This area is for general coaching information as well as FAQ.

Palmer Park Velo Progress Chart for U14, U16 & Junior Riders.

The linked document below lays out core skills for track and road riders extracted from the British Cycling Pathway Document ‘Are You Ready’. It also prompts U14, U16 and Junior riders to log their performance benchmarks as they progress through the year.
Palmer Park Velo Progress Chart

Bike Sizing

Frame Size and Seat Height: There are actually 2 different descriptions of “bike size”.  If you go to a shop they will talk about 48, 50cm or 54cm as the size of frames which is the measure from the bottom bracket spindle to the top of the seat-tube (where the seat pin inserts).  But for a rider you need to know the distance from the BB to the top of the saddle which sets the right height for your leg length.  You can then use that when you go into a shop – you just say – “well my saddle height is 62cm”, then a shop can judge if a bike  will be OK for you (e.g. a 50cm frame with 12cm of seat tube).  If you know your saddle height by heart then this allows you to set up a bike that you borrow (e.g. at a velodrome or on holiday or at a Spinning class), whenever I go on holiday or to a Spin class  I take a tape measure with me.

Top Tube and Reach: There is a similar measure for forward reach.  In a bike shop they will talk about a frame having a “Top-tube of 50, or 52, or 54cm”, but as a rider you want to know the distance that is comfortable for you from the tip of the saddle (or middle of the saddle where you sit) to the bars.  In setting up a bike this is a combination of the length of the top-tube and the stem which holds the bars.  For girls this tends to be shorter than for boys of the same leg length which a common problem in finding the right bike size for girls, many ‘boys bikes’ feel too long.  As a useful guide for this on a road/track bike: If you sit comfortably on the saddle and put your hands on the bars in the position that you use for most of your riding (in the drops for a track bike, but on the brake hoods for a road bike) then you look down at where the bars are relative to the hub of the front wheel:  If the reach is about right the bars should be obscuring the view of the front hub, if the bars are ahead of the line of sight for the hub the reach is probably too long, if the bars are behind the hub the reach is probably too short.  Some riders do prefer a bit-longer or a bit-shorter, but that’s just a rough rule of thumb for road and track bikes. 

John Wann

British Cycling Level 3 Road, Time Trial, Track Coach: Palmer Park Velo