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My Peugeot and Future rides (Need advice!)

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My Peugeot and Future rides (Need advice!)

Old 07-08-09, 02:24 PM
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Tigerprawn
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My Peugeot and Future rides (Need advice!)

I'm taking part in the "Tour De Peninsula" early next month and have this nervousness that I can't shake. Maybe you guys can offer some experiences or advice.

Since I've built my PSV10 and healed up from my fractured collarbone, I've logged in at least a few hundred miles commuting to work and riding for fun on my days off. I'd be lying if I said the injury wasn't playing a part in my nervousness. I ride without the fear, but it surfaces when I think about descents.

I'll be doing two rides back to back which have large descents. The only type of hills I encounter daily are overpasses which I have no issues with. I'm rather nervous about the descents and how I'll be able to handle them on the Peugeot. The bike is made of Super Vitus 980 and I'm not sure how it'll hold up during the descents at some higher speeds. Also, I'm using CLB brakes with some upgraded pads/shoes. I'm wondering if I should maybe look into upgrading the brakes? My bike will only take nutted brakes.

I know many of you C&Vers participate in rides and even races with your vintage bikes (Scozim's latest post comes to mind). Am I worrying about nothing? What should I do to prep?

Also, since I'm here posting anyway... What's your take on braking on descents? Front mostly? Shave off speed with the rear brake?

Thanks for the help guys. Any advice or stories will be sure to make me feel a bit more at ease.
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Old 07-08-09, 03:42 PM
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with your frame. As long as it is free of damage it will hold up nicely. The CLB calipers are not the best ever made (they are light though) but quite decent and I would perhaps consider changing levers to modern aero-style if yours still have the cables exiting up. Modern aerostyle levers have a better mechanical advantage than many old levers. New cable housing and wires and you are set to go. Braking downhill: Very easy, just brake early enough before the turns so that you feel safe all the way through them. This might mean going very slowly at first. Then start braking a little bit later as your skills evolve.
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Old 07-08-09, 03:42 PM
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Tough call. Much of your nervousness is probably related to the accident. Making a couple of successful downhill descents will probably help a ton.

I have to admit I haven't fallen on a descent and, quite frankly, probably take too many chances because of that. Although, the riskiness is not as prevalent now that I have a houseful of kids and my wife glares at me when I tell her how fast I was going.

On the race you mentioned we rode back down the hill - big time switchbacks. I hit 38 mph consistently between the corners but got on the brakes pretty hard going into them - both brakes. I was running tubulars and those sights of the pros rolling one off the rim was something I didn't want to experience. I'm always on the drops on a descent with both hands on the brake lever, often feathering them a little, to control the speed. You could try the Kool Stop salmon pads which supposedly have great stopping power, but your calipers should be fine.

Those Super Vitus frame handle great so you should have an enjoyable experience.

Do you have any moderate, relatively straight hills - 1/2 mile to 1 mile or so that you could climb and then come back down as a test.
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Old 07-08-09, 03:53 PM
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+1 Take a short trip and find some hills to practice on and build confidence.
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Old 07-09-09, 08:40 AM
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Yea, good idea. I'm planning to tackle some hills nearby just to get more accustomed to descending and also to get rid of the nerves.
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Old 07-09-09, 09:56 AM
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Do you have aero levers? No? Get some. I switched over to modern aeros and they are much, much more responsive and powerful than my old levers (using the same brake calibers). It gives me a lot more comfort--for $30 plus the cost of labor, totally worth it.

But yeah, if the origin of your fear is from the accident, I think it will subside with practice. Maybe find some baby hills near your house and just ride those until you feel better about it?
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Old 07-09-09, 02:21 PM
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Did I miss a previous post about the accident? Was it during a decent? Just curious. I encounter numerous long, fairly steep decents around here but most of them are fairly straight or at least have gentle curves. I regularly hit 40-mph on those and don't touch the brakes unless I have to but I'm always in the drops with my fingers on the brake levers just in case. Sometimes I have no choice and I use both brakes to scrub off speed. Some of the more scenic areas can get pretty congested with car traffic in the summer so you can't go all out. I've never had any issues with wobble or anything like that on a bicycle (as opposed to a motorcycle that I crashed at 110-mph after a severe wobble ).
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Old 07-09-09, 02:32 PM
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The accident wasn't from a descent, but the thought of descending quickly + wobble has instilled some hesitation in me. I've decided to screw it though and attack a medium sized hill near my girlfriend's parents' house this weekend. Gotta get over the fear. I'm sure it's more mental than anything else.

As for aero levers... That much of a difference huh? I actually like the non-aero brakes, but if the aero brakes are that much stronger I may have to go that route.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tigerprawn View Post
As for aero levers... That much of a difference huh? I actually like the non-aero brakes, but if the aero brakes are that much stronger I may have to go that route.
I switched from Dia Compe Gran Compe's to a set of 600's SLR Aero's I won on ebay. I'm not sure if it is an actual difference, or just a feeling all in my head, but wow. Huge diff.

They certainly feel a lot more solid, and that is with Cantis.
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Old 07-11-09, 09:30 PM
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I went to tackle the hills this morning to give myself a chance to test my climbing abilities with the bike and also to try descending. It's fun! I'm sure at higher speeds I'll have to be a bit more careful and shave speed appropriately, but man it was fun today.



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Old 07-12-09, 03:24 AM
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Beautiful day, beautiful bike !
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Old 07-12-09, 10:27 AM
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pretty . . .
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Old 07-12-09, 11:01 AM
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it is all mental and you can "train" the fear away by doing just what you're doing: practice descents with successful outcome (no crashes). I'd go practice on the actual hills you'll be riding on the Tour (I assume they are close by, right?). One tip: on group rides try to avoid bunching up with an amateur "peloton" where there could be trouble, steer around the clumps so you don't get sucked into a big pile-up.
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Old 07-12-09, 04:51 PM
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Come to my neck of the woods, we'll get you used to some hills!
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Old 07-12-09, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by anastrophe View Post
Do you have aero levers? No? Get some. I switched over to modern aeros and they are much, much more responsive and powerful than my old levers (using the same brake calibers). It gives me a lot more comfort--for $30 plus the cost of labor, totally worth it.

But yeah, if the origin of your fear is from the accident, I think it will subside with practice. Maybe find some baby hills near your house and just ride those until you feel better about it?
+1 Get some SLR aeros, and get used to the feel of them. It's a lot easier to "feather" the descent and be intact for the next one. Plus, if you're racing, is the descent where you'll lose the entire Tour?
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