track vs road bars

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track vs road bars

Postby scotto » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:05 am

why the different shape ?
i'm thinking of trying out some track racing and thought i could just swap bars and ratios on my fixie for a cheap introduction.

oh, and whats a typical ratio ?
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by BNA » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:10 am

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Re: track vs road bars

Postby mikesbytes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:10 am

When you race on the track you always have your hands in the drops, so no need to have a place to rest them above.

You might also notice that some riders use steel bars, as they are super strong.

If your starting off, just use whatever you have.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby scotto » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:37 am

not sure if theyre suitable for sprinting. but they gove you bucket loads of leverage when grinding uphills out of the saddle !
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby toppity » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:03 am

scotto wrote:why the different shape ?
i'm thinking of trying out some track racing and thought i could just swap bars and ratios on my fixie for a cheap introduction.

oh, and whats a typical ratio ?

a nice allround ratio to start with is 49/15. I think that's 86 gear inches.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby rustychisel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:32 pm

it's all about transition points and hand positions, as mentioned on the track Pista bars have a curved transition bend, also keeps the bars away from your knees in a balls out sprint. Road bars (originally known as 'Maes' pattern, have a wider top and a sharper transition to drops, gives more hand positions but also a better platform for brake levers.

If you're a strongman steels bars are better, if your bars are older be sure of them. These little lovelies folded gently on me as I pulled out of a 55kmh sprint. You don't want it happening to you.

If you're strong to moderately strong go for a gearing of ~90in for general track work. Loaner bikes at the Adelaide Superdrome used to come with 76in which is rather spinny, but go too high and you'll put your legs into a world of sluggishness in 2 laps.

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Re: track vs road bars

Postby foo on patrol » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:03 pm

toppity wrote:
scotto wrote:why the different shape ?
i'm thinking of trying out some track racing and thought i could just swap bars and ratios on my fixie for a cheap introduction.

oh, and whats a typical ratio ?

a nice allround ratio to start with is 49/15. I think that's 86 gear inches.


Wrong 88.2 :mrgreen: 51x16= 86 :P
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby robbie d » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:36 pm

you are a strong guy though rusty,
If the weather holds i'm out to edwardstown tomorrow night :D
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby brawlo » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:02 am

I kicked off my track racing on road bars. I recently changed to a Deda track bar and all I can say is I never knew how flexy the road bars were until I changed. It was a huge difference when up and pushing out a big sprint.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby alex » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:17 am

steel 'pista' type bars are good if you are doing proper sprinting

for most people it will make no difference, i like road bars personally
if i get killed while out on my bike i dont want a 'memorial ride' by random punters i have never met.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby rustychisel » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:23 am

robbie d wrote:you are a strong guy though rusty,
If the weather holds i'm out to edwardstown tomorrow night :D


hmmm, good luck with that [looks pensively out the window again]

WRT gearing: Edwardstown is an outside track as you know, so you'd not use the same gearing as on the boards. A macdamised surface with lower banking, I'd probably be looking at a 86 ~ 88in gear, especially as I seem to recall a SW breeze on the front straight every time I've ridden laps there
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby Richard.L » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:14 pm

rustychisel wrote:
robbie d wrote:you are a strong guy though rusty,
If the weather holds i'm out to edwardstown tomorrow night :D


hmmm, good luck with that [looks pensively out the window again]

WRT gearing: Edwardstown is an outside track as you know, so you'd not use the same gearing as on the boards. A macdamised surface with lower banking, I'd probably be looking at a 86 ~ 88in gear, especially as I seem to recall a SW breeze on the front straight every time I've ridden laps there


+1 on the headwind down the front straight, but i dont think it makes a huge difference if you are powerful (lower grades anyway :lol: )

With my Felt track bars they feel like they are flatter and longer in the drops (more room to place your hand flat) than my 3T Ergonova's on the roadie
Then again the 3T's are compact bars
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:16 am

Can not talk about to-days bars, but when I was racing, track bars were deeper than roadies. :wink:
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby toppity » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:39 am

the width of the bars makes a difference as well. I like the narrower track bars, it gives you a few millimetres more room in larger bunches.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby Jeremy » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:44 am

'Track' bars allow your forearm more room when doing a standing effort....either getting out of start gates, or to a lesser extent, out of the saddle sprinting.
(body is forward on the bike, arms pretty much vertical)

I used to get bruises on my arms before I switched to steel track bars....But i'm a sprinter. Plenty of people use road bars on the track without any problems....mainly the enduros.

90" would be a good race gear to start on....47x14.....I normally go 2inches smaller at edwardstown.
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby scotto » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:11 am

Jeremy wrote:.....I normally go 2inches smaller at edwardstown.

is it colder there ???? :wink:
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Re: track vs road bars

Postby robbie d » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:22 am

Well last friday was the test.
I can't remember what my gearing is off hand, 49-15 I think (googles result) 88.2"
Headwind was blowing strong, which I noticed more when the rest of the bunch had pulled away.
All in all a good night, with a second in the handicap the highlight.
Bar angle is important too. The angle of the flat part of the drops can make things really comfortable, or so annoying you don't want to use them.
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