Gear up to 2018

Restricting Gears for Young Athletes proposed by British Triathlon – Please go to the bottom of this page after you have read the below for all the details in pdf format for you to print off.

Introduction to the BTF Gearing Policy

BTF have been operating full gearing restrictions for all their tarmac races both draft legal and non-drafting events for all TS2, TS3 and Youths from 2017.

The SWS Policy

From 2017 all TS2, TS3 and Youth triathletes competing as a registered triathlete in the SWS are to adhere to the BTF rules on restricted gears for all drafting and non-drafting races. Please note this does not apply to TS1 or grass based races and nor will it apply to those children racing who are not entered in the SWS. Mountain bikes with off road tyres will not be required to be gear restricted.

Anyone refusing to make the restrictions will be allowed to race but WILL NOT be allocated series points and will not receive prizes, titles or placings in Championship races.

All SWS athletes will be subject to gear restriction checks. Athletes must bring their bikes to the ‘Bike Roll Out Area’ led by the TESW JSO & TSO for their bikes to be checked before they race. Sufficient time must be allowed for this and it is suggested no later than 30 mins before transition closes.

At the start of the season all bikes will be checked and a sticker will be allocated to confirm the check has been made and adheres to the gear restriction guidelines and only then will you be allowed to enter transition with your bike. Please ensure this sticker remains on your bike for the remaining races in 2018.

The top 3 finishers of each race may be checked following their race to ensure the bike remains compliant. Points will not be allocated to those non-compliant.

As the season progresses all newly registered athletes will be checked in addition to spot checks being put in place to alleviate the need to test all bikes at every event but once again the top 3 finishers may be checked.

During Roll Out

There will be no time for any mechanics or gearing changes to be done during roll out testing. Should a bike fail it can be retested but the TSO will not be available to make on the day changes for gearing non-compliance. Adjustments will cause unnecessary delays to the race and should have been dealt with before race day. However, if someone experiences an unforeseen mechanical issue but not gearing issue then the TSO will do what he can to assist.

Please note

The BTF guidelines have been made available to everyone on the SWS website from 2015.

Gearing restrictions prevent the bike being ridden on the very hardest gears, in some cases an adjustment of the front or rear derailleur is all that is needed, in other cases a different rear cassette or chainring may need to be fitted, a good bike shop should be able to make the changes but check that they have the knowledge and gearing tables beforehand. There are a number of parents and coaches within the South West who can help, if you want further advice or assistance please contact Roger Martindale the TESW TSO, through the JSO at who will continue to assist with any work to ensure all registered SWS triathletes are compliant.

Background to the BTF policy and the benefits

There are many positive benefits for restricting the gearing for young athletes including:

Improved pedalling technique

Development of race-craft

Reduced injury risk

More even playing field

The changes are supported by coaches and athletes alike across the sport with Alistair Brownlee making the point that as a youth he was forced to use guile, skill and good pedalling technique in order to compete with bigger stronger athletes using big gears.

1. Parent Athletes Infomation on Restricting Gears for Young Athletes

2. How to Restrict Gears Front Mech

3. How to Restrict Gears Rear Mech

4. Cassettes Explained

5. Chainsets Explained

6. Gear and Maximum Rollout Distance Tables for Standard 700c Rim and 23mm Racing Tyres

7. How to Check Your Gears

develop, perform, aspire

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