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Newbie question on crosswinds(6 posts)

Newbie question on crosswindsBillw
Apr 26, 2001 12:08 PM
I'm new to road biking, have about 1000 miles on a Bianchi San
Remo touring bike (rear rack, pannier bags, Mavic MA2 wheels,
28 mm tires).

I love going up hills, great exercise, but steep, fast downhills,
especially with crosswinds are unnerving to me. The crosswinds
start to get scary for me at 25 mph. When I slow to 20 mph, I
can deal with it. Without crosswinds, I can deal with 30 mph
for short runs. I also find crosswinds to be a bother when I'm
being passed by large, fast moving trucks.

Looking for advice on how to better deal with crosswinds.
the dropsGroucho Marx
Apr 26, 2001 1:24 PM
I find that the bike is most stable when I'm in the drops. (I don't know if a touring bike has those). I too am annoyed by crosswinds more than the average rider because of my carbon aero fork.

I don't think there is much you can do about the trucks, but when going on the downhills, why not just going slower. I mean I know its alot of fun, but if you're not racing, just take it at a nice leasurely pace, and enjoy the coast. Anyways, I agree that the uphills are more fun.
Panniers and crosswindsKerry Irons
Apr 26, 2001 4:33 PM
The panniers are making your bike more sensitive to crosswinds. Try riding without them and see if that helps. As the other post notes, hands on the drops lowers your center of gravity and your crosswind profile, making you more stable at speed. Experience will improve your ability to handle the bike at these speeds.
you make a good point about the same exposure to crosswindsbill
Apr 27, 2001 10:57 AM
high or low, but I've got to weigh in (so to speak) on the center of gravity analysis. Getting lower means you're lowering your center of gravity, even if all points of contact with the bike remain the same with the same weighting. I'm not sure that I understand any argument to the contrary. That's pretty much what center of gravity is, isn't it? Place weight higher up, the center of gravity moves higher.
Although I kind of doubt that your center of gravity has anything to do with your shimmy. I would think that you've got wheel truing issues or maybe headset issues.
Panniers and crosswindsKerry Irons
Apr 27, 2001 4:10 PM
Since Bill addressed the center of gravity issue very well, I'll just cover the cross wind issue. You're correct that your body profile to the wind doesn't change just because you move lower on the bike. However, your overall drag does. If you are sitting more upright, a crosswind flows around your body, across your chest, past your arms, etc. As you drop lower on your bike, some of those openings are reduced, and less air flows through them. Total drag is reduced.
Apr 28, 2001 4:17 PM
Yes tuck right down to lower centre of gravity sounds sensible. A top heavy anything is more likely to topple when pushed because it is less stable. The bike is light so a rider+bike is top heavy. So the lower you get your body weight (torso) the more stable you are as a unit and the less effect a side wind will have.