My 13 year old raced e grade at lidcombe the other day and got third. despite an email saying reduced rollout wasnt an issue the commissar at the finish said next time to sort out the gearing.
At Penrith no one cares in the open racing, and the CA website says
Please note that all competitors are required to satisfy a roll out for all junior events.
Apparently the rationale for this rule is to
The main purpose of the junior gear restriction is to help the young rider develop a good pedal cadence and to avoid injury.
a few points i have noted out of my ignorance !
1. fair enough in junior races, but it seems stupid to fork out $15 race entry to be told that i have to have half the gearing of everyone else in the field.
2. how does restricted gearing promote good cadence?
there are some elite juniors that i race in c grade 'with' around the place. they stay with the bunch with a ridiculously high cadence for the whole race - that cant be good for them also they get in the way the minute the pace goes up as they cant compete in any sprint.
whats the go in most places. i'm not overly keen to have the kids race open with overly restricted gearing
Torque (force or strength) x Velocity
= Power. Or thereabouts.
HIgh cadences allow
high power output, with power being the number one characteristic of cyclists who actually win races, rather than just make up the numbers. Attacking, closing gaps, following attacks, sprinting for the win, solo break-aways, all examples of power based riding and critical to crossing the line first. If you can't spin high cadences, you can't generate power, simple as that. It's a physics thing
Don't allow yourself to confuse strength with power. Yes,there are thousands of riders who are big and strong and are quick when they get up to speed. It's the rider who can repeatedly generate more power
than anyone else at critical moments in the race (whilst also using less energy at other times due to efficient pedalling) who will have a greater chance of winning. Repeatability, efficiency, power. All generated by the smooth, high cadences that junior gearing restrictions promote.
Also consider that U/13-U/19 bodies are still developing physically. They do not have the musculature to withstand "gear mashing" in the 53/11 without putting themselves at risk at tendon or soft tissue injury. Their needs are different to those of adults.
probably had those points in mind when they talked about blocking off the cassette. Unless you were actually talking to a commisar
which is a Soviet administrator, then they were probably just being difficult.
Regarding your other points (which I found confusing): You've got a club that puts juniors in open races? Are you sure they aren't actually racing their own junior category within
the open race? Two different things.
$15 Entry fee - how can protecting your son's knees and developing him into powerful and efficient rider be considered "a bit stupid?" Your words, not mine.
Who cares what the rest of the bunch is doing - the most important thing is that your son is in there learning with every pedal stroke
Maybe look at each race as a development opportunity rather than expecting him to be competitive against adults might be more realistic. I don't mean to cause offence here - I have to deal with parents who constantly scream "win win win" at their kids and complain endlessly about "how can he win, his gears are clipped", etc etc when it would be best if they let them develop at their own pace and in way that's healthy for them and gives them a skill for the future that other riders won't ever have.
I was confused about your last comment - if the juniors are able to keep up with 'ridiculously high cadences for the whole race', at a very young age with no muscle mass, doesn't that suggest that when they mature physically they will be dominating?
I think so.