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Starter advice for a track noob

MaxwellBygravesMaxwellBygraves Posts: 1,455
edited January 2014 in Track
I've had several people comment that they think I might fare well on the Track (I think it's a polite way of saying I'm a bit bigger than your average roadie) and I want advice!

It has piqued my interest and I'm looking to delve into the completely unfamiliar and alien world of track cycling! I own no track specific equipment and have never been in a velodrome, never mind ridden in one. I consider myself a fairly experienced roadie but figure this counts for little on the track...

Where's best to start? I'm looking at something like the taster sessions at Manchester Velodrome, would that be as good a place as any to start? Is there anything I should know or do before I chuck myself in head first..?

Ta :D
"That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer

Posts

  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 18,633
    Taster session is the perfect place to start...
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  • JSCLJSCL Posts: 1,259
    Get on a taster, don't worry about equipment, it's all provided. Bike, helmet, shoes - you name it, it can be bundled in (except the clothes).

    Just get that first session done and you'll find yourself with the desire the climb the accreditation ladder after the first session.
    Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/scalesjason - All posts are strictly my personal view.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    I started riding the new Swiss national velodrome which has been built by Andy Rihs next to the BMC factory in Grenchen this year.

    I signed up for a track course which gives you a 'licence' to ride during open sessions rather than do a taster course. Basically 3 x 2 hour sessions. The first session went a bit too quick for me (in terms of progressing through skills rather than speed) but once I'd got chance to ride on my own at the end of the session and 'discover' both the bike and the track I didn't look back. I've now done 4 open sessions and I'm learning every time. I do about 2 hours riding in 2 1/2 hours tagging along with the various trains that are going round and then doing some sprints when there's less people on the track. There can be up to 40-odd people on the track at any one time so you've got to be alert but it's good for your bike handling and beat the rollers through the winter!

    Give it a go!
  • Thanks for the replies, it's top of the resolution pile for 2014!
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • If you can I'd advise getting a group of mates together to go through the accreditation process with. That way, you always know there will be some riders of a similar experience to you at the various sessions and you'll be able to demonstrate the necessary skills to be able to get your slips signed off by the coach.
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    schweiz wrote:
    I started riding the new Swiss national velodrome which has been built by Andy Rihs next to the BMC factory in Grenchen this year.

    I signed up for a track course which gives you a 'licence' to ride during open sessions rather than do a taster course. Basically 3 x 2 hour sessions. The first session went a bit too quick for me (in terms of progressing through skills rather than speed) but once I'd got chance to ride on my own at the end of the session and 'discover' both the bike and the track I didn't look back. I've now done 4 open sessions and I'm learning every time. I do about 2 hours riding in 2 1/2 hours tagging along with the various trains that are going round and then doing some sprints when there's less people on the track. There can be up to 40-odd people on the track at any one time so you've got to be alert but it's good for your bike handling and beat the rollers through the winter!

    Give it a go!
    I hope you show up on the burgundy bike you have in your SS link. :-) That'd buy you instant cred.

    40 riders at a time all doing their own thing? That's amazing. People must be proficient and alert
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    schweiz wrote:
    I started riding the new Swiss national velodrome which has been built by Andy Rihs next to the BMC factory in Grenchen this year.

    I signed up for a track course which gives you a 'licence' to ride during open sessions rather than do a taster course. Basically 3 x 2 hour sessions. The first session went a bit too quick for me (in terms of progressing through skills rather than speed) but once I'd got chance to ride on my own at the end of the session and 'discover' both the bike and the track I didn't look back. I've now done 4 open sessions and I'm learning every time. I do about 2 hours riding in 2 1/2 hours tagging along with the various trains that are going round and then doing some sprints when there's less people on the track. There can be up to 40-odd people on the track at any one time so you've got to be alert but it's good for your bike handling and beat the rollers through the winter!

    Give it a go!
    I hope you show up on the burgundy bike you have in your SS link. :-) That'd buy you instant cred.

    40 riders at a time all doing their own thing? That's amazing. People must be proficient and alert

    I have ridden this... viewtopic.php?f=40044&t=12951130 ... with the wheels off the singlespeed for a couple of weeks before the carbon rims turned up from China. I did think about taking the brakes of the singlespeed and probably would have been able to ride it. They're not too strict about what you ride as long as it's fixed gear!

    I noticed on the rules at the Manchester velodrome that you can't have a cog on the none drive side of a flip flop hub, all braze-ons on a road frame have to be ground off, the axles have to be cut down so they don't extend beyond the nuts and only certain tyres/tubs are allowed. The only rule at Grenchen is that the track manager should approve your bike, but he's never asked to check mine.

    However, you're pretty much forced to do a 3 session track riding course which costs CHF 450 (about £300) so I guess that means that only 'serious' riders are on track.

    It can get hectic but I've only seen one real near miss which was when all 3 trains happened to be riding from turn 4 to turn 1 at the same time. Also, a few weeks ago I was closing in behind some guy who'd not left the track with his rest of his taster session group. He was on the sprinter's line I was on the measurement line. Suddenly, without indicating or looking, he moved up to the stayer line and then just as quickly, as I was about to pass below him, he dived back down to the measurement line. A quick detour onto the Côte d'Azur for me, a quick English lesson for him and we carried on riding.
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    I have the same bike as you but mine is badged as a Pro-Lite Treviso. It's almost exactly as in this photo, down to the Pro-Lite Rosa wheels (heavy), saddle (ugly but surprisingly light and comfortable) and red tape: http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewt ... 25&t=31300

    I ride mainly at Herne Hill and Calshot which are 2 quite different venues: 450 vs 142 meters respectively.

    I'd love to get deep carbon wheels but I'm not sure how deep to go. Herne Hill is very exposed and is voted as the windiest spot in London. So 80mm are ok rear but not on the front. I'm going to try my FC 404 road clincher on the front as a test to see how I get on. Being 80+ kgs I've not had any issues with the 404s in road races so slightly deeper should be OK for track. Being a more involving discipline one doesn't tend to get a nasty surprise when caught napping as can happen on a 4-5 hour road ride :-)

    How deep are your new chinese rims? 60s?
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    The rims are 60 mm. For general training they're a good depth, easy enough to spin up when doing sprint efforts but also give good aero performance when riding tempo in the train.

    Most people who have opted for deep section wheels seem to ride 50 or 60 mm with only a few riding 80 mm.
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