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Big Gears

Old 06-27-17, 12:51 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
Seeing guys run a 98" in a cat 4 points race where it is anything BUT consistent high speeds is a head banger.
Ouch! Those guys need to spend some time in the motor game with a bunch of people in 90" gears who will work them over by messing with the speed and leaving them spending all their time in the wind and half of it trying to close a gap.

Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
FWIW, until recently i raced Nats on 93-94" gears.
49x14 gives you a decent cruising speed at ~100-110 rpm and enough high end at 150 without killing your legs when you have to make the speed changes.
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Old 06-27-17, 01:57 PM
  #27  
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I wish we would close this thread. It's making me second guess my gearing choice of 51 x 16 for tomorrow's scratch race.
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Old 06-27-17, 01:57 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I've been reading this thread with interest, as I am still new to track and learning what gears I want.

For the most part, I thought I was running small gears because I was racing largely in the 86-94 range.

I recently had my wife come with me to the track to time my 200 efforts with different gears to figure out my best options. I started at 108. I got around in a decent time, but I really felt like I was fighting the bike to keep it going. My wife and another guy there that day - former world champion - both agreed that despite the time, it was too big of a gear. I backed off to 100 and shaved .2 off the 108 time. I then went up to 102, as I felt like I was spinning out the 100. My time was up a little bit, but it's unclear if that was due to the bigger gear or fatigue.
You are still waaaay too high.

Understand that if you are new, you can shave off a full second in back to back runs using the same gear by simply adjusting your windup and/or your line.

To explain my point, open your phone to the stopwatch app and see just how fast a second goes by.

The 0.2s gain you found could simply be stopwatch user error or you pulling your shorts up tighter
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Old 06-27-17, 05:47 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, the approach is: Roll a big gear like a Diesel engine as opposed to a small gear like a turbo 4 cylinder revving through small gears?
Not as clear cut as that, but kinda yes. What you should notice is that a revvy small gear may get you good peak speed, but it is short lived. When you play bigger you will notice that maybe your peak speed is lower but your average speed should definitely be higher for a 200+m effort. As you develop the strength, both top and average will get higher. Me personally, the first time I had the feeling of pushing a gear in an effort vs spinning and just trying to hang on was an epiphany!

As I said before it's not about riding 90" and then throwing on 135" and expecting to break records. You build up to it with targeted training, especially with on the bike strength work. These days "getting on top of the gear" and "spin to win" are only for the juniors that are on restricted gearing, or guys that just can't let the past go and see that times have changed.
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Old 06-28-17, 07:53 AM
  #30  
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A couple observations/questions...

What sort of gearing did champions in the 70's, 80s and 90s use to qualify and to race?

Were bikes and wheels in the 70s, 80 and 90s stiff enough to accommodate today's much larger gears?

Has a flying 200 always been used to seed Match Sprint tournaments? Seems to me that at at one point 3 to 5 man races comprised early rounds. Or, was it simply repechages?

When was Keirin made a part of UCI track racing? Perhaps it illustrated the way to use bigger gears in Match Sprints?
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Old 06-28-17, 08:57 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by EsqDavidK View Post
A couple observations/questions...

What sort of gearing did champions in the 70's, 80s and 90s use to qualify and to race?

Were bikes and wheels in the 70s, 80 and 90s stiff enough to accommodate today's much larger gears?

Has a flying 200 always been used to seed Match Sprint tournaments? Seems to me that at at one point 3 to 5 man races comprised early rounds. Or, was it simply repechages?

When was Keirin made a part of UCI track racing? Perhaps it illustrated the way to use bigger gears in Match Sprints?

I'll answer what I can.

What sort of gearing did champions in the 70's, 80s and 90s use to qualify and to race?
I believe that Marty Nothstein used a (big for the time) 94" gear when he won Olympic Gold in Atlanta in 1996. I think he used 165mm cranks as well... at 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) and 96 kg (212 lb).

Were bikes and wheels in the 70s, 80 and 90s stiff enough to accommodate today's much larger gears?
My guess is maybe. The steel bikes were stiff. Carbon fiber tech wasn't that mature yet. High modulus carbon fiber wasn't a thing yet. So, it was light, easily shaped, and aero, but not stiff. Aluminum bikes were big then, too. Tiemeyer worked for GT and some of those bikes were pretty aero.

I was told by one of the sprinters that rode the GT Superbike that, "It rode like a wet noodle." I believe that Rebeca Twigg refused to ride it stating that she didn't like it and she preferred her aluminum GT (both made by Tiemeyer).

Has a flying 200 always been used to seed Match Sprint tournaments? Seems to me that at at one point 3 to 5 man races comprised early rounds. Or, was it simply repechages?
Not sure, but I think you are right. On a related note, at one time aerobars were allowed in the flying 200 I recall seeing a video on youtube of someone qualify using them.

When was Keirin made a part of UCI track racing? Perhaps it illustrated the way to use bigger gears in Match Sprints?
Keirin has been a UCI men's World Championship event since 1980 and a UCI women's World Championship event since 2002.
--Wikipedia

I think between the Keirin and the Kilo, big gears migrated into Sprints.





Further, I think fitness, nutrition, and recovery advances have also aided in the adoption of bigger gears for Match Sprinting.

If you are on the Match Sprint scene for a while racing several tournaments, you'll start to evolve strategies that span over 2 days rather than just 3 laps because after you make it to the quarter finals, it become a war of attrition where the fittest fast person wins not necessarily the fastest person.

This is where your qualifying position is very important. Simply making the cut is not the goal. If you qualify in, say, the 5th position in a field of 16, you will have to fight several close hard rounds with evenly matched competitors to make it to the finals where the guys who qualified 1st and 2nd get a bye in the first round then get to race much slower competitors. When you race much slower competitors, you don't have to "dig deep" for a win.

One can race A LOT of 750M races to make it to the finals:

- Round 1: winner goes to round 2, loser goes to repechage
- Repechage 1: winner goes to round 2, losers go to showers
- Round 2: winner goes to quarters, losers go to repechage
- Repechage 2: winner goes to quarters, losers go to showers
- quarter finals: best 2 of 3, winner goes to semis, losers go to 5-8 finals.
- semis: best 2 of 3, winners go to major finals, losers go to minor finals.

A proper sprint tournament is A LOT of racing. A LOT.

Guys in the 90s knew of big gears. But, if you rode them, you may qualify high and win early, but you are dead in the water in the middle of the tournament. So, at that point, it becomes a game of economics.

Last edited by carleton; 06-28-17 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 06-28-17, 09:04 AM
  #32  
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You ever see a pro sprint tournament where teammates wind up racing each other in a round and there is a half-hearted sprint? It's because they've agreed on which teammate is gonna advance at the expense of the other. That way they are both fresh for the next round.

This is no different than in motorsport when teammates are close to the finish and one teammate is ordered to let another pass as opposed to letting the best man win. Or when in a mass start race or crit a teammate does a lead-out for the others and burns all of his matches doing so. It's putting the team over oneself.
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Old 06-28-17, 10:35 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
Not as clear cut as that, but kinda yes. What you should notice is that a revvy small gear may get you good peak speed, but it is short lived. When you play bigger you will notice that maybe your peak speed is lower but your average speed should definitely be higher for a 200+m effort. As you develop the strength, both top and average will get higher. Me personally, the first time I had the feeling of pushing a gear in an effort vs spinning and just trying to hang on was an epiphany!

As I said before it's not about riding 90" and then throwing on 135" and expecting to break records. You build up to it with targeted training, especially with on the bike strength work. These days "getting on top of the gear" and "spin to win" are only for the juniors that are on restricted gearing, or guys that just can't let the past go and see that times have changed.
Brawlo, what did you change in training to adapt? Accelerations in big gears?
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Old 06-28-17, 04:12 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Brawlo, what did you change in training to adapt? Accelerations in big gears?
Somebody put a big gear on his bike, drove him out to the desert, put him out, and told him to ride home
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Old 06-28-17, 06:25 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Somebody put a big gear on his bike, drove him out to the desert, put him out, and told him to ride home
As long as they drove into the wind...
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Old 06-28-17, 08:09 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Brawlo, what did you change in training to adapt? Accelerations in big gears?
Conditioning was probably my main factor. I still have a lot of strength to gain in pushing the gears I believe, but I did a lot of conditioning last season. My 11.8 F200, my top speed was just 61.8kph. I held it well. I'm also 6'5" and push a LOT of wind, like a piano with a parachute as one mate put it!

My foray into bigger gears started about 4 years ago. An old rugby mate got into riding as I had and he came to track. Brand new to track racing he started with 102". My brainwashed position said "too high mate", but he was strong like me and handled it easily. Why not he said, "I use bigger on the road sprints". Boom! So I started riding 102" myself that season and graduated up to a "massive" 105" by the end of the season. It only took about a month for me to be conditioned enough to cope with all the surging in the local scratch races, and all of a sudden instead of spinning out and dropping off, I was up there for the sprint every week. I can't spin! So I knew bigger was for me too, but the really hard part was finding out the HOW.

The truly disappointing fact is that there's so much information out there that is just repetitive regurgitation of crap from days gone by for no reason other than that's just how it was done, so that's how we do it. Just like tying and soldering spokes.... After a lot of sifting and searching, I've found my path and assistance. It's out there, but you really have to sift through some crap to find it, and there's a whole lot of nay sayers putting those people down. Sorry, but if you open your eyes, those people are getting faster and faster and breaking records, while those nay sayers with all the outdated info just seem to be getting left behind.

There will always be those genetic outliers that can spin 90" to ridiculous speeds and times. They are not examples of how it's done for everyone, but so many riders and coaches see them as what to aspire to
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Old 06-28-17, 10:02 PM
  #37  
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The flying 200M is just a chance to win a ticket to The Big Dance. We still have to dance once we get there.

Are people still using the big gears in the sprint tournaments?
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Old 06-28-17, 10:34 PM
  #38  
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From what I've seen, yes. But not huge like qualifying gears, and of course it depends on the opponent and planned tactics. Riding style changes too on bigger gears
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Old 06-28-17, 11:57 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
From what I've seen, yes. But not huge like qualifying gears, and of course it depends on the opponent and planned tactics. Riding style changes too on bigger gears
This is interesting.

I don't know the history with regards to the flying 200M and the sprint tournament and why the time trial was chosen as the seeding tool for the tournament. If anyone knows, please tell us.

There used to be a strong correlation between F200M qualifying time and final placement in the tournament. I think one study years showed something like 92%. So, basically, if you qualified in x position in the flying 200M, there was a 92% chance that's the position you'd have at the end of the tournament.

My guess (and this is just a guess) is that the flying 200M, with its windup and speed trap at the end, was designed to replicate a controlled match sprint race situation to see how fast people are. Not much different than race cars qualifying for their spot at the start of a race.

With that in mind, now it seems that the flying 200M time trial and match sprint are being treated as two entirely separate events by the athletes. Different gears, different aero equipment, etc...

Why not separate them?

In the 2017 UCI World Chamionship tournament, 28 riders were accepted into the sprint tournament. 1st (9.645s) and 28th (10.105s) places were separated by 0.460s.

Back in 2000, places 1st (10.184s) and 20th (11.059s) were separated by 0.875s

The 1st place time in 2000 would have been 34th place (dead last) in 2017... being +0.539s slower

Can this trend continue?
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Old 06-29-17, 12:03 AM
  #40  
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Maybe (as a way to evolve and grow the sport) extend the Flying 200M into a Flying Lap as a stand-alone event and come up with a different way to seed the sprint tournament?

That way the TT specialists can be TT specialists and match sprinters can be match sprinters.

(I suck at both, btw, so I don't have a dog in this fight.)


EDIT:

Think about it. If there were some other way to seed the tournament, then an entire 1/2 day to full day wouldn't be required to hold flying 200M qualfiying...an event that doesn't award a medal (the flying 200M TT or flying lap TT would be a separate event...that awards a medal ). I don't know what the alternative would be. Maybe random 1st round seedings with more reps to avoid 1 vs 2 randomly meeting early on and knocking each other out? Round Robin then Brackets for semis and finals? 3-ups early on?

Last edited by carleton; 06-29-17 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 06-29-17, 01:41 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Think about it. If there were some other way to seed the tournament, then an entire 1/2 day to full day wouldn't be required to hold flying 200M qualfiying...an event that doesn't award a medal (the flying 200M TT or flying lap TT would be a separate event...that awards a medal ). I don't know what the alternative would be. Maybe random 1st round seedings with more reps to avoid 1 vs 2 randomly meeting early on and knocking each other out? Round Robin then Brackets for semis and finals? 3-ups early on?
Increasing the number of 2-up rides to either add reps or create a round robin would add more time than you save by eliminating the 200s. With 200s, each rider goes just once for three laps, and if things are organized the next rider is getting on the track as the previous rider goes past the back stretch on the final lap. Adding a round or doing round robin would add at least a number of races equal to half the number of riders (the bare minimum if you add a single round), with time to get the riders on the track, give instructions, start them, and get them off the track to set up for the next race.

The flip side is that it would be more spectator friendly and would give all the riders more head-to-head races.

Maybe randomly seed 4-ups and advance the top two and send the bottom 2 to the reps?
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Old 07-03-17, 03:22 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
You are still waaaay too high.

Understand that if you are new, you can shave off a full second in back to back runs using the same gear by simply adjusting your windup and/or your line.

To explain my point, open your phone to the stopwatch app and see just how fast a second goes by.

The 0.2s gain you found could simply be stopwatch user error or you pulling your shorts up tighter
Carleton,

Your comment got me to thinking, about how good or bad is a stop watch. Since, I worked as an official doing manual stop watch backups at our regionals and the UCI sprint events this year, I thought I would measure my performance versus the electronic timing this past weekend. The electronic timing had an average Men's 200m time of 10.70s or 10.693s for the perfectionists. With a sample size of 37, my manual timings show no bias plus or minus to a hundredth of a second and a mean error of 3/100ths of second. My maximum error was 7/100ths. Not too bad, I think.

Last edited by dunderhi; 07-03-17 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:45 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Carleton,

Your comment got me to thinking, about good or bad is a stop watch. Since, I worked as an official doing manual stop watch backups at our regionals and the UCI sprint events this year, I thought I would measure my performance versus the electronic timing this past weekend. The electronic timing had an average Men's 200m time of 10.70s or 10.693s for the perfectionists. With a sample size of 37, my manual timings show no bias plus or minus to a hundredth of a second and a mean error of 3/100ths of second. My maximum error was 7/100ths. Not too bad, I think.
That's really good!

When I became certified as a USA Cycling Official, I set out to find a high quality stopwatch with buttons with good feedback. Most of the ones in local stores have mushy actuation. Then you get to handle an expensive one and you can feel the difference.

A lot of folks get their significant others or buddies to time them. These folks usually don't have experience timing and usually mess up (high and low), and it can be very frustrating. That's why I always suggest for newbies to have someone video their ride and for them to time it later on the computer or use elapsed time on the video program on the computer (e.g. Quicktime).

If you are nailing stuff that accurately, you'd be the guy I have time me for sure
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Old 07-03-17, 07:14 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
If you are nailing stuff that accurately, you'd be the guy I have time me for sure
Any time you'd like.
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Old 07-03-17, 09:59 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
That's really good!

When I became certified as a USA Cycling Official, I set out to find a high quality stopwatch with buttons with good feedback. Most of the ones in local stores have mushy actuation. Then you get to handle an expensive one and you can feel the difference.

A lot of folks get their significant others or buddies to time them. These folks usually don't have experience timing and usually mess up (high and low), and it can be very frustrating. That's why I always suggest for newbies to have someone video their ride and for them to time it later on the computer or use elapsed time on the video program on the computer (e.g. Quicktime).

If you are nailing stuff that accurately, you'd be the guy I have time me for sure
There was a program that allowed you to superimpose a stopwatch on the video and view it frame by frame. That would get you some really accurate times, although you would have to sit down after the fact and time your efforts that way. I guess it's no different than looking at power files. What would be really nice is to be able to put a watermark or timestamp to a video file AND a power file so that both files can be compared as an overlay.
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Old 07-03-17, 10:31 PM
  #46  
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Just divide the number of frames between the start and the finish by the frame rate, and that is your time.
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Old 07-05-17, 06:03 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
There was a program that allowed you to superimpose a stopwatch on the video and view it frame by frame. That would get you some really accurate times, although you would have to sit down after the fact and time your efforts that way. I guess it's no different than looking at power files. What would be really nice is to be able to put a watermark or timestamp to a video file AND a power file so that both files can be compared as an overlay.
Is it still around and any links/info in what it is??
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Old 07-05-17, 07:10 PM
  #48  
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Here's what I did today. I use VLC an open source video player. I play the clip at 1/4 speed so that I can be fairly certain that I'm marking at the right time using my stopwatch. When I got the times/splits, I would divide them by 4 to get the elapsed time. I was timing Team Sprints, so the elapsed time wasn't a lot. It would be sort of tedious to do that for a pursuit.

If it's difficult to see the markings on your track, just lay anything big near the mark (but safely off the track), like a water bottle, hat, etc... so you can easily spot it in the video.
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Old 07-05-17, 09:44 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
Is it still around and any links/info in what it is??
I'm not sure what it was called. It was a video editing program that my coach used to use. I would videotape my efforts and email/usb stick the files to him. It was also a way that he would be able to see my performances without actually being present.
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Old 07-05-17, 11:45 PM
  #50  
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Stopwatchvideo app?
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