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Old 05-27-08, 08:44 PM   #1
dookski
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is this a bad idea?

i'm very new to track racing, and have only been to one training session. during this session, we did a few exercises where i felt i was spinning out of my gear (i.e. flying 200, one lap scratch). i am running 51-17. it was suggested that a 15 tooth cog would do me better.

my flip flop hub is fixed/free. is it a bad idea to rotafix a 15 to my free side, sans lockring, solely for track use? the 17 cog with lockring would get me to and from the track.

i am ultimately planning on building a new rear with a 15-17 flop, and getting ahold of an extra chainring or two. since my bike budget is nil for the next month, and i my first race night is a week away, i'd like to bump up the gear asap. i can afford a cog.

or should i just learn to spin in the meantime?
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Old 05-27-08, 09:14 PM   #2
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going down two teeth is a big jump. Try a 16 first, and no, it's not a horrible idea. you could add a BB lockring for extra security. just make sure you don't get serious with the backpressure, and doublecheck your track's rules.

are you talking about racing at kissena?
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Old 05-27-08, 09:41 PM   #3
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yes, at kissena. i won't be at the races tomorrow, but saturday and next wed. are go.

will any bb lockring fit? something i could find laying around on say, a frame laying around the house? i'll give a 16 a shot, track only, no real backpressure, illusion of safety. thanks.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:50 PM   #4
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Wow, you're spinning out at 15-17... are you sure? I mean, that's not exactly a small gear. And 51-15 is huge... in fact, I know that's the biggest gear that Chris Hoy uses for sprint events.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:16 AM   #5
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51-17 is just a 3 to 1 ratio... same as 48x16, which most people say is a little small except for juniors and early season...
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Old 05-28-08, 06:10 AM   #6
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yes, at kissena. i won't be at the races tomorrow, but saturday and next wed. are go.

will any bb lockring fit? something i could find laying around on say, a frame laying around the house? i'll give a 16 a shot, track only, no real backpressure, illusion of safety. thanks.
cool. yeah, any bb lockring will fit - same threads as hubthreading. honestly, i've known people who've ridden streets brakeless like that (not recommended, of course). it's not an illusion of safety at the track - rather, it's a nonissue. just make sure it's on there tight.

you know there are sprint compitetions at Kissena this sunday? http://kissena.info/track/SuperSprintSunday.pdf - Match Sprints. Should be fun.

See you next wednesday, though. Say hi. I ride a TK2 and race in the 5s (for now...).
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Old 05-28-08, 06:18 AM   #7
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sprint sunday sounds fun. i'll meet you in the 5s. name's wes, and i'm on a white kilo with red grips.

51-15 does sound massive when i think about it. the second part of the 15 cog plan was to have a 49 and 50 tooth chainring on hand besides the 51.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:34 PM   #8
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51-17 is just a 3 to 1 ratio... same as 48x16, which most people say is a little small except for juniors and early season...
Yeah, I suppose you're right, it's really not that big. I'm just always skeptical when beginners say they're spinning out easily...

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Old 05-28-08, 08:58 PM   #9
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sprint sunday sounds fun. i'll meet you in the 5s. name's wes, and i'm on a white kilo with red grips.

51-15 does sound massive when i think about it. the second part of the 15 cog plan was to have a 49 and 50 tooth chainring on hand besides the 51.
ah word.

gear is obviously a very personal thing but many people ride 49x15. 51x16 would be close to that - a hair under. spinning to improve fitness is a great way to get faster, so... yeah.

i ride 49x15. miche cogs so i just put a 17 on there for the ride to and from.

my name's mattio. see you sunday, but i might be pooped from riding out to montauk the day before - not sure if i'll race. also, possible thunderstorms.
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Old 05-28-08, 09:15 PM   #10
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51x17 is a pretty small gear for racing-- there are juniors who are restricted to that, but you probably won't find anybody in unrestricted gears racing a gear that small.

51x15 (91.8") is a pretty common gear in Cat 1/2 endurance events, and I know people who race on bigger gears than that regularly. I race slightly larger gears fairly often, but only if I think it's likely to start fast and stay fast. If there are going to be a lot of slow bits and accelerations (common for lower cats and small fields in upper cats) I'll go smaller. I'd bet that Hoy is using quite a bit larger gear than that for sprint events and if I weren't lazy could probably even find documentation of that-- the trend for sprinters lately is very big gears driven by very big legs.

As for gear choices on a budget-- if you have a 15 and a few chainrings you can do a lot-- 49x15 is a good all around racing gear for beginners, and a 51x17 is a good warmup gear. As a relative beginner a 51x15 is probably your upper limit-- it might be hard to accelerate and won't help you develop the leg speed you'll want later.

Not all lockrings are the same-- Mavic are quite different than the common Campy and Shimano ones. If you have the cog on tight it shouldn't be a problem to race without a lockring-- if you're backpedaling hard enough to free the cog you're probably already on the deck anyway. I carry lockrings in my bag, but can't remember the last time I used one on the track. (edit- doh. I didn't realize you meant a bb lockring on the free side to lock the cog. I wouldn't bother- just torque the cog on good with a chainwhip or keirin tool.)
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Old 05-29-08, 08:37 AM   #11
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For what it's worth . . .

I race in weekly events at San Diego. The "C" group (which is guys who are Cat 5s and fair Cat 4s -- the best Cat 4s are up in the "B" group) are mostly riding 50x15.

Frankly, and while I haven't looked, I'd be surprised if many of the "B" and "A" group riders were riding much different of a gear -- they're just turning it much faster. Duck would probably know.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:32 AM   #12
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Frankly, and while I haven't looked, I'd be surprised if many of the "B" and "A" group riders were riding much different of a gear -- they're just turning it much faster. Duck would probably know.
I haven't done much racing in SD lately, but I'd bet most people are in gears between 88 (49x15) and and 92.6" (48x14). For outdoor races with variable wind and variable speed a 90 (50x15) will be pretty common. I rarely go bigger than 48x14 for local racing and do pretty well when I'm in shape. For small fields and outdoors (Encino, SD) I'll do a lot of racing in a 50x15.

I always get a chuckle when I overhear new Cat 5's talking seriously about going up to 94 or 96 because they were struggling in a 92-- they'll struggle even more in that because they'll come out the back with the first acceleration.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:00 AM   #13
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For outdoor races with variable wind and variable speed a 90 (50x15) will be pretty common.
Kissena is outdoor, windy, and bumpy... so 49x15 is pretty common.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:14 PM   #14
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Kissena is outdoor, windy, and bumpy... so 49x15 is pretty common.
Yeah, a lot like encino (though the winds are probably different).
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Old 05-30-08, 09:34 PM   #15
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yeah... i don't know encino, but the wind at kissena usually hits you coming around turn two, but really gets in your face around turn 3, coming from the southwest (turn 3 is the nw corner). doesn't help you on the homestretch. all it can do is slow down other people if you get a good jump on them in turn 2.
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Old 06-01-08, 06:39 AM   #16
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How old are you? older than a junior? well if thats the case 51x17 is quite light, is not enough because everybody at your age for sure are using 50/49 x 15.

What i would do maybe is to swap for a 52x16 that is almost the same than 50x15, but easier to move. U'll notice the differences when u get more experienced.

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-08, 09:04 PM   #17
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thanks for all the replies.

i'm not a junior.
sorry to miss you sunday, mattio, i had a friend from s.f. in town, plus some relatives, you know.
after work tomorrow, i'll pick up a 16 and try it out on the wednesday night races. you all will hear how it goes. first races!
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Old 06-06-08, 10:26 PM   #18
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for resolution- i picked up a 16 and it felt really good. first race night felt really good.
now i really need some clipless pedals.
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