idle questions

how strong are miyata cranks? and will a 700c wheel with a 1" tire fit a 26" frame?

i ask the first question because a few minutes ago i was about to do a static mount on my uni and suddenly decided to do a jump mount and landed it on the first try. before that, besides commuting, i hadn’t given any thought to learning more skills beyond a few minutes attempt at idling, riding backwards, and the kickup mount. so, my realization that learning some more skills will be easy as cake led my to think about how strong my cranks are, which are 102mm by the way

the other question is because i was thinking of getting a 700c uni with a wtb camino alto tire but couldn’t find any 28" frames cheap enough for me. on the subject of 700c cycles, i was also toying with the idea of getting a 700c track bike, but can’t find any that are affordable except road bike conversions, which have too much trail and whose frames are too slack for my taste. any advice with this?

Re: idle questions

I don’t know what your definition of affordable is. Check out KHS Bicycles. They have a track bike with track bike style geometry and horizontal dropouts. It’s the Flite 100.

affordable to me is $500 at most, and that’s really stretching it. i do understand that that much doesn’t buy very much bicycle. anybody here have a line on used track bikes?

There’s a KHS bike up for bids right now. KHS auction
Just pay attention to what shipping charges are going to be for a bike. And if you want to ride it on the road you should figure in the cost for a brake.

Bianchi also has a track bike. It retails for less than the KHS. Bianchi Pista

i’d already found both of those, but i don’t think that i can beat the other bidders, considering how much time is left

Re: idle questions

What do you want to do with it? What’s your build & riding style - kilo/match sprint or pursuit?

I ask because only the elites need anything more than an entry level track bike. The elite kilo/match sprint guys, aka “Track Beasts” can mangle ordinary bikes, and the pursuit riders, aka “fast roadies” need every fraction of an ounce reduction in drag they can get. For everyone else the key determinant is skill and fitness. The bike doesn’t matter.

I raced for my first season and a half on the velodrome on a $350 beginner bike. Was pretty sucessful, too. And I was racing against equipment prima-donnas. IMHO, they often missed tactical opportunities because they didn’t want their pretty bikes messed up.

Bikes Direct has a Fuji Track for $495.00. It’s got relatively slack angles, but so did my beginner bike.

There are other places to shop, and other bikes. I really like the Bianchi Pista. Don’t know how much it’s selling for, though.

Fixedgearfever has a flea market. Looks like some good deals.

Just make sure the pedal/cleat system is good… riding one-legged on the banking at 160+ rpm is not good for your complexion. And if you’re going to do anything on the road I recommend a front brake. Saved my bacon a number of times.

i was planning on riding it on the road. and i have an aversion to stability, which is why i want short trail. would putting the fork on backwards on a converted bike work?

silly silly me, that would do the opposite of what i want

Don’t put the fork on backwards…that’s a really bad/dangerous idea plus it’ll screw up geometry…

If you want to go with the KHS Flite 100 our shop is a preferred supplier of KHS and we carry it at a really good price of $599.00 plus we’ll ship it to you for free.

Just let me know…

Oh also, if you think you are gonna want to ride on the street you could get the Flite 300 which we have at the same price…UNLESS you are really set on a track bike

i’m leaning towards buying used right now, or waiting a long time, or both. thanks fo the offer though

looking for a track bike…someone mentioned the Bianchi pista. I would not normally recommend this bike, but CHROME overcomes geometery…that’s right the 2004 will be in CHROME and should run you about $530…there angles are slack but it’s all relative…a ‘slack’ track geometery will still be a lot tighter than a fixed out roadie…

I am not sure what your intended purpose for this bike will be…racing, commute, fun, work…either way an entry level track frame will be more than adequate…especially if it is your first track bike…the only recommendation would be stay with steel…

as far as where to buy one, you seem to be watching ebay…is there a track near you? racers are always upgrading and most shops around a track will carry at least an entry level frame…

i don’t know what’s near me. anyone here know offhand if there are any tracks in the dfw area?

Google says there is a very very nice velodrome in Frisco, Texas.
Superdrome in Frisco Wow! Lucky you.
With a nice velodrome like that nearby you should have no problems at all finding a used track bike locally. Since you have a velodrome so close, go watch some races. They’re fun to watch. I used to live near the Alpenrose Velodrome. It was always fun to go see a track race.

Just pay attention to number 13 on John Foss’ Things Not To Do Page

There’s a nice one in
Frisco, TX. Have no idea if that’s near DFW.

If you’re looking for an unstable ride, a real track bike isn’t it. They’re stable at all speeds from zero to 45+ mph. They just quicker because they have very short wheelbases. At speed that tight turning radius means they’re REAL quick for sudden lateral moves. But they’re easier to control at very slow speed because the steep head angle means less wheel flop.

And you’re right - stability is a function of the “trail.” If you draw an imaginary line through the steering tube axis and mark where it hits the ground you’ll find it’s about 2.5 inches ahead of the tire patch regardless of the type of bike. If you just want unstable then take any bike and put more rake in the fork to reduce the trail.

The extreme is a circus bike that has no trail.

Unless you’re going to stick to a velodrome I recommend against getting a pure track bike. The forks weren’t designed to take frontal impacts, so they might fold if you hit something like a pothole. Also, tracks are smooth like basketball courts, and sprinting requires a really stiff frame, so real track bikes don’t have much flex in the seat stays for shock absorbtion. If you use a stiff rear wheel and high pressure tire (track tires are typically pumped up to between 170 and 210 psi), then that seat is going to get hammered into your butt. After a while the emergency room folks are going to start wondering about you…

Is this kind of talk allowed on a Uni site? :thinking:

fine, not unstable. but i’ve always had a tendency to purposely handicap myself, so a bike that’s more difficult/awkward to use is what i want. and unicycling has taught me to watch out for potholes, so that won’t be a problem with a bike

frisco is directly north of plano, where i used to live, and still occaisionally do on weekends. the superdrome may be an incentive to visit the parents more

and all ths bike talk was started by john and you. me, all i had was a postscript

WOW! The track in Frisco looks SWEET! Wish I was racing when I was in Austin. Could choose between 2 great tracks, Houston being the other.

Anyway, cyberbellum was entirely correct about track forks. They are not that strong which is good (forks aren’t supposed to be strong) but some of them are definitely not what would be considered rode worthy. That said, I’ve been messengering for 3 years on a steel frame, mid level I would say, and there have been no issues with my frame/fork. None of the other messengers during this time period have had issues either, aside from t-boning a car or two.

The ride will feel ‘harsh’, but like anything it just takes a while to get used to it. Once you do though, nothing feels quite as sexy.

Track racing is a blast to watch and even more fun to do. Good luck!

Actually, track forks are plenty strong, just not in a for-and-aft direction. They’re designed to take the massive side loads that can happen during sprinting and rapid maneuvering.

And I agree, the 'dromes are a hell of a lot of fun. Road rash from 40mph slides aren’t, but dropping down from the top of the track and picking up 20 mph in a second or two is quite a rush.

A back-to-uni question - If I’ve calculated this right, it seems that the world record sprinters on unis are turning the cranks at something like 220 RPM for 2+ minutes. The best I could ever do on 165s was around 230, but that was with almost no load and not for more than about 20 seconds. I could do a steady-state spin at 180, but can’t imagine going 220 for two minutes. I can’t believe that the shorter cranks make that much of a difference.

Clearly they are gifted with a lot of fast twitch, but how do they stay stable when their legs turn to lead? Once the lactic acid builds up it’s chemically impossible for your muscles to contract properly. How the heck to these guys do it?

I think this is the key. David Stone, on my Coker with 150s, feels like he is “swimming”. He’s used to 125s and 110s.

Yeah, that must be it. At about 190 RMP on my 165mm equipped track bike my pedaling went from “pull feet in circle to apply power” to “keep knees from coming apart.” Most of my energy went into stopping and starting my thigh mass to keep the upper parts of my legs from separating from the lower parts. With smaller cranks the peak velocities of the various leg parts is proportionally lower, so I could see that it would be possible to float the speed higher if you’ve got the fast twitch for it.

Which leads to another question: Do uni sprinters use cleats or toe clips? Trackies, especially sprint specialists who use relatively low gears, often use old-school slotted cleats and toe straps to make sure their feet don’t leave the pedals. (It’s common to see pedals with two or even three toe straps on track bikes.)

It’s obvious that you wouldn’t want to lash your feet down that hard on a uni, but I can see that some sort of click cleat might be useful. Crank Bros make two pedals that might be suitable, the Candy SL and a platform pedal with an embedded eggbeater. I would think that on a Coker or other high speed, high momentum wheel these pedals might be useful.

No, AFAIK they usually pull hard on the saddle handle for stability and leg isolation.

I came off my Coker yesterday at about 11.5 mph and could not run fast enough to stay vertical. Yet another layer off my wrist guard plastic and a bruised ego, but that was all. Clipped in I would have probably twisted a knee at the minimum.

However, a fellow at NAUCC did amazing trials moves clipped in.