The outdoor season is over, time to set up your bike for indoor training sessions and the Championship weekend.
Firstly, give it a really good clean. Indoor relies on extreme grip to be fun, we won’t get that if bikes are shedding shale dust on the track.
Pedals are maybe the dustiest part of your bike. Get them wet, let it soak in, repeat until you can blast them back to black with a hose / watering can (don’t blast water in to the bearings!). Alternatively, is it time to replace the pedal tape?
Knobblies just don’t have enough contact with a hard floor, if you’re over 10 then you will slide and crash. Favoured tyres are:
For 26″ MTB wheels:
- Michelin Wild Run’r, 1.4″ slicks. The Larsen 1.9 of indoor.
- People have tried coloured slicks from eBay with varying success.
For imperial-sized wheels:
- Michelin World Tour. Not perfectly slick, some fine grain cut in to them, but they work well.
- Some old-school folk have ground the tread off old Speedway Pros with an angle grinder. Its very effective and sticky when it works but I can’t recommend it for the risk, the mess it creates and the level of effort and patience required to make a knobbly tyre perfectly round.
If you have other tyre favourites, do let me know and I’ll add them.
One note on tyres – scrub them with glass paper to roughen them, but don’t apply chemicals to make them sticky (e.g. solvents). Its against the rules & you will be excluded from competition, plus it makes a mess of a gym floor and we may lose the use of the facility.
Cover your wheel nuts
By convention we cover or pad hard contact points in case a crash marks or damages a floor. The simplest solution here is to wind loads of tape over all 4 wheel nuts.
Some venues require more than some tape. At Ipswich we cover the whole wheel nut with plastic caps, or the push-on protectors found when unpacking a new bike for the first time (ask your local bike shop if they have some kicking about).
The nut covers at Ipswich come in bags from eBay. They’re for 17mm nuts, so we put 2 turns of tape on the nut, push the cover on then tape the cover to the exposed tape / frame.
The organiser at Ipswich sessions usually has spare nut covers for ~£1 a set.
Cover other hard contact points
Do you have lock-on grips, rather than bar tape? If so, wind several turns of tape over the metal rings – both the front and rear rings if you have double-locking grips.
Stuff to take
- spare nut covers, and electrical tape
- glass paper to roughen your tyres and help remove any dust
- old rag, to clean your tyres between heats and after roughening
- Race clothes and helmet. The same “covered from the neck down” rules apply
- Cycle speedway trainers, please get the shale off them and the soles.
- Water. Indoor racing is frantic and can get warm.
- Subs! Indoor is always in a hired facility, the clubs have bills to pay.