7 Ways to Ride Downhill Like A Tour de France Cyclist (And Not Die)

Descents are free speed. You spend almost every second of a bike ride pedaling and working to move forward, but the descents are your reward and your opportunity to make up time

7 Ways to Ride Downhill Like A Tour de France Cyclist (And Not Die)

Professional cyclists execute risky descending techniques far above the skill level of most amateurs. However, all cyclists can gain valuable insights on how to ride downhill better and faster by watching their impressive high-speed descents.

So, what makes the difference between a beautiful, fast, and smooth descent and a nervous, wobbly one? Courage accounts for a little of it, but skill is the foundation of great descending. Skill instills confidence and confidence builds courage, and the combination of skill, confidence, and courage enables you to ride downhill fast.

If you’re not racing you don’t need to take big risks on descents, and it’s important to note that having great descending skills doesn’t mean you have to go insanely fast or take big risks. On the other hand, there is no downside to having the skills to be a great descender, because it will make you safer and more confident in all conditions.

Descending Skills Clinic

Everyone has to slow down for the corners, but the best riders take great lines, position themselves over their bikes perfectly, brake late and slow down the least; and those skills can either move you off the front of the pack or help you catch back on. If you go back and watch the descents from stages in the Pyrenees and Alps, here are some skills to watch for – and emulate the next time you ride downhill:

1. Think and look far ahead.

Traveling at 62mph you cover approximately the length of a football field (300 feet) every 3.3 seconds. With corners, rocks, potholes, etc. coming at you that quickly, you have to pick your lines early. Ideally, you want to set up wide as you enter a corner, cut through the apex, and exit wide. Choosing the wrong line on the entry makes it difficult – and sometimes impossible – to safely exit the turn and stay on the road.

2. Brake late, but before the corners.

You want to make dramatic changes in speed on the straightaway before you enter a corner, using both brakes so you are complete control of your speed. You may still be on the brakes in the turn, but if you were going 40mph in the previous straightaway, you want to bring the speed down to a safe speed for the corner – say 25-30mph – before the turn rather than trying to dramatically slow down and change direction at the same time.

If you go into a corner too hot and grab a fistful of brakes, you’ll either lock up the wheels and slide or crash; or your momentum will carry you so far to the outside of the turn that you’ll miss the exit and end up in the trees. The more advanced way to do this is to brake late; that is, hold your speed until you’re closer to the corner and use more braking power to slow down quickly. This technique has become even more prevalent with disc brakes, which have more stopping power than rim brakes. The trouble is, if you get it wrong you’ll end up overshooting the corner.

The above is a short excerpt from the full CTS TrainRight article, to read the full article, please visit: https://trainright.com/ride-downhill-like-a-tour-de-france-cyclist

TrainRight Membership comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

FREE 14 DAY MEMBERSHIP TRIAL

Gran Fondo Guide fans, click on the image above and get TrainRight Membership for a 14 day no obligation trial. TrainRight Membership comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

About CTS

As it has since 2000, Carmichael Training Systems leads the endurance coaching industry with proven and innovative products, services, and content. And the results speak for themselves; no other coaching company produces more champions, in such a wide variety of sports and age groups, than CTS.

For more information, please visit: https://trainright.com

 
Tag: cts
 
Feb 03 2023 - NEWS: Should Time-Crunched Cyclists Do Aerobic Base Training?
Jan 28 2023 - NEWS: How Zone 2 Training Works to Improve Aerobic Endurance and Fat Burning
Jan 12 2023 - NEWS: Top 5 Weight Loss Mistakes for Cyclists
Jan 03 2023 - NEWS: 12 Ways for 50+ Cyclists to Create Your Best Season Yet
Dec 31 2022 - NEWS: Winter Cycling Training to Climb Faster in Summer
Dec 24 2022 - NEWS: How and Why to do Indoor Zone 2 Endurance Cycling Workouts
Dec 17 2022 - NEWS: 5 Tips for Setting Up an Effective Indoor Cycling Space
Dec 07 2022 - NEWS: The Cyclists’ Ultimate Holiday Season Survival Guide
Nov 25 2022 - NEWS: Should cyclists train hard during the off-season?
Nov 15 2022 - NEWS: CTS TrainRight announce FNLD GRVL VIP Race Experience
Jul 28 2022 - NEWS: Three Training Rides Cyclists Need Every Week
Mar 06 2022 - NEWS: Cycling Nutrition: What to Eat and Drink During Bike Rides of Any Length
Oct 28 2022 - NEWS: How Fitness in Your 50s May Predict Your Lifespan!
Oct 21 2022 - NEWS: How Many Hours Should Cyclists Ride for Fitness and Performance?
Oct 13 2022 - NEWS: Top 5 Reasons Cyclists Don’t Reach Fitness Goals
Feb 13 2023 - EVENT: Tucson Spring Training Cycling Camp
Feb 27 2023 - EVENT: Santa Ynez Spring Training Cycling Camp
Mar 30 2023 - EVENT: Flanders and Paris Roubaix Race Experience
Mar 30 2023 - EVENT: Tour of Flanders Race Experience
Apr 06 2023 - EVENT: Paris-Roubaix Race Experience
May 03 2023 - EVENT: Brevard Road Cycling Camp
Jun 28 2023 - EVENT: CTS Athlete House Camp Feat. Pikes Peak
Aug 16 2023 - EVENT: SBT GRVL Cycling Camp
Oct 31 2023 - EVENT: Mallorca Fall Cycling Classic