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  1. #1
    The Crank
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    Track Gearing Q & A

    Perhaps you have had this discussion before but I'd be interested to hear what gearing you 'normally' use on the outdoor track - e.g.
    Flying 200
    500TT
    2K pursuit
    'endurance' events - scratch and points etc.

  2. #2
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Especially on an outdoor track it varies with wind conditions. I never race much lower than a 95 for anything though.

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    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I never race much lower than a 95 for anything though.
    That's funny, I was in the shop today and the owner (old schooler) was giving me grief about running such a big gear. Ha.

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Especially on an outdoor track it varies with wind conditions. I never race much lower than a 95 for anything though.
    +1 wind is the determining factor.

    You do not want to know Ex's spin rate.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #5
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    I need to use bigger gears.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  6. #6
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    IMO, a better way to discuss gearing is what are your track racing goals vis a vis time for each timed event and your category in mass start events. Time will determine the speed required. And what follows is cadence and then gearing. Thrown in the mix is crank length. Smaller gears and longer cranks are easier to start. However more spin is required for a given speed and longer cranks are more difficult to spin fast than shorter ones. I have spent months working on my gearing and optimizing it for various races.

    So if you want to race track what equipment are you using today and what are your times in the various time trials?

    If you are just starting to race track or have limited experience and are looking for what others use, I use rear cogs of 14, 15, 16 and 17 and chainrings 47 through 51. If you want to save money, you can delete the 50 and 51 chain rings. The 16 and 17 rear cogs are used with a 47 or 48 for warmup and early season easy spinning. The 49/15 is an 88 which is a good all purpose gear for racing. And you can take the 15 cog from an 88 to a 91.5 by changing chain rings. Larger gears can be created by using the 14 and the chainrings from a 90.6 to a 97.

    As you train and race, you will be able to try different gears to see which works best. I find that 1 tooth change in the chainring is a noticeable change and makes a difference in the race results.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #7
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    I did another Wed night omnium at Encino tonight. A bit of a breeze early, but calmed down nicely. For the first time, I felt like I really could have used a bit more choice. I ended up running 88 for the Points and Win-n-Out, and 94 for the scratch. I think 91-92 would have been ideal for the first two. But I really liked 94 for the scratch race.

  8. #8
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    You'll never take a lap on an 88

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
    I did another Wed night omnium at Encino tonight. A bit of a breeze early, but calmed down nicely. For the first time, I felt like I really could have used a bit more choice. I ended up running 88 for the Points and Win-n-Out, and 94 for the scratch. I think 91-92 would have been ideal for the first two. But I really liked 94 for the scratch race.
    Considering your raced in the As, IMO, the 91-92 for the points and win n out would have been good. Considering you did okay with the 88 tells me you have great leg speed and cardio.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #10
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Considering your raced in the As, IMO, the 91-92 for the points and win n out would have been good. Considering you did okay with the 88 tells me you have great leg speed and cardio.
    Thanks Hermes... credit for any modest tools I possess can be attributed directly to Sir Roger.

  11. #11
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Here's a cheap and minimal guide to gearing: you just use two rear wheels, one with a 16 for training and warmup, one with a 14 for racing. Your track cranks will be 165's that take chainrings with the track-standard 144mm bolt circle. Track racing is all about leg speed, and 165mm cranks let you spin faster.

    Your need chainrings with 46, 47, 48, and 49 teeth. In general, you'll use 46x14 for madisons, 47x14 for mass starts, 48x14 for sprints, and 49x14 for keirins. These are starting points, and assume a short indoor track.

    Yeah, when you get to be international calibre, you'll be running gears over 100" in pursuits, but first you need to be able to spin comfortably at 120 rpms for long periods. You'll never learn this if you're doing all your racing in 95".

    lUIS

  12. #12
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    I need to use bigger gears.
    Maybe you are. Seems to be some misinformation out there (yes, misinformation on the internet)... I think due to some sources conflating 27" with 700c. I noticed that the chart that I have in my gear bag is like this one: http://www.aboc.com.au/tips-and-hint...ike-gear-chart

    Which, although it specifically calls out 700c, actually lists figures for a 27". So, for example, 49x14 is showing up as 94.5" instead of 91.5".

  13. #13
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Really, it's not about inches, it's about ratios. Easiest way to do this is set up a spreadsheet that divides the rear cog into the front ring. This gives you the ratio (3.41:1) of the various gear combos. Tire profiles vary...not all 23's are 23's. I ride my practice sessions with an eye to what my race gear will be based on conditions, the field, and the events. Just make sure that what you think you have on is what you have on...I've brain farted more than once because I thought my 14 was a 15.

  14. #14
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Aye, the number only mattered when I asked others what they were running for comparison. Are you racing Saturday?

  15. #15
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Probably not, unless we change our travel plans. On the other hand it's supposed to rain here through the weekend...
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 11-27-12 at 12:16 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Probably not, unless we change our travel plans. On the other hand it's supposed to rain here through the weekend...
    They just canceled it. So bummed. Oh well, an open weekend to fill with base miles.

  17. #17
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
    They just canceled it. So bummed. Oh well, an open weekend to fill with base miles.
    I may be back down now. Damn them.

    If I come down you'd be welcome to ride one of the big climbs with me if you felt like coming out that way.

  18. #18
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I may be back down now. Damn them.

    If I come down you'd be welcome to ride one of the big climbs with me if you felt like coming out that way.
    Thanks, I've been dying to get back out to ACH or 39, if that's what you mean. Forecast looks chilly, but not miserable at this point.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I may be back down now. Damn them.

    If I come down you'd be welcome to ride one of the big climbs with me if you felt like coming out that way.
    You have a bucket list to ride with everyone in CA?
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  20. #20
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    You have a bucket list to ride with everyone in CA?
    Everyone on the 50+ racing forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
    Thanks, I've been dying to get back out to ACH or 39, if that's what you mean. Forecast looks chilly, but not miserable at this point.
    39 would be my call. Saturday is looking at a high of 70 and clear.

  21. #21
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi, Highway 39 sounds like fun if the weather holds. Of course, I am currently fat and slow. I guess you could do hill repeats while I trudge up the hill. Is three a crowd? Also, is the snack shack still open at Crystal Lake?
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  22. #22
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi, Highway 39 sounds like fun if the weather holds. Of course, I am currently fat and slow. I guess you could do hill repeats while I trudge up the hill. Is three a crowd? Also, is the snack shack still open at Crystal Lake?
    This sounds like the numerous discussions that occur at the number one tee box in a golf money game when golfers are negotiating handicap strokes.

    Fat and slow is somewhat normal for this time of year.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  23. #23
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi, Highway 39 sounds like fun if the weather holds. Of course, I am currently fat and slow. I guess you could do hill repeats while I trudge up the hill. Is three a crowd? Also, is the snack shack still open at Crystal Lake?
    I was going to see if you (and Big john) were interested. Not sure if the Crystal Lake shop is open.

  24. #24
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Heard it was open, and website confirms:

    Cafe and Trading Post as of 18/Nov/2012 Hours: Winter hours are 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

    But it's never a guarantee. I will try to arrange for the rain to be cleared out by then.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Ride followed with snack shack? The Mods should move this to the 220.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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