Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Keeping up on the downhills

Notices
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

Keeping up on the downhills

Old 09-18-11, 03:57 PM
  #26  
rnorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 976

Bikes: Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Same problem here.... 5 ft. 3 in. and 105 lbs. Can't put a lot of wattage to the ground with a motor that small, even one in good condition. I'm always the last one downhill, on either the road or the trail.
rnorris is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 03:59 PM
  #27  
fishymamba
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SoCal T.O.
Posts: 2,172

Bikes: CAAD9-6, 13' Dawes Haymaker 1500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by jezmellors View Post
Do your hubs run smooth?
Nope. my hubs are crappy shimano ones that are disintegrating slowly.
fishymamba is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 04:29 PM
  #28  
Beaker
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,916

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Let me plug Williams in this thread too. I have system 19s and some Easton EA70s, although having 1cm less rim depth, I feel like my 19s descend faster as the hubs roll so smoothly.
__________________
BF, in a nutshell
Beaker is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 04:32 PM
  #29  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Watch out for too-aero wheels, you're gonna catch crosswinds way more than the big folks as well, and the wind will really toss you around. Says me at 110#. I'd rather be slow down the descents b/c I'm light and not-as-aero than slow because I'm aero & catching so much crosswind that I'm terrified & riding the brakes.
valygrl is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 04:34 PM
  #30  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Adding --- see if you can demo or borrow some aero wheels before you go that way. I can tell the difference between my two wheelsets, and there's not much difference 'on paper.'
valygrl is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 04:35 PM
  #31  
fishymamba
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SoCal T.O.
Posts: 2,172

Bikes: CAAD9-6, 13' Dawes Haymaker 1500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Adding --- see if you can demo or borrow some aero wheels before you go that way. I can tell the difference between my two wheelsets, and there's not much difference 'on paper.'
Do shops allow you to test wheels?
fishymamba is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 04:47 PM
  #32  
nutterbutter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 156

Bikes: Felt B16, Steel Fuji

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i have never had any issues keeping up on descents that dont involve pedaling. Being a jr, gearing along with weight tend to hold me back there, however i have found that as the skinny one, you have a huge aero advantage, and in getting your body supppeeerrr low and compact keeping up on descents like you describe has never been an issue for me, especially when drafting is involved
nutterbutter is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 05:00 PM
  #33  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,201
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 288 Times in 176 Posts
Originally Posted by Runner 1 View Post
True, but what percentage of the ride is climbing vs flats and downhill?
The critical parts where selections occur.

20% extra W/kg will allow you to ride away from other riders on the hills. Having 20% higher W/CdA isn't as useful as riders can save 30% just by drafting.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 06:42 PM
  #34  
kleinboogie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,606
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I count on the descents to make up time I know I'll lose on the climb. It's just physics and big guy power. You should probably pull away at the climb and let them catch you on the descent. If you time it right you'll be all together on the flats until you do it again. As a big guy I do the opposite. I try to create distance on the flat/descent and do what Chris Carmichael calls the big fade on the climb. The challenge there is realizing that for some period you're going to be alone. Better to be alone out front on the climb than off the back on the descent. Might help to let the group know it's nothing personal. What helped me getting over the guilt was realizing nobody was going to wait for me on the climb so I'm under no obligation to wait for them on the descent/flats. GL
kleinboogie is offline  
Old 09-19-11, 01:09 AM
  #35  
fogrider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: fogtown...san francisco
Posts: 2,276

Bikes: Ron Cooper, Time VXSR, rock lobster, rock lobster, serotta, ritchey, kestrel, paramount

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
grab a backpack and 25 pounds of books, that should help you fly down the hills!
fogrider is offline  
Old 09-19-11, 02:14 AM
  #36  
SlowOlympian
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 197

Bikes: 2010 Specialized Allez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Haha, i hate this problem. mine is compounded by the fact ive only put 1k mi on my bike, still have plenty of base miles to put in! however, even tailing(drafting or not) a chubby guy, i just cant hang on descents. Im 125 and 5'10". im a stick. aero? check! w/kg? check! gravity? ..... Gravity....? wtf? never seen clouds on the ground!!! oh no, im floating again!

So i can SLAMDANCE past the CHUBBY guys uphill, but they SLAMDa...oh wait. they arent even pedaling and theyre faster than me!!! cheaters!

I found out the mystery, the fatties fill their bottles, main vein some EPO, and kick in their electric drive front hub before the descent! thats why theyre faster!

just kidding, but its still not fair. we both work going up the hill. i have to work going down the hill too. my goal before racing? become a clyde!



Oh, and fogrider, backpacks dont help. much less aero in the drops and it pretty much cancels out. what you have to do is break open some batteries, fill your water bottles with lead(get bottle launchers too for more effect) and ride with a camelback. youll get stronger on the climbs, and you'll keep up on the descents with the guys who could almost hang on the climbs!

Last edited by SlowOlympian; 09-19-11 at 02:19 AM. Reason: winning!
SlowOlympian is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 09:27 AM
  #37  
savvy523
Senior Member
 
savvy523's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tFpNsZXWgc

maybe? lol
savvy523 is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:01 AM
  #38  
generalkdi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 780

Bikes: Argon18 Gallium 2016, Trek Emonda SL6 Pro 2018, Salsa Beargrease

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by savvy523 View Post
That's fast, the faster I got is 89km/h, and, you know when going down you always want MORE SPEED, but at 89 I was like.. maybe I should brake? Will it just stop? I don't wanna die!
generalkdi is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:14 AM
  #39  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Speaking as a Self-Appointed Representative of The Porky Cyclists' League (hereafter PCL), you may want to rethink drafting us downhill for the following reasons:

1) You have to be tight on for it to work. You will need every aerodynamic advantage to match my 215 lbs of gristle. I have seen many little guys try to draft and most don't stay close enough.

2) We big folk, all members of the PCL, have no contractual obligations to call out road hazards over 40 mph on descents, as we expect no one to be near us. I promise to hold my line, but I also will avoid reasonable obstacles that you will have no chance to avoid.

3) We, in general, only expect other Members of the PCL to be near us. Fat guys are easy to see, and we waste no energy looking for skinny minny's. We can't see past our fat rolls to see you, so once again, you are on your own.

Your best bet is to suck down 6 or 7 gallons of water at the crest of the hill to get temporary membership in the PCL. This is allowed on a descent by descent basis.
Meh. I'm 155, but short and stocky (BMI is clearly in the 'overweight' zone but it's mostly muscle), and in 95%+ of cases, guys north of 210lbs have no chance dropping me on hills or flats. You big guys can certainly pull hard on a flat, but it's not enough to drop a guy my size, even at 28+mph if I'm trying to hang onto you. Then we'll hit the climb and all you big guys disappear, never to be seen again.

Fast riding on the flats is over-rated, anyway - I actually get a laugh when I see big guys (210+) try to gap me on a flat in a hammerhead road ride so they might have a chance keeping up on the climb. On these rides, unless you can TT at 25+mph solo for an hour+, you're just burning your matches - we can either keep up with you and have you die quick on the flat, or let you have your fun and unceremoniously dump you less than 2 minutes onto the first real climb.

Now when I see little skinny guys in the pack (like sub 130), I get scared. Those guys will definitely lay down the hurt. Although even with those guys where I have a 25lbs penalty, unless they're Cat1-2, I can usually keep up as well.
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:28 AM
  #40  
urbanknight
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 23,169

Bikes: Giant Defy, Specialized Allez, Raleigh Pursuit tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 380 Times in 237 Posts
Solution: drop them on the climbs so they have to catch you on the descents

Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
(I figure since they don't take it easy on me up the hills, I make them work going down. They can draft all they want, but at some point, they can no longer keep up unless they pedal while I'm freewheelin'. )
The first time you and I went over Angeles Forest Hwy, I was drafting you most of the way down into Sunland. Any time I lost your draft, I was pedaling. One thing people might not realize is that the faster you go, the further behind you your draft is. Cruising at 15 mph, you want to be less than 3' behind your wheel. At 40 mph, you can leave 10' or 20' in front of you, which is hopefully enough for you to shift to the side and avoid colliding should something happen.

fwiw I have since then improved my technique. Gaining 30 lb has also helped (albeit at a huge detriment to my climbing). If you can reduce your frontal surface area (getting deep in the drops, keeping your knees in, keeping your head down) and shift your weight forward (but not to the point that you lose control), you will pick up a few mph easily.
__________________
It's like riding a bicycle
urbanknight is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:29 AM
  #41  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,001
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3321 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 569 Posts
Originally Posted by Runner 1 View Post
BTW, Power/mass has never been a good measurement for cyclists and I don't know why it continues to be used. Power/CdA is much better.
It's a better measurement because it measures physical conditioning and it is the relevant measurement for hill climbing.

Power/CdA would be more complicated because CdA depends on rider position (which riders vary a lot).
njkayaker is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:37 AM
  #42  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,030

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Eat more cheeseburgers. Then come back and complain about get dropped on the climbs

I wish I had your problem. I suck on the climbs.
pallen is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 10:38 AM
  #43  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,001
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3321 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 569 Posts
Originally Posted by Runner 1 View Post
True, but what percentage of the ride is climbing vs flats and downhill?
https://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...ng-star-12092/

Races are often won in the hills
njkayaker is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 11:10 AM
  #44  
EdIsMe
Senior Member
 
EdIsMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Floriduh
Posts: 663

Bikes: 2011 Neuvation FC100, 2013 Mercier Kilo TT Pro, 1984 Peugeot SV-L

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This thread makes me feel like I belong in the PCL...

I'm 5'5" and 145lbs...

I really haven't had too much trouble on downhills vs. some bigger members of my cycling group. Granted, downhills here are just the backside of a bridge, maybe 1/8 mile long at best. Fastest I've hit on one of these "downhills" was 44.2mph and that was while tucked and pedaling.

It probably helps that I'm a little more flexible than most of the guys I ride with, and can tuck a little bit smaller I guess.
EdIsMe is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 11:25 AM
  #45  
AllezDada
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Personally I'm happy being able to climb better than some of my buddies - them being able to descend a little faster doesn't bother me at all . . .
AllezDada is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 11:34 AM
  #46  
calamarichris
Horse Categorie
 
calamarichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 6,205

Bikes: '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi), '94 Greg Lemond, '99 GT Pulse Kinesis

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 235 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by fishymamba View Post
I weight 125lbs and I am about 5'0(kinda over weight).


I prescribe a diet of mainly sweets and fried foods for two months which will make you a more streamlined and aerodynamically efficient rider.
calamarichris is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 11:58 AM
  #47  
volosong
Senior Member
 
volosong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 2,809

Bikes: n + 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 14 Posts
Funny thread. A lot of rib poking, but all in fun.

I suck on both ends. At 6'3" and 210 lbs., it takes me forever to go up a hill ... and at 60 years old, I'm too frightened to push it going back down like I did when I was in my 20's. At least I still have the flats. Maybe I should stick to TTs?
volosong is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 02:12 PM
  #48  
savvy523
Senior Member
 
savvy523's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by generalkdi View Post
That's fast, the faster I got is 89km/h, and, you know when going down you always want MORE SPEED, but at 89 I was like.. maybe I should brake? Will it just stop? I don't wanna die!
The fastest I did was low 70s can't remember correctly but did you see how controlled they are at 100kph? I can't imagine 89 lol
savvy523 is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 04:30 PM
  #49  
fishymamba
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SoCal T.O.
Posts: 2,172

Bikes: CAAD9-6, 13' Dawes Haymaker 1500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post


I prescribe a diet of mainly sweets and fried foods for two months which will make you a more streamlined and aerodynamically efficient rider.
Thanks Doc! I'll get right to it!

But yeah I am kinda over weight for my size. Kinda pudgy. My upper body is all soft and flabby and my legs are the opposite.
fishymamba is offline  
Old 09-20-11, 04:41 PM
  #50  
Keith99
Senior Member
 
Keith99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by BetweenRides View Post
125 lbs = Bingo.

I weigh in at 235 and routinely drop almost anyone on descents except other clydes. All I have to do is tuck in and roll, or if I want to leave them far behind, tuck and pedal. The opposite happens on uphills, of course.
I used to be able to make the midweek ride with my local club. One regroup point was at the top of a climb that was not that long, but fairly steep (Mulholland Highway heading North towards Los Virgenes road for the LA locals). It had a long and not all that steep downhill on hte other side.

One frequent rider was a woman ranked about 10th in the U.S. at teh time. I was about 230, she was much smaller, but not tiny. If I was sitting up and all but intentionally catching wind she would hit the same speeds when in a tuck that would have scared me to try.

Of course if we had not regrouped she would have aleady been a half mile of more ahead of me when I started the decent.
Keith99 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.