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Watts per KG for a 14 year old boy?

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Watts per KG for a 14 year old boy?

Old 05-26-17, 09:31 AM
  #1  
bobobob
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Watts per KG for a 14 year old boy?

Bobobob junior has recently started cycling and I'm trying to get some idea of where he sits on the performance scale. A lot of searching brings up various Watts/KG numbers for adults but I'm not finding anything for kids. Right now he can fairly comfortable put out 2.1 Watts/KG for an hour+ which seems like a reasonable base to start from but I have no real idea whether that's good or bad and what would be a reasonable target to aim for over time.

Can anyone provide any pointers?
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Old 05-26-17, 09:35 AM
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What target does your son want to aim for?
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Old 05-26-17, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by College3.0 View Post
What target does your son want to aim for?
He likes the idea of competing in a some junior 10K TTs (we have a bunch of them near us later in the summer) - he's watched me almost kill myself doing a couple of 25 milers in the past so heaven know's why! - as a first step. He's also quite into the idea of trying track cycling but is a bit nervous about jumping straight into that as a first step.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:57 AM
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14-year old who has never raced has a power meter? That cart is so far before the horse that it's down the road and over the hill.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
14-year old who has never raced has a power meter? That cart is so far before the horse that it's down the road and over the hill.
Haha, no, that number is coming from me sticking him and his bike on my cycleops powerbeam! So far the only kit he has is a second hand Giant road bike and some of my old shorts and jerseys (he's big for his age and I'm pretty small). If he sticks at it then I'll get him some shoes and pedals next.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:16 AM
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I think you're putting too much pressure on him. At 14 he's barely developed and if you push him too hard you'll likely stunt his growth and make him hate competition.

Coming from a former child sports "prodigy" according to my father.

Hand eye coordination sports that require practice to master those skills, go ahead, push them to practice more, but to become good at distance racing, whether on a bike or running, requires the will to do it. If you train him hard, he won't have that and he will likely have a falling out with you and the sport.

Let him have fun. Let him discover that going fast is fun, then play off of that.

Focusing on things like W/kg is a GREAT way to make him hate the sport.

Last edited by corrado33; 05-26-17 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:16 AM
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It sounds like a great opportunity!

TTs are a great way for a new rider to dip a toe into racing. Bike handling and group riding skills are not an issue. And more importantly, you're competing against the clock and yourself. I'd say that if he's interested, sign him up and see how he does.

In the meantime, you can ride with him. If you're near the course, you could try to ride that, or any long, uninterrupted route where he can focus on a steady effort. (In my experience, kids tend to pump hard and coast, pump hard and coast. It takes a bit of discipline to keep the pedals turning.)

But let him decide if he wants to race. Some kids love racing; others just want to ride a bike with their dads.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I think you're putting too much pressure on him. At 14 he's barely developed and if you push him too hard you'll likely stunt his growth and make him hate competition.

Coming from a former child sports "prodigy" according to my father.

Hand eye coordination sports that require practice to master those skills, go ahead, push them to practice more, but to become good at distance racing, whether on a bike or running, requires the will to do it. If you train him hard, he won't have that and he will likely have a falling out with you and the sport.

Let him have fun. Let him discover that going fast is fun, then play off of that.

Focusing on things like W/kg is a GREAT way to make him hate the sport.
Honestly not pushing him at all. The Cycleops thing was his idea and he treats it like playing a video game (it has the VR thing so he can use Zwift for example). The question around power came as a side effect of that.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It sounds like a great opportunity!

TTs are a great way for a new rider to dip a toe into racing. Bike handling and group riding skills are not an issue. And more importantly, you're competing against the clock and yourself. I'd say that if he's interested, sign him up and see how he does.

In the meantime, you can ride with him. If you're near the course, you could try to ride that, or any long, uninterrupted route where he can focus on a steady effort. (In my experience, kids tend to pump hard and coast, pump hard and coast. It takes a bit of discipline to keep the pedals turning.)

But let him decide if he wants to race. Some kids love racing; others just want to ride a bike with their dads.
Yeah, we're doing quite a bit of road riding together which is fun and I've definitely seen the go like a bat out of hell then coast thing a fair bit! Right now I'm treating that as great interval training but I know we're going to have to work on that a bit, especially if he's going to do a TT. Riding the actual course is a good idea, just need to find some times when it's quiet (luckily it's blocked to traffic for the actual races).
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Old 05-26-17, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bobobob View Post
He likes the idea of competing in a some junior 10K TTs
Let him have a go then. After that, you will know where he stands much better than any chart could tell you.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:01 PM
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To what end are you asking this question?

If he wants to give some a shot, sign him up and don't worry too much about metrics at this point. He's gotta enjoy the racing before the metrics come into any sort of significance.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:30 PM
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OP: Note that if the TT series is under USAC, then juniors are subject to limited gearing (26ft/7.9m). This applies to the biggest gear on his bike. Most juniors race bikes are 52x14. However, 14t cassettes are sometimes hard to find and expensive. You can achieve the same ratio with a 44x12.

See Junior Gear Restrictions: Is Your Race Bike legal? - USA Cycling for the details.
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Old 05-26-17, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To what end are you asking this question?
Curiosity - I have the number so I'm interested to interpret it. For an adult I'd have a good idea of what it showed, for a 14 year old I have absolutely no idea.
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Old 05-26-17, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
OP: Note that if the TT series is under USAC, then juniors are subject to limited gearing (26ft/7.9m). This applies to the biggest gear on his bike. Most juniors race bikes are 52x14. However, 14t cassettes are sometimes hard to find and expensive. You can achieve the same ratio with a 44x12.
Ooh, good point, thanks! It's actually Canada rather than the US but I'm guessing there will be something similar in place, I'd better do some research on that one.
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Old 05-26-17, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
14-year old who has never raced has a power meter? That cart is so far before the horse that it's down the road and over the hill.

I agree with this one. Pushing your son too early and he won't enjoy cycling at all in a few years. I did see another post though to make sure you have the right gearing for him. My advice is to just let him go out and have some fun. Forget the power meter.

Zman
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Old 05-26-17, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bobobob View Post
He's also quite into the idea of trying track cycling but is a bit nervous about jumping straight into that as a first step.
Many tracks have beginner programs for juniors as well as adults. A good way for a cyclist to learn race skills in a lower pressure environment.
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Old 05-26-17, 05:20 PM
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Track racing is an excellent idea. The bikes are relatively inexpensive and simple to maintain, the racing and training is in an enclosed and car free environment, and he'll learn to handle his bike and spin (no pump and coast on a fixed gear!).
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Old 05-26-17, 05:43 PM
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Paging @Doge.
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Old 05-26-17, 06:40 PM
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Use the charts and add about 10%.

Endurance and aggressiveness matters more. Miles in legs are hard to beat for road races. I am in a minority thinking track and road are not all that complementary. Later in life they are, but the kid should ride differently based on event. TTs are great. USAC cares a lot about power, and that is good for many trips and selection, but less good for winning. There is a lot of attention on the 15-18 so if he is talented, he may get noticed. The pool is quite small. Only need to be in the top 1% to start getting trips and freebies (unlike girls soccer).

Anyway, W/kg can be as high as adults, but endurance is way lower. Not surprisingly if you compare to other sports where 17 year old males compete the power is very high, in women - swimming 14. Adult track riders are higher total power as they have time to build mass. W/kg matters less on the track and raw power more.
W/kg matters most in hill climbing. Picking hills to challenge against the clock may be as fun. Anyway DO compare to adults. The elite juniors tend to be higher W/kg than the category they race in. Because they are smaller/leaner and generally not as smart about racing. My kid is 18 now and lower W/kg sprint than at 15. But he is faster and can hold it longer. VO2 will also increase. They say it peaks around 18. Mine was last tested late 15, and at 10 and it went up 15-20.

Anyway best just look at the adult charts. It tracked pretty well with the category, but your kid needs to be a bit higher. I was privy to a few others too. Pretty much the same thing.
a typical "serious" top 3% junior.
@14 ~cat 4, cat 3
@16 ~cat 3, cat 2
@ 18 ~cat 2, cat 1
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Old 05-27-17, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
14-year old who has never raced has a power meter? That cart is so far before the horse that it's down the road and over the hill.
Yes. Back off, man......
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Old 05-27-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Use the charts and add about 10%.

Endurance and aggressiveness matters more. Miles in legs are hard to beat for road races. I am in a minority thinking track and road are not all that complementary. Later in life they are, but the kid should ride differently based on event. TTs are great. USAC cares a lot about power, and that is good for many trips and selection, but less good for winning. There is a lot of attention on the 15-18 so if he is talented, he may get noticed. The pool is quite small. Only need to be in the top 1% to start getting trips and freebies (unlike girls soccer).

Anyway, W/kg can be as high as adults, but endurance is way lower. Not surprisingly if you compare to other sports where 17 year old males compete the power is very high, in women - swimming 14. Adult track riders are higher total power as they have time to build mass. W/kg matters less on the track and raw power more.
W/kg matters most in hill climbing. Picking hills to challenge against the clock may be as fun. Anyway DO compare to adults. The elite juniors tend to be higher W/kg than the category they race in. Because they are smaller/leaner and generally not as smart about racing. My kid is 18 now and lower W/kg sprint than at 15. But he is faster and can hold it longer. VO2 will also increase. They say it peaks around 18. Mine was last tested late 15, and at 10 and it went up 15-20.

Anyway best just look at the adult charts. It tracked pretty well with the category, but your kid needs to be a bit higher. I was privy to a few others too. Pretty much the same thing.
a typical "serious" top 3% junior.
@14 ~cat 4, cat 3
@16 ~cat 3, cat 2
@ 18 ~cat 2, cat 1
That's exactly the info I was looking for, thanks! I'm going to stick with current plan of 30-40K road rides at whatever pace he likes combined with Zwift sessions which he really enjoys and see how it develops. I detect more of a zen like TT attitude than a scrappy race approach so far but we'll see.
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Old 05-27-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Yes. Back off, man......
He doesn't have a power meter! See my response above on that point.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:16 PM
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[QUOTE=bobobob;19611817 Right now he can fairly comfortable put out 2.1 Watts/KG for an hour+

Can anyone provide any pointers?[/QUOTE]

A pointer ?
Yes,
Don't worry about watts etc.
Develop good riding skills, first.
Make riding comfortable and fun !
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