Youth Gearing

Youth Gear Restrictions – What you need to know…

If you are new to 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 2022 the Age Categories are as below :-

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

CategoryAgeRoad
Racing
Track
Racing
Roller
Racing
JuniorU187.93mn/an/a
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.