The Cambium-clad bikes of Red Hook Crit contenders Team Desgenà
The world is constantly changing, everything is evolving, new technology is created, old trends fade and new emerge. Track bicycles have been around for years and whilst the materials, construction processes and designs have evolved the essence has remained the same. The track bike has a humble and firm place in the bicycle hall of fame and as cyclists it is our duty to keep some of this heritage alive.
The track bicycle trend has somewhat faded and some would say the Rules of the Pistaminati are a bit late to the party, but we were waiting for the trend to pass so our words would be heard and we could start to repair the damage done by the ‘great fixie surge of 2008.’
This surge in popularity was the catalyst for the atrocities that followed. New companies were quickly set up to exploit the hipster magpies that wanted brightly coloured ‘fixies,’ who would then slaughter the machines further by (I use this term loosely) ‘modifying’ them with anything made of carbon or with stars on.
Here at the Pistaminati we recognise that some good came of this; new companies were established and a fire was lit beneath the old dogs of the cycle industry. There is now a plethora of beautifully designed and carefully constructed pieces being constantly created.
The popularity of the track bike inspired millions to get out on their bikes and ride, it created a track bike community away from the track. New frame builders, designers, racers, photographers, film makers were born and many have gone on to do amazing things and the Pistaminati salute these people.
The Pistaminati was created to enlighten and show the masses the way. We accept that we cannot control the course of history or change fashions or trends; we can simply advise you on the correct path to take. Read the rules, know the rules and follow them.
#1 Thou shalt never refer to a track bike as a ‘fixie.’ Fixed gear is acceptable.
#2 Brakes shall not be fitted to the track bicycle. Velocipedes constructed for track use have no brake drillings for a reason - they do not require brakes.
#3 Tight clearance is sexy and should be admired.
#4 Cages and straps are not to be used when wearing lycra, unless on a vintage ride when an appropriate woolen jersey and shorts should be worn.
#5 Drop outs must be horizontal.
#6 Bottle cages are for road bikes. If your ‘track bike’ has drillings for a cage then it is not a real ‘track bike.’ If you are going on a long ride TT bottle cages attached to either the saddle rails or seat post are acceptable.
#7 You must be able to skid with your feet in any position. Not being able to skid with your feet in any position is the riding equivalent of only being able to step forward with one foot.
#8 Riser bars are for mountain bikes. Would you put drop bars on your mountain bike?
#9 Ride your track bike on the velodrome at least once a year.
#10 Red bikes are faster!
#11 NJS frames should only be fitted with NJS components.
#12 Road shoes are only to be worn when riding in Lycra.
#13 Know your ratio. Gear ratios are immensely important, your knowledge should be impeccable and you should be able to recall the gear inches for any ratio.
#14 You must know how many teeth are on a sprocket just by looking.
#15 Messenger bags are for messengers.
#16 FGFS is dead!
#17 Use cages or clipless pedals. BMX pedals and Velcro straps are strictly forbidden.
#18 No top tube protectors or bike decorations are permitted. Track bikes are aesthetically pleasing because of their simplicity and clean lines; don’t spoil it.
#19 Low Pros are for the velodrome, you might think you look cool; you don’t!
#20 Steel bikes are supreme, followed by titanium, carbon and finally aluminum.
#21 Mashing is what you do to potatoes and has nothing to do with riding a track bike.
#22 Chains are to be silver track chains, never BMX or Half Link.
#23 Handlebars should only be wrapped in bar tape…rubber grips are not permitted and they do not look good…even if they have stars on. With the exception of Keirin grips of course.
#24 Black tyres are to be used at all times.
#25 Double HED 3’s only look good on your bike if you’re Graeme Obree.
#26 TT and track wheels are for TT’s and the track.
#27 New rules must be approved by the Pistaminati, we welcome your suggestions and will review them with impartiality.
Find more from Dave: http://ride-everything.com