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Roller racing

Old 11-04-14, 11:00 PM
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JMR
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Roller racing

I have put my hand up for some roller racing on the weekend (1km races).

Have never done one before... so was hoping for some advice on gearing from people who have done them before.

Should I run my normal kilo gear? or go bigger?

Thanks!

JMR
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Old 11-05-14, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JMR View Post
I have put my hand up for some roller racing on the weekend (1km races).

Have never done one before... so was hoping for some advice on gearing from people who have done them before.

Should I run my normal kilo gear? or go bigger?

Thanks!

JMR
Most roller races in which I have participated had 2 bikes that were setup identically. Riders could not use their own bikes.

I did participate once where every competitor on one particular bike almost always won. It was in a pub, beer, loud music, etc...but I noticed. Come to find out that that bike had a much bigger gear on it.

So, as you suspect, there is no penalty for riding a huge gear being that rollers are nearly frictionless and you don't have to move your own mass with the huge gear and ideally, the same crank length (otherwise the smaller crank will have the advantage).

For the sake of fairness, both competitors should be required to use the same gear. The event organizer should know this...or they will find out soon enough why they should enforce this.

On the other hand, if it's wide open and your opponent can (and will) use the gear of his choosing, then yeah, go as big as you can. 55/12 for the win
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Old 11-05-14, 08:27 AM
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Yup, go big as the rules will allow.

Experiment at home a bit, but I'd recommend dropping your saddle a bit. You don't need power - you need to spin as fast as you can, and often a lower saddle can help with that.
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Old 11-05-14, 04:42 PM
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Technically there's a USA Cycling rule regarding max gearing for roller races.
1I3(c) In roller races, either road or track bicycles may be
used. All classes are restricted to a development of 7.69
meters (25 feet 3 inches) and cranks must be at least 165
mm long.
This generally ends up being a 51x14 if you're using typical 23ish mm tires. Here in NYC you're expected to bring your own bike, the USAC official will do a roll-out to make sure your gear isn't too big and you're good to go. They're generally done with 500m timed qualifiers for seeding, and then either a round-robin format or a straight bracket with 1km heats. There's usually a good amount of drinking involved. See SPIN! on Vimeo
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Old 11-05-14, 05:05 PM
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You've got to be kidding. There are sanctioned roller races? I always thought this was something drunk hipsters in trendy hipster bars did.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:22 PM
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Thanks guys!

This is just a sort of demonstation event, but there is prize money ($150 1st, $100 2nd, $60 3rd, $40 4th).

I'll chuck on a big gear and see how it pans out, but the promoter told me: my bike, select my own gear.

Let you know how it goes!

JMR
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Old 11-05-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JMR View Post
Thanks guys!

This is just a sort of demonstation event, but there is prize money ($150 1st, $100 2nd, $60 3rd, $40 4th).

I'll chuck on a big gear and see how it pans out, but the promoter told me: my bike, select my own gear.

Let you know how it goes!

JMR
That's real money!

Borrow the biggest chainring and the smallest cog (12?) you can. Test fit a few days before to make sure you have enough chain.
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Old 11-05-14, 09:31 PM
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Loaned my 12t to mate and won't get it back until after the race unfortunately... 108" it is!



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Old 11-05-14, 10:34 PM
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Good luck! Our invite roller derby, as part of our track carnival, is 'officially' restricted to 96", although I must say that I've never actually seen the riders get checked. Usually some young *** who can spin the wheels off their bike ends up winning. This is a little clip from one of our carnivals. Sketchy quality but shows some of the roller racing

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Old 11-09-14, 08:56 PM
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I got 2nd place... one of the crafty old guys (Former Masters World Champ Sprinter) showed up with a 126" gear on!

Once he got on top of that I couldn't reel him back in despite my much higher cadence and 108" gear

Good fun though!

JMR
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Old 11-10-14, 01:26 AM
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In roller racing do you typically have people holding your bike for you? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of rollers? (I have no experience riding rollers)
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Old 11-10-14, 01:42 AM
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Well, there are rollers for training and rollers for racing, and they have essentially nothing in common. In racing, having someone hold your bike is quite common, although it always bothered me and I normally asked for the fellow to go away.

I am surprised that roller racing still exists. It is a very old game ( I am aware of races in the 1920s, and I'll bet they existed before then) and was always gear restricted, so far as I know. Without gear restrictions, the smart rider simply fits the largest gear he can find, and the guy with the biggest gear wins, QED. If there is no gear restriction (a format which makes me question the whole thing) one might also consider the shortest cranks he can find. A double reduction gearing system with 150 mm cranks should be a winner, for the gamesman. What it has to do with bike racing, of course, is open to anyone's guess.
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Old 11-10-14, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JMR View Post
I got 2nd place... one of the crafty old guys (Former Masters World Champ Sprinter) showed up with a 126" gear on!

Once he got on top of that I couldn't reel him back in despite my much higher cadence and 108" gear

Good fun though!

JMR
Congrats!
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Old 11-10-14, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TurtleRacer View Post
In roller racing do you typically have people holding your bike for you? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of rollers? (I have no experience riding rollers)
you might typically have somebody holding your seatpost and headtube while you clip in, keeping you upright while you're stationary before the ***.

once you're going, nobody holds you.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:17 AM
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Someone has requested that roller racing be added to our local senior games - not sure if this is a serious request however.

On the subject of roller racing check out the cartoon movie "The Triplets of Bellville" - unusual but even my non-cyclist neighbors enjoyed the movie.
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Old 11-10-14, 01:44 PM
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Our velodrome association has a roller racing series over the winter, non-USAC license so open to OBRA and Canada as long as they show up and there might be beer available. The races are done with the rental bikes (47x15 gearing) on large rollers with a fork stand so leg speed is the key.
Write up and video of the first year event at https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...hip-rally.html
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