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Youth-A bike build

BannoBanno Posts: 63
edited November 2014 in Amateur race
Hi all

We are in the process of building a road bike for my 15 year old for next year.
It will be his general riding, club ride, race bike so need to be fit for all purposes.
My dilemma comes with gear selection.
His bike this year used a 50/34 with a 12-27 cassette. For racing we simply locked off the bottom 4 gears to give him a 50x16. For everything else this gave a good spread of gears and he able to remain in the big ring for all but the worst hills (we live in Suffolk so it's really not THAT hilly).
As we are buying a new groupset, it will be 11 speed and we have the choice of 50/34 or 52/36.
Obviously a 52x16 would give him the biggest gear possible, but I'm concerned that we might go this route then fit 25mm tyres and it's over the limit.
Another is I don't know if he would still be able to remain in the big ring the majority of the time (this just keeps things simple).
Another option with the cassette is to get a 14-27, which means we would only block off two gears and give less gaps when racing, but is a 50 or 52x14 going to be big enough for general/club rides?

I believe i'm thinking about this too much and getting myself a bit worked up, but I'd really like some help now.

Thanks very much

Owen

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    52/16 is marginally over the 6.93m limit, so I would suggest that is out of the question anyway. 50/14 should be plenty big enough for most types of riding.
  • BannoBanno Posts: 63
    Thanks Imposter
    That is what I thought about the 52x16 but it seems to keep being mentioned whenever I look up gear restrictions.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    Imposter wrote:
    52/16 is marginally over the 6.93m limit, so I would suggest that is out of the question anyway. 50/14 should be plenty big enough for most types of riding.

    52x16 gives 6.8m and 50x 14 is 7.5m subject to a rollout test using the wheels and tires you ll race with, the 50x14 will put you way over and 50x15 can be over dependant on tire, but if you go 50x16 you ll be way under geared.

    Many youths race 52x16, we use a 49x 15 but with a 23 tire still puts us just under, that's because I was given a 15/25 cassette.
    whatever gear you ve ended up with just check with a rollout.

    Perhaps the solution for you is to lock off gears for racing and use the 52x16 ? but training on restricted gears is pretty good thing to do anyway.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Sorry, meant 50/16, not 14. It's under the limit, but it's not 'way' undergeared. I know youth As who have won 3/4 circuit races on that setup, so it's hardly a disadvantage.
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    I really thing British cycling need to change the rules and make them a bit clearer.
    I work in a bike shop and have quite a few confused parents bringing in there children's bikes for me to make them race legal. It would be so much easier if the just said for everyone to run 23mm tyres and a 50/14 top gear as most bikes come with that gear, rather than having to buy chainrings and special cassettes
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    I really thing British cycling need to change the rules and make them a bit clearer.
    I work in a bike shop and have quite a few confused parents bringing in there children's bikes for me to make them race legal. It would be so much easier if the just said for everyone to run 23mm tyres and a 50/14 top gear as most bikes come with that gear, rather than having to buy chainrings and special cassettes

    So that's fine for youth A. What about B,C,D & E? They all have different roll-out limits. To be fair, it's not that confusing - it only becomes difficult when parents start to get censored about getting the gearing right on the limit number itself.
  • BannoBanno Posts: 63
    Sorry for being "censored ", but it's just about making sure my son isn't disadvantaged at all!!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    But he won't be - and that's exactly what I mean by being censored ;)

    If the limit is 6.93, then being at 6.92, 6.91, 6.90, etc, is not a 'disadvantage'. Being less fit than the guy that beats him is a 'disadvantage'. You only have to look at riders who ride up a category on a lower gear limit - and still win - to realise that gearing is not a disadvantage.
  • BannoBanno Posts: 63
    But is it not still better to have the biggest gear possible though?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Only if you want to be censored about it...
  • BannoBanno Posts: 63
    Well maybe I like censored !
    Oh wait.....
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    ha - wrong forum ;)
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,788
    The difference between a 52 x 16 and a 50 x 16 in a 30mph sprint would be about 4.5 rpm. I really don't think it's worth the worry it seems to cause as any young rider, especially if they've had any decent coaching, should be more than capable of riding at 120rpm for the duration of a sprint. However, my own preference would be to use a 48 x 36 chainset with a 15 up cassette. This gets you close without needing to worry too much about tyre choice or pressure.
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    Imposter wrote:
    I really thing British cycling need to change the rules and make them a bit clearer.
    I work in a bike shop and have quite a few confused parents bringing in there children's bikes for me to make them race legal. It would be so much easier if the just said for everyone to run 23mm tyres and a 50/14 top gear as most bikes come with that gear, rather than having to buy chainrings and special cassettes

    So that's fine for youth A. What about B,C,D & E? They all have different roll-out limits. To be fair, it's not that confusing - it only becomes difficult when parents start to get censored about getting the gearing right on the limit number itself.

    Well obviously they would have a different cog on the rear for each age group.

    You say its not that confusing but you like most people on this forum have an interest in cycling, lots of parents don't and the first they hear of the gearing rules is when there child is told that they can't compete i the race they have just turned up for
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    I'm amazed at the kit some of the junior/youth riders have. I was asked in the summer if I knew of any one who could make a titanium 11 speed cassette in a 16T up!
    I used to race on a 40lbs Rayleigh lizard in an old tracksuit
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Well obviously they would have a different cog on the rear for each age group.

    If only gear combinations were that simple - which they aren't.
    You say its not that confusing but you like most people on this forum have an interest in cycling, lots of parents don't and the first they hear of the gearing rules is when there child is told that they can't compete i the race they have just turned up for

    I've done the gear checks at countless numbers of youth races and I'm not aware of anyone who has been unable to race, due to having the wrong roll out. In most cases, 30 seconds with a screwdriver is all that is needed to lock out the required number of sprockets, or chainrings, or both. Nobody ever gets sent home, that would be absurd - not to mention entirely at odds with the objectives of youth racing.

    Ignorance of the rules is not a reason to make them simpler.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,788
    Imposter wrote:
    Well obviously they would have a different cog on the rear for each age group.

    If only gear combinations were that simple - which they aren't.
    You say its not that confusing but you like most people on this forum have an interest in cycling, lots of parents don't and the first they hear of the gearing rules is when there child is told that they can't compete i the race they have just turned up for

    I've done the gear checks at countless numbers of youth races and I'm not aware of anyone who has been unable to race, due to having the wrong roll out. In most cases, 30 seconds with a screwdriver is all that is needed to lock out the required number of sprockets, or chainrings, or both. Nobody ever gets sent home, that would be absurd - not to mention entirely at odds with the objectives of youth racing.

    Ignorance of the rules is not a reason to make them simpler.

    Also anyone in a half decent club will have had advice from coaches or experienced club members. Before the kids at our club start their road season we have a coaching session at which gearing gets checked by helpers and they even assist the parents in making adjustments. The thing I find odd is that people thn re-adjust their gearing after the racing - why bother? It's worth the child getting used to riding on their race gearing as they are unlikely to train at higher speeds than they are racing.
  • Oldest trick in the book - running a 53x16 then letting the tyre flat for the rollout so it comes in under.

    FWIW they will never do a rollout in Belgium. They'll count the teeth front and back and if they don't fit (even if you've blocked gears off) then no ride.
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