I'm looking for a home for my Arc, so that may be worth a thought - but it probably represents a much bigger investment than the P-X option. There's other stuff out there and Fuji also seem rather tasty!

    Hope that helps.
  • spenbspenb Posts: 14
    Years ago - (might be about 17ish)

    A certain Mr. Dangerfield used a track lo-pro bike with track drop outs on but had a rear mech hanger brazed on too.

    Therefore using it geared for the road or fixed but taking the extras off resulted in a nice pursuit bike.

    Also a fair few of the lets say older generation (well they seemed it when I was in my mid to late teens) used normal fixed bikes for evening 10's and 25's.

    Go for it - you get a very light bike.

    I'm not BITTER - Just TWISTED
  • frankiehfrankieh Posts: 85
    Wow thanks for the great replys. The P-X do look like great value bikes and I think I would want any compromise to be on the road TT side. Track riding would probably start with Omniums so having a TT setup to switch to would be ideal.

    Out of interest how much were you looking to sell the ARC for and what size is it? (I'm 6foot3) You can PM or email me; frankie at if you don't want to post on here.

    Thanks again for taking the time for such helpful replys.
Sign In or Register to comment.