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Descending. How important is the bike?(8 posts)

Descending. How important is the bike?Roger H
Apr 26, 2003 5:50 PM
Do some bikes descend better than others or is it mainly the rider's skill that determines the speed that can be carried through the turns? I climb pretty well, but can't keep up on the downhills. My bike (DeRosa Planet) always seems to want to keep going straight in the turns. Thanks.
re: Descending. How important is the bike?The Human G-Nome
Apr 26, 2003 6:39 PM
hmmmm. some bikes can't hold a line on a descent. you wobble and feel like you're going to run it off the side of the road on every sharp turn. other bikes feel like they're on rails and braking becomes just an afterthought. the problem is, the DeRosa Planet should be excellent on the descents. other people i know who own one rave about this bike's ability to descend. i own a Ciocc (sister company of DeRosa) with very similar makeup to a Planet (except a longer top tube) and the thing is definitely "on rails". i would guess that there is something in your technique that is lacking. it could be something simple as your position on the bike.
That's what I wanted to hear...Roger H
Apr 26, 2003 7:45 PM
I was hoping it was my technique. It's a lot cheaper to practice than buy a new frame. I'll work on it. Thanks for the help.
Apr 26, 2003 9:51 PM
Do you know how to counter-steer with the handlebars? Too many folks out there don't consciously know how to use the handlebars to steer a bike. Counter-steering often comes up in motorcycle publications because the weight of a motorcycle makes proper steering more important. But it applies very well to bicycles as well.

Counter-steering is pushing on the handlebars to initiate a turn, terminate a turn, or change your line in a turn. If you want to turn left, you push with your left hand and the bike will initiate a turn to the left. Keep up the pressure until you have the lean angle you want and then quit pushing. Want to lean more to the left?....push with your left hand again to increase the lean. Want to lean less or return to an upright angle?....push with your right hand. Same principle for turning to the right.

"Push left to go left...push right to go right."

Its much easier to get a feel for this riding on the drops rather than on the hoods.
slack head tubes also supposedly helpkenyee
Apr 26, 2003 7:56 PM
At least according to a bike shop owner I was chatting w/ who likes Euro geometries...he said Calfee was the worst ;-)
re: Descending. How important is the bike?mike r
Apr 27, 2003 6:10 AM
i hava a de rosa merak and it is fantastic on descents, i am able to take corners at higher speed than my old bike (giant cfr)
technique plays a huge role
makes a ton of differenceColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 8:04 AM
Descending on my flexy Bianchi Eros compared to my rock solid Colnago MXL is like night and day. On the Eros I can cause a shimmy over 50MPH easily. On the Colnago I have yet to feel even the slightest shake at 56+. A stiff enough fork and your Geometry also is key.
Tried a new frameRoger H
May 5, 2003 8:29 PM
I bought a used Litespeed Vortex, partially because of its reputation as a fast descender. Went out today and increased my fastest speed, so far, to 46 mph(up from 42) and felt a lot more secure. It was mostly coasting without many curves, but the bike seemed to help, a lot.