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Old 09-22-09, 10:27 PM   #1
spartan1o5
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Criterium juniors 15-16

I want to participate in a criterium coming this February 2010. It's called the san jose classic and has just been introduced 2009. The time limit on the juniors is 35 minutes I believe. I know this is an overplayed question, but how fast should I be going? I want to participate without dropping out too early or at all. I could bike around 20mph + or - 2 mph consistently for a long time. My cornering is not too shabby and I have been countersteering and such. Thanks everyone for helping me!
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Old 09-22-09, 10:28 PM   #2
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Just race.

If you get dropped, get faster. It won't be the speed that hurts you, it will be the accelerations.

There's a racing sub forum with tips for beginners, check it out, and post threads about racing in there.
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Old 09-22-09, 10:31 PM   #3
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Are you racing as a junior or in the Men's cat 5 (or 4)? I'd say if you're racing juniors, the group will average 20-24mph (at least that's what the age group did out here this past race season.)

But I'd definitely try and get a few crits under your belt before trying a big one as it's very different from road riding.

But good luck and let us know how you do! BTW they are fun.
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Old 09-22-09, 10:41 PM   #4
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Where is the link to the sub forums? Thank you guys for helping me out!
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Old 09-22-09, 10:41 PM   #5
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You need junior gearing on your bike.
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Old 09-22-09, 10:51 PM   #6
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Where is the link to the sub forums? Thank you guys for helping me out!
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Old 09-22-09, 10:51 PM   #7
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Is that a 52x14? my highest is a 53x13
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Old 09-22-09, 10:57 PM   #8
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Junior gearing will give you a 26 foot roll out. Typically juniors will get a junior cassette (14-25) and a 52t front chain ring. With 23c tires that should give you exactly 26'. You can roll out shorter than that (and just pedal a lot more) but not over.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:01 PM   #9
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Junior gearing in AUS U17 is 39x13. Spin.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:03 PM   #10
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Junior gearing in AUS U17 is 39x13. Spin.
You've got to be kidding me. What's the top speed in their field sprints?
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Old 09-22-09, 11:06 PM   #11
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Junior gearing in AUS U17 is 39x13. Spin.
Wow. That's low. Spinning 120 RPM only gives you 28 mph, that's not even enough to keep up with surges in a Cat 4 road race.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:06 PM   #12
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You've got to be kidding me. What's the top speed in their field sprints?
With that gearing I doubt there's much of a "sprint". It's probably a bunch of guys attacking with 1k to go and spinning out at 140 rpm all the way to the line.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:12 PM   #13
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Try spinning 50+km/h at 170rpm for the better juniors-they maintain the front der. and use a 34-39.
U19's goes to a more reasonable 53-13
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Old 09-22-09, 11:50 PM   #14
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Not much of a real race if all they are doing are spinning... I don't see how making them spin at ludicrous cadence makes them safer. Isn't it harder to control a bike with such high rpm?
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Old 09-23-09, 12:02 AM   #15
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Personally I find the rear end of the bike bounces at anything above 170rpm. I infer the purpose of such restrictions is to limit speed, secondarily to prevent juniors pushing hard gears with joints/muscles that are not yet fully developed.
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Old 09-23-09, 12:19 AM   #16
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I hit 160 rpm last week in a 53x11... that was fun!
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Old 09-23-09, 09:54 AM   #17
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Old 09-23-09, 12:22 PM   #18
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In the US junior gearing is 52-14 max. I currently have it on my bike. I actually prefer the 14-25 vs. 12-25. I get to spin more.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:16 PM   #19
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I hit 160 rpm last week in a 53x11... that was fun!
According to Sheldon Brown, that comes out to 60 mph

I'm still at 50 for my all time max. That was a 4% grade with a 20 mph tailwind.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:24 PM   #20
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Hmm, maybe I hadn't shifted to my 11 yet. I hit 55 trying to catch up to someone.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:29 PM   #21
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Off to racing.... OP, trust me on this one. It's better that way.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:57 PM   #22
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52 14 eh... Okay thanks a lot for the gearing info! Are there any cheap computers that work fairly well?
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Old 09-23-09, 10:05 PM   #23
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Depends on the features your after, but generally a Cateye Velo 5 will get you by-I'd recommend the Strada with cadence though. The Sigma BC506 is also inexpensive and of good quality.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:10 PM   #24
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I have a Velo 8 computer, similar to the 5 with a few more functions. They're good and basic, but I wish I had cadence. I think I'm going to get the Strada Double Wireless for next season.
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Old 09-24-09, 05:23 PM   #25
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Typically juniors will get a junior cassette (14-25) and a 52t front chain ring.
Untill you get to Nationals, you can "block" your gears by adjusting your rear derailleur so it wont shift into the cog(s) that you are not allowed to use. Just another option.
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