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Old 04-12-07, 12:13 PM   #1
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What gears do you train with?

Just wondering what gears you guys train with when not racing
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Old 04-12-07, 05:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sweetbike
Just wondering what gears you guys train with when not racing
As I don't race, all my gears fit into this category. Their size depends on the type of riding I'm doing and the intended speeds. I want my pedaling speed to be in a certain rev range for a given type of workout.

I'll give you my gears and speeds but all this is personally dependant on track size, fitness level and age. I ride on a tiny 138 metre/50 degree banked track, I'm months away from being 60, have ridden/raced for 46 years and I guess I'm reasonably fit.

Steady 30kph (approx 18mph) - 76" (48/17)
Steady 30 - 38kph (approx 18 - 23.5mph) - 81" (48/16)
Steady 38 - 42kph (approx 23 -26mph) - 84" (50/16)
Fast interval type efforts 34 - 50kph (approx 21 - 31mph) - 81 and 84"

For 95% of my riding I just use 81".
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Old 04-12-07, 10:56 PM   #3
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I ride on a 323m 38 degree track. Training only (no racing this season). I run a 48/16 and a 49/15.
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Old 04-13-07, 04:39 AM   #4
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I train on between 84" and 90" depending on how I'm feeling and what type of training, ie, Keirin, flying 200 etc.
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Old 04-13-07, 11:14 AM   #5
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When I started -- more than 20 years ago now, jeesh -- it was 49x16 for training and 49x15 for racing, regardless of track length.

Later, as the "Eastern Block" methods gained steam, it was a tiny gear for sprints and jumps (warm-up and leg speed drills), a race gear for 200s, 500s, and intervals, and then a giant gear for standing starts and sprints (power training). The gears were, IIRC, 49x18, 49x15, and 49x13, or thereabouts. Some folks were bringing flip-flop hubs with quick releases to the track because there was so much gear changing. Some folks had to change chainrings too, if their track ends weren't long enough.

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Old 04-14-07, 03:37 PM   #6
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The gears you use depend on the events you are training for and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Early season, it's not uncommon to ride a 48x16 (81 inch) gear in fast pacelines, mostly to build leg speed and snap, plus get some circulatory fitness. Then as you start moving into season, start doing like a 50x16 and then a 48x15 or 49x15 (depending on fitness, the track, etc.). Racing, you have to figure you are going to be undergeared in sanctioned racing with anything less than a 90 inch gear, but you may well want to be riding an 86 or 88 inch setup for the early part of the season just so you have really good leg speed for when you get ready for the peak periods in your season. If you are like most US riders, you have an opportunity to ride states, nationals (or masters nats), potentially masters worlds (if you're the age), and perhaps one or two larger events during the year. In track it really helps to plan for those events and not try to win every weekly massed start 10-lapper. As you are in season, warm up still in an 81 inch gear or so, then be doing some fast jumps and laps in perhaps an 84 or 86, and switch gears again to do some standing starts or hard sprints at the end of your session. That's a not-atypical training pattern for many/most people racing. But again, ride to your own events and your own abilities -- if you can maintain a high cadence but don't have power, work on power. If your legs aren't flexible, work on leg speed.
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