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Inordinate descending speed.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Inordinate descending speed.

Old 08-27-08, 07:39 AM
  #1  
stevegor
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Inordinate descending speed.

I'm not talking about mountains here, more about rolling hills. It seems when I ride with a bunch and tuck into an aero position on a hilly descent I can put a gap of about 25+ mtrs into the front of the bunch even if they are doing the same position. I'm only 5' 8" and weigh about 74kgs, so my weight isn't the reason why I roll so well, and though some other riders have better bikes than mine, mine is reasonably light, so it's not that. The only theory I can come up with is, my legs are short and stocky so the weight is carried lower to the ground, therefore lower centre of gravity cause better rolling speed???
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Old 08-27-08, 07:46 AM
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"Sh*t rolls downhill"?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:50 AM
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Do you have a big nose?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:53 AM
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Old 08-27-08, 07:54 AM
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It's all about wind resistance and friction my friend. Weight has nothing to do with how fast you roll down a hill.

I'm assuming your stocky size probably catches less wind resistance. You also have to take into account the friction between the tires and the pavement and all the other friction that's slowing you down, but that's going overboard. In the end, I'm thinking it's your size.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:57 AM
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You may have a more aggressive / aero position on the bike than the others.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:09 AM
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When I go faster than other riders its because I pedal harder-faster.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkrider23 View Post
...Weight has nothing to do with how fast you roll down a hill...
Didn't we just do this? Weight most certainly does matter. Look up "terminal velocity".
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Old 08-27-08, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkrider23 View Post
Weight has nothing to do with how fast you roll down a hill.
Correct (on the moon).
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Old 08-27-08, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
Correct (on the moon).
Heh. I like your answer better.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
"Sh*t rolls downhill"?


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Old 08-27-08, 08:32 AM
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I descend at ludicrous speed.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:33 AM
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You probably have more speed/momentum when you start off down the hill before you tuck in. I'm guessing the others just stop pedaling before you do. Or it could be a combination of all of the above posters.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:42 AM
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Sounds like they are not that interested in holding your wheel on the descent. Used to ride with a tall skinny guy, when I was at my peak descending weight. He could tuck in behind me and hold my wheel. But I could overtake him if he was in front, but he could not pass me.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by collegeskier View Post
when I was at my peak descending weight.
Now there's something for me to shoot for.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:49 AM
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If you're passing people it means you're starting behind them. Coasting, you'll accelerate when they've already topped out because you're drafting them. If you pass them relatively quickly then they won't get a return draft so you'll nose out in front of them.

The fact that you end up hanging out 25 meters in front means you're not getting away from them, just passing them and then slowing (due to lack of draft) back to about the same speed.

If you passed them and kept accelerating without pedaling and you would end up out of sight, that's a different story.

When people ask how I descend better, I like saying "I'm dense". It certainly beats explaining to them that coasting on the drops, one leg down, head up, and various other aerodynamic negatives doesn't help them go fast. I'm descending in a chin-to-tire tuck, hands together, elbows and knees in, feet parallel, and I accelerate before I tuck instead of letting gravity accelerate me ever so slowly.

cdr
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Old 08-28-08, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
If you're passing people it means you're starting behind them. Coasting, you'll accelerate when they've already topped out because you're drafting them. If you pass them relatively quickly then they won't get a return draft so you'll nose out in front of them.

The fact that you end up hanging out 25 meters in front means you're not getting away from them, just passing them and then slowing (due to lack of draft) back to about the same speed.

If you passed them and kept accelerating without pedaling and you would end up out of sight, that's a different story.

When people ask how I descend better, I like saying "I'm dense". It certainly beats explaining to them that coasting on the drops, one leg down, head up, and various other aerodynamic negatives doesn't help them go fast. I'm descending in a chin-to-tire tuck, hands together, elbows and knees in, feet parallel, and I accelerate before I tuck instead of letting gravity accelerate me ever so slowly.

cdr

Best answer yet.

There is a blindingly fast descent on a small mountain here with one hellova scary blind right hand bend on a very steep section which, if you're got the guts, will propel you to insane speeds....you've just gotta lean in hard as you enter and hope there's NO kangaroos on your exit.
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Old 08-28-08, 05:29 AM
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Maybe they're riding their break because they know it will make you feel special. ;-)
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Old 08-28-08, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
Best answer yet.

There is a blindingly fast descent on a small mountain here with one hellova scary blind right hand bend on a very steep section which, if you're got the guts, will propel you to insane speeds....you've just gotta lean in hard as you enter and hope there's NO kangaroos on your exit.
Funny. I'm sitting here in suburban PA and trying to imagine how I would react if a kangaroo jumped out at me on a descent.

A pure, non-scientific observation: I'm a lightweight among my riding peers - 120 lbs, 5'5" - and no matter how "tucked in" I am on a descent or how much I pedal or not, my "denser", bulkier friends fly past me. I can crest a climb ahead of many of them, but have to work through the descent to stay with them. If I can grab a wheel, I have a chance. If I miss the train, I'm on my own....til the next climb.

Beth
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Old 08-28-08, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkrider23 View Post
It's all about wind resistance and friction my friend. Weight has nothing to do with how fast you roll down a hill.
Weight has a lot to do with terminal velocity. Acceleration is the same for all masses, but the FORCE is different. The force of gravity is fighting the force of drag, rolling resistance, and friction. Two objects with identical drag but different masses will reach different terminal velocity. The more massive object will reach a higher terminal velocity than the less massive object.
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Old 08-28-08, 06:13 AM
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Old 08-28-08, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Can I share your popcorn?

B
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Old 08-28-08, 07:05 AM
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you must be a witch.
Using your magical powers like that...
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Old 08-28-08, 07:47 AM
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Maybe you've got better ball-bearings than the others?
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Old 08-29-08, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadToNowhere View Post
Funny. I'm sitting here in suburban PA and trying to imagine how I would react if a kangaroo jumped out at me on a descent. Beth
Believe me, those Roos are huge and solid muscle...hit one at speed on a descent and you're dead or mangled bad. I once came around a bend and there were a mob of them just standing there in the middle of the road, they saw me, hopped off in fright, except for the big one who fell over and I ran over his huge tail....I thought I was dead.

Originally Posted by rocoach View Post
Maybe you've got better ball-bearings than the others?
Don't know, maybe.
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