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Gear Restrictions for Youth riders*

If your youngster is racing in British Cycling (BC) road/track/roller racing competitions they are governed by BC rules – this includes gear restrictions to the bicycle which can mean your gears need adjustment to 'lock-off' the highest gears.

(see further down for British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) gear restrictions)

BC Guidance on the need for gear restrictions:
• It ensures all riders compete together on a fair and equal standing
• It helps to reduce the risk of overuse injuries and avoid strength imbalances in young riders; it may also help riders to develop good pedalling technique
• It encourages young riders to race using tactics as opposed to using bigger gears to go faster. This will help to support the riders in learning new techniques which they will need throughout their competitive career


Before a race the Commissaire will perform a roll out test with your bike in its highest gear, only if it passes this test will you be allowed to race. Don’t change your gears after testing as they will test a few riders again after the finish.


*Please note that from the 2023 season there are no gear restrictions for the Junior category (16-18)




Age category for the year       Roll out in metres  Approx Gear Inches  Chain ring/Sprocket combinations

Youth E  Under  8 at 1st Jan   5.10 metres            64 inch    39×16 / 41×17 / 43×18 / 48×19

Youth D  Under 10 at 1st Jan  5.40 metres            68 inch    41×16 / 43×17 / 46×18 / 49×19

Youth C  Under 12 at 1st Jan  6.05 metres            76 inch    39×14 / 42×15 / 45×16 / 48×17

Youth B  Under 14 at 1st Jan  6.45 metres            80 inch    39×13 / 42×14 / 45×15 / 51×17

Youth A  Under 16 at 1st Jan  6.93 metres            88 inch    39×12 / 42×13 / 47×15 / 52×16


British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) gear restrictions

For BSCA events below are the gear restrictions for each of the age categories taken from the BSCA national website:

a) For Circuit, Time Trial, Track and Roller Racing REGIONAL AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, the maximum gear will be the distance covered per crank revolution for that age group.
(i) 5.10 metres for Under 7′s
(ii) 5.40 metres for Under 9′s
(iii) 6.05 metres for the Under 11′s
(iv) 6.45 metres for the Under 13′s
(v) 6.93 metres for the Under 15′s.
(vi) 7·93 metres for the Over 15′s

Please note the BSCA age category is based on the child's age on 1st September at the start of the school year not necessarily the age on the day of the event

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