Rock Creek Velo Juniors - Equipment
All Juniors need a lightweight drop bar style road bike for training rides and races.
RCV has a limited number of bikes available for loan. Keep in mind that after the first loan, you will need to purchase a bike and return the loaner to Rock Creek Velo. Review the Contract [hyperlink to contract] and talk with one of the RCV coaches for more information.
When purchasing a road bike, there are several factors to consider.
Junior's Age and Size. If s/he will likely continue to grow, it probably makes better se nse to purchase a second-hand bike or a new one that is modestly priced. Bikes are generally categorized by size of the wheels: 650cc or 700cc. From there, manufacturers size bikes differently so you will need to test drive a lot of them.
Materials. Bikes today are made from aluminum, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber, and sometimes a combination of these. Again, you’ll want to start with something less expensive and work your way up.
Components. Higher quality components make you faster. Remember, though, it is the consistent training that makes the rider. As riders become more experienced, they will often buy more expensive components and keep them, even as they trade in frames as they grow. Only consider more expensive components when you are riding a 700cc bike.
A good fit is just as important as the quality of the bike. Once you have your bike, make an appointment with the coach or other certified bike specialist for a proper bike fit. S/he will adjust the seat and handle bars to ensure that the geometry is a good fit for you.
The Other Equipment
Standards. By law, all helmets sold in the U.S. must meet standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Some helmets are also endorsed by the nonprofit Snell Foundation, but the CPSC stamp of approval is what matters.
Fit. A good fitting helmet should be snug, but not tight. It should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge no more than 1 inch above your eyebrows. Your forehead should be protected. Push the helmet from side to side and back to front. If the helmet shifts, adjust the sizing ring in the back to make the fit snug.
Replacement. Replace the helmet after any impact, even if it looks okay. Your brain is more important than the cost of the new helmet.
Once you are on 700c wheels and your budget allows, buy a set of race wheels/tires to be used only on race day (even if you are riding a club bike). Train on bomb proof wheels, with a junior cassette, and durable tires. They can go into the pit as spares at every race.
Pedals, Shoes, Cleats
Most Juniors begin with SPD pedals and cleats and mountain bike style shoes because they are easier to walk in. More advanced Juniors often switch to Speedplay (which are easier on the knees) or other road pedals and cleats.
Order the “Kit,” Rock Creek Velo jersey and shorts, through the fall/winter team order. Fingerless
Juniors should wear cycling shorts and shoes for spinning.
Pedals/Cleats: If you use any pedal other than SPDs, you will need to either remove your pedals and
Heart Rate Monitors: Monitors make it possible to maximum the benefits of the workout. Most Juniors purchase the speed/cadence/heart rate models that can be used on the bike outside or inside during spin. The Juniors periodically do a team order for this item.