Track Overview ’08
Track racing is nothing new, but it is widely loved by all of the riders. Exciting, thrilling, and energetic, the world shines bright when you engage in track racing. Track racing is not only a hobby, it is now a prestigious sport with thousands of awards all around the world.
How Did Track Racing Begin?
The first time that track racing was recorded was around 1870 when all the riders had were simple velodromes. At its early stage, track racing can easily be attended by over 2000 spectators, making it a soon-to-be popular sports event.
As time passes by, track racing evolves, and the racing bike has been upgraded continuously. The biggest improvement would be the lightweight and aerodynamic level of the bike. These things allow the bike to go faster, and fire up the race further.
One evidence of the enthusiasm for track racing is its presence in the majority of Olympics, it is officially a part of the Olympic Games since forever. Moreover, this sport is also famous in the whole continent of Europe and in the U.S. too. Track racing is a good type for off-season activities for the road bike racers.
What Is Track Racing?
The formats of track racing are easy for even beginners, with the categories split into two types, sprint races, and endurance races. Normally the racers will only focus on one category only.
For sprint races, the length can be between 1 to 3 laps, raw sprinting power and tactics are of utmost importance to win the game. On the other hand, endurance races value the distance that the riders can go. The length of the race can vary from competition to competition, but in general, it is to test the strength of the racers.
Regardless of genders, both male and female racers can take part in track racing in the Olympic Games, World Championships, and World Cup. Not only those esteemed competitions, but the ranking of racers are also well kept all around the world. The UCI Track Cycling World Ranking is recorded with the results in all UCI-sanctioned races in that year.
Why Is Track Racing for You?
Track racing is more beneficial than you can even think of it. Not only it improves your strength and endurance, but also your cycling skill and mental attitudes are trained. For road riders, track racing is a good alternative for off-season training to keep athletes in check.
Track racing is also advantageous in improving total performance. Through these sports events, your efficiency, physiology, and bike handling will benefit most.
Track racing helps the riders to control movement more precisely, thus delivering the power more efficiently. Track racing is also more intensive than road riding, so if you do well in this type of cycling, your stamina and mental strength will be at the upper hands for road riding.
It is true that track bikes more often than not do not have a complete set of brakes, so a sure-stopping mechanism is lacking. You can only rely on your bike handling skill to stop the bike, and adjust the power and speed correspondingly. Training in tough conditions like this, there is no way that your overall performance would not see flying colors.
Which Bike Is The Best for Track Racing?
Track racing highlights the value of aerodynamics, so lightweight and strong bikes are desired. Road bikes and track bikes are common for this type of sport, so let’s look further into the criteria.
A lightweight bike is the best for track racing, so the frame should better be molded carbon fiber. This will take only the bare minimum weight needed for the frame, and still have a less aerodynamic drag. Another good thing to reduce this is airfoil-designed tubes, a few numbers of manufacturers have successfully equipped this technology.
Nevertheless, the weight is not the sole factor, the geometry of track bike frames decides both the efficiency of the racers. Drop Bars are the most favorite handlebar style for long track racing or endurance racing.
However, for sprint races, there are slight differences. The saddle is higher, and the handlebar drops lower than the normal position of a road bike. This extreme position allows the racers to reach top speed and accelerate better.
It is common for track bikes to not have a groupset of brakes. This requires the racers to employ their riding skills, or equip additional gears since free-wheel or changing gears are impossible. In general, track bikes are simple with the basic components, a single chainring, and a fixed cog.
Nevertheless, depending on the format of the race, the track bike can be customized to bring out the best performance for each stage. Solid disc rear-wheel and tri-spoke or five-spoke front wheel are preferred for Sprint, Keirin, and Omnium events.
In the Individual Pursuit and Team Pursuit section, disc wheels are often placed on both front and rear, and you can even have a special type of handlebar to attach on for better aerodynamics.
TK2 – The Ambassador of Track Racing
Felt is no longer a strange face in track racing, Felt bikes take pride in being the official bike of many enormous competitions, including the ADT Event Center in Carson, CA. Besides, they are also the official face of the World Pursuit Champion Sarah Hammer, US National Pursuit Champion and Jr. World TT Champ Taylor Phinney, Pan Am Gold Medalist Brad Huff, and even more.
For track bike racing, the TK2 is the perfect companion. This professional with all its perks that will help you race against the clock, close all the gaps, and win the finish line effortlessly.
The specifications of this bike are quite impressive, to be honest. TK2’s frame is the Felt Aero Track UltraLite aluminum frame. This one is skillfully crafted and wielded, with the hydroform construction for the best aerodynamics.
Moreover, there are BSA threaded bottom bracket shells, horizontal dropouts with cast steel surfaces shock all equipped together to drop down the vibration and enhance stability for the dizzy speed of the race.
For the fork, TK2 possesses the Felt Aero Track UHC Performance carbon fiber blades and dropouts, with the 1.125” aluminum steerer tube. The headset is nothing inferior, having the FSA IS-21 integrated. The bearing is a sealed cartridge and aluminum 9mm cone spacer. The handlebar is the Felt TKR-MSO, one of the best for aggressive aerodynamics.
The crankset is the SRAM Omnium GXP, allowing smoothness in every movement. Prologo Zero II T2.0 saddle hugs the body comfortably, assisting in reducing vibration and shock from the race.
With all of these specifications, the weight of TK2 is surprisingly light, just around 15.7 lbs, allowing less drag on the velodromes. The semi-aerodynamic tubing and rear-wheel cutout also improve the top speed of this model quite a lot.
The design of TK2, the 2008 model has seen certain changes and advancements. The horizontal dropout design and stainless steel materials aim to raise the wearing resistance level, as well as keeping the wheels work correctly. Moreover, oversize chainstays are also re-designed, pumping even more power. The smooth finish is also a nice touch, giving the professional look to the bike.
This TK2 is excellent in all track racing, but it makes great differences when used in sprint events. The high pace of acceleration will help the racers to beat any record. It is fast, steady, and reliable, a friend of you and a foe of other competitors.
The Experience with TK2
The model TK2 is the pride of the FELT family, and it is widely loved by all the racers. The first thing everybody notices about it is the super lightweight frame. The 2007 model was reinvented and upgraded to 2008 one to offer better performance.
The front forks are drilled for a brake, which received approval from the racers. Moreover, the carbon fork gives better compliance and comfort on the road. The aluminum frame, though it is light, is still stiff and durable enough to withstand all the up and down on the velodrome.
The riders highly value the comfort and ease of control of TK2 on the road. The geometry of TK2 provides better fit and ergonomics, and the endurance of the frame is enormous. For its price, this model is truly a valuable track bike.
The acceleration of this model is fast, suitable for all the sprint events as well as endurance events. The seat tube and flared top tube are “shark fin” type, contributing to the sleek and cool appearance of TK2. Moreover changing the tires is simple with integrated chain tensioners.
For the track racers, this bike is for all: beginners and pros, amateurs and athletes alike. Handling this bike is at ease, you will find this familiar with just a few rides. Furthermore, the flex is negligible thanks to the high-quality carbon fiber frame.
For a track bike, the durability of TK2 is incredible, even the saddle feels comfortable and fit to the build. The Reynolds carbon tubular wheelset is applauded by the crowds, increasing the efficiency of the aerodynamics.
Although the tight clearances are a bit difficult with wide tight, the overall appearance is flattering and sleek. TK2 is not for the ordinary road bike riders, it is for the champions!