Junior Cyclist?

Whether you’re a young rider or a parent of one, navigating the world of track cycling can be difficult at first. To help, we’ve compiled some information that should be useful regardless of where you ride.

Cycling Canada

Excerpts from the National Junior & U17 Track Championships’ Tech Guide:

As of 2013, Cycling Canada has imposed restrictions on the U17 (cadet) and U19 (junior) categories at track nationals. Athletes will be restricted to the same maximum gear as on the road: 7.93m for U19s (roughly 100 inches, or 52×14) and 6.94m for U17s (roughly 88 inches, or 52×16).

  • The event(s) will be run under CC/UCI rules. All riders must know the rules.
  • The Canadian Championships shall be governed by the Cycling Canada.
  • A minimum of 5 riders will form a valid class needed to validate a Canadian Championship title.
  • Should an event have less than 7 entries they may be combined with another category.
  • Equipment regulations, as per UCI Rules, to be enforced for ALL categories. There will be NO exceptions.


  • Disc wheels will not be allowed in the U17 category events. (maximum rim depth 40mm)
  • Carbon wheels will not be allowed in the U17 category event
  • The omnium distances for the U17 category will be as follows:
  • Points race: 7.5 km for women, 10 km for men
  • Individual pursuit: 2,000m for women, 2,000m for men
  • Scratch race: 5 km for women, 7.5 km for men
  • The U17 team pursuit will be run with teams of 3 riders over 3 km.
  • The distinct titles for all Canadian Championship categories are listed below:
USA Cycling
Excerpt from USA Cycling
  • Ages 17-18: Unrestricted
  • Ages 15-16: 6.78 meters (22’3)(48×15) **
  • Ages 13-14: 6.36 meters (20’10.5)(48×16)
  • Ages 10-12: 6.00 meters (19’8”)(48×17)

* Note that the gear ratios listed are merely suggestions. The distance rolled out is the governing standard.
** For 16-year-old juniors who are competing in keirin or Madison
championship events, the 17-18 (unrestricted) gear limit applies.

Race officials will usually provide a courtesy gear check prior to the start of a junior race, but it is the gear check immediately after the junior race that determines whether a junior’s bicycle is legal or not.

The official checks a junior’s bicycle’s gears not by counting the number of teeth on the largest chain ring and smallest cassette cog, but by rolling the bicycle backward in a straight line for 26 feet. If the bicycle travels 26 feet or less when rolled backward one full pedal revolution, the bicycle is legal. If the bicycle rolls past 26 feet, the rider is disqualified for not complying with the junior gear restriction.

Ultimately, it is the athlete’s responsibility to make sure his bicycle is compliant with junior gear restrictions.

Leave a comment