junior gear rollouts

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junior gear rollouts

Postby scotto » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:06 am

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
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by BNA » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:39 pm

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby Doc Savage » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:39 pm

scotto wrote: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 :lol:

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.

The commissaire 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. :wink: 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.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby scotto » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:54 pm

after re-reading my initial post, maybe i should have said something more like
1. do all clubs race juniors ( in this case U/15's) with adults in open grades, and if so limit gearing ? and what does your club do ?

2. I can understand why they would limit gearing, teaching cadence is important, but after racing with some juniors who seem to have a cadence of well in excess of 150 for 30-60 minutes makes me wonder if the risks to young bodies is any different to allowing full compact gearing. Its like the measures in car racing they use to slow the cars down and make them safer - lap times improve regardless. some kids will pedal faster to keep up, and become elite cyclists, if they dont damage growing tendons and joint structures from high speed repetitive actions.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby wheels46 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:06 pm

Been happening for years... When I raced juvenile (u16s) back in the late 70s we had to run to a maximum gear of 48 inches (can't remember the front, back cog size etc.)... Also no tubulars. We could only ride with clinchers.

So not like it's anything new... I'd be inclined to think that young kids would struggle off the mark grinding away gears in the 90s. Not really healthy for growing knees either.

Edit: rule was for both road and track.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:35 pm

Yeah I am from the same era Wheels46 and school boys (up to 14) were 76" and juvenile (up to 16) were 81". :wink:
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby wheels46 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:39 pm

Haha thanks foo ... 81 was the magic number I was thinking of !! I think that 48 was the chainwheel size we used on track bikes to achieve it. :lol: Too many years out of the game.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:23 pm

Yep 48x16=81. :mrgreen:
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby Kev365428 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:56 pm

We enforce junior rollouts at our races.
IMHO it's stupid not to. What other clubs decide to do - I don't really care.

We've got a couple of mid 30's riders with crook knees from pushing high gears when young.
Proof is in the pudding.
Parents who complain can take their kids elsewhere. I won't loose any sleep.

We also enforce the "no carbon wheels" rule for juniors as well. Wonder if anyone else bothers.

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby ireland57 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:07 pm

Our local club don't enforce the gear rule at club races but apparently do for "title" events.
They do run juniors with the seniors due to low numbers.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby fats » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:05 am

Junior roll out was brought in to handicap those pesky teenybopers and give us old farts a chance weren't they? :lol:
Rollout you will find is enforced more at the u11, u13 club racing and strictly at championship racing across all ages. Once they become second year u15 some parents will become a bit less scrupulous and cheat the system a bit especially if the kids are racing with the seniors, but these kids are often well developed and have been racing for years and it is allowed for u17's racing grade to unlock their gears. As you know it's not hard to see which kids are riding over their gearing. Seen plenty of juniors do well in grade on 6.5m gearing so can't be too bad for them.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby r2160 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:31 am

I am constantly getting beaten by juniors riding their proper gearing in C grade. Do I feel bad? Of course not. These juniors have worked hard and deserve it. I just wish I could spin as well as them!!

I remember something also in baseball where young kids arent allowed to try curve balls and fast balls for the same reason. By working them too hard at too young an age, they do more damage to themselves in later life.

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby scotto » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:41 am

whats the issue with carbon wheels about ?
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby wheels46 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:59 am

foo on patrol wrote:Yep 48x16=81. :mrgreen:


LOL It's all coming back to me... front chainwheel x wheel size divided by the rear sprocket ?? :D

Bear in mind my last race was in 1982 and my memory is terrible at the best of times. :lol:

Hey guys they probably baulk at carbon wheels simply because of the affordability factor of cycling... I guess keeping it at a sane financial outlay doesn't scare the potential devotees away from the sport ??
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junior gear rollouts

Postby Parrott » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:31 am

scotto wrote:whats the issue with carbon wheels about ?


Keeps the cost down and levels the playing field I believe.
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junior gear rollouts

Postby Parrott » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:32 am

Kev365428 wrote:We enforce junior rollouts at our races.
IMHO it's stupid not to. What other clubs decide to do - I don't really care.

We've got a couple of mid 30's riders with crook knees from pushing high gears when young.
Proof is in the pudding.
Parents who complain can take their kids elsewhere. I won't loose any sleep.

We also enforce the "no carbon wheels" rule for juniors as well. Wonder if anyone else bothers.

Kev.



Our club runs it's junior events the same as yours.
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby Kev365428 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:42 am

Parrott wrote:
scotto wrote:whats the issue with carbon wheels about ?


Keeps the cost down and levels the playing field I believe.


Spot on.

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby Kev365428 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:56 am

fats wrote:Junior roll out was brought in to handicap those pesky teenybopers and give us old farts a chance weren't they? :lol:
Rollout you will find is enforced more at the u11, u13 club racing and strictly at championship racing across all ages. Once they become second year u15 some parents will become a bit less scrupulous and cheat the system a bit especially if the kids are racing with the seniors, but these kids are often well developed and have been racing for years and it is allowed for u17's racing grade to unlock their gears. As you know it's not hard to see which kids are riding over their gearing. Seen plenty of juniors do well in grade on 6.5m gearing so can't be too bad for them.


Interested in where the regs say U/17's do not have to apply the restrictions in club races. My initial search didn't find anything.
Can you point me in the direction of where this is in the regs?

From my experience, [b]most[\b] parent will argue vehmently with the restrictions on their kids bikes. Why they want to risk injury to their children is beyond me.

Cheers,

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby fats » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:29 pm

Oops. Did I say 17's? Should have said 19's as per NSW regs. :wink:
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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby Kev365428 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:03 am

Still wondering where you found this info on U19's being allowed to disregard rollout restrictions for club races.

Quoting the NSW tech regs -

57- JUNIOR GEARING - ROLL OUT DISTANCES

j) Roll out distances shall not exceed the following:
Junior U/19 Men 7.930m Junior U/13 Boys 5.500m
Junior U/19 Women 7.930m Junior U/13 Girls 5.500m
Junior U/17 Men 6.500m Junior U/11 Boys 5.500m
Junior U/17 Women 6.500m Junior U/11 Girls 5.500m
Junior U/15 Men 6.000m
Junior U/15 Women 6.000m
k) To restrict roll out distances mentioned above, blocking off may be permitted by the adjustment of the derailleur or other means.
l) Junior Under 19 Male/female competitors may ride unrestricted gears when competing in CNSW sanctioned open events


In Open events they can ride unrestricted, but the rule remains for club events, as far as I know.
Happy to be shown where this rule exists.

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Re: junior gear rollouts

Postby fats » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:52 am

Kev365428 wrote:In Open events they can ride unrestricted, but the rule remains for club events, as far as I know.
Happy to be shown where this rule exists.

Nope, stand corrected. :oops:
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