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Improving Downhill Cycling



Many riders, new and experienced, fear the descent of their bicycle down a large hill (or mountain). The faster the bike goes, the more the average rider may feel out of control. Here are some tips to help you have a safe flight downhill.

1) Know the Terrain

Knowing where you're going can help you get there safely. Be cognizant of the smooth versus rough patches. Braking when it's smooth rather than waiting until you're in trouble or on rough terrain, you lose some of the previously held control.

2) Know Your Speed Limits

While you won't necessarily need to have a number in your mind at what point your speed becomes dangerous, as you're going downhill, it is normal to increase your speed. As this happens you will need to increase the distance it will take you to stop. So think ahead and brake sooner.

3) Stay Dry

If you're riding on a wet surface, you should keep your rims dry by applying very light pressure on the brakes to produce a squeegee effect on the rims.

4) Ride the Wind

While staying low helps you gain minutes in a race, on the descent you can raise your profile to slow your bike down in a more natural fashion.

5) Keep in Step

By continuing to pedal you can maintain more control over your bike. When you're coasting, you have less control over the bike.

6) Keep an Eye Out

Try looking ahead as you're traveling downhill. Always being mindful of what's ahead can help you have a longer time to prepare and cut down on surprises.

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