JR. Gearing, your take



DaBones

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Nov 16, 2010
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What is your take on Jr. gearing? My view as a Jr. racer is that it is bad for the sport. I see where UCI is getting to with the gears but make it restricted if its an all Jr. Field but if i or any other jr. racers are in a masters field or elite field for some reason it is unfair and it can get unsafe since we cant go as fast as them.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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I agree completely, junior gearing restrictions don't make sense for a number of reasons but specifically don't make sense when a junior has earned the right to race up against older racers.

First the forces involved in cycling just aren't that high and cyclists, even lighter weight cyclists are much more likely to be limited by their ability to generate and sustain power than by the forces involved.

Even if high forces and damage to developing knees, joints, and bodies is a concern, gear limiting on typical variable terrain courses doesn't prevent a junior racer from using an entirely inappropriate gear to climb a steep hill. What the gear limits really do is to force the junior to spin their brains out on descents and tailwind sections when racing against non gear limited riders so it becomes a forced riding style mechanism and a top speed limiter not a force limiting mechanism.

The idea is dated, it's based on some pretty bad assumptions about injury prevention, doesn't actually force that behavior because any junior can still over gear a steep climb and be well within the max rollout limits and it puts the more talented juniors who're riding up against seniors at a serious disadvantage.

If the idea is to limit top speeds in junior races then fine apply the gearing limits to all junior events but don't force juniors who've earned the right to race with the seniors to gear limit during open events.

Many folks have said similar things over the years and I remember these same discussions almost 30 years ago and nothing has changed.

-Dave
 

DaBones

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Nov 16, 2010
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I didnt know that gear restrictions were that old ive always though they were newer and as a sprinter on the velodrome and the road these light gears actually caused me to crash a few times against the pros since i can only go so fast once the other riders reach the top of their gear i would be in their way and this causes me to crash.
 

RHR38

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Sep 7, 2005
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JR Gearing is not a problem. It's great way to teach and promote good legspeed. Mixed fields..is it really big problem, I mean it's only 2 yrs and then it's gone. Just take the challenge to handle yourself in super high speed situations. Training for high legspeeds = leg speed drills on free rollers + 200 rpm 8-10 sec/ each. Smallest gearing 39/23..great way to learn to drive relaxed staright line in all out effort :D
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Quote:
What is your take on Jr. gearing? My view as a Jr. racer is that it is bad for the sport. I see where UCI is getting to with the gears but make it restricted if its an all Jr. Field but if i or any other jr. racers are in a masters field or elite field for some reason it is unfair and it can get unsafe since we cant go as fast as them.


I'm sure the OP has high aspirations ...

But, in 1970:

  • the smallest cog on a Freewheel was 14.
  • a 52/42 chainring combination was typical in that era -- yes, a person could use a 53t or 54t (or, larger!) chainring if they were inclined.

In 1982:

  • the smallest cog was 13t ([COLOR= #808080]not counting what was available for DA cassettes[/COLOR])
  • A 52/39 chainring combination was not uncommon

While some Road cassettes currently have an 11t cog, a typical Road cassette still has a 12t cog.

Somehow, all the greats of the past managed to muddle along with a 52t chainring & 14t cog ...

Somehow, recent Junior racers managed to live with a 52t maximum chainring size & 14t smallest cog ...

I reckon that if the OP is allowed to race in an "open" event then I doubt that it will be a UCI-or-USCF sanctioned event where s/he has to worry about the results ... and, no offense, unless the first mile-or-two are uphill (presuming s/he is a stellar climber), I doubt s/he will be an impediment to other riders because unless s/he is being lapped ...

So, because it probably won't be a sanctioned event, s/he can probably use the cassette of his/her choice.
 

EoinC

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Feb 9, 2004
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You are racing in UCI open events?

Our club is primarily Junior development-focused, and includes several current and past World Champions. We are meticulous about roll-outs and transitional phases in moving up to the next age group. I don't recall hearing of any of our riders crashing because they were under-geared.

What is your peak rpm?
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Back in England, junior gearing was 52x15 - this was back in the mid 80's, it might have changed since then.

It was more than enough to stuff the 3rd Cats with when there was 3rd 'n Junior races. If you have the power and supplesse you'll get the pedals around as fast as required.

That said, I wouldn't have liked to have faced off against the faster 2nd and 1st Cat riders on 93".
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Originally Posted by DaBones .

I didnt know that gear restrictions were that old ive always though they were newer and as a sprinter on the velodrome and the road these light gears actually caused me to crash a few times against the pros since i can only go so fast once the other riders reach the top of their gear i would be in their way and this causes me to crash.

Hold your line and let the other riders come around you. They're expecting you to stay where you are in relation to them.
 

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