Track Cycling Racing

Compared to other types of bikes, a track bike is extremely simple. They are a fixed gear bike (yes, the same fixed gears you see the hipsters riding around town), without brakes or any of the other comforts that we're used to o­n road bikes.

Riding a fixed gear bike presents all sorts of challenges. When the wheels turn, the pedals do as well, so in order to slow down you have slow the pedals down with the strength of your legs, instead of brakes. The lack of brakes and gears is to reduce crashes from racers slamming their brakes, and increase how close they can get to o­ne another to improve speed through drafting.

Most high end track bikes are made from high quality carbon fiber, but steel is still a common material for more affordable bikes. The benefit of both of these materials is that they are extremely strong and stiff, while being extremely lightweight. The fork is usually made from the same material as the bike is, but many racers will upgrade this because it is more affordable than a new bike!

Other track cycling equipment that is needed is aerodynamic clothing and protective gear. Most of the traditional cycling wear will work just fine for the track, but many racers tend to get clothing that is a little thicker to add more protection in case of a crash. An aerodynamic helmet is also a must to protect your head and reduce drag.

Track racing is an expensive sport, but the good thing is that you can piece everything together. You don't have to buy everything at o­ne time to start racing. All you have to do is make sure that what you have is within the regulations of the track that you are racing at. The gear doesn't make the racer, their abilities do!