Marty Nothstein: What’s The Difference Between Road Cycling And Track Cycling?


When you think of cycling, you probably think of the open road and miles upon miles of asphalt. You might envision yourself cruising through a velodrome, however, and wondering what that is. So what’s the difference between road cycling and track cycling? For that matter, cycling legend Marty Nothstein will break it down here so you can make an educated decision if you’re ever faced with this question.

Road Cycling Is Much More Common Than Track Cycling

Track cycling requires a lot of equipment and training, which can be expensive. Road cyclists don’t need any special equipment beyond what they already own, so it’s also more accessible to people who can’t afford to spend a lot of money on their hobby.

Track Cyclists Travel In A Straight Line, While Road Cyclists Ride In Circles

Road cyclists usually travel in a circle, but track cyclists are always traveling in a straight line. This is because track bikes are generally fixed-gear, which means that there’s no freewheel or coasting involved. Aside from that, track bikes also have brakes on the handlebars instead of at the pedals as road bikes do.

Track Cyclists Are Often Heavier Than Their Road Counterparts

Marty Nothstein Track cyclists are typically heavier than road cyclists because they need extra muscle strength to endure high-speed turns, without any tendency to lose control of their bikes, or fall off them altogether due to centrifugal force pulling them from the center of gravity.

Differences In Tracks And Cycling Gear

Finally, the tracks used by track cyclists are usually flat, whereas roads are not. This means that track cyclists travel at high speeds in a straight line while road cyclists travel at lower speeds but sometimes have to deal with turns or hills along the way.

While both types of riders wear helmets and clothing designed to protect them, only track riders wear pads on their knees and elbows. This makes sense because they don’t need as much protection since they’re not traveling long distances like road cyclists do – they just need help staying upright when they’re riding around curves.