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Junior gear and why you care...

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Junior gear and why you care...

Old 12-28-15, 09:45 PM
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Doge
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Junior gear and why you care...

Maybe this will fizz out post 1. I am curious.
When juniors race open class - Categories, they should not be under any gear restrictions.

Reason 1. If you are riding with a junior and beat them - your win is not really legitimate if you put it over a 52X14 to win.
Reason 2. We training out next generation to have to spin 130RPM (or 160). Why? There are 56T chainrings and 11T cogs out there.
Reason 3. What other sport in the world limits competitors in the same event based on class (age, race, gender). Actually this only applies if cycling is to be fair and if fair means equal chance. I accept USAC is not about being fair.
Reason 4. There is no evidence of safety (please find and post) issues with bigger gears.
Reason 5. Kind of like Reason 2. If spinning is better is it the rules purpose to teach? And if so - why not apply to categories?

Then the gender card hoping to troll a few responses: If juniors should be limited when racing with men, more so should women be.
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Old 12-28-15, 09:50 PM
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#1 keeps me from complaining about being under geared because I've been beaten by juniors plenty of times
#4 in mixed fields I think jr gears can result in increased danger because guys are forced to pedal at insanely high rpms just to keep up with what everyone. I'm pretty sure this is why I was caught up in a crash this year, there was a downhill finishing sprint and a junior that was bouncing in the saddle trying to pedal fast enough crossed wheels.
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Old 12-29-15, 12:22 AM
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I thought it was to save the baby's knees.

At any rate, I guess this win of mine from 2014 doesn't count now.. I should downgrade.


I think my cadence was about 100 rpm (53x11), 2nd place was in jr gearing, spinning way faster.

He might have beat me with bigger gears - but then again maybe the lower gearing saved him enough energy to get 2nd at the end.
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Old 12-29-15, 12:25 AM
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Btw I googled "junior gearing" and found this from USAC:

The main purpose of junior gear restrictions is to help the young rider develop a good pedal cadence and to avoid injury. Junior gear restrictions also level the playing field for developing juniors who may be at a disadvantage against rivals who possess physical advantages such as height and power
https://www.usacycling.org/encycling...ry.php?id=4203
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Old 12-29-15, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Btw I googled "junior gearing" and found this from USAC:



https://www.usacycling.org/encycling...ry.php?id=4203
For clarification my I mean when juniors race with adults. Junior to junior, while I disagree, I have no significant issue with it and it does not invalidate your wins :-) The only argument USAC should have against juniors using unlimited gears against adults is a safety one and I don't think they can find anything to back up their injury avoidance. I've been Googling and asking the doctors about this for 10 years. Kids jump from 3X their height in playgrounds. Junior weight lifter do much more force - and some get hurt, but this is a bike pedal we are afraid of. Likely more injury from fixed cleats, and then likely more for adults. FWIW - it did not used to be this way.

If you want to avoid injury it is the women that need the ban.
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Old 12-29-15, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
...

I think my cadence was about 100 rpm (53x11), 2nd place was in jr gearing, spinning way faster.

He might have beat me with bigger gears - but then again maybe the lower gearing saved him enough energy to get 2nd at the end.
So your 100 was his 129. Likely not the top of his power band - but could have been. Video IMO - you would have won. But you will never know.

Where it matters a lot is the slight declining descents. I posted before that Phil won the NRC Redlands over Adrian (who got 3rd) by 30sec in 10+ hours. I think Adrian would have won on the same gears.
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Old 12-29-15, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Reason 2. We training out next generation to have to spin 130RPM (or 160). Why? There are 56T chainrings and 11T cogs out there.
Huh? 35 mph = 117 rpm in a 52-14. I don't see the problem.

Ben
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Old 12-29-15, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Huh? 35 mph = 117 rpm in a 52-14. I don't see the problem.

Ben
You are right. Block all the adult gears then. Most these kids can do 170 plus. But why?
The problem is long moderate descents where a junior hold the 120 to the adult 90. Doable, but why don't the grown-ups do it if it is so good?
Fact is everyone has an RPM for their max power. Everyone racing should be allowed to use it.
Do you think juniors should have to develop a max power at 117 / or 130? A SoCal race Ontario finishes about 44 mph. No road junior is in their max power band at 44mph.

Last edited by Doge; 12-29-15 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 12-29-15, 12:56 AM
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I've got a jr teammate that is very strong, but can't spin to save his life. He often ends up getting blasted in sprints or not able to respond accordingly in a leadout train. I think he'd do better with adult gears, but I think it would benefit him to learn to spin effectively first.
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Old 12-29-15, 01:37 AM
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Decent juniors are far too quick for me anyway, the last thing you want to do is make 'em faster.

Seriously, I always bought the "growing knees" argument. If that isn't valid, you have a point.
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Old 12-29-15, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post

If you want to avoid injury it is the women that need the ban.
Based on what?? Why do we need easier gears to avoid injury?

The argument for juniors is that they're also still growing. Women aren't. The analogy fails. What's your argument?
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Old 12-29-15, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
Based on what?? Why do we need easier gears to avoid injury?

The argument for juniors is that they're also still growing. Women aren't. The analogy fails. What's your argument?
Junior women are still growing.

I gave my opinion in another thread somewhere. I support restricted gearing under age 15. The difference in kid sizes under 15 is all over the map. Bikes too. Junior 15-18, men and women, no restriction. If you blow up your knees, that's on you and Mom and Dad.
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Old 12-29-15, 07:34 AM
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Im sure juniors are involved in sports way more damaging to knees then cycling on a daily basis... I'm sure playing H.S football and playground hoops was a hell of a lot more damaging to my knees then cycling ever was. In fact I trashed my knees only a few short years ago playing basketball. I should have been restricted on making a CPIII crossover move at my age.. anyways I guess I'm against the restriction.
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Old 12-29-15, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
Based on what?? Why do we need easier gears to avoid injury?

The argument for juniors is that they're also still growing. Women aren't. The analogy fails. What's your argument?
Knee injuries are not that high of a cycling injury anyway, so have to go to other sports to see how female knees hold up.
In soccer women have several times the knee injury of men (ACL normally). And it especially goes up around puberty - once the women stop growing while the males the same age continue to grow and have less knee injuries. At the same time the male is getting more powerful, bigger, faster and putting more ligament stress - and having fewer ligament injuries. Having spent 10 years in girls/women's soccer with a very trained daughter I saw this was a problem beyond just what the sport was causing.
There are hormone and changes that "suggest" injuries may be increased too BBC NEWS | Health | Menstrual cycle injury risk link

Building on that argument, is that women racing men on bikes is even more stressful than where we get our same gender vs same gender sports injury stats from. The women are as strong as the men. Are their tendons and knees also as strong?
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Old 12-29-15, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hack View Post
I've got a jr teammate that is very strong, but can't spin to save his life. He often ends up getting blasted in sprints or not able to respond accordingly in a leadout train. I think he'd do better with adult gears, but I think it would benefit him to learn to spin effectively first.
Different argument than the junior race men, but another argument. Learning to spin may be better. But that is coaching. Requiring spinning to win hides talent. Take that junior . He may be as good as all the top juniors with the right gears on road races or TTs. But - he is not considered because he couldn't spin. So others get into the program and he is left to wait till he is 19 - where with big gears - he might beat those other guys, or he may have quit as he was too far behind. 19 is not too old, but it certainly is harder to get in the system then, than transfer in from the junior programs.

I know a 19 year old Cat 1 who went through that. There is a huge frustration because although he is faster than most the USA U23 guys he barely got noticed as a junior due to his pedaling style.
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Old 12-29-15, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Then the gender card hoping to troll a few responses

Your tangent on suggesting junior gears for women is, as you said, trolling, as in: making a deliberately provocative posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them. It's clearly not a serious suggestion. Please put that aside.
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Old 12-29-15, 09:13 AM
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It is not a serious suggestion. It is based on no data (that I can find) just like the ban used for juniors gears.
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Old 12-29-15, 10:26 AM
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The analogy between soccer and cycling for women doesn't hold. Yeah, you're trolling, but for those interested in current research on women's knee injuries in soccer, I have a colleague who works on the problem. Basically, it's all a social problem: girls (and women) are discouraged from the necessary gym (weights/lifting) work to build up their legs and the joint strength needed for sports like soccer. So getting girls/women into the gym earlier and more working on those areas makes the women's injury rates the same as men's.
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Old 12-29-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
The analogy between soccer and cycling for women doesn't hold. Yeah, you're trolling, but for those interested in current research on women's knee injuries in soccer, I have a colleague who works on the problem. Basically, it's all a social problem: girls (and women) are discouraged from the necessary gym (weights/lifting) work to build up their legs and the joint strength needed for sports like soccer. So getting girls/women into the gym earlier and more working on those areas makes the women's injury rates the same as men's.
Injury prevention programs do help but they do not eliminate the difference.

A meta-analysis of the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament tears as a function of gender, sport, and a knee injury-reduction regimen. - PubMed - NCBI

Dosage Effects of Neuromuscular Training Intervention to Reduce Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes: Meta-and Sub-group Analyses
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Old 12-29-15, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by canuckbelle View Post
The analogy between soccer and cycling for women doesn't hold. Yeah, you're trolling, but for those interested in current research on women's knee injuries in soccer, I have a colleague who works on the problem. Basically, it's all a social problem: girls (and women) are discouraged from the necessary gym (weights/lifting) work to build up their legs and the joint strength needed for sports like soccer. So getting girls/women into the gym earlier and more working on those areas makes the women's injury rates the same as men's.
The basic point was there is no real evidence in either case - juniors or women that restrictions are needed for safety. I do understand the other arguments, and while true, they should apply to everyone. Having all beginning grades have gear restrictions for the exact same reason as juniors makes sense. But having a professional junior in an NRC race limited is just silly.
The cycling knee injury sites say that most injuries come from over use fatigue. If juniors have to turn the pedals 30% more that doesn't mean less fatigue to me. Limited time training might be a good idea, but there is no way to enforce that, and others posted - parents job.
The soccer girls at the level I was with lifted more than the men. They lifted too much IMO.
I found a video when she first got the machine. Later a lot more weight. But only proves there was no social problem in our house, not that there are female tendon issues as she never had problems, but then we were also careful.

Last edited by Doge; 12-29-15 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-29-15, 03:21 PM
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tbh I think a gear restriction would make more sense for Cat 5s than for juniors. even if one believes that riding a low cadence can hurt your knees it's not like there aren't hills in races where juniors can still mash a low cadence even with junior gears.
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Old 12-29-15, 04:52 PM
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I was talking with a couple US national team coaches about this and they pretty much concurred that the junior gears was for training. The idea in Belgium (52X16 for 16 year olds) being that riders are less able to break away and riders are forced to learn the craft. I agree that is a valid argument although I disagree with the principle because it is coaching and penalizes / hides the strong (I kept my mouth shut) . 16 year olds want to compete too using power as well as craft.
But if USAC is going to coach riders via racing what better way than doing it with categories.
M Cat 5 / W Cat 4 - 52X16
M Cat 4 / W Cat 3 - 52X14
Then open it up.
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Old 12-29-15, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
(I kept my mouth shut)
tbh i'm not sure i believe you
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Old 12-29-15, 07:24 PM
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Shimano/SRAM cassettes - Campy Cassettes
10 speed - 11 speed
Junior....

...just adds another variable into my neutral wheel mix when I'm working races. I usually show up with whatever I have (10 speed Shimano/SRAM Junior) and tell them at the start what to expect if they end up needing a neutral wheel with Junior gearing.


...How about Juniors who are 16 and look like they're 22 in cat 3 races who come in to take a neutral wheel mid race and don't tell you that they're a junior and then send dad over to "talk to you" after they get DQ'd during rollout after the race.


...but by all means let's add some more variables into the mix. Disc/rim brake? 135 Road Chainline/mtb chainline disc? TA front or QR? 12x142 rear? Its an exciting time to provide neutral race support!
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Old 12-29-15, 08:46 PM
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You bring up a good example of rule breaking that is not cheating. But that is another thread.
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