Best Track or Freedom Track?

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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newbie2004
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Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by newbie2004 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi, New to the board and to pinewwod derby and I am hooked. I have been considering buying a aluminum track. I have a couple quick questions, Which track is easier to put together by one person on the initial setup and subsequent setups? The freedom track says it needs weights to create the curve, Does the Best track need weights? If anyone has any opinions on either track, I would like to here them. Thank you Steve



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FatSebastian
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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:13 pm

newbie2004 wrote:If anyone has any opinions on either track, I would like to here them.
:welcome: Steve! Does this related topic help?



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Stan Pope
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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:15 am

Racer design for the Freedom Track and the Best Track is slightly different. The Best Track is somewhat more demanding on car preparation than is the Freedom Track.

The profile of the Freedom Track more closely matches the profile of the track described in the Cub Scout Leader's HOW TO Book, which is in many areas, the most commonly used track profile.

If a pack competition selects representatives to district or council competition, there is probably an advantage to using a track similar to one on which that competition will take place.

On the other hand, if your area is mixed, then competition on the more demanding Best Track will provide some advantage to your representatives.


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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by Speedster » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:02 am

I think I'm still on topic. It might help Steve and I know it's going to help me.
Quick background.
1. Our Pack races on a wood Piantedosi track, beautiful condition, about 29'.
2. District - 1st race. Pack winners race 29', 4 times, Elapsed time, on Best Track . 8 fastest cars move to Freedom track. (we won all 4 of our races. Don't know speed of other 29 cars)
3. 8 fastest cars race 8 times on Freedom track and travel about 40'. Top 3 cars get trophies. Scoring was points system. We had 2 first places, 6 second places, and ended up with the 2nd place trophy.
I refer to Stan's first and last sentence. I've always been concerned about getting by the Best Track. The Best Track tends to be an Incline ramp with a quick curve as opposed to a circular arc. I understand why the circular arc gives the most advantage to a car that is set up properly. It's good to hear but I don't understand why the Best Track will provide me with an advantage. What would be the difference in Racer Design between the two tracks?
If I set up a car to run only on a Best Track (I don't know how to do that) would I then be at a disadvantage when I move to the Freedom track? Thank you.



newbie2004
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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by newbie2004 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:05 am

Speedster, What I think Stan is saying is the your setup has to be more precise to run really good on a Besttrack as the freedom track is a little more forgiving on setup precision. This means to me that if you can run good on a besttrack that you should free enough to run good on almost any other track. If I am wrong please set me straight.

Thank you to all that have replied, all the information is very helpful. I am as about as green as you can get. Here is a background of my experience. My son is a Tiger cub this year and we have built one car in our lives. Our pack race was on a old wood track , I do not know how long it is with the ramp and curve taking up nearly half the track. Our car took first in den with ave time of 4.2367 over 3 races. Our car also took 4th overall with a ave time of 4.2257 over 3 races. Our district race was on a 49 ft super track, no center rail and a aweful crash stop at the end, luckily our car stayed together because it literally crashed after every run. Our car took 2nd in the tiger den and 5th overall with a ave time of 2.9025 over 6 runs. My son was very disappointed after district race, but I am happy that we were not way out in left field on our set up especially since our test track is my basement door that I took off the hinges to use :mrgreen: .

The reason I am considering a aluminum track is for testing and possible loaning or renting out. I was looking at a 3 lane 42 ft track, also when we are all done with the pinewood derby thing I think that the aluminum track will hold its value better and be easier to resell or donate. Thank you Steve



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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by gpraceman » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:20 am

newbie2004 wrote:The reason I am considering a aluminum track is for testing and possible loaning or renting out.
If you do that, I hope that you go with the track. Too many times have I heard of tracks being lent/rented out and the track comes back with damage or missing parts.

If the track will see a lot of use, I would suggest the anodized Freedom track. The anodized coating does really help keep the aluminum from getting dinged/scratched up compared to a non-anodized track. The anodized track that I have used for the last 6 years (from 6 - 13 races a year) looks close to new once I clean off the graphite deposits. Our pack's non-anodized Freedom track and the Best Track that I inherited (both also used multiple times a year) show a lot more wear and tear. I do wish that Best Track offered an anodized version. From personal experience, I think it is worth the added cost.


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Re: Best Track or Freedom Track?

Post by BallBoy » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:03 pm

newbie2004 wrote:Which track is easier to put together by one person on the initial setup and subsequent setups?
I have a 42', four-lane BestTrack. It took me 3-4 hours to assemble the first time, taking my time to get the individual sections lined up properly. Now that it has been set up, I can take the track from its storage box and have it set up and ready to race in under 15 minutes, by myself and without a single tool.
newbie2004 wrote:Does the Best track need weights?
No, BestTrack does not need weights. The curve is a fixed curve rather than the gradual curve of the Freedom track.

Before I purchased my BestTrack I did extensive research online and contacted the manufacturers of both Freedom and BestTrack. While I have no direct experience with a Freedom track here are some of the points that I considered important in my decision.

1. I like curve of the Freedom track more than that of BestTrack, though only ever so slightly. Many people have cautioned about the aggressiveness of the BestTrack curve. While it is more agressive, I don't think it's too aggressive or even a drawback. I have raced on wooden tracks with a fixed curve, so with that said, the BestTrack curve is a perfectly fine curve. Cub Scouts will have fun regardless of the curve.
2. When it comes to storage, Freedom is much more compact than BestTrack. Both tracks weigh about the same, but Freedom comes in 8' sections, while BestTrack is in 7' sections. Storage options for 8' sections are considerably more limited than for 7' sections. When building a storage box using commonly available plywood, you aren't really allowed any wiggle room.
3. BestTrack comes from the manufacturer with everything you need to set up the track, while Freedom requires some extra parts (i.e. weights).
4. BestTrack has a really low-tech, but highly effective way to join track sections without tools using binder clips (those big, black paper clips), while Freedom uses screws and requires a screw driver. I planned to travel with my track so ease of setup was big for me.
5. I liked the leveling system available for BestTrack, which is engineered into the design. Freedom offered no such option.
6. Aluminum tracks can be noisy. The BestTrack channel design allows for foam or other sound dampening material to make the track a little quieter.

I am as pleased as can be with my BestTrack. I have found BestTrack's product and customer service to be first rate.

I don't think you could go wrong with either track. Both companies have sold thousands of tracks to organizations that are thrilled to use them. I recommend figuring out what your needs are and determine which track best fits those needs.



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