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Old 08-24-06, 05:34 PM   #1
DerekRI
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Gear ratio

Out here in Rhode Island, I don't exactly have easy access to any tracks.. but I was curious what the average gear ratio is for track races? What do you use for the different types of races? Long Madisons, short sprints, etc.

(BTW, search function wasn't cooperating, that's why I posted this. I'm sure it's been asked 1,000 times)

Thanks!
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Old 08-25-06, 04:57 PM   #2
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50/51X15 (or equivalent) is more than enough for all of those races. In super short tracks like London canada maybe 50x16 is the usual.

For kids between 15 and 16 y/o 50x16 is the usual (europe and S.america, dunno here in the US but it should be similar) and so on.

50x15 isn't a lot of big ratio, but u have to be prepared to move that over 100 rpms all the time as minimum, peloton speed. When sprinting is a lot more and when breakaway u can imagine, sometimes is after an sprint so u have to be prepared to sprint for 4 laps in a row to make that breakaway possible. Track reacers are quite tough also, no water, no extra gears, no nothing, only your legs, your brain and a lots of HEART.

thanks...
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Old 08-26-06, 08:42 AM   #3
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US Junior gears

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe 48x16 is the maximum gear for juniors on the track.
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Old 08-26-06, 06:10 PM   #4
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Juniors is between 15 and 16? or between 17 and 18? I have no clue how is here in the us but usually in S/a and europe juniors are 17 - 18 years old and they dont have gear limit that i remember of. But the usual is 50x15. Regarding 15 - 16 y/o kids 50x16 is the maximum... that is 6.60 meters per pedaling.

48x16 is like 50x17 or so... thats like 13/14 year old kids.
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Old 08-27-06, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekRI
Out here in Rhode Island, I don't exactly have easy access to any tracks.. but I was curious what the average gear ratio is for track races? What do you use for the different types of races? Long Madisons, short sprints, etc.
(BTW, search function wasn't cooperating, that's why I posted this. I'm sure it's been asked 1,000 times)
Thanks!
Gearing depends on many factors and usually more than one at once - fitness, track size, event, age group. As a generality most track gearing falls between 81 and 90" ~ 48/16 to 50/15.

I'm not even a racer but I carry 48 & 50t rings and 15-16-17t cogs to the track. My favorite gear is 50/16 (84") but I'm old, slow and ride on a very short track.
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Old 08-27-06, 09:04 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! I just wanted some kind of comparison to get a better appreciation for what the trackies do.. I push a 52x17, and now knowing the trackies usually run a higher gear is damn impressive.
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Old 08-27-06, 09:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DerekRI
Thanks guys! I just wanted some kind of comparison to get a better appreciation for what the trackies do.. I push a 52x17, and now knowing the trackies usually run a higher gear is damn impressive.

It's probably a mistake to generalize from road gearing experience to the track context. Case in point--my son often rides a 42x16 fixed on the road, while my Riv Quickbeam is set up with 42x15 fixed and 42x16 fw. We both find these 71-74" gears to be appropriate in the rolling hills of the area where we live.

When we visited a velodrome recently, however, we rented bikes and ended up with on geared 48x15 and the other 48x16--apparently this is the norm for track newbies. We did some 1K match sprints and my son ran off and left me when he had the higher gearing (he's really a much stronger rider than I am), while I was able to nip him at the line when we traded bikes.

In short, you can run (and you will need) a considerably higher gear at the track than you might run on the street. Hope this helps.

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Old 08-27-06, 10:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970
Juniors is between 15 and 16? or between 17 and 18? I have no clue how is here in the us but usually in S/a and europe juniors are 17 - 18 years old and they dont have gear limit that i remember of. But the usual is 50x15. Regarding 15 - 16 y/o kids 50x16 is the maximum... that is 6.60 meters per pedaling.

48x16 is like 50x17 or so... thats like 13/14 year old kids.
Here in the U.S. Juniors are age 10-18 with four age groups, each with it's own gear limit. On the track, age 10-12 the limit is 6.00 meters rollout (48x17), 13-14 is 6.36 meters rollout (48x16), 15-16 is 6.78 meters rollout (48x15) and the 17-18 age group is unlimited. For the road all age groups are limited to 100 inches.
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Old 08-28-06, 06:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970
50/51X15 (or equivalent) is more than enough for all of those races. In super short tracks like London canada maybe 50x16 is the usual.


Some of the events like Madison at FCV have a restriction on them to keep it fair and entertaining. But its not that low. Sprinters are using 88 and 90, endurance guys like 90 and 92. Spite the lower gears its not slowing us down.
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Old 08-28-06, 08:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CafeRacer
Some of the events like Madison at FCV have a restriction on them to keep it fair and entertaining. But its not that low. Sprinters are using 88 and 90, endurance guys like 90 and 92. Spite the lower gears its not slowing us down.
CR, that's interesting - are those gears you're quoting used at the FCV? If so, what level of rider are we talking? Only reason I ask is that we have a similarly short and tight velodrome here in the UK (143m, 45 deg, wood) and there's an 84inch advisory 'track limit' there. I certainly only ride an 82/84 gear there (cat 2) and I think even the top elite guys probably only run 84 for most events.
If you guys are succesfully running higher on a slightly tighter track then maybe I'll have to experiment some more next time I'm there !

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Last edited by mickster; 08-28-06 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-30-06, 06:27 AM   #11
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Its mostly the faster side of the seniors who have the legs to turn or spinnnnnnnnn those gears to their potential. Some of the jr.s who havent learnt to spin yet use higher gears but it shows. Personaly I dont think anything higher than a 90 makes sence for regular racing at FCV espessialy for sprints.

Here's the gear/cadence/time chart for an 88" and lap times. I sit nicely at 8.06.

http://cvaracing.org/velo/bike.gear.svlt
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Old 08-30-06, 02:31 PM   #12
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lots of cranksets come with 49t. What do you recommend if I get something like that?

Also, my current chainring is 52t and my cog is 19. Any opinions there? I also have a smaller cog, maybe 15 or 16t.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickster
CR, that's interesting - are those gears you're quoting used at the FCV? If so, what level of rider are we talking? Only reason I ask is that we have a similarly short and tight velodrome here in the UK (143m, 45 deg, wood) and there's an 84inch advisory 'track limit' there. I certainly only ride an 82/84 gear there (cat 2) and I think even the top elite guys probably only run 84 for most events.
If you guys are succesfully running higher on a slightly tighter track then maybe I'll have to experiment some more next time I'm there !

mickster
I think the reason about about the 84" advisory is related qith the fact that U cant go super faster in a short track... I mean... yes u can! but the track is so short that U begin to fight with centripetal and centrigugal forces. As fast u go more centrifugal force u get, then u have to react with an equal or grater centripetal force or?... yes... you will end in pedaling with the public. Thats the reason because as shorter the track the steper the banks also... go to a 333 or a 250 meters track, everybody uses 51x15 or some like that and usually records are atempted in those kind or tracks becuase the conditions are given to go as fast as u can using the gears u want... Im not saying that u cant use heavier gears in a short track but there are security reasons to limit the gears...

UM.
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Old 08-31-06, 06:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970
I think the reason about about the 84" advisory is related qith the fact that U cant go super faster in a short track... I mean... yes u can! but the track is so short that U begin to fight with centripetal and centrigugal forces. As fast u go more centrifugal force u get, then u have to react with an equal or grater centripetal force or?... yes... you will end in pedaling with the public. Thats the reason because as shorter the track the steper the banks also... go to a 333 or a 250 meters track, everybody uses 51x15 or some like that and usually records are atempted in those kind or tracks becuase the conditions are given to go as fast as u can using the gears u want... Im not saying that u cant use heavier gears in a short track but there are security reasons to limit the gears...

UM.
You hit the nail on the head.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:46 PM   #15
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kyle, a 52x16 would probably be your best bet for the track. That equilivates to a 88 inch gear. If your racing I would recommend somthing bigger, but from your combinations a 15 tooth cog would be too big. I would recommend getting a 48x14 or a 51x15 for most racing.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Bill
In short, you can run (and you will need) a considerably higher gear at the track than you might run on the street. Hope this helps.

Dr. Bill
I would say the opposite. I might sprint in a 48x14 on a 333 track, which is a 92.6. That would never cut it for road sprinting; easily 20 inches too low. On the track you would be spinning 100-150 rpm; on the road 80-120 so clearly your gearing would be less. Keirin would be some of the highest gearing but then you're paced up to 30mph.
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Old 09-20-06, 01:36 AM   #17
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I found out today that the beginners class at the ADT velodrome recommends starting between 80-85 gear inches.
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Old 09-20-06, 10:45 AM   #18
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i run 50:15 on a 333 meter track. low 90's is a norm at our track.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:25 PM   #19
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i run 50:15 on a 333 meter track. low 90's is a norm at our track.
Not bad, are u doing like 1:15 over a km?
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Old 09-23-06, 11:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dial_tone
I would say the opposite. I might sprint in a 48x14 on a 333 track, which is a 92.6. That would never cut it for road sprinting; easily 20 inches too low. On the track you would be spinning 100-150 rpm; on the road 80-120 so clearly your gearing would be less. Keirin would be some of the highest gearing but then you're paced up to 30mph.
Even at big tracks no-one puts on the big gears untill its a big race. We did a small training session in Bromont and ran 84" gears. It took forever to do a lap hahahaha. Keirin = big gear. At Canadian Nationals the general guestimate was that most guys ran 94 and 96 inch gears.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970
Not bad, are u doing like 1:15 over a km?
honestly i've never timed myself or done a timed event, but that sounds about right.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:06 AM   #22
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Wasn't sure if I should revive this old thread or just repost. Anyways, would it be alright to ride at the velodrome with say 44x14 or 44x13? I use my track bike for general commuting (with a brake of course) as well and would rather deal with swapping cogs than swapping chainrings. The velodrome near me is a 323.4m. Thanks!
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Old 08-28-07, 11:49 AM   #23
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Im about to go from a 49x16 to a 49x14 on the track.
Will it be a huge diffrence?
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Old 08-28-07, 01:10 PM   #24
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I would say the opposite. I might sprint in a 48x14 on a 333 track, which is a 92.6. That would never cut it for road sprinting; easily 20 inches too low. On the track you would be spinning 100-150 rpm; on the road 80-120 so clearly your gearing would be less. Keirin would be some of the highest gearing but then you're paced up to 30mph.
I think by "street" he meant riding a track bike on the street, in which case you usually do run a much lower gear than at the track so that you can slow down/stop faster. At the track I ride 84" but on the way to the track I ride 74"
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