Track event: Low end slick tires or higher end road ?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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LouisN
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:44 am
Location: Canada

by LouisN

I have an upcoming track event this weekend on an indoor wood track.

I rented (2) track bikes for the event.
The tires on the rental bikes are Vittoria Zaffiro Slick 23mm tires :o !!

I don't want to spend $400. on track specific tires since it will be a "one shot deal" for me.

So the question is :
Will it be better to use my 320 TPI road open tubular tires ( Challenge Criterium and Vittoria Corsa CX ) and run them at higher pressure ?
I guess it will grip as good as the low end Vittoria Zaffiro Slick tires ( low TPI - boat anchors - great Rolling resistance - can't take very high pressures), and have a much better Rolling resistance .. ?

Thanks for the tips guys :beerchug:

Louis :)

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Fixie82
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by Fixie82

If it's just a one off event run with some higher end tyres. Best if they are new and run them with pretty high pressures. Unless you are planning to be at the pointy end of the field I wouldn't worry too much about getting something specific or even narrow that way you can run them on your road bike after.

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kman
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by kman

Will it be better to use my 320 TPI road open tubular tires ( Challenge Criterium and Vittoria Corsa CX ) and run them at higher pressure ?

Yes. I think the significance of the tyre performance might be a bit overstated if you're on a rental bike though. My priority would be grip. Sliding down the bank during the warmup sucks.
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mattr
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by mattr

Fixie82 wrote:Best if they are new and run them with pretty high pressures.
Depends if you want to slide down the banking or not. I'd be looking at giving any new tyres a bloody good scrub. Some are greasy as hell when you start tying to get them to grip on wood.

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Fixie82
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by Fixie82

Ah yes poor choice of words. What I was trying to say was don't put beat up tyres on the track bike that you have lying around

UpFromOne
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Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA

by UpFromOne

Agree. Get a flat and your race is over.
No fun changing tubes on a fast-paced evening when you need all the rest you can between your races.

AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

For a rental bike, I'd just ride it with the tires it comes with.

11.4
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 4:33 am

by 11.4

OK. First of all, it would help to know more about the track you'll be racing on.

But not knowing that, here are a few points to consider:

Wood tracks often have a lot of dust. It can stick to slick treads and you can lose a lot of traction. Except for a championship event at the pole line, I'd use a fine tread if indoubt.

Tracks generally don't like people swapping tires on their rental bikes. Things go wrong and someone crashes. Be sure they will approve it. If they have a certain tire on their rental bikes, the odds are high that they know that tire doesn't give problems. If you do mount new tires, I'd suggest using light butyl tubes rather than latex, because trackies on clinchers sometimes have issues with latex. Just play it safe.

A wider rim works a lot better for the track. I actually run classes using a pair of Hed Belgium 23's with 22 mm Veloflex Records. A great tire and on that wider rim, the whole thing rides just like a tubular.

Talk to locals about tire pressures, but you'll still get a wide range of recommended pressures. Unless you find better recommendations, I'd limit your pressure to 140 psi max, and consider closer to 125 psi. Super-high pressures have a place on the track, but mostly for championship events run at the pole. For maneuverability and good adhesion, don't go too high. Also, the track is not as smooth as people think, and high pressures will feel slow and you'll feel every bump.

Tires do pick up dust and crud, so always dampen the tread with dilute vinegar and wipe it off before a race. Never ever get on the track with any moisture on the tires. You'll slip. I've seen riders in track stands who drip sweat on their front tire and slide out dramatically when they start to move. Similarly, a long race can make painted advertising on the track slippery due to perspiration or simple condensation from poor air conditioning or heating. Always be careful of any moisture at all near the track.

Don't use new tires; at a minimum, ride the tires for an hour on the road, or use a piece of fine sandpaper to scuff it up a bit. I'm not saying to use beat up old road tires, but new tires need to be tested out and also need the tread worn in. Some riding works better. Remember that you can be riding well up on the sidewalls. If you have labels on one side of the tire only, put the labels on the left side so you aren't riding on them; they can cause you to slip.

Lots of other little tricks but those are probably the basics relative to the question you asked.

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LouisN
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Location: Canada

by LouisN

Hey thanks for all the help :) !! Will definitely follow your recommandations :beerchug:
The rental bikes are Felt TK3 so not too bad bikes.
They come from an outdoor velodrome ( obviously closed for winter here). The "recycled" Atlanta 96' velodrome if you want to know, in Bromont, QC. CAN.
We're going to the Mattamy National Cycling Centre, in Milton, On. CAN for the week end. A brand new indoors velodrome.
I shopped a little ( plus what I had in the parts box) and came up with 2 different setups for the bikes. All will get light butyl tubes:
Bike #1) Front Continental GP Supersonic 20mm and rear Veloflex Corsa 20mm ( 102 lbs rider).
Bike #2) Both Challenge Pista CS 23mm clinchers ( 108 lbs rider).
The U17 cat. WE program includes:
Ind. Sprint
Team sprint
Ind. Pursuit
Team pursuit
TT (500m)
Keirin
Scratch race
Elimination race
Points race

I'm shure we'll have fun, and may the hardware hold up well !!

Louis :)

wowamj
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by wowamj

I hope you have victory good luck

Marin
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Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

11.4 wrote:Lots of other little tricks but those are probably the basics relative to the question you asked.


Thanks, great post!

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