If you or your child is new to bicycle racing, you may not have heard about gear restrictions and roll out distances. You might have been taken by surprise when asked by a cycling commissaire to roll out your bike after your race.
Gear restrictions are the limits on how big a gear you’re allowed to run in a bike race. They are measured by the "roll out distance", which is the distance that a bicycle travels in a straight line with one full revolution of the pedals, when the bike is in its largest gear.
In New South Wales and across Australia, the technical regulations list the maximum roll out distances for the different junior age categories, which are as follows:
Once you move into the Elite and Masters categories, gearing is unrestricted.
Gear restrictions exist to prevent injuries to junior cyclists, and to encourage juniors to learn good technique and race tactics.
First, watch the video above to learn how to measure your bike's roll out distance.
If your bike's gearing is too big under the regulations, you can lock out the biggest sprocket(s) of your cassette, but only in club races or for U13s and below.
If you need to change your chainrings or cassette, consult our Interactive Gearing and Rollout Chart to find a combination that will suit your needs. (The chart will open as a Google Sheet. When prompted, click "Make a copy").