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Understanding Angles & Speed in Track Cycling

In this blog we want to chat briefly about angles and speed and what happens to your centre of gravity respectively. Plus we want to offer a few tips on what you can do to enhance your technical riding skills.

When we ride our bikes at low speeds on a Velodrome our centre of gravity drifts closer towards the track surface...

When we ride at high speeds our centre of gravity drifts away from the track surface...

When riding at slower speeds, particularly in the bends, your pedal clearance is reduced and the angle in which your tread is making contact with the velodrome's surface changes with the speed that you're travelling and the angles of the track (bends and straights).  

If you plan on reducing your speed that you're travelling on the velodrome, be mindful when making sharp turns to ensure your tyre tread remains in contact with the surface, and pedal contact with the track is minimised. 

Did you know that having the confidence and ability to effectively control your bike at slower speeds on the track enables you to relax on the bike, conserving precious energy - particularly within a race?

...It also enhances your ability to execute tactics to gain control in a sprint situation, and also enables you to perform quick adjustments when something unexpected happens like a bump from another rider in a bunch race. 

A common challenge when riding at faster speeds is being able to ride the black line in the sprint lane, particularly in the later stages of a race, or in time trial event. This is because our centre of gravity is moving away from the track, and when our speed increases the centrifugal force wants to pull you in the opposite direction…all at the same time.

Because gravity and force changes when riding at high speeds into the straights and bends of the velodrome, we need to be able to adjust our centre of gravity fast and skilfully resist against this force. 

We also need to adjust our centre of gravity to maintain smooth transitions, safely maintain your riding line, and prevent drifting in and out of the sprint lane which can add more time in your time trial, and also lead to placing other riders around you at risk of colliding.

So, what does all of this mean for you as a track rider? 

Two words…. Get Skilled! 

Physiology is important in achieving your best performances, however, without good technical riding skills, you’ll have a limited ability to maximise the full extent of your physiology in a race situation. 

Our upcoming foundational skills product will be added to our Inner Circle Program very soon, but for those of you who can’t wait a couple weeks, here’s a few skill exercises to make a start: 

  • Practice cone (weaving) exercises on the track. You can do this by using cones (or water bottles, chalk, etc.) placed on the skirt of the Velodrome and advance the exercise into the straights (see image below). 
  • Use every opportunity to practice slow riding around different objects within the infield (make sure the infield is clean to avoid punctures).  
  • Ride more and experiment with different riding angles! The more time you spend on your track bike - the more you’ll become at one with the bike... "follow the leader" is a great (fun and challenging) activity if you have a small group of 2 or more! 

Stay tuned for our brand new product The Foundations of Tactics: Bike Handling Skills which will contains all the essential foundation skill exercises and programs to help you become a better track rider! 

To receive our new product and have access to all of our products and training programs, become a member of our Inner Circle Program! You'll receive 3 days FREE when signing up, cancel anytime! No questions asked! :) 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the box below!