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Descending on censored tarmac

JonEdwardsJonEdwards Posts: 452
So i recently moved to Sheffield for the mountainbiking. I've ended up doing a lot more road riding as well.

As a mountainbiker I've got reasonable descending skills, and once out in the countryside on decent tarmac, I'm loving the 40mph+ stuff.

The problem is some of the hills round town that are covered in truly decrepit tarmac - especially the road I live on - steep, long, speed bumps, and a truly horrible surface, coupled with buses and lots of side roads. Compared to London, the standard of driver awareness of cyclists is much worse too.

If I could take a flyer at it, off the brakes, I'd be fine - I could dance the bike around over the worst of the potholes and speedbumps, and just go light over the rest, however, i'd be going WELL in excess of the speedlimit, and would stand absolutely no chance of avoiding the idiot drivers pulling out on me.

As soon as I get on the brakes, it's absolutely teeth rattlingly, eye ball poppingly uncomfortable. I have to descend from the drops to avoid getting bounced off the hoods (better grip on the brakes too), but that just puts more weight on the front wheel and my arms, rather than centring my weight between the wheels allowing me the freedom to move the bike around. I need to relax my upper body more, but I can't when my hands are so low with so much of my weight on them.

Any tips? Tyres are the biggest I can get in the frame (23s!), at a not unreasonable 100psi.

Thanks!

Posts

  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    You want advice on how to descend faster on steep, potholed, speedbump, suburban roads?

    Watch out for the 'idiot' drivers :roll:
  • Not quite. I want to know how to descend comfortably on steep, potholed, speedbump, suburban roads...

    ...and don't get me started on the "£$%^&* drivers. Went out this lunchtime. Chugging up Ringinglow Road and some daft bint in a Citroen C4 meanders out form a side road and just carries on. No actual danger - I was only doing about 13mph, so it was an easy stop; but i shouted at her out of exasperation, at which point she panic braked, stalled :twisted: in the middle of the road and looked embarassed. "Sorry I didn't see you". (despite the red and white lid and red jersey). I'm not fking surprised you didn't see me. You couldn't be fked to turn your fking empty little head to look up and down the road before trundling out on to it!

    ...and breath...
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    If you can't make your bike any more comfortable I'm not sure there's much you can do.

    Some of the surfaces in your area are shocking, I hope the miles of wonderful roads (almost) on your doorstep make up for it!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Lower the PSI might help, or swap the forks, bars and/or seatpost to carbon ones again might help. But this is all tweaking at the edges. Even on 28 tyres & carbon fork I hate the poor road surfaces around here, although I have got used to it...
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    What about a suspension/drop post and flat bars? and just a thought, some 120mm fox forks? not sure if they d fit your frame so you may need another one, to round it off.. some fat 2.4in tires on some smaller stronger wheels? and of course a change to Disc brakes to give better control/braking (top tip.. make sure that new frame is disc compatable) not to mention lower gears to deal with the extra weight.......? you could start a new craze with some thing like that.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    :lol: + a nice pair of pyjamas to top off the look
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Maybe your drops are too low ? Could you try some shallow drop bars or is there scope to add spacers or flip the stem ? Only a suggestion as you say the drops are so low you can't relax the upper body on them - but if you can't use your drops comfortably then it kind of defeats the point of having them.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • GinjafroGinjafro Posts: 572
    Conditions and censored drivers dictate your speed. Have you thought of not going quite so fast? :shock:
    Giant XTC Pro-Carbon
    Cove Hustler
    Planet X Pro-Carbon
  • Maybe your drops are too low ?

    Possible. Problem is the flats/hoods are already a bit high. Yes i could get compact bars, but that would mean getting rid of my lovely Easton EC90 ones (came with the frame, very light and VERY spendy). I'm comfortable cruising or general descending on the drops, but it's the steep lumpy stuff when I'm hard on the brakes that the problem arises.
    Have you thought of not going quite so fast?
    Did you read my original request before posting? :wink:
  • sfichelesfichele Posts: 605
    Welcome to Sheffield! The roads are a pile of cr4p and there's little you can do about it.

    However, I tend to run my tyres at 80-90 psi
  • On the really crappy roads back home in Scotland I used to have the cranks level, drop my heals and have my hands on the drops and stay really loose letting the bike move around underneath me like I was on the MTB. Seemed to do a decent job of damping some of the vibration due to having fairly free movement in my legs and arms.

    Not sure about idiot drivers though, air horn constantly going? :?
    Custom spec Scott Scale
    Custom spec Salsa Fargo
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    Scott Speedster S1
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    JonEdwards wrote:
    So i recently moved to Sheffield for the mountainbiking. I've ended up doing a lot more road riding as well.

    As a mountainbiker I've got reasonable descending skills, and once out in the countryside on decent tarmac, I'm loving the 40mph+ stuff.

    The problem is some of the hills round town that are covered in truly decrepit tarmac - especially the road I live on - steep, long, speed bumps, and a truly horrible surface, coupled with buses and lots of side roads. Compared to London, the standard of driver awareness of cyclists is much worse too.

    If I could take a flyer at it, off the brakes, I'd be fine - I could dance the bike around over the worst of the potholes and speedbumps, and just go light over the rest, however, i'd be going WELL in excess of the speedlimit, and would stand absolutely no chance of avoiding the idiot drivers pulling out on me.

    As soon as I get on the brakes, it's absolutely teeth rattlingly, eye ball poppingly uncomfortable. I have to descend from the drops to avoid getting bounced off the hoods (better grip on the brakes too), but that just puts more weight on the front wheel and my arms, rather than centring my weight between the wheels allowing me the freedom to move the bike around. I need to relax my upper body more, but I can't when my hands are so low with so much of my weight on them.

    Any tips? Tyres are the biggest I can get in the frame (23s!), at a not unreasonable 100psi.

    Thanks!

    Which road, just curious like....
  • siamonsiamon Posts: 274
    What bike are you riding?
  • Mike67Mike67 Posts: 585
    Sounds like the frame and/or stem may be a tad long for you if you can't centre your weight. Is the saddle too high forcing your back end up? Have you considered/had a bike fit?
    There's plenty of hairy decents near me but I have no problem shifting my a*se towards or even off the back of the saddle whilst in the drops a la off-road stylee.
    Might just be though that you need to get a bit more 'bendy' after sitting upright for so long :wink:

    Wherever you're positioned though the roads are always going to be feel rough on a road bike when compared to an MTB.
    Lower tyre pressures, 25mm tyres etc will help but I've found that relaxing into it (contraintuitive I know) helps the most.

    Bad drivers however don't really care what type of bike you're on :D
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • GinjafroGinjafro Posts: 572
    JonEdwards wrote:
    Maybe your drops are too low ?

    Possible. Problem is the flats/hoods are already a bit high. Yes i could get compact bars, but that would mean getting rid of my lovely Easton EC90 ones (came with the frame, very light and VERY spendy). I'm comfortable cruising or general descending on the drops, but it's the steep lumpy stuff when I'm hard on the brakes that the problem arises.
    Have you thought of not going quite so fast?
    Did you read my original request before posting? :wink:

    Yes I did read your post and it strikes me that you are determined to go as fast as possible on totaly unsuitable roads. So if you get nailed by a car or a pothole don't come on here bleating about what happened, grrrrrr :x
    Giant XTC Pro-Carbon
    Cove Hustler
    Planet X Pro-Carbon
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Sheffield roads aren't great but they're not that bad. Unless you've moved there from France
  • i commute to Sheff from Derbyshire couple of times a week. The road surfaces in Sheff are terrible, potholes, huge chippings etc. i try to get out and into The Peak as quickly as I can. No point trying for speed on those roads, just be safe.
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