Welcome to the Podiatry Arena forums

You are currently viewing our podiatry forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view all podiatry discussions and access our other features. By joining our free global community of Podiatrists and other interested foot health care professionals you will have access to post podiatry topics (answer and ask questions), communicate privately with other members, upload content, view attachments, receive a weekly email update of new discussions, access other special features. Registered users do not get displayed the advertisements in posted messages. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our global Podiatry community today!

  1. Everything that you are ever going to want to know about running shoes: Running Shoes Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Have you considered the Critical Thinking and Skeptical Boot Camp, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
Dismiss Notice
Have you liked us on Facebook to get our updates? Please do. Click here for our Facebook page.
Dismiss Notice
Do you get the weekly newsletter that Podiatry Arena sends out to update everybody? If not, click here to organise this.

Gear restrictions for U19 cycling?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Dantastic, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Dantastic

    Dantastic Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Hi all,

    We are currently working on recommendations as to whether there should be gear restrictions for under 19's cycling competitions.

    Does anyone have any opinion as to whether kids at that age could do damage to their legs by pushing big gears?

    I would have thought it might be more of an issue in younger groups (ie 10-12 y.o), but any thoughts appreciated.

  2. Daniel:

    Here is some information that may help you.



    I think it is appropriate to educate young cyclists about cycling efficiency and the damage that can be done with "pushing big gears" instead of increasing their revolutions per minute (rpm) to reduce knee joint loading forces and possible muscle/tendon/ligament/cartilage damage. In my opinion, after the age of 16, the gearing should not be limited.
  3. Dantastic

    Dantastic Active Member

    Thanks for the quick reply, Kevin

    You make a good point about education to increase rpm for reducing joint load. Reminds me of the tap tap tapping of Lance Armstrong on his pedals.

    I'm also assuming there can be a high degree of stress at bone growth plates in junior cyclists? Would you mind elaborating as to why gearing should not be limited after 16 y.o.?

    Thanks again,
  4. efuller

    efuller MVP

    I've always wondered how you would prevent cyclists from using too big a gear when they go up a steep hill. They still get to choose which gear they are in when they go up a hill. Although you may slow top speeds when going down a hill and really force them to spin, or just sit when the speed of the bike is faster than their highest gear.


  5. Foot Traffic

    Foot Traffic Member

    Great topic!

    Having raced at an school/novice level and now in the Seniors I remember the frustrations of being restricted to low gears - particularly having to pedal so much faster to keep up with the big boys.

    In hindsight I am glad it was enforced as in general it will improve pedalling efficiency. You can always tell someone who has come to the sport later in life by their piston like pedalling style. Balancing the pressure through the foot is something that comes with time, so not having to deal with high power output makes it much easier on the young ones. However restricting the kids who are out of the school/U17 category would probably be counterproductive. They are also likely to be out of the risk age for Osgood Schlatters Disease so the knees should be safe. Some of the NZ riders are being scouted for team contracts by this age anyway, as I'm sure the Aussies are - imagine the poor buggers having to pedal at 150rpm just to keep up with McEwen, O'Grady and co on a training ride

    It is about this time that wise use of the gears and learning when to apply appropriate pressure to the pedal is paramount, and the riders are probably beginning to find out if they are sprinters, pusuitists, climbers etc.

    Even these kids that are riding on restricted gears are keeping up with us B grade seniors, so are clearly having no problem with limitiations in speed - infact I would like to restrict them even more to stop them beating me!
  6. Daniel:

    Nearly all girls and most boys will have all growth plates closed by the age of 17 with near full skeletal maturity. I don't like the idea of restricting 17 year old athletes to competing with younger individuals only.

    For example, when I was 17, I ran my first marathon and beat 95% of the adults in the race (and won a pair of Onitsuka Tiger Jayhawks for being the first junior in the race). I would have been really angry if I couldn't compete with all adults at this age since by that age I was already running between 70-95 miles a week.

    Give the 17 year old and older age groups a chance to compete with the adults on a level playing field....it is great motivation for them to beat someone older than them. In addition, I believe that the vast majority of these individuals can do the workouts with even less chance of injury than their older counterparts, as long as they are being coached properly.
  7. Dantastic

    Dantastic Active Member

    Thanks so much guys, this has been very helpful.

    I was thinking along similar lines with regards to growth plates in the growing bodies.

    It seems there is a good consensus both here on the forum and with people I speak with that with appropriate coaching and wise use of gears there should be scope to allow U19 cyclists to compete without restrictions.

    Thanks again,
  8. Daniel 1st you have 0ne of the best resources on cycling on your door step - head down or contact the australian cycling institute (it might go by a slightly different name, contact the AIS they will have the details, most of the team and coaches will be in Italy at the moment, but you should be able to get an email address) which has one of it´s locations in South aust.

    2nd what you want to look at is watts of energy produced in relation to RPM´S and gear.

    Look at products from Garmin or sigma ( sorry not wed address). These type of products have power outage meters.

    What you will want to do is work out a formula that will give coaches and young cyclists a way or working out their max power outage in relation to gear and rpms- all of which will be on a small screen ín front of them when they ride.

    Most cyclists are gear freaks so will love this type of thing.

    It will also teach them about how to be maintain power outage in relation to gear choosen when hill climbing so they don´t bonk or a Andy Schleck said if I had of attacked once more I would have dropped myself.

Share This Page