Track Bikes are defined by their ability to ride in a track race within the rules of an indoor or outdoor velodrome. Brakes are not allowed in track races as they may cause sudden and unpredictable movements. Within a pack of riders this may result in a greater chance of accidents. Tires and wheels are narrow, with the tires inflated to rock hard pressures to minimize “rolling resistance” friction.
The choice of track bicycle gear ratio is very important.
- A low ratio is used in races where getting a “jump” on an opponent can make or break the event.
- A big gear makes it easier to sustain a higher top-end in time trialing, but is also important in standard races in which the pace will be high.
- Mass-start race cyclists must find a ratio that balances these two requirements.