St. Paul Bike Blog

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43 degree banked turns, 60mph escape velocity (crash at 61+mph to move up the turns when falling down)…the Velodrome at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN is the best and maybe the fastest velodrome in the world. The last track made with Afzelia wood before it became an endangered species. The wood is so dense it survives MN winters with minimal upkeep but will make you pull thousands of slivers out of your ass/thighs if you crash. Nothing more exciting than being 3 stories high before dropping down into a sprint for the line. $50 track classes, they let you use a real track bike that they provide, give you 4 days of classes, and then a race day to experience all types of events. The best $50 you will ever spend. Bob Williams is your man. Phone: 763.785.5614 Track Hotline: 763.785.5651

43 degree banked turns, 60mph escape velocity (crash at 61+mph to move up the turns when falling down)…the Velodrome at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN is the best and maybe the fastest velodrome in the world. The last track made with Afzelia wood before it became an endangered species. The wood is so dense it survives MN winters with minimal upkeep but will make you pull thousands of slivers out of your ass/thighs if you crash. Nothing more exciting than being 3 stories high before dropping down into a sprint for the line. $50 track classes, they let you use a real track bike that they provide, give you 4 days of classes, and then a race day to experience all types of events. The best $50 you will ever spend. Bob Williams is your man. Phone: 763.785.5614 Track Hotline: 763.785.5651

I found a source for some PD-64 cleats for my Dura-Ace 7400 pedals (a fave of track racers in the ’90s) mine have custom made 2 strap clips. I have a spare Suntour Superbe Pro 165mm crankset if anyone needs them.

One thing that really bugs me.

People putting real track bikes (not fixie/single speed road bikes) in street, forest, beach, industrial setting photos. Anyone who actually races on a velodrome understands the sanctity of OCD completely clean tires and bikes. Nothing sexy about thinking of the broken collar bones, slivers (for wood tracks), broken pelvises, serious head injury, or huge raspberries on concrete/asphalt tracks caused by debris put on the track by bikes with dirty wheels (not necessarily in that order of concern). Track bikes are sexy in their own environment, leave it in the velodrome.

onabicycle:

 NBA legend Bill Walton looking pretty sweet on his track bike in the late 1970’s

This photo reminds me of my old bike shop for two reasons. 1. A smarmy shop employee, who we will call “asshole”, tried to sell NBA MN Timberwolves’ Luc Longley (3” taller than Bill Walton) a 62cm (center to top) road bike that we had “in stock”. I interceded and set up an appointment with Minneapolis, MN custom bike builder Walter Croll. 2. In appreciation for the business we sent Mr. Croll our employees, including myself, wound up getting free, or at cost, custom track frames which we all deployed at the NSC Velodrome. One of the shop employees crashed Mr. Croll in a particularly vicious Unknown Distance sprint finish that resulted in multiple broken bones and thousands of slivers. How’s that for gratitude? (I miraculously bounced off both and finished second.) An aside, I love Bill’s slammed stem! The shorts/socks not so much. “Asshole” didn’t get one of those track frames.

onabicycle:

 NBA legend Bill Walton looking pretty sweet on his track bike in the late 1970’s

This photo reminds me of my old bike shop for two reasons. 1. A smarmy shop employee, who we will call “asshole”, tried to sell NBA MN Timberwolves’ Luc Longley (3” taller than Bill Walton) a 62cm (center to top) road bike that we had “in stock”. I interceded and set up an appointment with Minneapolis, MN custom bike builder Walter Croll. 2. In appreciation for the business we sent Mr. Croll our employees, including myself, wound up getting free, or at cost, custom track frames which we all deployed at the NSC Velodrome. One of the shop employees crashed Mr. Croll in a particularly vicious Unknown Distance sprint finish that resulted in multiple broken bones and thousands of slivers. How’s that for gratitude? (I miraculously bounced off both and finished second.) An aside, I love Bill’s slammed stem! The shorts/socks not so much. “Asshole” didn’t get one of those track frames.

My Walter Croll track bike. This is from the first few he custom built for some of us in my bike shop before producing them for the public back in 1996. I put on Suntour Superbe Pro 165mm crankset, Suntour Superbe Pro 36H high flange hubs I built up with the very last old Mavic Piste rims, and Shimano Ultegra pedals that use the “winged” PD-64 cleats.