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Appropriate gearing for an 8-9yo?

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Appropriate gearing for an 8-9yo?

Old 07-27-21, 09:30 PM
  #1  
Russ Roth
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Appropriate gearing for an 8-9yo?

Trying to figure out best gearing for my kid's racing bike and he's effectively no help in the process. We've switched around his gearing some and he just can't tell me if its better or not. Have the same issue with him and my oldest on their velodrome bikes as well, easy solution to that was gearing the bikes close to the USA cycling rollout for their age group. But I haven't really found recommended gearing based on age and every change I've ever made, taller or shorter gearing, has earned the designation of being better though after using some he was obviously slower. Current gearing is 45/14, seems to do ok with it but not certain if this is decent or not. Like his sister, on their velodrome bikes they're clearly better at pushing bigger gears then spinning which I need to work with them on.
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Old 08-01-21, 08:57 AM
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Viich
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Russ - not sure what tire you're running, as that can change the gearing as well, but in any case that is an absolutely MASSIVE gear. Very seldom does a top rider run very far above the classic 55 gear inch BMX standard (44:16 on 20x2" tires, roughly)

My kids are running:

9yo - 42:16 / 54 gear-inch / 170" rollout
10yo - 40:15 / 55.75 gear-inch / 175" rollout

I'm running (as a 42yo inter):
44:16 / 54.9 gear-inch / 172.5" rollout

I definitely want to lower the gear a little for my 10yo, and I think I'm going to try going back to 43:16 for my own bike at my next race.

What your son is running:
45:14 is 64-65 gear-inch / 202" rollout.

Kids around that age can sometimes be successful running slightly higher gears than older kids because they often have trouble spinning to the same max cadence, but I'd say that is pretty extreme. Even the pros run less gear than that on the 8m start hills. Acceleration at the start is generally accepted to be far more important than pedaling later on the track.

BMX Ultra gear calculator is a pretty good resource that takes into account tire size as well.

Last edited by Viich; 08-01-21 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-07-21, 09:59 AM
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Russ Roth
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Russ - not sure what tire you're running, as that can change the gearing as well, but in any case that is an absolutely MASSIVE gear. Very seldom does a top rider run very far above the classic 55 gear inch BMX standard (44:16 on 20x2" tires, roughly)

My kids are running:

9yo - 42:16 / 54 gear-inch / 170" rollout
10yo - 40:15 / 55.75 gear-inch / 175" rollout

I'm running (as a 42yo inter):
44:16 / 54.9 gear-inch / 172.5" rollout

I definitely want to lower the gear a little for my 10yo, and I think I'm going to try going back to 43:16 for my own bike at my next race.

What your son is running:
45:14 is 64-65 gear-inch / 202" rollout.

Kids around that age can sometimes be successful running slightly higher gears than older kids because they often have trouble spinning to the same max cadence, but I'd say that is pretty extreme. Even the pros run less gear than that on the 8m start hills. Acceleration at the start is generally accepted to be far more important than pedaling later on the track.

BMX Ultra gear calculator is a pretty good resource that takes into account tire size as well.
Thanks for the reply, it did roll out longer than I would have expected and much further than his track bike. I think I'll drop him back down to close to what he was. Last year he ran a 40/14, and he's asking for taller but I think the 41/14 might be good enough. Probably need to get him and his sister cadence computers and take them for some spinning sessions once the path slows down in the fall.
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Old 08-07-21, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Russ - not sure what tire you're running, as that can change the gearing as well, but in any case that is an absolutely MASSIVE gear. Very seldom does a top rider run very far above the classic 55 gear inch BMX standard (44:16 on 20x2" tires, roughly)

My kids are running:

9yo - 42:16 / 54 gear-inch / 170" rollout
10yo - 40:15 / 55.75 gear-inch / 175" rollout

I'm running (as a 42yo inter):
44:16 / 54.9 gear-inch / 172.5" rollout

I definitely want to lower the gear a little for my 10yo, and I think I'm going to try going back to 43:16 for my own bike at my next race.

What your son is running:
45:14 is 64-65 gear-inch / 202" rollout.

Kids around that age can sometimes be successful running slightly higher gears than older kids because they often have trouble spinning to the same max cadence, but I'd say that is pretty extreme. Even the pros run less gear than that on the 8m start hills. Acceleration at the start is generally accepted to be far more important than pedaling later on the track.

BMX Ultra gear calculator is a pretty good resource that takes into account tire size as well.
I remember as a teenager running 44:16 or 43:15 on 180mm cranks. 1.75Ē tioga comp 3.

I didnít want to chime in as I wasnít super fast, but I remember friends that were faster running a similar setup.

I rode past a CHP speed trap trailer at 29mph. The fastest in our group of friends hit 30.

Hope that helps.
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