Check out the Best Fixed-Gear Bikes of 2022.

What Is a Track Bike

If this post helps you, please share it!

Track cycling has a rich history dating back over a century, making it one of the most renowned and venerable forms of bicycle racing. On the surface, the technology involved in these basic steeds seems to be unaltered when compared to their road-going and mountain-climbing counterparts because of their long history. However, if you look closely, there is a lot more to bike tracking than first seems. Track bikes come in many shapes and sizes, and this page explores the differences between them and how they’re used.

See also: How To Pick The Right Bicycle
Track Bikes are bicycles that have a flat bottom and are used for racing.
An actual track bike is one that’s made specifically for use on a velodrome, as the name would imply. Endurance races, sprint events, and time trials/pursuit events are all good fits for various kinds of track bikes. We’ll go into the specifics of each style below, but the fundamental elements are the same for all three. A bicycle consists of a number of different parts including a steel frame, a fork with a single chainring, wheels with several cogs attached to the hub, pedals, and of course the chain itself.

Characteristics That Are Particularly Interesting
While the list of parts may be the same, the specifics of each part vary greatly depending on the kind of track bike you’re looking at.

A regular track bike is more of an all-arounder and is often used in endurance competitions that last for many hours or days. Standard track bikes have geometry that’s more like a race-oriented road bike. Although aerodynamically optimized frame designs are common, they will fall short of those used by sprinters and pursuit riders. While carbon and aluminum are the most popular frame materials, steel and titanium are also available but are seldom utilized in racing owing to their higher weight and more conventional frame tube forms. In terms of wheelsets, tubular tires pumped to pressures more than 180psi are usually utilized with deep-section carbon or aluminum wheels. A conventional track bike’s gearing is also likely to be smaller in order to promote a greater cadence and a more durable power output throughout longer races.


Compared to a conventional track bike, sprinters track bikes are considerably more aggressively built. In order to have a lower frontal profile, head tubes are usually shorter, while reach figures are typically longer, putting the rider in an extended and low posture. As with frame designs, aerodynamic efficiency is usually at the cutting edge when it comes to the components utilized. Because track sprinters have such incredible power, stiffness is critical to ensure that a rider’s efforts are transmitted to the track and that he or she advances as a result of that exertion. As a consequence, the bicycle industry’s wheels, handlebars, stems, and chainsets are among the stiffest on the market. Carbon disc rear wheels are an option for certain riders, but most riders prefer wheelsets with thick bladed carbon spokes so that they can sustain the speed they produce.

As crazy as a track bike can go, pursuit bikes are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, like a time trial bike. Individuals and teams compete in one to five kilometer time trials known as pursuit races. Riders are permitted to wear aero bars under UCI regulations, which helps them get into a more aerodynamic posture by lowering their center of gravity. With a disc wheel setup, the rear wheels nearly usually have a deep portion or a complete disc, respectively. As regards gearing, cyclists typically choose a larger gear for a time trial than an endurance race would need. There are so many factors to consider while racing against the clock that even the smallest of changes may have a significant impact on how well a rider does.

What Sets Them Apart From Regular Bikes
Even though they may seem same from a distance, there are a lot of key distinctions between track and road bikes. Let’s start with the geometry. To improve handling at high speeds, track bikes generally have a shorter reach, shallower fork rake, and a shorter top tube than conventional cycles. To provide riders with pedal clearance in banked bends, the bottom bracket has been raised.

In order to optimize acceleration and power transmission, track bikes tend to be stiffer than road cycles. Also, they’re more aerodynamic due to the fact that wind resistance at such high speeds on the track is a critical design element. This is why luxury versions often have carbon wheels with tubular tyres, and the absence of crosswind means that deeper rims are also appropriate.

Finally, without the ability to change gears, choosing the right gear ratio is critical and will be influenced by training goals as well as race-specific details. Higher cadence efficiency in training and races requiring frequent accelerations will benefit from a lower gear ratio. Higher gear ratios are excellent for practicing sprint technique and standing starts, and they also make it easier to sustain pace while ‘on top’ of the gear in races.

What You Can Get For Your Money and What Not to Expect
A fantastic track bike is within everyone’s reach, regardless of budget. The weight, stiffness, durability, and comfort of a bike will all improve as the price goes up (though this is not always the case).

Price rises usually lead to changes in the frame and fork materials, with steel giving way to aluminum and then carbon fiber. Starting with low-grade steels and advancing to higher-grade alloys, components will follow a similar development. Finally, a combination of the highest-grade metals, carbon fiber, and titanium will be used. From aluminum to carbon fiber, wheelsets have followed a similar development path, with stronger and more durable bearings being available at higher price points.

An overview of what you can receive for your money is provided below.

At the basic level, you’ll find kids’ track bikes, fixies, and part-time commuter bicycles for around $1,000. CroMoly steel or aluminum are the most common materials for frame construction, with basic components like bolts and nuts being utilized. Bikes in this price range are an excellent entry point for anybody interested in trying out track riding for the first time but without wanting to break the bank.

$1,001 to $2,500.00 At this price range, track cycles begin to specialize, with sprint and endurance models emerging. The most common frame material is high-grade aluminum, although carbon fiber is beginning to become more readily accessible. Aerodynamics, weight reduction, and stiffness will all be prioritized in the design of new components.


From $2,500 to $5,000, purchasers may expect to find carbon fiber frames as standard equipment. Components like carbon fiber wheels and racing frames are also more popular here, with bikes at the top of the market becoming more customized, comparable to those used by World Championship winners.
The further you go up the track bike ladder, the more specialized the frames get, sometimes custom-made for a particular event or riding style. Some of the world’s greatest riders utilize the frames and materials, so you know they’re top-of-the-line.

Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

Leave a Comment