Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: Going Downhill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    350

    Going Downhill

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    How do you get over your fright of going hill. Going up hill is the best. Do you just keep squeezing the brakes? I'm addicted to the hills. So I gotta figure this out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,852
    ohmigosh... i was the BIGGEST chicken of downhills when i first started! hubby started me out climbing right away... which was fine.. but i didn't want to go fast going down!

    the first time i went all the way to the top of our local climb... i rode the breaks the entire way down! my wheels were so hot! hubby then decided no more climbing til i would lay off the breaks! (my hands were so sore too!)

    anyways.. what i finally did was on my own.. i would climb a little way up the hill.. then come down... no breaks! i practiced and would go a little further eat day/time... finally i went all the way to the top and could come down without riding the breaks! (keep in mind our local hill is a straight one!)

    within 3 weeks actually graduated to climbing, then descending oak glen (a popular hill in socal!) and a week or so later i did GMR!

    so you can do it.. just do it in baby steps at your own pace!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    For me, correct technique was the key to getting out of the fear place.
    the proper position for descending is butt out of the saddle, feet at 3/9, eyes looking ahead. As the trail steepens, you can move backwards to keep the CG low. Braking, one finger on the brakes. Modulate: use gentle pressure or feathering, do not grab or skid.


    Last edited by Irulan; 04-11-2005 at 04:35 PM.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,565
    And then there's the road descent... it goes something like this:


    whooooooooooo-hooooooooo, lean, whoooooo-hooooo, lean again....

    spazz (who loves speed)
    no regrets!

    My ride: 2003 Specialized Allez Comp - zebra (men's 52cm), Speedplay X5 pedals, Koobi Au Enduro saddle

    Spazzdog Ink Gallery
    http://www.printroom.com/pro/gratcliff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226
    Funny

    I'm pretty brave and reasonably fast descending on my mountain bike, but on my road bike I'm a complete weenie! yikes!! Especially if there is wide open space beside me (cliff, steep hill, etc) I wish I understood why so I could get over it. I mean, what's worse? A little pavement? or rocks and trees and dirt and....well, you know what I mean. So I ride the brakes down roads, and feather the brakes lightly on the trails....

    yup. I'm a walking (riding) contradiction.

    Namaste,
    ~T~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,565
    I have a traffic circle (rotary, round-about) just down the road and sometimes when I'm coming home (slight downhill) I'll go shooting into the rotary (yes I look for cars) and do a couple laps just to get that lean at a good speed (usually about 24 mph at entry).

    With light traffic, it's a blast... you should see the expressions on drivers faces as I pass them or stay even with them. Yee-hah!

    spazz
    no regrets!

    My ride: 2003 Specialized Allez Comp - zebra (men's 52cm), Speedplay X5 pedals, Koobi Au Enduro saddle

    Spazzdog Ink Gallery
    http://www.printroom.com/pro/gratcliff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975

    shamelessly borrowed this from my "other" board

    tips on cornering, decending. This be for the roadies:

    1) Brake before the turn then, simultaneously-
    2) Stand on the outside pedal
    3) Head up, look through the turn where you want to go
    4) Lean into the turn (no brakes)
    5) zoom out! wheeeeeee.

    In more detail:

    1) Brake before the turn, control your speed. Good technique lets you ride fast, never ride "at the limit." Hold back a little so there's room to correct errors.

    If you brake in the middle of a turn, that forces the
    bike upright, which makes you ride wide to the outside
    of the turn. This is not a good thing unless it's raining.

    Note, if the pavement is wet you DO want to slow and take the curve upright, steer the bike. If you lean in wet conditions you risk whooosh, wheels slip out from under you.

    But normally, slow before the turn, then release the brakes as you
    lean into the turn so you can roll through without any
    braking.

    2) Weight on the outside pedal. This means, the
    outside pedal should be down (at six o'clock), and the
    inside pedal up (at twelve o'clock). You should
    really stand on the outside pedal, so your butt is not
    on the seat, and you have no weight on the inside
    pedal. Stand on that outside pedal all the way
    through the turn.

    This does two things.
    a) it's a balance thang (insert drawl here), like carving a turn on skis
    b) more important it's a safety thang. if your inside pedal is down you risk catching it on the pavement and then down you go.
    c) I sometimes pedal through the turn, still keep the action light on the inside edge.

    3) Head up. Look where
    you want to go. This means even though you're leaning
    your bike, your head is upright and looking ahead. Your
    bike goes where your eyes look, so don't look at the
    pavement in front of your wheel. Focus on the road
    ahead, where you will exit the turn. Look at the safe line.

    4) and, of course, lean the bike as you

    5) stomp on the pedals...whoopeeeee.

    At first, it's hard to do all of these things
    simultaneously while rolling through a corner. So practice through corners at less than full
    speed. Practice each of these elements, separately,
    then in combination, until you can do them all at the
    same time.

    When you feel that these techniques allow you more
    control over the bike, then gradually increase speed
    on subsequent downhill runs. This way you can build
    confidence and technique without getting in over your
    head.

    To Repeat,
    your approach to a corner looks like this:

    Outside pedal down, using brakes to control speed,
    head up looking as far as you can see through the
    turn.

    Entering the turn:

    Release brakes, lean into turn with full body weight
    standing on outside pedal, head still up, eyes looking
    through the turn.

    Roll all the way through and set up for the next
    turn.

    It's like learning anything, e.g. dancesteps. You
    talk yourself through the routine at first, then
    supposedly it becomes second nature. Thought I'd pass
    this along just in case you find a kernal in it.
    Last edited by Trek420; 04-12-2005 at 05:38 AM.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351

    Going faster...

    Don't overthink the problem.

    Tires lose their traction at about 1 G of force. This means if you're going through a corner that requires about 1/2 a G, and you brake at 1/2 a G (which is HUGE - that's equivalent to 30 degree slope) you still only have about 3/4 of a G on the bike. That's like doing 20 miles an hour through a 33 foot radius turn - picture a good size traffic lane, a bike lane, a sidewalk and a small median. (Did it on the tandem. )

    So given that, the likelihood of something bad happening due to your cornering ability is small so long as your gear is maintained and the road is dry and free of debris. Maximum cornering speed comes at a 45 degree lean angle (you and the bike). Keep the lean angle less 35 degrees (from upright) and you have lots of room for mistakes. In other words, as long as you don't wiggle around a lot, your actions on the bike are less important than the traction between the road surface and the tires. So, sand, oil, water, slick pavement and bumps are the real things to worry about.

    My advice is to find someone who goes faster downhill than you and follow them. Take exactly their line. Whatever they can do on their bike, you can do on yours.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    My advice is to find someone who goes faster downhill than you and follow them. Take exactly their line. Whatever they can do on their bike, you can do on yours.

    Good advice, V! heck, it worked on the mtb, it might as well work on the roadie!

    Now, if I can only get them to slow down just a little so I can see which line they're taking.....

    namaste,
    ~T~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    For years I did not descend very fast. On my first organized century (Tahoe) I went into a corner much faster than I would have normally - leaned the bike over hard. Thom was behind me and was shocked at how fast I took it. Me too! But it was a real eye opener. I really DO know what to do. Tandeming helped a lot a too. I got used to fast descents on the tandem - the rush of wind etc.

    I just look at what is ahead and plan for it. I don't think about leaning or where my weight is. Inside pedal up is kind of an automatic thing.

    Good luck.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Trek420
    2) Weight on the outside pedal. This means, the
    outside pedal should be down (at six o'clock), and the
    inside pedal up (at twelve o'clock). You should
    really stand on the outside pedal, so your butt is not
    on the seat, and you have no weight on the inside
    pedal. Stand on that outside pedal all the way
    through the turn.

    This does two things.
    a) it's a balance thang (insert drawl here), like carving a turn on skis
    b) more important it's a safety thang. if your inside pedal is down you risk catching it on the pavement and then down you go.
    c) I sometimes pedal through the turn, still keep the action light on the inside edge.
    Weight on that outside pedal lowers your center of gravity which increases your stability. A tiny bit of pressure on the inside handlebar combined with this will help force your tires to grip better. Practice this last bit with a feather touch. I found I could corner tighter and faster with much more confidence.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    veronica sez to "find someone who goes faster downhill than you and follow them. Take exactly their line. Whatever they can do on their bike, you can do on yours."

    ok, if you say so, this would be me following you
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    251
    Another thing I read about and tried is to be in the drops and bring your knees alongside the bike, rather than pointed out, a la motorcycle riding. I tried all of the other suggestions posted and this, and it actually worked! My biggest fear is that the roads up here are so bad that I am afraid of getting bumped off (or having a bear on the road, but that doesn't happen too often.
    The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I'm a lot more cautious on roads I don't know and blind corners on all roads. You never know what might be in your lane.

    V.
    Last edited by Veronica; 04-12-2005 at 03:34 PM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,565

    Curve theory

    From a driving manual for motorcycles... the theory applies to bikes too. The graphics show the best line to take through different types of curves. For downhill entry, you need to be very aware of your entry speed... you will need to feather more speed off than you would on a flat entry.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by spazzdog; 04-12-2005 at 06:56 PM.
    no regrets!

    My ride: 2003 Specialized Allez Comp - zebra (men's 52cm), Speedplay X5 pedals, Koobi Au Enduro saddle

    Spazzdog Ink Gallery
    http://www.printroom.com/pro/gratcliff

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •