Track bikes are true marvels of engineering, designed to provide maximum speed and maneuverability on specially constructed velodromes. With their lightweight frames, aerodynamic shapes, and powerful gearing systems, track bikes have been known to achieve incredible speeds. Let’s explore everything about their speed!
How Fast Are Track Bikes?
The 42-degree bankings of a velodrome allow cyclists to reach speeds of 60 to 70 MPH, something that is simply unattainable on a regular road or track.
While experienced riders can reach speeds of up to 20-22 mph, the velodrome pushes those limits to the extreme.
It is on these tracks that riders can truly test their mettle and see just how fast and powerful they really are. The stiff design of track bikes allows riders to generate speed quickly and efficiently, making them the perfect fit for these high-speed environments.
The Design of Track Bikes (Built for Speed & Stiffness)
Track bikes may look similar to their road cycling counterparts, but they are specifically designed to optimize speed and stiffness for racing on velodromes. This stiffness ensures that riders’ efforts are efficiently transferred to the track.
Additionally, to minimize drag and maximize aerodynamic performance, track bikes boast a geometry that positions the rider aggressively and optimizes their centre of gravity for faster turns.
Furthermore, because these bikes are ridden on specifically made tracks, they typically have a fixed gear and no brakes, allowing them to be more streamlined and streamlined to build up and maintain their speed.
Beginner vs. Advanced Track Cyclists (Different Levels of Speed)
Track cycling requires immense skill, strategy, and physics. As such, there is a significant difference between the speed levels of beginner and advanced track cyclists.
While beginners may race at an average speed of 30-40kph, advanced riders can reach sprints of up to 50kph, with some elite riders exceeding 70-80kmph.
However, it’s essential to remember that speed isn’t the only factor that determines success in track cycling.
Rider experience, technique, and bike design also play crucial roles in achieving optimal performance on the velodrome.
Are Track Bikes faster than Road Bikes?
Generally speaking, track bikes are designed for riding fast on the banked corners of a velodrome, while road bikes are built with a wider range of gears and brakes to accommodate different riding situations. So, while a track bike may be faster on the track, a road bike will likely be faster on the open road. However, it’s important to note that both types of bikes serve different purposes and are optimized for specific riding conditions. Ultimately, the speed of a bike comes down to the rider’s skill level, the terrain, and the specific bike they’re using.
Are Track Bikes faster than Mountain bikes?
Track bikes are known for their incredible speed and agility in racing conditions.
These bikes feature a fixed gear ratio and lack brakes and freewheels, making them incredibly lightweight and streamlined. On the other hand, mountain bikes are designed for off-road use and typically have suspension and a wider range of gears.
However, when it comes to speed, fixed gear bikes like track bikes are generally faster than mountain bikes.
In fact, a fixed gear bike can reach an average speed of 15 to 20 mph, while a mountain bike’s average speed is lower. Road bikes, which are similar in design to track bikes, can be up to 30% faster than mountain bikes in certain conditions.
The Elusive Top Speeds: Challenges and Risks for Elite Riders
For elite track cyclists, reaching top speeds can be both a challenge and a risk. Advanced track cyclists can race at speeds upwards of 50kph, with the average speed over Grand Tours at about 42kph.
However, achieving and sustaining these high speeds requires rigorous training, a carefully planned diet, and a well-designed bike.
Even then, there are physical and environmental challenges that must be overcome, such as the performer’s ability to withstand the forces exerted at high speeds and the effect of wind velocity and gradient on cycling speed.
There are risks involved in pushing the limits of speed, including the potential for crashes and injuries.