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Discussion Starter #1
Ok- I know this has been discussed at some point but I want to revisit it. I am moving soon and will have the space to open up my layout. Currently I have enough track to stretch to 4x20 without wasting much table space. The Max that I have is about 5 or 6 years old but in excellent shape. Never hosted races, always kept inside (climate controlled, etc.)

The question is: what type of track are most clubs, hobbyists, racing groups running now? I have seen quite a few more Maxtrax and Wizzard tracks, but what about the even smoother TKO or Bowmans? The old 21st Century tracks were stupid smooth.

I was considering selling my Max in order to buy a new track with a different layout. The only real option for me is a continuous rail or maybe a three or four piece sectional layout... That would be the only real upgrade over my track now. (except for the obvious layout change)

Something I have wondered. Since I run everything and not limited to just mag cars or tjets, I need a rail height/width that works for both. Just curious as to what is the most popular now.

-Marc and Marcus
 

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Having worked on/set up all of the major brand tracks (Bowman, Dunlap, TKO, Wizzard, MaxTrax), it seems to me the smoothness of the track(s) is a direct result of the effort upon initial setup. All are very good.
However, if I had to choose, I feel the Maxtrax provides the best initial quality. Thus, for my own personal track, I chose MaxTrax. Secondly, I prefer the 1/64 scale lane spacing of MaxTrax.
 

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If I bought another good track it would be Max Trax. You can set it up smooth. And if you wish to change it a bit you can add turns or straights with reasonable ease.

Others that are fixed sometimes are just to big to move or when not in use take up to much space. Plus I could not get anything over 8 foot into my basement because of the steps and turns.

Dave
 

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We run strictly Brystals in our group and they are absolutely amazing.

That being said, I have run on Bowmans at the Fray which were always nice as well as on Max Trax which is a step down in track quality not being continuous rail, but I would still race on one any day of the week.

I hear the TKO's are great, we have someone in our group with a Dunlap that is decent, but the railing is off and not quite as much attention was paid to the routing of the track.

I guess I thought the bonus of the Max was that you could buy a few new sections and have a completely different layout without buying a new track. Why not just get some new sections for what you have now, or are you simply looking to just go another direction?
 

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Having worked on/set up all of the major brand tracks (Bowman, Dunlap, TKO, Wizzard, MaxTrax), it seems to me the smoothness of the track(s) is a direct result of the effort upon initial setup. All are very good.
However, if I had to choose, I feel the Maxtrax provides the best initial quality. Thus, for my own personal track, I chose MaxTrax. Secondly, I prefer the 1/64 scale lane spacing of MaxTrax.
I agree with Walt on this one as well. I think given the effort a Max can be as smooth as anything and has an advantage in that being sectional you can opt for a new layout just by moving pieces around. Nice if the initial excitement wears off the layout. Can't do that on a fully routed unless you ask for a bevy of cuts in which case the track is basically a Max. That said i have a buddy with a TKO that he did a smart thing on and ordered strategic cuts at the 4 corners and he can now remove the entire infield and drop in straights that make the track a large banked oval. Smart move as this gives him a 2 for 1 situation !

Bear :wave:
 

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I agree that the Buck/Brystal tracks are exceptional in quality. Our group, the Front Range HO club, has two of them in our race rotation. The only downfall of these is that the layout is set by the manufacturer; the owner has little input for modifying/personalizing the track layout.
 

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I agree that the Buck/Brystal tracks are exceptional in quality. Our group, the Front Range HO club, has two of them in our race rotation. The only downfall of these is that the layout is set by the manufacturer; the owner has little input for modifying/personalizing the track layout.
I worked with Bryan on mine, sent him a hand drawn sketch, he got it worked up into an autocad file, we tweaked things a bit to how I wanted them and also how things would best work on a real track. I had input all the way through....
 

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I agree with Walt on this one as well. I think given the effort a Max can be as smooth as anything and has an advantage in that being sectional you can opt for a new layout just by moving pieces around. Nice if the initial excitement wears off the layout. Can't do that on a fully routed unless you ask for a bevy of cuts in which case the track is basically a Max. That said i have a buddy with a TKO that he did a smart thing on and ordered strategic cuts at the 4 corners and he can now remove the entire infield and drop in straights that make the track a large banked oval. Smart move as this gives him a 2 for 1 situation !

Bear :wave:
Thats one hellofa good idea,that guy was really thinkin.
 

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"I worked with Bryan on mine, sent him a hand drawn sketch, he got it worked up into an autocad file, we tweaked things a bit to how I wanted them and also how things would best work on a real track. I had input all the way through...."

That's great! Brystal tracks are incredibly smooth.

martybauer31, how about a few pics of the track? I would like to see your layout.
 

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The question is: what type of track are most clubs, hobbyists, racing groups running now?
Easy answer: Tomy.

There are smoother boutique tracks out there to impress your friends and family and to bring the track part of the racing experience into the current and out of the past, but if you are talking MOST and are including hobbyists, Tomy is by far the most popular.

I love racing on the ultra smooth customs and large format modular tracks, but the roots of HO slot car racing are still set down in the snap together plastic set track and Tomy is the best of breed and most popular in that category. A race on Tomy is never boring and a decently installed and tuned Tomy is always a blast to race on. I can't imagine any "professional" racing organization not having at least one Tomy track in their series and on the docket for their National Championship racing venue.

If you want to relate to the average hobbyist aspiring to enter into the fray and work his or her way up the food chain, you need to maintain a connection with both cars and tracks. Unless of course you want to see a pattern of ever escalating costs and ever diminishing participation, with the last few elites racing megabuck cars on megabuck tracks with no inflow of new blood.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
HO tracks...

AFXToo,

Good point on the Tomy.. I have raced and played on Tomy and had a 4-lane Tyco years ago. The Tomy track is well made and durable, but I am not sure that it would make sense for me to take a "step back" to Tomy from my Maxtrax layout. I think if I was just starting out and did not have the initial budget to buy a higher end, dare I say "commercial" track, I agree that Tomy is the way to go.

I will say this though, the first time I raced on a Buck several years ago I was in awe at the smoothness of the track. The cars were crazy quiet and could hear the whine of the motors on the straight. I swore that someday I would find one, but ultimately bought the Max. It is true too, if you set up a Max right, the only real clickity clack I hear is going over the dead strip.

Based on the several responses, and I apprecaite them all, I am considering two things, modifying my existing layout with some additional Max pieces if I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable price, or scrap the Max altogether and have the layout I want custom built by one of the major builders.

And yes- someone made a good point. When I originally bought my Max, I bought additional sections of straight to made it possible to remove three or four pieces and add two to create an oval. I also purchased additional pieces to form a camelback (looks like an "E") on one end.

Thanks again for the responses. Track coming to a home near someone in M'Burg WV.. LOL

-Marc and Marcus
 

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Unless of course you want to see a pattern of ever escalating costs and ever diminishing participation, with the last few elites racing megabuck cars on megabuck tracks with no inflow of new blood.Quote

this i have seen at the local dirt track. hobby stock class was to be fun cheap racing.was with limits that should have been enforced. most got sponsors with money so they could go faster. you can only go so fast and be within the rules.so the rules change alittle just to please the money. it finally got to the point where a guy would build a car to the rules and go race and just get smoked. so it got where new drivers was not being competative and wasnt having any fun so there was fewer and fewer every year so the class was gone.what happed to the die hard racer in that class? they moved up to the next class (faster more money) and they all did the same thing to that class. i dont think slot racing is much diff.a small town guy take his stock car to a big city track enters in a stock race and gets smoked. we are a dieing breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
HO slots...

Slotrods...

I know we are straying from the initial post but I couldn't help but respond. I agree with the dirt track deal, my oldest son and I raced Karts.. same thing. Needed to blueprint the motor, clutches, buy new tires.. etc.. if you wanted to run near the front. But the truth is that, you can do all of that and stay within the rules. I think no one will argue that cash = speed.

But with slotcars I have to agree and disagree. I agree that people who have more money to put into a hobby will typically be more competitive. For example: You run a "stock" class. Let's say LL or Tyco. You must use all stock parts or stock replacements. Think the class will be close? At first maybe, but as time progresses the cream will rise. Why? Because no Tyco is created equal. I have well over 100 stock tyco chassis's sitting under my shelf queens. I am confident that I can find a handful of "freaks" in no time. Is that fair? They are all stock. So I get to choose from 100 chassis's and the other guy has 6. The odds are against the half dozen chassis's.

However- I think there are ways around everything. Allow and hot stock arms, no more searching. And/or add slip-on tires, allowing only certain sizes. And enforce the rules. No individual interpretation. If it is not in the rules, you can't do it/have it. You can even have a claimer race or break-out rule.

You can never make the playing field completely level, but you can get it real close.

I can guarantee one thing though.. if you don't win at your local races on your club tracks you probably won't win on the national level either.

The truth is... find a good group of guys you like to hang with, race some, share a 6 or 12 pack, swap cars and lanes, and just enjoy it. There is no money in racing slots, just a good time and good conversation...
 

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"I worked with Bryan on mine, sent him a hand drawn sketch, he got it worked up into an autocad file, we tweaked things a bit to how I wanted them and also how things would best work on a real track. I had input all the way through...."

That's great! Brystal tracks are incredibly smooth.

martybauer31, how about a few pics of the track? I would like to see your layout.
With pleasure! :) This one is based on a few different track layouts I liked...
 

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I would never suggest going back to Tomy from Max, or any other pro track. I was simply pointing out the popularity of the old snappy track. It still has a place, a very important place in fact, in the overall hobby. It's our equivalent of the local dirt track or smaller venue paved track.

If I had a Max that I liked and wanted a bigger track, I'd simply add on to my existing Max. The only thing that would change my mind would be if I had an old Max with the super heavy downforce rails. Those older Max tracks are harder to get a car setup to run well on if you are not used to running on something with that much downforce. Visitors may find themselves without the right parts in their box to be competitive while not risking a meltdown.

I am impressed with the TKO tracks that are starting to make strong inroads into the hobby. The fit and finish seems very good and the rails are good, not too much downforce, and they are laid in quite nicely with only minor tuning required. I found that my Tomy setups for SS were not too far off the mark on a TKO, and that is a good thing in my opinion. The TKO also has the option for banking, which gives a little variation but not as much as you would think for magnet cars. I have not tried a TKO with TJets however so I can't say how they match up for that class of racing. The banking effect is probably more noticeable with TJets and magnatractions.

I also like the WizzTrackz. The rails on these seen almost identical to Tomy in downforce, which again is something that I personally prefer especially when running Mods and RO.

The large format modulars like Max/Wizz/TKO are definitely a huge step up the smoothness index over Tomy, but the single or two piece routed are potentially at an even higher level. I've raced on a track made from synthetic marble, and I have to say that was the quietest and smoothest ever besides being museum quality look & feel.

Good luck!
 

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I recently upgraded my 6 lane Tomy to a Max-Trax. Currently attempting to figure tire sizes for the rail height & downforce. My original preference was a sectional manufacturer. I started to 2nd guess my decision because of the difference in chassis set up vs. Tomy. This thread makes me feel more comfortable w/my desision. The set up for J/L & G-Jets is close, but there is a much larger span for mag cars like G-3 & Storms. I've heard a lot of good things about the TKO tracks, but have not seen one. Are they continious routed or sectional like a Max-Trax?
 

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My track is a TKO

I have raced on MAx.. Nice track, but I don't care for the wide lane spacing.
After all a little bumping IS racing. I have raced on Brystal type tracks. Great tracks for high end magnet cars. Overkill for the more casual racer like me. I have raced on Bowman tracks. Great tracks, nice flow. And it is more or less what other manufactures have copied. But MY track is TKO. And I like it just fine.

Here is a link if you are interested...

http://www.cnccustomcutting.com/id53.html
 
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