Further down the page we have a Track Cycling Gear Chart, but first let’s look at why Track Cycling Gear Ratios are so important.
Gearing for Track Racing
On the Track / Velodrome gear selection is incredibly important, it can make or break your race. Choose a gear that is too easy and you will be able to react quickly to change in pace but you will not be able to keep up when the pace is high and remains high. Choose a gear that is too hard and you will not be able to react to changes in pace quickly and may not be able to get on top of the gear, but when you do get up to speed you can hold a higher speed for longer.
How you select your gearing really depends on several factors:
- Your own ability to either push a big gear or turn the gear at high cadence.
- The type of race it is, ie for a points race with lots of change in pace you might want to ride a easier gear than the Scratch race that is more likely to be more even pace and wind up gradually for a bunch sprint.
- Choose your gearing based on the likely decisive moments of your race rather than the average speed of the race. It is being able to react to the decisive moments that will see you stick with the bunch or are distanced.
- The tactics you are intending to employ during the race. You may be targeting taking a lap, which will require a different gear ratio to if you decide you will be waiting for a bunch sprint.
- The tactics of the other riders in your race, you may not know that beforehand but with some riders you can always guess what their tactics will be based on experience racing them before and knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are. For example if you know you have a Pursuit champion in your race you can pretty much guarantee they will be targeting taking a lap on the field instead of waiting for a bunch sprint, so the overall speed of the race will be higher requiring a bigger gear.
- What gearing the other riders are using. Most track racers will not disclose their gearing, it’s a well guarded secret. The gearing can give away their planned race tactics. But the difference between your gearing and theirs may be the difference between whether you can come around them in a sprint or not.
Track Cycling Gear Chart
Please find below Gear Charts in Metric and Imperial Units that tell you what gearing you get with each different Rear Sprocket/Front Chainring combination. You can also download these to print.