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  1. #1
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Downhill run..coast or pedal?

    Just curious, what's your preferred means of fast descent on a well-paved, properly banked stretch of road, pedaling, or full aero tuck?

    I was just thinking back quite a few years to a dc we were riding, and we were going down a steady 6% or so for a couple miles in a full tuck (50mph zone, I think it was) and I noticed a black fender inching up on us (I was stoking). I looked over and it was a CHP cruiser.
    I think technical twisties are even more fun; the sensation of the pavement being within fingers' reach is a real rush.

  2. #2
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Pedal to 42 mph and then let gravity do the rest!
    Dennis T

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
    Pedal to 42 mph and then let gravity do the rest!
    The Same but I want more Gravity.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Fastest we have pedaled on slight downhill was 42.5 mph in a 56x13 and we were bouncing on the saddles, could not let a couple of male/male tandem teams get the best of us!
    Now that we're older/wiser, full tuck or just plain coasting is preferable!

  5. #5
    Dr.Deltron
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    Pedal for all you're worth!
    That's what downhills are all about!
    On our Greenspeed tandem we've hit 48.2 m.p.h.~!
    Great fun and super stable on that rig!
    It's a super luge!

  6. #6
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    Coast. But then again my stoker isn't a speed demon.

    -D

  7. #7
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
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    We don't have any long descents in our area and haven't traveled much yet with the tandem. On the few "hill" rides in our area and on some of the weekend tours we've done on rollers, we're always pedaling downhill to carry speed up the next one, until we hit 40.

    That's when the "stoker imposed" speed limit kicks in. When she sees that magic number, stern power ceases immediately and if I continue to push it, "discussion" ensues.

    I'd like to think I'm a cautious captain, careful not to go too fast for road and traffic conditions, even more so on roads that I am not familiar with. She doesn't see everything that I do, so I'm accepting her speed limit for now.

    I figure that aero-tucking or powering down a long, smooth descent by ourselves has got be much safer than any club ride sprint. Last weekend we topped out at 29.9 on flat ground in the group. When we get to the next level and can do 32's or 33's I plan to appeal on the 40 MPH limit.

  8. #8
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    Our fastest is 45 mph and we pedaled only half of the way, but our river valley hills are pretty wimpy in comparison to the mountains some of you ride. It's a bit of a gut check for the stoker to decide if he/she trusts the captain at that speed, but for us the Primera is such a fierce (and stable) descender that we can't help but ENJOY that thrill. Of course, my captain tells me that the 45 mph hill was a bump compared to the Ohio Street hill so now I have to decide if I have the courage to descend that one!

    If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.

    Just some thoughts...
    ________________________
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mtbcyclist's Avatar
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    Pedal like mad and yell wahooo like a mad man (or woman).

    Really though do what ever your stoker wants as that normally bring peace and equalibrium to the ride.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbcyclist
    Pedal like mad and yell wahooo like a mad man (or woman).

    Really though do what ever your stoker wants as that normally bring peace and equalibrium to the ride.
    Your top speed is dependant on how loud the stoker screams or how handy the pump is.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.

    Just some thoughts...[/QUOTE]

    Pure speculation…you are lighter and thus possibly narrower (body and legs) than the heavier teams enabling a lower air drag coefficient and therefore faster descent.

  12. #12
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    We pedal all the time unless we want a butt break. We will go aero to keep pace or chase someone down.

  13. #13
    Senior Member matimeo's Avatar
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    My wife would kill me if I didn't hit the brakes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    << If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.>>

    We love our Primera, too (we have the Bontrager tandem wheels and Wound up carbon forks). There aren't many hills around here, only a high bridge, but our Primera is very stable on the downhill. We manage 35mph on the short downhills, coasting, and 30mph on the flat in a sprint. Our combined weight is about 350lb + tandem ~37lb.
    As for your downhill speed, I would guess that the others in full aero were touching their brakes. You, as newbies, have no fear!!

    BTW, do you have the standard Avid Single Digit with brakes as we do? I'm not very impressed by their braking force and want to change them, but I'm not sure what to change to.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo
    << BTW, do you have the standard Avid Single Digit with brakes as we do? I'm not very impressed by their braking force and want to change them, but I'm not sure what to change to.
    Since we bought ours off the showroom floor of the LBS, I'm sure we have the standard Primera brake set-up. Mr. Lakes thinks that they work just fine. I think that a few people above have noted that we're such a new team that we fearlessly bomb our descents in aero position because we don't know any better. Not much use for brakes in that situation! I'm guessing one big crash will change that... Also, our team weight is about 290 (should be 250) and we don't have mountains in these here parts. Some long, stinky hills, and some deep river valley hills, but no mountains.
    ________________________
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  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Once you reach about 40-45 mph there's no point in pedalling on a descent if you're looking to achieve higher velocities. Getting your upper bodies out of the airstream with your arms and knees tucked in will yield far higher speeds than you could ever achieve spinning away with standard gearing.

    To the question about the Primera, we're 5'8" and 5'2" and only about 285lbs and our best is 63mph and mid-50s are also common. While other teams have higher gross weights, it is as someone else has suggested the lower aero drag of our smaller bodies combined with a very tight aero position, and little or no braking that allow us to descend more efficiently than many other teams. Well, that and the lack of prudence which would suggest that the increased risks associated with very high speed descents when there is nothing truly at stake aside from a cheap thrill and bragging rights is somewhat foolhardy.

    Please note, there are only a couple of teams who we will descend with at speeds above 40mph; bad things can happen fast and there's more to going fast safely than simply going fast.

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