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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
Posts: 239
Location: San Diego Ca USA
I'm new here and new to biking, so I'm looking for some input on this .....

I did my first 50 mile ride with guys that have many years of experience and newer bikes that cost 3-5 times as much. For the most part I kept up on the flats, but I almost never took the lead, they understood. I got my but kicked on the hills by the better riders and compact cranks. But I flew past them on the descents.

I'd like to understand why I could past them so ezaly on the way down. (I did not draft off them)

There where guys smaller and bigger that me, all had newer but heaver bikes. I was the only one with wheels as deep as 50 / 58 and the only one wearing a semi aero helmet (Giro Air Attack Shield).

Here is my budget 6.82 kg bike and helmet ........

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:41 am 
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Location: Fort St John
Were you pedalling down the hill? I find 9 out of 10 group rides I go on (meaning 2+ riders) most of the group will hammer up the climbs and coast on the downhills. Resulting in essentially a bunch of hill repeats and the slower riders of the group will usually have blown up half way through the ride.

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Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:41 am 


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
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Location: Pa USA
Answered your own question. I'm 5'5 and 58 kg or so, and I descend as fast as anyone, on a bike that's below the UCI limit but on free rolling 50mm u shaped wheels and of course a small frame and low aero footprint.

Also, they may have seen many more 60kph crashes and carnage than you and decided that discretion is wise...which is why I usually brake now and just hold my place, and want space around me when descending. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:01 am 
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Location: San Diego Ca USA
Benno wrote:
Were you pedalling down the hill? I find 9 out of 10 group rides I go on (meaning 2+ riders) most of the group will hammer up the climbs and coast on the downhills. Resulting in essentially a bunch of hill repeats and the slower riders of the group will usually have blown up half way through the ride.


I was coasting, I first tried this on a shorted ride with a bigger group of guys as I wanted to see how my bike would do. I coasted past 90% of the group. On this 50 mile ride some times I would be pretty far behind and just coast down the bigger hills and still pass them.

Once I came from behind and could tell they may make a move so I starting hammering hard for a long time and they did not stay with me. Of course they may not have even tried.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:06 am 
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Location: San Diego Ca USA
glepore wrote:
Answered your own question. I'm 5'5 and 58 kg or so, and I descend as fast as anyone, on a bike that's below the UCI limit but on free rolling 50mm u shaped wheels and of course a small frame and low aero footprint.

Also, they may have seen many more 60kph crashes and carnage than you and decided that discretion is wise...which is why I usually brake now and just hold my place, and want space around me when descending. :)


My wheel are older V shape so not the most aero, but I get your point. I'm comfortable with the higher speeds from my motorcycle days and even more so now with my new loner stem as the bike feels more stable.

I've only topped out at about 35mph so not to fast, but I will keep in mind you point about being safe.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:29 pm
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Location: UK
Just enjoy it. It's entirely possible that you are a better descender than the other guys in your group, plenty of experienced guys don't descend well especially on switchback type descents, picking the wrong line, braking too hard etc

It almost certainly has nothing to do with your wheels or bike or bearings, is most likley due to your technique, and your body postion on the descent being more aero.

Have fun!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:00 pm 
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bikewithnoname wrote:
Just enjoy it. It's entirely possible that you are a better descender than the other guys in your group, plenty of experienced guys don't descend well especially on switchback type descents, picking the wrong line, braking too hard etc

It almost certainly has nothing to do with your wheels or bike or bearings, is most likley due to your technique, and your body postion on the descent being more aero.

Have fun!


I agree completely. I've done 55 mph on straightish descents, but one of my mates could out-descend me on twisting ones, and he rode a cyclo-cross frame with cantilever brakes!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Location: Pa USA
Motorcycle days? So was I until I stacked a Duc and ended up with a c4-7 spinal cord injury and a month plus as a functional quad. Be careful out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
If you were gaining on them in the corners it's because you're a better descender. If you were gaining on the straights, you were more aero. Or you were riding with people who are scared to go fast.

Motorsports experience, especially competition, teaches line choice better than cycling does. I used to ride with a guy who had formerly raced SCCA Formula Vee and had the most beautiful lines. But I've ridden with very fast descenders who learned it on the bike.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:10 pm 
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I ride with a mountain biker and he descends like there's no tomorrow. I don't have the balls like he does.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:46 pm 
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I have been curious about this too, I'm a pretty good mountain biker, even on tech stuff, but get killed on road descents by people who weigh 15 kilos less than me. I always thought it was because of my 81cm seat height, but then I got shown up by a 65 year old 2 meter tall guy on a technical road descent.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:47 am 
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Location: San Diego Ca USA
eric wrote:
If you were gaining on the straights, you were more aero. Or you were riding with people who are scared to go fast.


I think its most likely this and the fact that my bike feels very stable at higher speeds.

I've been tempted to change to a lighter fork but I have read about several who did and then changed back because the new fork was to twitchy and did weird things.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:36 am 
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KarlC wrote:
I've been tempted to change to a lighter fork but I have read about several who did and then changed back because the new fork was to twitchy and did weird things.


I switched out the stock fork on my '06 CR1 Team to an '09 Addict fork. Much lighter and could not be happier with the upgrade.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:24 pm 
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Location: San Diego Ca USA
sanrensho wrote:
KarlC wrote:
I've been tempted to change to a lighter fork but I have read about several who did and then changed back because the new fork was to twitchy and did weird things.


I switched out the stock fork on my '06 CR1 Team to an '09 Addict fork. Much lighter and could not be happier with the upgrade.



Thanks for the in put on this, I will look at your build and do more research.

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Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:24 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
The riders in your group used there brakes more than you did. Compact cranks have little to do with your groups ability to climb it there level of fittness. If this is your first 50 mile ride then that says it all. If you want to go faster up hills you need to train for that.

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