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Old 11-05-2017, 05:50 PM
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jasonification jasonification is offline
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track vs road handlebar sizing?

Out of curiosity, I was wondering if track riders have the same sized handlebars vs road cyclists? Thinking of aerodynamics and all that...thanks!
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:59 PM
ultraman6970 ultraman6970 is offline
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Jason it depends a lot of the rider, in my case in particular i had a nitto 123 aerodynamics handlebar, that is like a curved compact handlebar, so far i know that was a road handlebar, not a track deep specific handlebar. My problem was that the handlebar that were too deep relaxed me way too much, besides i was using a step with a super low angle and my position in attacks was low with 90 degrees arms so a handlebar too wide and too deep did not work for me. But here is when the rider style kicks in too, i was flexible and was able to go with 90 degress angle arms, super low in the attacks or chasing full gas, other guys were not. So again, it is more like a personal preference and riding style too.

The other situation is the bicycle, road and track bikes are totally different (now a days not so much), different angles, so the position eventhought you might wanted to dial it close to you road position you needed to bump it a little bit or the guys were going to drop you. A clear example was seat back, saddle height and bar drop.

IME in track pretty much the position you want is kind'a comfortable but you cant be that comfortable either that you cant react quick enough.

As for the wide, in my case i liked narrower handlebars in the track, 38cm... vs 42 cm road.

Shapes were different too, the reason a track handlebar is curved at the top is because the handlebar in a track bike get in the way of the forearms, but someguys remember used the cinelli criterium that is not a 100% track handlebar, but is curved enough that a lot of guys liked them. Seen guys racing just with what they had aswell...

Depending on the country you are track is just the start of the season so if they were road riders they used what ever they had on hand to put the bike together and they did not care about the handlebars or anything because track was helping them to get the legs ready for the road season. I was picky, other guys that raced with me were not. Is a thing of the rider after all.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:37 PM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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Which size issue are you referring to? From a cross-sectional perspective, they aren't much different. They used to be quite deep and you can still get those, but more and more riders are riding shallower because they are going faster and faster and need to protect their diaphragm for more effective breathing. Sprints go a lot longer these days, so you have to be able to breathe and again, you can't have your bar drop you too low. The most common high-end bar you see these days is the 3T Scatto, which is quite shallow, akin to a compact bar.

The curve of the bar doesn't do much one way or the other for aerodynamics, but as Ultra said, it's so your forearms don't hit the bar when you're in a start or sprinting. Road riders tend to bend their elbows a lot as they sprint in the drops, but on the track, straight arms are more effective. Hence the curved bars. That said, plenty of trackies use road-shaped square bars and that includes most riders in massed start events where you may be sprinting repeatedly in a points race or an elimination. It used to be improper ever to be on the tops of your bars in an event of any kind (which made sense when the bars dropped off fast and your hands could slip easily) but these days you can use the tops just like in the road. When going fast the drops are the place to be, and track racing rarely goes slow, but you don't need to have curved track bars for massed start events and massed starts are the bread and butter of most weekly track racing.

As far as width, old BS about shoulder width has pretty much been discredited. I would recommend narrow bars for several reasons: 1. You can fit through narrower holes in the field. 2. Narrower bars with a longer stem will open up your diaphragm for better breathing and let you use your back better. 3. Narrower bars are stiffer (a couple inches less in width makes a bar a LOT stiffer) and also more resistant to breakage. 4. When you're pulling hard on your bars while you're pushing hard on the pedals, you don't want to be reaching outboard to pull on the bars -- your pulling and pushing motions should be roughly in line with each other. That's how you'd pick up a heavy box, right, with your hands as close as possible to the spread of your feet? Same idea here. When bars are wider, riders have to rock the bike back and forth more and on the track that's less stabler and less efficient (same on the road as well, though you asked about track).
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:07 AM
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jasonification jasonification is offline
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Originally Posted by 11.4 View Post
Which size issue are you referring to? From a cross-sectional perspective, they aren't much different. They used to be quite deep and you can still get those, but more and more riders are riding shallower because they are going faster and faster and need to protect their diaphragm for more effective breathing. Sprints go a lot longer these days, so you have to be able to breathe and again, you can't have your bar drop you too low. The most common high-end bar you see these days is the 3T Scatto, which is quite shallow, akin to a compact bar.

The curve of the bar doesn't do much one way or the other for aerodynamics, but as Ultra said, it's so your forearms don't hit the bar when you're in a start or sprinting. Road riders tend to bend their elbows a lot as they sprint in the drops, but on the track, straight arms are more effective. Hence the curved bars. That said, plenty of trackies use road-shaped square bars and that includes most riders in massed start events where you may be sprinting repeatedly in a points race or an elimination. It used to be improper ever to be on the tops of your bars in an event of any kind (which made sense when the bars dropped off fast and your hands could slip easily) but these days you can use the tops just like in the road. When going fast the drops are the place to be, and track racing rarely goes slow, but you don't need to have curved track bars for massed start events and massed starts are the bread and butter of most weekly track racing.

As far as width, old BS about shoulder width has pretty much been discredited. I would recommend narrow bars for several reasons: 1. You can fit through narrower holes in the field. 2. Narrower bars with a longer stem will open up your diaphragm for better breathing and let you use your back better. 3. Narrower bars are stiffer (a couple inches less in width makes a bar a LOT stiffer) and also more resistant to breakage. 4. When you're pulling hard on your bars while you're pushing hard on the pedals, you don't want to be reaching outboard to pull on the bars -- your pulling and pushing motions should be roughly in line with each other. That's how you'd pick up a heavy box, right, with your hands as close as possible to the spread of your feet? Same idea here. When bars are wider, riders have to rock the bike back and forth more and on the track that's less stabler and less efficient (same on the road as well, though you asked about track).
Thanks to both ultraman and 11.4 for their great insight. I'm not referring to any issue in particular. I have recently begun to become more interested in getting in track as I have a nearby velodrome. Was trying to suss out and understand track geometry and fit, understanding how it differs from road.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:50 AM
ultraman6970 ultraman6970 is offline
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Track races are so fast that you have no time to even think in sitting comfortable over the bike, pretty much some stuff is just go seated in the rivets all the time and pretty much the body itself will find its position, no time to think in aero but in "have to go faster or they wlll drop me"...

The only advice i can give you is pick a handlebar that you like, try deep nittos if you can, remember a 3T track specific i had, I hated it, same with the steel deep nittos, my thing was that aero nitto that went discontinued, even some people doesnt even know was produced, the best track handlebar I ever had, shape was just perfect.

Another thing, when you pick a frame you obviously have to pick the same size than in the road, that 2 cm smaller myth is a hispter thing that transcended around the towns. Hipster and delivery guys use a smaller frame because they need to get their feet on the floor comfortable, if they pick the right frame size the top tube the dude will suffer of impacted nuts at the time of stopping at a red light because the top tube will be upper a couple of cm due to a higher BB shell. So if you use x size in the road just pick around the same size of track frame. In track racing you dont get off the bike :P

Wheels, well... I've been only once in a track with clincher tires and honestly I did not like it at all. Tubulars is the way to go in the track.

Lucky you have a track nearby, I had one nearby i would be there quite often Miss it a lot.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:02 AM
djg21 djg21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonification View Post
Out of curiosity, I was wondering if track riders have the same sized handlebars vs road cyclists? Thinking of aerodynamics and all that...thanks!
I always used substantially narrower bars on the track. All of the events I did were mass start. Imagine criteriums where everything is condensed and much tighter than on the road. Also, you are on your bike for much shorter periods of time. I ride a 44cm/46cm (depending on how measured) bar on my road bikes. I used a 39-40 on the track.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:52 PM
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jasonification jasonification is offline
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Thanks for the clarification! I have heard to go down 1cm (on seat tube) due to a higher bottom bracket in track bikes (ie. ST: 53cm, TT: 54cm). should i disregard that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
Track races are so fast that you have no time to even think in sitting comfortable over the bike, pretty much some stuff is just go seated in the rivets all the time and pretty much the body itself will find its position, no time to think in aero but in "have to go faster or they wlll drop me"...

The only advice i can give you is pick a handlebar that you like, try deep nittos if you can, remember a 3T track specific i had, I hated it, same with the steel deep nittos, my thing was that aero nitto that went discontinued, even some people doesnt even know was produced, the best track handlebar I ever had, shape was just perfect.

Another thing, when you pick a frame you obviously have to pick the same size than in the road, that 2 cm smaller myth is a hispter thing that transcended around the towns. Hipster and delivery guys use a smaller frame because they need to get their feet on the floor comfortable, if they pick the right frame size the top tube the dude will suffer of impacted nuts at the time of stopping at a red light because the top tube will be upper a couple of cm due to a higher BB shell. So if you use x size in the road just pick around the same size of track frame. In track racing you dont get off the bike :P

Wheels, well... I've been only once in a track with clincher tires and honestly I did not like it at all. Tubulars is the way to go in the track.

Lucky you have a track nearby, I had one nearby i would be there quite often Miss it a lot.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2017, 07:36 AM
nooneline nooneline is offline
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Originally Posted by jasonification View Post
Thanks for the clarification! I have heard to go down 1cm (on seat tube) due to a higher bottom bracket in track bikes (ie. ST: 53cm, TT: 54cm). should i disregard that?
Plenty of "common knowledge" out there that's just plain wrong or so incomplete as to effectively be wrong. This includes: buying a bike that's one size smaller; using track drops for track racing; setting up handlebars closer and lower... I could go on.

No need to pay attention to seat tube measurements. Look at the stack measurement instead. And if, on your road bike, you never have to really worry about the precise stack measurement (e.g., if you have spacers under your stem), then it won't be much of a worry.

Most decent track bikes have pretty low stack measurements compared to comparably-sized road bikes - the purpose for this is to have bikes that can do dual purpose, mass start and timed events; for timed events, a short headtube gives you the flexibility to set up a TT bar position. This short-head-tube approach is part of the reason why shallow bars are in vogue for sprinting - riders don't need a deep drop bar to achieve a reasonably deep sprint position.

Aim for roughly the same as your road setup, assuming a reasonably racey fit. There's not really any rule of thumb for varying a track setup - the differences in your track vs road fit will come down to your rider, and fit philosophy [e.g., there are some notable differences in how some of the big national teams tend to fit their riders].

One thing I would concede is a fairly general rule of thumb for track setups: a lot of track riders wind up riding their saddle higher and more forward - this accommodates higher cadences a little better, being a more quad-dominant and less glute-dominant stroke.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:02 AM
audiojan audiojan is offline
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Chris Hoy rode 36's on the track and stuck with 40's on the road. Wider yes, but he's a pretty big dude... most people his size would probably go with 44 or 46's.

It's a matter of comfort/personal taste as much as it's bike fit.
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