Categories

Track Cycling Wheels/Tyres

Questions ranging from, 'What is better for me Clincher or Tubular Wheels?, What PSI/BAR do I pump my tyres to?, Tub Tape or Tub Glue? to questions on Rim Width and the benefits of Carbon wheels' basically anything and everything you would like to know about Track Cycling Wheels/Tyres


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What are Flip-Flop Track Cycling Wheels?

A common misunderstanding within Track Cycling is the definition of the term 'Flip-Flop' hub. It is commonly thought to mean a double-sided rear hub that has a fixed thread on one side and freewheel thread on the other, however the term flip-flop hub can be attributed to any double sided hub, not just the Fixed/Freewheel type.

Track Hubs are available in the following formats:

Single Side Fixed Hub - Only one side of the hub/wheel has thread for mounting a sprocket

Double Sided Fixed/Fixed Hub - Both sides of the hub/wheel have thread for mounting a sprocket, can be referred to as a flip-flop hub/wheel

Double Sided Fixed/Freewheel Hub - One side of the hub/wheel has a fixed thread for mounting a track sprocket, the other side has freewheel thread for mounting a single speed sprocket, can be referred to as a flip-flop hub/wheel.

All options can be used on a Track, however most tracks will not allow you to mount two sprockets on a double sided hub, due to the simple reason that you may have a fixed/freewheel hub and mistakenly use the freewheel side, which due to Brakes not being allowed on a Track Bike would mean you would have no means of stopping. Product descriptions for all wheels that we sell clearly indicate the hub type.


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Can I use Quick Release Skewers?

No, traditionally Track Hubs that attach to the frame using Track Nuts must be used, however it is possibly to use Allen Key Skewers that can replace the QR skewer.


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What type of Tyres are suitable for Track Cycling?

Any Tyres specified in Track Clinchers or Track Tubulars section (below) are suitable to use on any track in the world.

Track Clinchers section here
Track Tubulars section here

For indoor velodromes you do not require tread/grip on your tyres as if you apply enough pressure on the pedals you will not slip on the banking, a slick tyre has sufficient grip and is all that is required. The Vittoria Diamante Pro Light and Vittoria Pista Evo are suitable examples.

Dual Compound tyres, i.e. those with a coloured walls and a black centre are not suitable for indoor tracks due to them lacking grip where the coloured sections join.

For Outdoor velodromes slick tyres are perfectly fine, especially as most come with a high-puncture resistance factor, however you may wish switch to a tyre with a light tread such as the Vittoria Zaffiro and Vittoria Pista CS in order to give you a more durable and grippy tyre for outdoor use.

TOP TIP: Rub your tyres with White Vinegar or Pure Alcohol before every session, this removes any dirt/grease from the surface that can cause them to slip on the track. For new tyres it will remove any lacquer on the surface from manufacturing process, also you may wish to ride the rollers for five minutes prior to getting on the track, to bed them in, alternatively just do a lap of the track centre (Cote D'Azur) prior to moving up onto the track.


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Clincher or Tubular Tyres for Track Cycling?

This is purely personal preference however if you primarily ride on outdoor tracks the risk of punctures is considerably higher than on indoor facilities where punctures are very rare. As a consequence it is recommended that you go with Clincher tyres/wheels for outdoor use, however this doesn't necessarily mean Clincher outside, Tubular inside.

We recommend for training wheels you go for Clincher due to the simple reason that imagine the situation you go down to the local Velodrome, which for some cyclists is at least one hour away and you get a puncture in the warm-up. With a tubular tyre that generally means session over, however with a Clincher it just requires a simple inner tube change and the session can continue. The advantages the streamlined profile of a tubular tyre can offer in racing is immense so it is recommended you go for tubular tyres/wheels for your race setup and clincher tyres/wheels for your training setup.


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Shall I use Tub Tape or Tub Glue to attach Tubular Tyres?

Never use Tub Tape to attach Tubular Tyres to your Tubular Wheels, due to the geometries involved with Track Cycling Tub Tape will not be sufficient to secure the tubs to your wheels. Always use Tub Glue or Contact Adhesive Glue


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What PSI/Bar do I need to pump my tyres to?

Follow the guidelines on the side of the tyres, however as a minimum also ensure your tyres are pumped to 8 Bar/120 PSI, between sessions let the pressure out slightly to drop the Bar/PSI to roughly 5 Bar/80 PSI


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What Rim Width is allowed?

As long as your wheels are UCI legal the only restrictions in place are for junior riders which state that wheels must have a maximum rim depth of 35mm with a minimum of 16 and maximum of 40 spokes.


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Can I Prevent Tyre Pressure Loss?

We reccommend the use of a Pit Stop Cartridge from Vittoria, this is a liquid latex that is injected into the valve core. It provide a sealing for the generally porous latex walls, preventing annoying inflation pressure loss and adding the puncture prevention feature that the liquid latex guarantees. Click Here for More Information


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Does a Tubular/Clincher Tyre Degrade with Age?

The properties of most modern tyres means that the rubber will last for around 10 years if the tyre is properly stored. In order to do that, keep the tyres in a dry place without too much temperature and humidity variance and, of most importantly, keep them away from sunlight and any UV ray light such as Neon lamps.

The presence of little splits and cuts on the tyre surface even if not used means that the rubber has not been well stored we recommend using tyre covers or storing wheels in protective wheel bags.


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How Often Should Tyre Pressures be Checked?

The inflation pressure should be checked and adjusted on a regular basis. Even the best inner tubes constantly lose pressure as, contrary to car tires, pressures in bicycle tires are much higher and wall thickness much thinner. A pressure loss of 1 bar per month can be considered as normal for butyl tubes, while latex tubes can decrease their pressure even of 1,5 bar every 8 hours (4,5 bars in 24h) and checking and adjusting the inflation pressure before every ride has to become an habit.

Warning! Pressure loss will be much faster with starting high inflation pressures and much slower with low inflation pressures. Use a pressure gauge to monitor the inflation pressure and always verify with the TPI casing.


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How Long Can I Use a Tubular/Clincher Tyre?

The durability of a tire/tubular depends from a lot of different factors: the type of tire, the riding style, bicycle and compontents materials, road surface, the inflation pressure, and more. It is really difficult to fix a precise number of kilometers. There are two main criteria however that influence a lot tire wearing: the pression, the higher it is the faster wears out, and the range of the tire, the higher are the performances, the less the tire will last.


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When Should I Change My Tyre?

You can evaluate the tyre wear by checking it's profile: when there is a notable discontinuity (like a step, or edge) appears between central tread and the side of your tyre that touches the track it is time to change the tyre. Alternatively if you have used your tyres a lot on an outdoor surface or the road prior to heading into a period of training on an indoor facility then changing your tyres is recommended.


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Which Way Should I Mount Tyres?

Mounting direction is shown by a little arrow engraved onto all tyres. In the case it is not visible for any reason, follow the tread pattern design, i.e. if the design is an arrow, the arrow has to run forward, otherwise if the tread pattern itself is specular the tyre can be mounted either way


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Why is Tubular better than Clincher?

The flexibility of the working material allows for the superior performance of a tubular with a smoother base structure, without any mechanical link between rim and carcass (like with clincher tyres) and a tyre surface that is perfectly round, can ensure even more flexibility and shock absorbion than any other tyre, of any level.


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What are the benefits of a high TPI/EPI?

The higher a TPI number, the more flexible and thinner the casing of a tyre as it has less rubber. The roughness of a road creates vibrations and frictions when it comes into contact with the tyre surface.

It is here that flexibility comes to play: a flexible casing absorbs the vibrations and provides a more comfortable ride. On the other end a rigid casing does not absorb the impacts and transfers the vibrations to the bike and ride. This has more rolling resistance, less comfort and less grip.

That means a flexible casing gives: more speed, more comfort, more grip!

The casing material itself is heavily influenced by flexibility and the performance of the tyre. Corespun, a form of cotton, is very delicate however it is a lot more flexible than Nylon. Vittoria TPI and materials range from:

- 26 to 220 for Nylon casings.
- 220 to 320 for Cotton and Polycotton casings.

320 TPI is the highest recorded by any manufacturer, only Vittoria offer such a high TPI following years of Research and Development with the UCI.