Track Bikes - Pros and Cons

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Anonymous's picture

Hello there,
I am an NYU student writing a short piece about track bikes. I am soliciting a few opinions from current or past riders of track bikes on city streets:

1. How does the experience of riding a track bike differ from a regular freewheel bike?
2. What are the dangers (either to knees/joints or through accidents) you have experienced or witnessed in track bike riding?

Thanks for your help.

Anonymous's picture
Andrew Jackson (not verified)
See previous threads

"Searched the msg boards for ""fixed gear"" and got many results, most notably:"

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Although not technically a track bike,

Although not technically a track bike, as I have a front brake, the close call I experienced is applicable to a pure track bike. While doing a fast loop of Central Park I had bilateral calf cramps. To stop the cramps I needed to put pressure on the balls of both feet. But, as you know, I had no freewheel to allow me to get the pedals in the 3/9 position. Perhaps had I been more skilled, I could have locked the rear wheel in the aforementioned position and skid to a stop. I don't know. But I hit my front brake and found my rear wheel lifting off the ground and me launching into an endo. So I let up on the brake and dropped back down, still in the deepening cramp. By feathering the brake I came to a stop, unhooked my Frogs and eased the cramp. If I was in traffic or had someone on my wheel the outcome could have been more dire.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Look back a few weeks and you'll find a whole thread about this.

I bought a FG so I would have a bit tougher workout in the winters in less time. And I wanted a fairly inexpensive bike for the city. But since I bought it almost a year ago I've ridden my regular roadbike (which cost about 5 times as much) under 10 times. I just prefer the fg for a variety of reasons. I find it more challenging.

Plus there's a weird thing of just settling into a rythm that doesn't change. Since its always in the same gear you can practically close your eyes and know how fast you're going by either the wind or your cadence. But if I go anywhere with significant hills, say Bear Mountain, New Paltz... I'd take the roadbike.

I don't know why FG's are so popular with the kiddies - I guess its just hip. I find they're a total pain to ride while carrying stuff or riding without clips.

It's not dangerous if you ride with at least a front brake and you need to set it up with a gearing you're comfortable with to save your knees.

You can spend a few hours on Sheldon Brown's website. Maybe the testimonials would be of interest to you.

Anonymous's picture
Sal Cenatiempo (not verified)

Check out for a great website on track bikes in NYC.

Anonymous's picture
george (not verified)
track bike porn

"Don't look at this unless you have a good few hours to spare:


cycling trips