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Cruiser catches Colnago on downhill?!!(11 posts)

Cruiser catches Colnago on downhill?!!Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2001 4:36 PM
Out on the parkway bike path this afternoon, I was grinding up a hill, lost in thought, when a Colnago sneaked up beside me. I matched his speed for a couple of minutes, but let him go as we neared the crest of the hill -- I was a little anaerobic and I think he was just out for a pleasant spin. I expected he'd pull away quickly as his gear advantage kicked in.

But no, either he was just taking it easy or figured he had me beat, and, without looking back, he just coasted down the other side. I spooled the cruiser up to 22 mph coming off the top of the hill, and went into the tightest tuck I could manage, feet at 3 and 9, nose to the stem. By the bottom of the hill I was maybe 15-20 yards back, still with a good head of steam. I sprinted a little as we started up the next hill and caught him.

I informed him of the standing rule: anyone I pass on that thing has to kill themselves. He grinned and poured on the coals, pulling away like he should.

He went a little further than me before turning around, and caught me again on the return trip. This time, going downhill, he tucked and pedaled. I was surprised that the cruiser still appeared to close on him slightly, even though I could only coast at those speeds.

By the end of the ride, he was far ahead, of course. And had he been trying very hard, I'm sure he would have been MUCH further ahead. But it was great fun having a fast rabbit to chase, for a change.
Wait a minute...shmoo
Jul 31, 2001 4:52 PM
...A Colnago owner "grinned"? Come on!!
I've seen it before ...Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2001 7:59 PM
... Doug grinned a little when he pulled up along side of me at Solvang, back in March.
Jul 31, 2001 5:41 PM
Yo, remember it ain't the bike, it's the machine that's making it go.
That being said, and the next bike I own might be in fact a Colnago ML, it reminds me of a ride I was having about a month ago. I was about halfway home from a 40 mile ride and was descending a moderate grade at about 35MPH, anticipating turning left at the bottom of the hill at a three way stop sign. Out of the blue a kid passes me riding an old beat up mb, pedaling like crazy wearing no helmet. I let my competetive instinct subside and watched him go blowing down the hill, and he blew through the stop sign doing about 35MPH. I yelled "nice stop kid!" and I turned left and went on my way. I guess he thought he dusted an old dude and wondered if he ever turned around to see if I was there. I get passed once and a while but I'm only impressed when it is someone my age or older and going uphill.
Now that I think about it, they are always younger on on ti bikes, hmmmmm maybe I should check into a Litespeed....
The machine making mine go ...Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2001 8:07 PM
... was gravity! Evidently, if there's one thing a 42.5-pound bike can do, its dive like a brick. I've always thought it was a fast downhiller, and its always held its own in the few cases it has done so in the company of roadbikes.

When I was younger, I believe it was even faster downhill. I once clocked it at an unbelievable speed, 58 seconds to do a mile, but have since been very skeptical of the mechanical odometer ... it was making strange noises and I'm sure it was inaccurate. But back then (circa 1974) I didn't even own a helmet, and I wore a 28 waist and 14 collar. I'm sure I presented less aerodynamic drag.

The best I've seen lately is 42 mph on a 12% grade.
gravity=yep.Haiku d'état
Aug 1, 2001 5:07 AM
I have the same unfair advantage, though the weight is on my butt, not my bike. at 190-195, i'm 10-30+ pounds heavier than the guys in my routine group rides that go off the front when the road turns up. strangely enough, i'm one of those mutants that can stay with 'em. even if i lose pace nearing the crest of the hill, i can pull 'em right back on the downside, no pedaling required. sometimes a tuck and pedals parallel to the ground let me speed by the pedaling maniacs with a grin and rested legs.

ah! finally an upside to twinkies and cream-filled chocolate-covered eclairs on the weekends.
Proof the Donut Diet really works.Car Magnet
Aug 1, 2001 1:25 AM
What would have been really funny is if you whipped out a KK from your jersey pocket while passing!! Seriously, it really is the motor on the machine. WTG HH. I now have even more respect for the cruiser and the people who ride them. I have been wanting to get one. And you, DS among others are making great statements for them. Keep up the good work.
It was a DD, not a KK, and I ate it before the ride ...Humma Hah
Aug 1, 2001 6:50 AM
... and I cringe to think what my jersey pockets would look like if I carried powdered, creme-filled donuts there! Maybe I could rig a dispenser on the handlebars or seat tube, something like one of those stacked coin dispensers paperboys used to make change with? Or a really big Pez dispenser?

We never called them "cruisers" when I was a kid. They were just "bicycles". We never thought of them as in any way slow or incapable. To the contrary, we took comfort in their ruggedness, and wondered how anyone could trust one of those skinny-tired, fragile-looking "French racers". The notion that cruisers are just for slow riding or short errands is really quite a recent one, as is the idea that gears are a necessity.

In college, I did occasionally use a proper roadbike, while the cruiser was waiting for parts. I knew the roadbike was marginally faster, but it occurred to me that if my goal was exercise, a lighter, more efficient bike was of dubious benefit: the notion of making exercise easier is counterproductive. I've never been able to shake that idea. You'll never win any races on a cruiser, but I really do invite you to explore the perverse pleasures of making one do what common wisdom says it can't. I think you'll find its just another type of bicycle, after all, tremendous fun to ride, challenging, and satisfying, just like all its kin.
re: coasting is faster then spinningcyclopathic
Aug 1, 2001 2:34 AM
really depends on hill grade, but if UR hitting 27+mph solo it's usually the case extra watts you put down are usually not worth higher aero drag.

plus cruiser extra weight pays off on downhills: aerodrag on 150lbs and 250lbs combined rider+bike weight would be similar, maybe 20-30% more, yet 250lbs dude would have 66% slop power advantage.
guilty pleasures...ColnagoFE
Aug 1, 2001 6:15 AM
I love to be riding my beater bike (a 40+lbs Panasonic steel MTB.) and pass a dude on a high zoot bike wearing a full Banesto kit natch. Usually they don't take it so well though.
this reminds me>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Aug 1, 2001 6:27 AM
of the morning rider catches paperboy thread