Gear Ratio for Track

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  • I'm currently building up a track bike to use at Herne Hill and am not sure what size gear I'll need. I ride a 48x18 on the road, approx 72", and assume I'll need something around 85" or so for track racing. What ratio do those of you that race there use?


  • Thats just about spot on for training at HH. Racing you'd want somewhere around 90"..?

  • I used 46x15 (83") on Saturday - perfect most of the time (especially with the wind), and I think it was more to do with my lack of specific fitness that hampered me as the pace wound up on the final few laps of the endurance stuff. There were certainly junior riders running the same kind of ratio (I was cadence-matching them) and the strong ones didn't have any problems lasting the distance.

    I'll be switching up to 46x14 (89") in a month or two when it gets warmer and my legs have acclimatized to the demands of HH.

    For the record, I'm quite a light rider (63kg fluctuating +/-1kg) and am not afraid to spin :)

  • Mid to high 80s always seems fairly common at HH. The staraights are pretty long and usually there's a headwind on one of them, so you don't want to be geared too high.

  • Thanks for the advice guys. Having a choice of gearing from the low to high 80s sounds like the way to go.

  • 48x15

    Are all ideal gears for Hernia Hill

  • Watch the dates, Anthony^ it's two years down the line and andyp is now a seasoned HH racer

  • .

  • Or a 50t with 15/16?

    Same thing, give or take.

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again. 47x14 (or 50x15 if you must) is the perfect general riding gear for Herne Hill

  • I started off with 50x16 and quickly increased that to 50x15. The current set up is a 47x14 which I find just about perfect. So Guy wins.

  • And some people called my 48x15 a granny gear*?!? Pfff!?!

    • I'm just agreeing...
  • i normally ride 48x15.

  • 48 x 15 for me too, though reckon there is tweaking to be done.

    due to some small mechanical issues rode 48 x16 into work today (normally have an 18 on the back) and was thinking boy this is hard, and nearly track gearing for me. anyway, just been to Condor to pick up a 19t.

    looking forward to getting down to the Track this year

  • 48x19 on the road all the way!.. tis the perfect ratio.

    great minds so they say.....

  • The people that win most of the races at HH ride 47x14, pretty much without exception.
    Good enough for them, good enough for me

  • I thought Bryan was a 49x15 man?

  • Think Symon is running 48x15 all they way to victory.

  • I always thought they ran 47x14. Just goes to show that its not GI thats important its how damn fast you are.
    They could probably still win races on 48x18

  • Its crazy to think they (Bryan and Symon) are on smaller gears yet I seem to be going so fast I cant spin anymore to stay with them on a 90" .
    My legs feel like theyre gonna fly off, if they dont explode with pain before.

  • It really depends on what race you're in. Yes around 90 is an ideal race gear for bunch races in track league/omniums. In training sprinters will be swapping gearing depending on their program, I used anything from 84 to 107 last season. Some people also like to think the wind makes a difference, but it's coming in one direction and you are riding an oval, (usually on the back straight) so you are equally going to benefit from a tailwind as you will suffer from the headwind.

    Another point to remember is that people consistently lie about their gearing, many claim to be using "86" or "88" but are in fact racing on 90-92.

  • Another point to remember is that people consistently lie about their gearing, many claim to be using "86" or "88" but are in fact racing on 90-92.

    Lee got me with that one. 'I'm running 88'.

    Having a look at his bike, He must use special magic cogs where 48x14 gives 88 :-)

    I now have a matching set of chainrings, so I can play too. (Although all the lying in the world won't win me a race :-(

    47x15 behind the durney, now that felt spinney!

  • Yeah, it's not worth asking what others are using, not really any point either apart from general conversation, different if it's someone you are training with (like when we do efforts with SS) but really we are all old and ugly enough to know what we should be running and when.

  • 47x15 behind the durney, now that felt spinney!

    Not good form to quote myself I know, but I just worked it out, that was only 144rpm average!

    How do the fast people push 150-160rpm?!?

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Gear Ratio for Track

Posted by Avatar for andyp @andyp