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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 02-19-06, 04:54 PM   #1
tonym
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gear recomendations?

im riding a 42-15 now and i want to hit the track as the weather gets better, what can you advise for a track gear without changing my 42t?
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Old 02-19-06, 05:11 PM   #2
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with 42 there is no much thing to do actually... u need 48T chainrings atleast or 47.

THanks...
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Old 02-19-06, 08:16 PM   #3
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You have a couple of options: a 14 or 13 tooth rear sprocket will give you an 81 and 87 inch gear respectively (see http://www.t2r.org/train/gear_ratios.htm for gear tables).

Track gearing depends on lots of things, eg track surface, whether indoor or outdoor, length, angle, type of race, whether you're a spinner or a masher, who you might be racing against etc, but as a guide, the 81 inch will be ok for shorter, steeper indoor tracks and for fast cadence training, and the 87 inch would be perfect for larger 300m+ outdoor type tracks. Either way, you'll be fine for starting out track racing. You can buy more chainrings etc to fine tune your gearing when the bug has bitten .

Which track do you have in mind?

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Old 02-20-06, 10:32 AM   #4
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what gears are best for each event at manchester velodrome?
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Old 02-20-06, 12:50 PM   #5
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it also depends on the ability of the cyclist, its easy to pick a ratio, but if the rider cant race on it, whats the point?
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Old 02-20-06, 03:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by velodrome.co.nr
what gears are best for each event at manchester velodrome?
As a starting point I'd go with something around 88 inches (eg 49 x15) for most mass start races at something like the Friday night Track league.
It really does depend on lots of factors, but this will be a good general purpose gear to get you started. The emphasis at most Leagues is on mass start racing (eg Devils, points, scratch, 5 lap dashes etc), so you wouldn't be doing true match sprinting. pursuits or kilos, but once you've tried racing on this gear you'll be better placed to judge for yourself whether you need to go higher / lower etc.

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Old 03-19-06, 12:52 PM   #7
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What gear does everyone use for training at this time of year?
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Old 03-30-06, 05:55 PM   #8
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Track gearing

For most guys with at least a couple of years of racing experience, here's what I'd recommend for track gearing. It's a simplified system that I use and requires only three chainrings and two cogs, and one length of chain (so no switching chains or removing links).

Chainrings: 46, 47 and 48

Cogs: 14 and 16

Set up the chain length using the 48x16. This is the combination that will get your rear wheel closest to the front of the dropouts. With the same chain, you should still be able to use the 46x14.

For racing, you will use the 14 cog in combination with the 46 (a high 88"), the 47 (just over 90"), or the 48 (about 92"). The 88 is good for short tracks and for pursuits, the 47 is a good starting point for sprinting, and the 48 is for bigger tracks and mass start Cat 2 races. If you ride keirins, you may want to get a 49.This is just a starting point. I ride on the 200m indoor track in Burnaby, and I often use 48x14 in mass starts against the Cat 2 riders.

Put the 14 on your racing wheel. Put the 16 on your warmup/training wheel. Spend the first 20 minutes at the track warming up on the 16 and whatever is on the front (46, 47, or 48 - 77", 79", 81"). After the warmup, put on the 14-cog race wheel and get back on the track and get used to the additional resistance.

This is just a starting point. You may come up with better combinations for the gearing that works best for you.

- Luis
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Old 03-30-06, 07:48 PM   #9
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I have yet to get on the track, but I plan to in the coming month. I wonder if you recommend mashing a big gear over spinning a small gear? I've read to work on spinning first, but it seems easier to push a big gear slowly rather than spin a slightly smaller one...
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Old 03-30-06, 08:49 PM   #10
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I ride on a 250 meter 44 degree banked track. I am a Cat4 (should have 3 by the end of the season) and run 48x13 for almost everything. For sprints 50x13.
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Old 03-31-06, 12:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedalStrike
I have yet to get on the track, but I plan to in the coming month. I wonder if you recommend mashing a big gear over spinning a small gear? I've read to work on spinning first, but it seems easier to push a big gear slowly rather than spin a slightly smaller one...
Spin a big gear...

Actually, probably use the rental bikes of whatever track you're going to, and they'll be on the low side. It's much easier to modulate your speed in a smaller gear, so if you're learning to ride close you'll have a lot more control in the smaller gear.
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Old 03-31-06, 04:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jgsjr
I ride on a 250 meter 44 degree banked track. I am a Cat4 (should have 3 by the end of the season) and run 48x13 for almost everything. For sprints 50x13.
you're overgeared then.

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Old 03-31-06, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickster
you're overgeared then.

mickster
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Old 03-31-06, 11:27 PM   #14
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50x13? saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaa.............

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Old 04-01-06, 01:12 AM   #15
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Over geared but on the podium....go figure.

I run 48x15 or 48x16 on the street.

Last edited by jgsjr; 04-01-06 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 04-01-06, 04:29 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=jgsjr]Over geared but on the podium....go figure.
[QUOTE]
In Cat 4.

I wonder why elite riders go faster but use a lower gear...
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Old 04-01-06, 08:39 PM   #17
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Everyone is different, maybe? There are spinners and there are mashers.

Interesting how people who never met me or seen me race can make blanket statements about what gear ratio I should be using.

At 42, I will not be an elite rider in this life time. But if my times are better at 48x13 than they are at 48x16, why should I use a lower gear? I race to be the fastest I can, why should I race to be slower? I should change my gear ratio and stop winning, on your adivice? Thanks, coach. I mean if elite riders ride frames that cost several thousand dollars and wheels that cost more than my bike why bother racing at all. If I can't mimic the elite riders, what does it matter if I win?

I am not the one asking for gear advice.
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Old 04-02-06, 09:36 AM   #18
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I agree that you should learn to spin your ass off and be smooth at it, buttttttttttttttttt I also see merrit in pushing a bigger gear and learning to spin that up once youve created a killer spin. It builds some good muscle.

I do almost all mass start races on a 49 / 15 at FCV. Most the seniors race in between 88-90" for mass's there. Most of us can also go from a cruising group pace to all out sprint in half a lap. (our track is 138m)For match's I tend to run slightly smaller ring and smaller cogs that I can flip between depending on my intended attack. Once you learn what "most" riders are racing on at your local track you can modifie your combo depending on how you ride. In most cases you dont need a gear bag with 5 chainrings and 4 cogs. But it makes you look more pro
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Old 04-02-06, 12:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgsjr
Everyone is different, maybe? There are spinners and there are mashers.

Interesting how people who never met me or seen me race can make blanket statements about what gear ratio I should be using.

At 42, I will not be an elite rider in this life time. But if my times are better at 48x13 than they are at 48x16, why should I use a lower gear? I race to be the fastest I can, why should I race to be slower? I should change my gear ratio and stop winning, on your adivice? Thanks, coach. I mean if elite riders ride frames that cost several thousand dollars and wheels that cost more than my bike why bother racing at all. If I can't mimic the elite riders, what does it matter if I win?

I am not the one asking for gear advice.
Geezer, you're being too defensive about this. The original comment wasn't intended to be snide or anything, just an off the cuff as-it-occurred-to-me advisory remark. I think short unqualified comments like this made by email can come over as being rude / abrupt etc when they're not intended to be. Sorry if it did come over that way I think the Track forum here is a cool little budding supportive community and its not my intention to bring any of the cattiness and parroted orthodoxy that you get in the ss/fg forum into this forum...

To expand on the gearing issue, although you're placing now (and good on ya for that - it's a hard sport pal as everyone here who races knows ) it will definitely help you when moving up to the 3s and beyond to be able to spin a smaller gear at higher rpms. This means that you'll be able to better respond to the repeated surges and attacks that you'll be subjected to in mass start races, you'll have much better snap in the match sprints and your gate times in kilos (and pursuits) will improve. At the moment, although you've obviously got excellent leg strength you're in all likelihood vulnerable to attacks in slow-start sprinting and mass start scratch and points race scenarios. If I saw you on such a gear in a race I'd be sure to keep surging on the front and cause the pace of the race to vary a lot in order to tire you out for the last crucial few laps. It may be that in 4s racing your competitors aren't yet experienced enough to see the threat and do this but in the higher cats people certainly will.

We all have areas of our game that need improving - mines being able to push anything approaching a 13T rear sprocket . If you up yr cadence then as CafeRacer points out you'll be in teh enviable position of being a spinner of a big gear at a high cadence, and then you really will be hard to beat.

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Old 04-04-06, 03:22 PM   #20
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gear combos

Hello,

I'm playing around with gear combos and was wondering if there was a difference in efficiency (power transfer), etc between combinations with the same ratios -- 42 X 14 versus 48 X 16. All things being equal would I be better off going with 42 X 14? It will be lighter all the way around -- shorter chain, smaller gears = less mass.

Thanks
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Old 04-04-06, 04:53 PM   #21
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The usual answer is that the combo with the smaller rings is slightly easier to spin up to speed (eg match sprinting), whereas the large combo is smoother/easier to keep rolling at a given cadence (eg a pursuit).
Certainly, lots of top match sprinters do seem to go for smaller combos for a given gearing (eg 47/48 x 14).

I've never really been able to tell much difference between 2 equivalent gears using larger or smaller rings & sprockets; I suspect its only something to concern you if you're already good enough for these small differences to start to matter.

I'd look at nailing things like getting a decent spread of usable gears using the same chain given your bike's chainstay and dropout length first - IME this is much more useful to get right and will dictate the chainring / sprocket ranges you can use.

HTH

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Old 04-04-06, 07:29 PM   #22
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I've often thought about the trackie folk wisdom that sprinters should use a small-small combination and pursuiters should use large-large. To get a roughly 90-inch gear, you'll generally see pursuiters use 53x16, while sprinters will use 47x14. Is the small-small actually easier to accelerate? Or is it folklore?

After lots of thought, I think there may be some truth in this. First, take leverage. In creating torque, you need a longer moment arm. If we ignore the size of the rear cog (the difference between 14 and 16 tooth cogs is pretty minimal), and if we assume the same crank length, then we're looking at pushing a lever (the crank) against the force of another lever (the chainring). Because the 47-tooth chainring is smaller in diameter than the 53, the difference adds to the effective length of moment arm of the crank.In other words, it should be easier to push the 47-tooth chainring against the same force.

The second reason is chain speed. Assuming we want to get up to 120 rpm (a good pursuit leg speed), we need to get the chain on a 47-tooth ring up to 94 links per second (2x47 teeth). With a 53-tooth chainring, we have to get the chain moving at 106 links per second, about 15% faster.

So maybe the combination of the two contribute to the feeling that it's easier to accelerate the 47, but easier to keep the 53 moving.

Anyway, I'm not an engineer, so let me know if you see flaws in this; otherwise, it's going into the book I'm writing.

- Luis
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Old 04-06-06, 06:12 AM   #23
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<i>After lots of thought, I think there may be some truth in this. First, take leverage. In creating torque, you need a longer moment arm. If we ignore the size of the rear cog (the difference between 14 and 16 tooth cogs is pretty minimal), and if we assume the same crank length, then we're looking at pushing a lever (the crank) against the force of another lever (the chainring). Because the 47-tooth chainring is smaller in diameter than the 53, the difference adds to the effective length of moment arm of the crank.In other words, it should be easier to push the 47-tooth chainring against the same force.</i>

That is not exactly correct. The difference in the cog is exactly proportional to the difference in the cahinring. If you had factored in the cog as you should have you would have realized that for a given force on the pedal you are putting the exact same tourque on the back wheel and force towards moving the bike forward.
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