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Big Gears

Old 07-06-17, 06:19 AM
  #51  
topflightpro
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When you use video, are you videoing from the bike or some other location, like the rail?
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Old 07-06-17, 08:31 AM
  #52  
carleton
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
When you use video, are you videoing from the bike or some other location, like the rail?
I'm talking about videos made by people in the stands or infield.

On that note, a GoPro set up to view the necessary area will work, too.

GoPro (and similar devices) are becoming less and less expensive and may be easier for friends/spouse/teammates to operate than a cell phone.

I wouldn't suggest recording every training session. Just the ones where you want to check your form or get periodic time checks and don't want to wait for a proper competition. It's reasonable on a Saturday morning to tell people working out that day that you are doing a test run and to give you to the sprinter's lane for a few minutes.
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Old 07-06-17, 08:31 AM
  #53  
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Stands/rail or infield. On bike video ends up crappy.
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Old 07-06-17, 08:39 AM
  #54  
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Timestamp Camera (iOS)

Just stumbled across this free app, will automatically overlay a timestamp on a video as you record in the format you wish...down to a hundredth of a second. Only tested in work after finding it today but it seems pretty much perfect.
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Old 07-06-17, 08:52 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Stands/rail or infield. On bike video ends up crappy.
Yeah. On-bike or on-helmet stuff looks interesting in terms of seeing a mass start race unfold, but for checking form and timing, it must be off of the bike.
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Old 10-15-17, 07:45 AM
  #56  
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Just 2 cents. I hang out with few top-world class sprinters (and I'm talking here about top-top class that are not scared of Dennis Dmietriev, Robert Fortsemann, Jason Kenny, and they beat these guys as often as they lose too). NONE of them use big gears for racing (we don't talk here about training sessions, right?).

I am not sure if I am allowed to give real numbers here and this vary depending on a specific velodrome/event etc. However, for a team sprint at the last Olympics they use like 54x14 - 53x13 - 53x13 setup (this was mentioned in the TV and I can confirm this is true numbers).

I wouldn't categorize them as big gears. In fact, local/master level riders usually use bigger gears which actually works as long as they don't compete with more experienced riders.
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Old 10-15-17, 10:09 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I'm talking about videos made by people in the stands or infield.

On that note, a GoPro set up to view the necessary area will work, too.

GoPro (and similar devices) are becoming less and less expensive and may be easier for friends/spouse/teammates to operate than a cell phone.

I wouldn't suggest recording every training session. Just the ones where you want to check your form or get periodic time checks and don't want to wait for a proper competition. It's reasonable on a Saturday morning to tell people working out that day that you are doing a test run and to give you to the sprinter's lane for a few minutes.
I use a GoPro Session 4 w/ a flexible tripod wrapped around the a rail at the top of the stands at Rock Hill. Captures the whole track and lets me get precise timing for flying 200s etc.
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Old 10-15-17, 10:22 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
What counts as "big" gears is certainly relative, and I'm no where near international elite level, but I think most people would say doing an event that starts from a gate/hold on a 104"-110" is pretty big...Didn't Hindes say he *went up to* 100" for man 1 at Rio instead of 98"?
This is why it's a team sprint. You need to cooperate with the other 2 riders to get it smoothly. So I understand the Hindes going bigger.

Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
If they're able to get 104-110 rolling quickly, I can only imagine they also don't think that 110" or even something like 116" is "big" for a sprint round, while most of us would probably struggle to just get on top of that gear in 750m.
I used 100" for a kilo at last nationals. It was outdoor 400m velodrome with a headwind on the finish line. It was fine. For 250m indoor I would go with 105-108" at the same time.
I am not a big sprinter guy though, I have pretty smooth starts from the gate with good acceleration.
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Old 10-15-17, 11:26 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by bartek. View Post
Just 2 cents. I hang out with few top-world class sprinters (and I'm talking here about top-top class that are not scared of Dennis Dmietriev, Robert Fortsemann, Jason Kenny, and they beat these guys as often as they lose too). NONE of them use big gears for racing (we don't talk here about training sessions, right?).


None of us have done that

It would be crazy if some of those top-class sprinters actually post here, too. CRAAAAZY.


Every world-class athlete is a "local" somewhere.


Originally Posted by bartek. View Post
I am not sure if I am allowed to give real numbers here and this vary depending on a specific velodrome/event etc. However, for a team sprint at the last Olympics they use like 54x14 - 53x13 - 53x13 setup (this was mentioned in the TV and I can confirm this is true numbers).

I wouldn't categorize them as big gears. In fact, local/master level riders usually use bigger gears which actually works as long as they don't compete with more experienced riders.
I think the bigger change is that people are using the really big gears for the F200 and normally big gears for the rounds and other events...which is what I think you are saying, too.

100" isn't huge. Just big. My last 500M was done on a 105" on an almost 250m track. Was pretty fast and not a big deal.

Last edited by carleton; 10-15-17 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 10-15-17, 11:35 AM
  #60  
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I am not sure how to read your reply properly. Probably due to my language limitation. So, I don't know what to answer to this

Anyway, I guess it depends from place to place, but I wouldn't say the top-class riders are "local" here as they have more likely closed training sessions and they never attend to open sessions or local events. In fact, the velodrome is out of town, so basically just come for this 1.5hrs open training (yeah, we have only 1.5hrs a day open slot) and leave the place. So, even if local riders use the same velodrome arena it's likely possible to not meet any of the in person even for years. Maybe it's different in your area.

Last edited by bartek.; 10-15-17 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 10-15-17, 11:52 AM
  #61  
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Sorry.

Top racers may not race with everyone, but it's not uncommon for them to share training time...or to simply hang out with us normal people.

Their gearing is not a big secret. Their opponents can see it in the bay next to them at the competition. I can watch a video and calculate, not guess, a rider's gearing, speed, and cadence.
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Old 10-15-17, 12:24 PM
  #62  
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Firstly, there was a typo in my last post. "The velodrome is out of TOWN" (not time ). Edited.

For some reasons, I thought is rather more or less secret thing. Especially for sprinters, due to tactics etc. I remember an interview with Fortsemann who said that elites don't talk about ratio and try to keep it as hidden as possible. He didn't even give an answer about the ratio he uses for that reason.

I guess calculating from a video can be not accurate. +/- 1 teeth even on chain ring makes a difference.
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Old 10-15-17, 01:18 PM
  #63  
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Calculating from a video is definitely accurate enough. You can figure out how many pedal revolutions are occuring during a set distance. 1 tooth on the chainring is not such a noticeable difference. Yes it can be important when you want to really fine tune something (like in a team sprint), but no one "accidentally" lost a race because their chainring was off by a tooth. If the rear cog is off by a tooth, then that's another story.

Sort of related funny story:
When I was 16, I used to race the Kilo in 49x15. I had tried 50x15 in training and decided to step it up for this race. When I was warming up, an older team mate offered me his disc to use. He thought he had put a 15 tooth cog on, but it was a 14. Rolling around the infield, I didn't notice the gear was that huge. Apparently I looked like Greame Obree rolling around the track in a 50x14 during my Kilo. I turned out my usual Kilo time despite the gearing.
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Old 10-15-17, 01:27 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by bartek. View Post
Firstly, there was a typo in my last post. "The velodrome is out of TOWN" (not time ). Edited.

For some reasons, I thought is rather more or less secret thing. Especially for sprinters, due to tactics etc. I remember an interview with Fortsemann who said that elites don't talk about ratio and try to keep it as hidden as possible. He didn't even give an answer about the ratio he uses for that reason.

I guess calculating from a video can be not accurate. +/- 1 teeth even on chain ring makes a difference.
During the past few Olympics, GB had photographers in the infield and stands taking pictures of cog/ring combos, and figuring them out despite them not being labelled. It may not have helped in the early rounds of competition, but it definitely was usable information for semis and finals.

Knowing what your opponent is running isn't as important as it used to be. Presently, races are rolling start, high speed drag races. Competitors are doing what they can to maximize THEIR OWN top speed because that's how the tactics of modern sprinting work out. 20 years ago, when people had the "option" of trackstanding, gearing mattered because you actually had the choice of a fast, long, or short races. Not anymore.
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Old 10-15-17, 01:46 PM
  #65  
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A few stories:

One of my favourite stories surrounds her two sub-34 second world records in 2006 – the first quite mistakenly ridden on a 45-tooth chainring, which both Meares and her coach thought was the usual 44. They only discovered the error months later, so figuring it worked pretty well the last time, they stuck with it – and Meares shredded nearly half a second off her own world record at the Worlds in Spain!
from: https://carbonaddiction.net/2013/05/...-meares-story/


- I've heard that Giddeon Massie and others would scratch off the numbers from their chainrings to avoid a competitor knowing the gear ratio.
- I once raced a local sprint tournament on a 15t thinking it was a 14t.

Also, the idea of knowing what the other guys/ladies are using only matters in match sprint heats, not in training or time trials. Basically, if you know your opponent is riding a "big" gear, you will expect the sprint to start far out and either ride a similarly big gear or "herd" him and keep him from winding up the gear to get speed...then you jump hard with 1 lap to go and run to the win. OR if the guy is riding a small gear, you choose a big gear and start the sprint early.

These are simply "Plan A". You can figure out relative gearing within the first few meters of the sprint. By then you will know if Plan A will work or not, or if you should switch to Plan B.

Cheeky tactics still work sometimes:
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Old 10-15-17, 05:01 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by bartek. View Post
Just 2 cents. I hang out with few top-world class sprinters (and I'm talking here about top-top class that are not scared of Dennis Dmietriev, Robert Fortsemann, Jason Kenny, and they beat these guys as often as they lose too). NONE of them use big gears for racing (we don't talk here about training sessions, right?).

I am not sure if I am allowed to give real numbers here and this vary depending on a specific velodrome/event etc. However, for a team sprint at the last Olympics they use like 54x14 - 53x13 - 53x13 setup (this was mentioned in the TV and I can confirm this is true numbers).

I wouldn't categorize them as big gears. In fact, local/master level riders usually use bigger gears which actually works as long as they don't compete with more experienced riders.
You kind of have to compare apples with apples. Comparing the top level anyone to everyone else is like apples to oranges. Yeah they both grow on trees, but they're very different. You're talking about the top 0.001% that are there because they have exceptional talent. Comparing what those guys do to almost anyone else is futile. They have the genetics and are full time athletes.

Those gears aren't considered huge by any means, but for a standing start event they definitely are big, even at the world level. Big gears are generally talked about around a F200. You have 2.5 laps to wind it up and you get to drop in at your own pace with noone else to influence your effort. You tune that gear to your strengths. I would say MOST guys here are masters level (if I'm wrong that's fine), and generalising here, I would say that their ideal cadence is much less than younger riders (except those super fast guys), while the speeds can certainly be similar. Hence larger gears are used by a lot of masters guys and records are being consistently broken. I remember seeing records stand for many years, but since the slow adoption of bigger gears for sprint and endurance racers, those records seem to be falling consistently (happy to stand corrected there as well).

All that aside, almost everyone uses a "normal" big gear for race rounds.

As an aside, I ran my first sprint tourney for the season on Saturday. We haven't even raced a club race yet so my endurance is terrible. I ran 58/13 for the F200 for a 12.03. While people look at that and , the context is I run 175 cranks while most run 165s. The reality is that final gearing (gain ratio) is actually similar or smaller than what a lot of other guys are running.
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Old 10-15-17, 05:13 PM
  #67  
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Also when we say "big gears" we're recalling a time when a 92 was a big gear.

There's an interview from back in the day with Marty Nothstein in which he says that everyone else was sprinting on a 48 or a 49, but those were warmup gears to him - he boasts that he was on a 50.

14.

Those are small gears. By comparison, fifteen years later, I needed a 52 to survive endurance races where the speed didn't drop under 52kph, and hit 70kph several times. There were only so many times I could rev up past 145rpm and get any more speed out of the bike, you know?
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Old 10-15-17, 10:39 PM
  #68  
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I've not gathered enough data to know for sure, but I tend to "feel" faster on a bigger gear though I very well might not be. My fastest 200 time was set durimg a strength session on a 106 with an ugly entry from jumping too late. Whether or not I'd be faster on bigger gears I'll not know until I go bigger than a 51 or smaller than a 13.

Similar to brawlo I'm on slightly longer than usual cranks at 172.5 so the ratios will feel smaller than listed but my setups look like this when racing. (Predominantly indoors, 250m track)

Scratch- 48x14
Points- 50x15
Kilo- 50x14
Wheelrace/Handicapped- 51x14
200- 51x13
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Old 10-16-17, 12:05 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by pierrej View Post
My fastest 200 time was set durimg a strength session on a 106 with an ugly entry from jumping too late.
Your ugly, late line may have actually been a benefit for you. Many people wind up the way pros wind up. What they fail to realize is that even the sprinters have a very good cardio engine, and they can hold a higher speed and longer wind up better than we can. Mere mortals tend to actually jump too early. What this causes is a peak speed somewhere right at about the 200m line. From there it's a slow descent in speed until you cross the finish line. If you could delay this peak, then your average speed for the whole 200m would be higher, resulting in a better time. Next time you train 200s, see if you can get someone to time your 100m splits. Those are how you better tune your line and jump.
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Old 10-16-17, 12:49 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Your ugly, late line may have actually been a benefit for you. Many people wind up the way pros wind up. What they fail to realize is that even the sprinters have a very good cardio engine, and they can hold a higher speed and longer wind up better than we can. Mere mortals tend to actually jump too early. What this causes is a peak speed somewhere right at about the 200m line. From there it's a slow descent in speed until you cross the finish line. If you could delay this peak, then your average speed for the whole 200m would be higher, resulting in a better time. Next time you train 200s, see if you can get someone to time your 100m splits. Those are how you better tune your line and jump.
That could well be true, but it was more that I was out of the saddle as I tipped into T1 and got caught into two minds whether to stay that way or be seated, ended up going with seated a bit late and hit line a bit above the red.

That run I was actively trying to keep the wind up speed high with the large gear and to float more through the corners, being a wannabe road sprinter I'm reasonably fit aerobically but would hardly call myself an enduro
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Old 10-16-17, 02:04 AM
  #71  
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Was this on a 250 track?
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Old 10-16-17, 03:26 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Was this on a 250 track?
Yes it was
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Old 10-19-17, 02:30 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Cheeky tactics still work sometimes:
I'm pretty new to this, but why did I think that the uptrack rider have to be behind the lead for the first half lap? Is that a rule at some levels but not at elite competition?
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Old 10-20-17, 01:10 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
It's still a rule. The rider who draws 1 is obligated to lead at at least a walking pace for the first half lap and is not allowed to come to a stop, BUT if the second rider willingly overtakes the first rider that is OK.
Actually, there is no mention of a walking pace in the current USAC rulebook (although there is in UCI) and both say that the lead rider has to keep moving only to the pursuit line on the back stretch, not half a lap.
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Old 06-10-18, 09:44 AM
  #75  
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Everyone's different. I run 108-114. You need to do a bunch of flying 50s and figure out what's best for you.
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