The following photos are from Round 1 of the Queensland Winter Track Series run by Ipswich Cycling Club. A great event and thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to making it a fun and safe day.
That’s it. Done. My last ride completed for 2015, with a grand total of 4,542 kilometres ridden. It is fitting that my last ride for the year was on my Cell Bikes fixie.
While I have several bikes — five fixies, a singlespeed, a beaten-up mountain bike, and NO drop bar road bike — my Cell Bikes fixie has been my go-to bike. I have fancier bikes, including a Wabi Special and a Dolan track bike, but my Cell Bikes fixie has been my reliable riding companion.
I first purchased my Cell Bikes fixie in 2011. Early on I put Halo Aerorage wheels on the bike (the original wheels are still in use on my roller bike, regularly being spun up to 80+ km/h on the rollers) and Vittoria Rubino Pro clincher tyres. Since then, my Cell Bikes fixie has had a new saddle (I wrecked the original one in a crash), had various handlebars including risers and drop bars, a new 144 BCD set of cranks, and various gear ratios including freehubs and fixed gears.
The bike has been ridden relentlessly since purchase, including being ridden on the Brisbane to Gold Coast charity ride, riding 102 km at an average speed of 31 km/h. With the ride to the start and from the finish, I put in more than 125 km in the saddle that day. I regularly ride the Brisbane River loop, and have ridden the bike up Mt Coot-tha. Late last year, I also stripped the brakes and accessories off the bike, fitted drop bars and short 165 mm 144 BCD cranks, and rode it on Chandler Velodrome — my introduction to track racing!
Now, with the Halo Aerorage wheels, Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres, Shimano PRO drop bars, a Selle Italia saddle, and Genetic 170 mm 144 BCD cranks, my Cell fixie is my regular riding companion — I often spend more than 130 km on this bike each week. I am currently riding a 48 tooth chainring and 18 tooth sprocket, giving me a super sweet 72.0 gear inches. I can cruise at 30 km/h spinning at 90 rpm, climb hills, and spin out to more than 50 km/h in this gear.
In 2016, my goal is to ride more than 5,000 km, and I am sure a large part of it will be ridden on my Cell Bikes fixie.
One of the things that I love about cycling is getting shiny new chunks of metal in the mail. The TA Specialities chaingring is just such a piece of metal. Yumo.
I recently entered the world of track racing at Chandler Velodrome. As any track rider knows, having a set of chainrings and cogs allows you to dial in the exact gear that you want.
With 49, 50 and 51 tooth 1/8″ chainrings, I felt that I also needed a 48 tooth, hence the new TA Specialities chainring.
I also have 46, 48 and 52 tooth 3/32″ chainrings, but I use them on my Wabi Special.
All these chainrings are in 144 BCD (bolt circle diameter) to fit my Andel cranksets on the Wabi Special and my Cell Bikes fixie configured as a track bike.
My Cell Bikes fixies (I have two) have been through many guises, including a singlespeed ridden on the 100 km Brisbane to Gold Coast cycle ride at an average speed of more than 30 km/h, ridden up Mt Coot-tha, and configured as a sit-up town bike with swoopy bars.
Recently I have been using a Cycling Queensland track hire bike to train on Chandler Velodrome in Brisbane, Queensland. I was keen to ride one of my own bikes on the track and had heard of other people riding Cell Bikes fixies on velodromes. I stripped my Cell Bikes fixie of brakes and the water bottle cage, replaced the riser bars with PRO PLT compact drop bars, and put on some 165 mm 144 BCD Andel RSC1 cranks.
I took the bike down to a training session to see whether it would be okay to ride on the track. My main concern was that with a 65 mm bottom bracket drop, the bike is at least 7 mm lower than a typical bunch-start track bike. However, with the shorter cranks, I was able to get enough clearance to ride safely around Chandler Velodrome.
Chandler Velodrome, being an outdoor 333 metre track, has relatively shallow banking at around 30 degrees for an international standard velodrome. Indoor international standard velodromes are typically 250 metres (or less) and have banking of at least 42 degrees. On the other hand, many regional velodromes in Australia have track banking much shallower than Chandler Velodrome.
My point is, if you are thinking of putting a Cell Bikes fixie on the track, check with your local club first. Depending on the track specifications, and how strict your club is, you may be able to put a Cell Bikes fixie on the track and safely have heaps of fun for not very much money!
I decided to upgrade the cranks on my Cell Bikes fixie because I want to ride this bike on Chandler Velodrome. The original cranks were 170 mm and 130 bcd. I also wanted to be able to swap chainrings with my Wabi Special which has 144 bcd cranks/chainrings, so decided to upgrade the cranks on the Cell Bikes fixie to 165 mm 144 bcd Andel RSC1 cranks. This meant also changing the bottom bracket to a 107 mm Shimano BB-UN55, as well as an assortment of chainrings.
The complete build list is:
- Andel RSC1 165 mm 144 bcd crankset (562 grams)
- Chainring bolts supplied with Andel crankset (21 grams)
- Shimano BB-UN55 107 mm bottom bracket (288 grams)
- Generic bottom bracket bolts (27 grams — pair)
- Kirrawee Cycles BBK 144 bcd chainrings 49 tooth (119 grams), 50 tooth (137 grams) and 51 tooth (124 grams).
All my bikes are 56 cm frames. A while back, I had a bike fit done and they recommended a 55 cm frame. That left me wondering whether 56 cm was really the right frame size for me, or whether I was better off on a 54 cm frame. This is particularly so for track frames, where a size smaller than used on a road frame is often recommended because the steeper seat tube angle lengthens the effective top tube length.
I therefore took the opportunity to hire a 54 cm track bike. I was given this 54 cm Fuji Track bike for the training session. The bike was running 48/15 gearing. Even though the Fuji Track was a steel frame, it was quite acceptable for a beginner bike.
I noticed that the wheel axel bolts had not be cut so that they did not protrude through the nuts; nor had the bottle cage bolts been removed or taped over. I was expecting to have to do these two things to get my own bike on the track.
Photos of the 56 cm and 58 cm Chandler Velodrome hire bikes are here.
I had my first ride on a velodrome today (apart from a few laps around Launceston Velodrome 25 years ago). I rode with the Repsych Cycling Development Sunday afternoon training session at Chandler Velodrome. Awesome fun and it was great being coached by a world class cycling athlete — thanks Kerrie Meares.
While I have several fixie bikes, they are road-oriented hipster-style bikes, rather than proper track bikes. What is the difference? Simply put, my bike frames have lower bottom brackets (less pedal clearance on the steep velodrome banking) and more relaxed seat tube and head tube angles (slower steering).
I decided to hire one of the Chandler Velodrome track bikes through Cycling Queensland, rather than risk taking my own bike and finding that it was unsuitable and then not being able to ride.
I usually ride a 56 cm frame. My bike for the Repsych training session was a Geoffrey Butler (front of the photos). It has obviously been well used over the years, but did the job of getting me around the track safely. The other beginner rider for the session was riding the 58 cm frame at the rear of the photos. Both bikes were steel framed and were quite acceptable for the session. The 56 cm track bike was running 48/15 gearing; the 58 cm bike had 49/15 gearing.
Photos of the Chandler Velodrome 54 cm Fuji Track hire bike are here.
The first two uses of the Chandler Velodrome track hire bikes are free. After that, Cycling Queensland charges $7.00 per day. Bargain! You will need to bring your own pedals. You should also bring your own tools so that you can make any adjustments yourself without having to borrow tools. A set of allan keys, pedal spanner, a 15 mm spanner for the wheel axel nuts and a track pump with a gauge should cover most things.