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Downhill speed without pedalling ? (Just coasting)

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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

Downhill speed without pedalling ? (Just coasting)

Old 01-15-10, 11:20 PM
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zeo_max
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Downhill speed without pedalling ? (Just coasting)

So I keep hearing about these insane (to me) downhill speeds, like 50 mph, 55 mph, or that elusive 60 mph. But these posts don't actually give me an idea if these are speeds that the bikes reach naturally or if you have to pedal really hard to reach them (which is obviously unnecessary for the sole purpose of getting down the hill).

So for that, I'd like to know average speeds reached on a road bike downhill without pedalling, just coasting. Just an average hill. Just give me a range, I just wanna have an idea.

P.S. For those of you who may remember earlier threads of mine talking about how scared I was of downhill speed, I'm happy to report that I've done some progress, and can now tolerate up to 35 mph (previously only 22 mph). This is fast considering it's on 2.10" wide tires, I may make the switch soon
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Old 01-15-10, 11:23 PM
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depends on weight..i would say 35 on an "average" hill.


and congrats on moving up in speed. but really, high speed going up is more impressive than high speeds going down
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Old 01-15-10, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by enjoi07 View Post
depends on weight..i would say 35 on an "average" hill.


and congrats on moving up in speed. but really, high speed going up is more impressive than high speeds going down
Oh thanks. And yeah true that, about uphill speed. The downhill speed does require testicular enlargement though
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Old 01-15-10, 11:34 PM
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I hit 47 last Saturday no peddling.
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Old 01-15-10, 11:54 PM
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Coasting down an average hill of average length and grade where I live at an average coasting effort I would average about 20 mph on average. A steeper than average hill of a little more than average lenght will get me up around 30 or so. The steepest above average hill of above average length with an above average coasting effort will yeild about 40 mph on average. All other less than average hills of less than average length and less than average grade will leave me with a coasting speed less than 20 mph on average. This information however is totally meaningless for you, on average.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:03 AM
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This vid is on an average 6% mtn road. I'm a big rider, 235 lbs and coast around the switchbacks at 30-35. On the straight sections I hit 42 while pedaling hard. I know a gang of riders that claim 50 on the same road but funny thing is most get down about 5 minutes after me!

The wife and I did hit 56 on Grand Ave on a 3/4 mile hill without pedaling. Too fast! Bike is rocksteady but just too fast for comfort.

I'm the big orange guy. Ride partners usually just move over and let me by (as seen on the second half of the video)!
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Old 01-16-10, 12:04 AM
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It depends on a lot of things. The fastest I ever went was coasting down Bonny Doon Road near Santa Cruz, CA (the Amgen Tour of California went UP it in 2009). My GPS and cyclocomputer were in agreement on a max of 91 kph = 56 mph. Had I seen that max. speed while I was hitting it, I would've been too scared and slowed down. I was so focused on the descent I didn't look at the readouts until the road leveled off and I'd slowed down under 30 mph.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:09 AM
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A couple weeks ago we had one of our frequent godawful West winds here on a riding day.
After an hour and a half of being down in the drops doing single-digit speeds into a headwind, I finally gave up and turned around,
partly because of the frustration, and because I knew the Northbound leg was probably going to be impossible due to getting blown of the road.
I hit 48mph on the first downhill just coasting.
I was doing 35mph on the flats for the next several miles.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:09 AM
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Cool vid Mr. Beanz
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Old 01-16-10, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by zeo_max View Post
Cool vid Mr. Beanz
Thanks!
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Old 01-16-10, 12:28 AM
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Another one, last two stretches are 40 mph. Hillbasher, not sure if he was trying or not but I believe it is a 7% grade, he's about 215 lbs. This road is closed and more straights.


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Old 01-16-10, 12:32 AM
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Usually 35 in the drops, 40+ if I get into a tight tuck. I rarely bother pedaling on downhills. I save more energy through an efficient position than I'd produce by pedaling. I hit 53mph bombing down Crawford Notch in the White Mtns of New Hampshire. I swear everything started to blur from the speed.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Another one, last two stretches are 40 mph. Hillbasher, not sure if he was trying or not but I believe it is a 7% grade, he's about 215 lbs. This road is closed and more straights.

Curious, why was the road closed?
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Old 01-16-10, 12:55 AM
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I can regularly hit 50mph on one of my local hills without pedalling. It a couple of miles of decent with some sections over 10%. The road is fairly straight and smooth, but most importantly, I know there is a long flat run out at the bottom with no stop signs. Trying to maintain 50mph on a road with switchbacks would be tricky. And stopping a bike from 50mph at a stop sign is not likely on a steep descent. The road is rural enough that cross traffic is not an issue.

I'm not sure if I have the leg speed to hit 60mph pedalling. Not sure if I really want to, either.
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Old 01-16-10, 12:59 AM
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whwhwhwhoooooooooossssshshhhhhhh. that fast.
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Old 01-16-10, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RacerOne View Post
Curious, why was the road closed?
Road has been closed for years. Fire concern and snow Camp grounds and Crystal Lake rec area have been closed for years. Another local road is sometimes closed during fire season. It's great when it's closed too!
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Old 01-16-10, 01:10 AM
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I have hit 49 coasting on a mile long section of road that is 22% at its steepest, I think it averages like 15% for that mile but I'm on the brakes long before the bottom due to a busy intersection(only ridden it a couple times Cuz I hate going up it).
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Old 01-16-10, 01:11 AM
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Interesting, but it still looks well maintained. I guess that's California weather for you.
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Old 01-16-10, 01:38 AM
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i see these ppl not pedaling while going down hill...is that like a new trend or something? should i try it? naw
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Old 01-16-10, 01:48 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kZSz...eature=related
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Old 01-16-10, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Road has been closed for years. Fire concern and snow Camp grounds and Crystal Lake rec area have been closed for years. Another local road is sometimes closed during fire season. It's great when it's closed too!
Missing teens huh ?

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Old 01-16-10, 02:24 AM
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Wheeeeew ! I was just praying through the entire video that none of them crashed, 'cause that would've left me psychologically traumatized.
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Old 01-16-10, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by enjoi07 View Post
whwhwhwhoooooooooossssshshhhhhhh. that fast.
That's fast, I managed whwhwhwhhhooooshhhh once but backed off. Your average hill must be steeper than my average hill (on average)
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Old 01-16-10, 06:29 AM
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Max downhill speed before my last accident - 48mph
Max downhill speed after my last accident - 24mph
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Old 01-16-10, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by zeo_max View Post
So I keep hearing about these insane (to me) downhill speeds, like 50 mph, 55 mph, or that elusive 60 mph. But these posts don't actually give me an idea if these are speeds that the bikes reach naturally or if you have to pedal really hard to reach them (which is obviously unnecessary for the sole purpose of getting down the hill).

So for that, I'd like to know average speeds reached on a road bike downhill without pedalling, just coasting. Just an average hill. Just give me a range, I just wanna have an idea.

P.S. For those of you who may remember earlier threads of mine talking about how scared I was of downhill speed, I'm happy to report that I've done some progress, and can now tolerate up to 35 mph (previously only 22 mph). This is fast considering it's on 2.10" wide tires, I may make the switch soon
The average speed down a hill depends on how steep the hill is and how heavy the rider is, so it's hard to just give you a number.

You should notice that at a certain point, depending on your gearing and other factors, you'll be able to go faster by getting low and aero than you can by pedaling. This will be especially true if you're on a compact crank. I found it pretty easy to spin out a 50-11 at 6% grade or more.

I would assume most people who hit 50 were on a fairly steep stretch of road and weren't pedaling.
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