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Hi:

Picked up a used 40 cm Cannondale w/650 wheels and a Sora tripple drivertrain for my son to race on next year when he turns 10. I'm thinking that the setup can be better. Please tell me what you think:

Cranks: It's got a 52/42/30 which I think is too high. Two other kid's bikes (Speciaized and Ibex) spec their's with either a 48/39 or a 50/36. I'm thinking of getting a 50/34 or 48/34 (if they make one) and mating it with a 13-27 in back. Alternatively, should I leave it as a triple, but get a lower range, like a 48/38/28.

Brifter's: I like the Sora Triple shifters because the reach is adjustable. Should I keep them even though I'll be running a double chainring? Or should I just get a 105 double shifter?

Any thoughts?
 

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No point in changing it to a double for a ten year old. You might want to look at how you will handle junior gearing- which is 26 feet for one revolution of the pedals, I think.
 

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don't worry about the gear as long as it functiongs...
kids that age i've seen on mountain bikes

Make sure your child enjoys the event. Don't push too hard at that age. You've got to let him/her explore what it is about cycling that they dig. Let them try xc or short track too. BMX is great for kids as well.
 

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You're definitely going to have to modify the gearing to make the junior roll out limitations. Go to the USA cycling website and down load their rule book. It might end up being a very strange gear combination because of the the 650 wheels. Have fun!
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Racing or Riding?

NoMSG said:
...Cannondale w/650 wheels...
...52/42/30 which I think is too high...
...mating it with a 13-27 in back...
If this if a bike for riding I think you are all set, let him ride and enjoy. The gearing is not too high, you merely need to teach him how to use his gears properly. In fact you may want a narrower range cassette so that he can spin more in normal riding ranges once he learns to use his gears. You should not need more low range rather you need to properly pick routes that are not so hilly they overwhelm him.

As regards USCF gear restrictions the 52x13 max gearing combined with the 650c wheels should be fine although you will want to test the rollout to be certain that tire selection does not put him over. IIRC my son met rollout with a 53x13 with 650c wheels.

If this is a race I think you may want to rethink your timing. At age 10 USCF races for kids are few and far between and if you do find some he will often find himself watching teenagers twice his size riding away from him at the start line. I would strongly recommend BMX racing which is age and ability graded for kids so that he is racing against kids his own age and ability. BMX is kid oriented and designed to be fun for them. Don't lament as BMX is a great building block for road racing as well as track at the velodrome (spinning and pack handling).

My son started riding on the back of the tandem at 8 and also began BMX racing at the same age. Now at age 17 he is a fast Cat. 3 with a wicked sprint. The Domestic Breeding Program is finally starting to yield results. Yesterday afternoon he called me at work on a sunny afternoon to play hooky. We went out for a nice father/son 50 mile ride and he pulled nearly the whole way including the long headwind stretch. Now if I could just get him to mow the lawn!
 
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