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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-31-08, 02:20 PM   #1
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What speed makes you kind go "oh crap"?

so I was out on a ride last night and took a new route, come up to a pretty decent looking hill, make it up in the 2nd chainring about 1/2 way until i need to granny gear it. well 10 miles later returning in my route back i now get to go down this hill. I rarely look at my speedo going downhill, more for safety sake, but glanced down and saw 35mph and it was increasing. Def hit the brakes a couple times going down the hill just to keep things in check. Not sure if I'm quite comfortable with speeds over that quite yet.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:23 PM   #2
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In my case, it's between 48 and 53 MPH on a downhill, because that's the speed range "death wobble" occurs on my Allez. The wobble quits at ~53, though, and the fastest I've hit on a downhill was 63. I've seen a rider top 70 though on a DH down Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:24 PM   #3
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Around 40mph I start to get nervous about road conditions and such. A crash at that point is going to hurt and probably require a call to 911. I would like to find a few downhills that would get me to 50 just to experience it, but not many around these parts.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:33 PM   #4
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I reach the "oh crap" point at around 30mph. My fastest speed ever was 39, and that was pretty scary. If I could ride on only smooth roads I wouldn't have much of a problem, but I worry about hitting a pothole and flying over the bars.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:44 PM   #5
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I hit 39 on a rusted out cruiser with dry rot tires (checked my speed with road bike next to me). Stupid? Yes. Oh crap? Something like that...
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Old 07-31-08, 02:58 PM   #6
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I have hit ~80 km/h (50 mph) on my roadbike on a very rutted and rough paved road. The faster you go the more the bike smooths out the road - to a point.

I used to draft off busses and trucks to get across town - I would cruise at about ~60km/h until I got to a railway crossing - never tried to jump it at speed.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:11 PM   #7
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I guess it depends where. The fastest I've gone so far was 38 mph but it was on a road I knew well so I was comfortable. I was trying to break 40 but couldn't quite do it. In another case I was on an unfamiliar road on a steep down hill and was pretty scared at 35 mph. There were cars around me and I knew there was an intersection ahead and I didn't feel I was in control of the bike. As I become more experienced, I hope to feel more comfortable at higher speeds.

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Old 07-31-08, 03:11 PM   #8
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I don't like to go much above 50 mph. I used to like to go faster, but hit a deer last year on my bicycle going down a hill at 32 mph. Three deer jumped out in front of me from behind some willow shrubs, and I hit the middle one. I had been going about 36 mph, but slowed down to only about 32 mph when I hit it.

I still like to go fast, but have noticed that my front end also gets wobbly over about 55 mph, and I'm also concerned if I will be able to avoid something like gravel in the road on a curve going that fast. Almost all the hills that you can reach those speeds on around here, have blind curves. Scary stuff if you are going too fast.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:13 PM   #9
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I have never reached it yet. lol
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Old 07-31-08, 03:26 PM   #10
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40s. I'm fine in the 30s, been in the 40s a couple times going downhill. Fun, but ... seems a little too dangerous to be worthwhile. Perhaps with time I'll fel more comfortable with it, as others have stated.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:28 PM   #11
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I get a bit antsy at low 40's, partly because I'm a forensic engineer and have investigated bicycle and MC accidents. If you fall at this speed, you will be hurt. what can cause you to fall? Road debris and defects are pretty problematic, the worst I've seen is the 1" lip on a utility trench that settled while a rider was going about 40, the front tire rubbed the lip and he went down hard, busted pelvis, pins and concussion. So, make sure if you're going to go that fast, know the road.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:32 PM   #12
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I have a slight height phobia. Ever looked down at the pavement , when doing a downhill. . My habit is to wear out my brakes, rather than go that fast. I tap my brakes like at every 20 seconds. I hope my rims don't get too hot with just that ocassional tap. Maybe next road bike I should invest in disc brakes.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:46 PM   #13
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48-50mph is a typical morning speed as I fly down Novelty Hill Road; a wonderful 2.25 mile downhill stretch to start my commute. I'm comfortable with that speed only when:

A) It's light out
B) I'm not carrying a bunch of stuff
C) Traffic is low

In the winter when it's dark or traffic is bunched up, I keep it at a top of 30 - 35. I currently don't go much past that when I'm carrying anything, either. I just recently started carrying larger loads, so I'm not as confident in my handling skills while loaded down yet.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:55 PM   #14
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One day I will get a bike computer so I will know what that speed is when it happens, but so far it hasn't happened. I can say that there has once or twice where I have thought that a wreck would probably hurt at this speed. I think that means that I am getting old. because I did not used to ever think that.
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Old 07-31-08, 04:08 PM   #15
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haven't gotten there yet. fastest I have gotten to was about 38mph. I do get a bit nervous if I let myself get going to fast coming into downhill stop signs/lights, and will start breaking very early and often.
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Old 07-31-08, 04:18 PM   #16
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so far on my mountain bike ... i have been 49mph ... and only reason i said 'oh crap' was because of the rabbit that kept darting back and forth between my front and back tires while i was going down a steep hill ...
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Old 07-31-08, 04:54 PM   #17
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no hills near me so i haven't found the highest comfortable speed. 35 is the highest i hit, but could not hold it for very long.
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Old 07-31-08, 05:11 PM   #18
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40 MPH.

I have spent too much $$ and too much time at 2 graduate schools to justify going any faster.
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Old 07-31-08, 05:12 PM   #19
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Funny topic... After years of kamikaze luck I had a high-speed crash at the beginning of June and got banged-up pretty good. I live in flatlands so I didn't hit another hill until a couple of weeks ago. I was riding the brakes all the way down the hill (near Faunteroy in W. Seattle) and very nervous. Doing STP the next day brought back my confidence. I will definitely slow down a lot more often than I used to. Road rash of that magnitude is total hell.

Edit: Fastest ever was 56mph going down Glacier Point Road in Yosemite... I could have gone faster but I started getting un-nerving speed wobbles and said "oh crap".
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Old 07-31-08, 05:20 PM   #20
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I've hit 35.8 on my mountain bike.. I'm looking forward to doing that hill on my new road bike. I expect to be faster than 40 and I don't think I'll have an issue with that. Above that, I don't know.

When I was younger I used to hit a lot faster than that on my motorcyle.. I know it's different, but having the road flying under you at those speeds was interesting..
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Old 07-31-08, 05:25 PM   #21
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32 mph while feathering the rear brake with a strange club ride out of Augusta, GA in Aiken County, SC, in the rain, then the brake shoes wore off completely off the rear caliper. Coming back, cars didn't pass me on one downhill as I was near the posted 40mph limit.
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Old 07-31-08, 05:48 PM   #22
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55 km per hour is the fastest I've reached downhill.

I was on my way to the lbs to get my brakes fixed when I decided to let the bike just go down a fairly busy street. It was all "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" until the red light a block made me remember I was getting my brakes fixed (I could hold the brake levers flat against the handlebars and not stop the bike at 20 km per hour). Then it was "omg! I'm sorrrrrrrrrrry!!!" as I raced through the red light past alarmed looking drivers.

Yeah, it was really cool. And stupid. Really cool stupid!

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Old 07-31-08, 05:56 PM   #23
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I have hit some pretty high speeds on the road but it is not the speed that makes me say "Oh Shyte!!" but rather the car at the bottom of the hill about to turn left (or right) when I am moving at a fast pace and HOPING they see me coming and do not try and make the turn before I get there.

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Old 07-31-08, 06:41 PM   #24
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Twice @ 70+

Twice @ 70+

I know that sounds somewhat improbable, and all I have as evidence is both times were during USCF road races and confirmed with NYS Trooper radar, and we all know they're never wrong. Once out around the Syracuse area and the other down the east side of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. I will say that both were in paceline situations with all members working well together to achieve it. I don't think it's possible solo (under normal conditions on a normal road bike).

I'll also add that the experience was indescribable as the bike (an early model Cannondale aluminum) took on handling characteristcs I'd never sensed before (or since). Whether we actually broke 70 or not, it was a most unusual experience.

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Old 07-31-08, 06:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Stujoe View Post
I have never reached it yet. lol
I'm with Stujoe - there is no limit to how much speed I like to get going on a downhill. I just wish I could go faster UP them!

Last edited by uncadan8; 07-31-08 at 07:00 PM. Reason: fergot a word!
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