Youth Gearing

Youth Gear Restrictions – What you need to know…

If you are new to Youth and Junior racing you may not be familiar with British Cycling Youth Gear Restrictions – these restrict the highest gear a rider can use for each age category and ensure all riders compete together on a fair and equal standing. They also aim to reduce the risk of overuse injuries and avoid strength imbalances in young riders.

Our League 2000 events and the NEYL race league are run under British Cycling Regulations and Age Group categories. For 2023 the Age Categories are as below :-

CategoryAgeYear Born
JuniorO16born 2005 or 2006
Youth AU16born 2007 or 2008
Youth BU14born 2009 or 2010
Youth CU12born 2011 or 2012
Youth DU10born 2013 or 2014
Youth EU8born 2015 or 2016
Youth FU6born 2017 or later

Each age group has a gear restriction in the form of a ‘Rollback’ distance. This is the distance covered for 1 full revolution of the crank, in the bikes highest (fastest) gear. The maximum for road racing is shown below:

Youth AU166.93m6.93m7.93m
Youth BU146.45m6.45m7.4m
Youth CU126.05m6.05m6.94m
Youth DU105.4m5.4m5.4m
Youth EU85.1m5.1m5.1m
Youth FU65.1m5.1m5.1m

To get as close as possible to the maximum gear there are a huge number of possible component (chain ring & cassette) variations to match gear limits. There is good guidance available on how to carry out a rollout test and to help find the best solution.

The British Cycling website has good information here

As does the Kids Racing website here

It is also possible to lock off gears using adjustment on the rear derailleur if you just need to prevent use of the smallest sprocket(s). Again, the websites above can show you how to do this.

Roll out will be checked at sign on so to ensure your child can take part it is worth getting sorted in advance. Our coaches can also help at coaching sessions – please don’t leave it until Round 1 to ask as they will be busy helping run the event.