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How to descend more like Nibali than Basso

phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
Doing a bit of riding pre-Maratona this weekend and my descending is not up to much right now. I'm pretty light at 57kg so appreciate that's a factor, but would like to do it better than I currently do.

Any tips that I can try over the next few days?

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  • shadow4532shadow4532 Posts: 133
    practice, practice, practice.
    all the advice i can offer im afraid
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  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
    Done around 4,000m of climbing over the past two days so getting a fair bit of practice in. Don't suppose it helps that it's so cold at the moment, but hopefully the next few rides will help a bit.
  • gllewellyngllewellyn Posts: 113
    If you hunt around online you'll find a few articles that talk about technique, such as when to brake, body position, putting weight onto the outside peddle, etc such as http://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/techniq ... -9171.html which at least gives you specific things to practise.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
    gllewellyn wrote:
    If you hunt around online you'll find a few articles that talk about technique, such as when to brake, body position, putting weight onto the outside peddle, etc such as http://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/techniq ... -9171.html which at least gives you specific things to practise.

    Aye, try and do the pedal thing, but tend to brake too often and too early. Shall have to practice as much as possible and get more confident.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Lot of good stuff here http://www.flammerouge.je/factsheets/descend.htm

    But basically, look through the bend where you want to go, brake purposefully before the bend, try not to brake during cornering, don't drag the brakes, steer with your hips (the bike will go where your eyes and centre of mass are pointing), weight on your outside foot and lean the bike not your body.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
    Went out for a ride this morning with around 35km of climbing (and obviously descending). The first one down the Gardena was not good, but it was absolutely freezing so not much fun. Tried out some of the tips from above though and by the time the Erbe was descended felt things were a bit better.
  • manxshredmanxshred Posts: 287
    And try not to over-think things. I was descending a road I have been down before, so knew what to expect, and ended up psyching myself out and made myself feel like I was going to die.
    Stay focused, but don't over think it.
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  • grazza_egrazza_e Posts: 36
    twotyred wrote:
    Lot of good stuff here http://www.flammerouge.je/factsheets/descend.htm

    But basically, look through the bend where you want to go, brake purposefully before the bend, try not to brake during cornering, don't drag the brakes, steer with your hips (the bike will go where your eyes and centre of mass are pointing), weight on your outside foot and lean the bike not your body.

    +1 on this, I used same guide and found it really helpful to practice the techniques. I think it's one of the better i've seen.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
    Had a go on Sunday and when the road was clear felt it was 'ok', but less so when descending in a bunch. Was much harder picking out the right lines etc. when people were zipping in and out all over the place.

    Wondering if doing some criterium style races might provide a good education in that kind of thing (given we have few alpine style descents to practice on in Blighty)
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    I didn't think it was safe to try and descend too fast on Sunday (Maratona). There were just too many people weaving in and out and I was nearly taken out by one person who steered into me as I was passing him at 60kph. After that I backed off and went with the flow until the Giau, where it was clear.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,351
    Someone told me that quite a few people were having blowouts coming of the Galibier in last year's Marmotte due to breaking too much on their nice carbon rims.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Someone told me that quite a few people were having blowouts coming of the Galibier in last year's Marmotte due to breaking too much on their nice carbon rims

    Never mind on the Galibier they have blowouts descending Alp d'Huez going to the start!
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    grazza_e wrote:
    twotyred wrote:
    Lot of good stuff here http://www.flammerouge.je/factsheets/descend.htm

    But basically, look through the bend where you want to go, brake purposefully before the bend, try not to brake during cornering, don't drag the brakes, steer with your hips (the bike will go where your eyes and centre of mass are pointing), weight on your outside foot and lean the bike not your body.

    +1 on this, I used same guide and found it really helpful to practice the techniques. I think it's one of the better i've seen.
    +1 here too. Stay focused & smooth. Best advice I had when doing motorbike course was look where you want to go and let your brain/body do the rest. It does work - believe me.
    Other ideas: I brake firmly before the bend, whilst selecting line, if its very steep I hold the top bar with my knees!! Then roll round, outside leg against top bar (not motorbike style with inside knee out/dropped). keep head up all the time, watch for traffic coming up/ quick glance behind for people behind when you move across road. Choose position to keep line of sight longest - that way you can avoid head-ons with fallen stones, cats dogs, cars, motorbikes etc. I'm a 52 year chubby female BTW and outdescend nearly everybody :oops: (uphill is another story tho!! :wink:
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,369
    Two bits of advice, one has already been covered by a couple of people.

    1. Vision - look where you want to be, not at your front wheel! Where you look is where you'll go and the faster you go the further ahead you need to plan.

    2. Flow - relax, use the techniques that the others have been talking about (weighting the outside pedal, countersteering etc.) but above all, don't just go from corner to corner as fast as you can and then jamming brakes on to slow yourself, picture the fastest line and follow it as water would, with real flow, not just go - stop - turn - go - stop - turn etc.
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  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,134
    One thing I found on the Maratona was that it was much easier (and nicer) going downhill solo than in a bunch. When doing it on my own I could try and focus on the tips above, but when in a bunch a big chunk of attention was concerned with people coming down and cutting up my line etc.

    I'm wondering if entering some criterium style races might be as good a practice for this as you're likely to get in Britain.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    twotyred wrote:
    But basically, look through the bend where you want to go, brake purposefully before the bend, try not to brake during cornering, don't drag the brakes, steer with your hips (the bike will go where your eyes and centre of mass are pointing), weight on your outside foot and lean the bike not your body.

    Some of this makes sense but other bits don't as steering a bike is no different to steering a motorcycle. A bike turns by counter steering. Like it or not, when you try to turn a bike you are applying minute degrees of counter steering. It is not body weight or weighting the outside pedal that does this. Try going down a section of road at speed and turning the bike with your hands off the bars. You'll turn eventually due to balance invoking counter steering but to turn quickly you need to counter steer with the hands. I agree with looking through the turn and not in front of the wheel. Not sure what you mean by lean the bike and not the body as the stability of the bike and maximum grip is best with the bike as upright as possible. Therefore putting the body as much to the inside of the turn as possible reduces the required lean angle to get through the turn. If the rider tries to lean the bike away from them pushing it under them, they increase the required lean angle and the risk of losing adhesion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5Z3jyO2pA
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  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    philthy3 wrote:
    twotyred wrote:
    But basically, look through the bend where you want to go, brake purposefully before the bend, try not to brake during cornering, don't drag the brakes, steer with your hips (the bike will go where your eyes and centre of mass are pointing), weight on your outside foot and lean the bike not your body.

    Some of this makes sense but other bits don't as steering a bike is no different to steering a motorcycle. A bike turns by counter steering. Like it or not, when you try to turn a bike you are applying minute degrees of counter steering. It is not body weight or weighting the outside pedal that does this. Try going down a section of road at speed and turning the bike with your hands off the bars. You'll turn eventually due to balance invoking counter steering but to turn quickly you need to counter steer with the hands. I agree with looking through the turn and not in front of the wheel. Not sure what you mean by lean the bike and not the body as the stability of the bike and maximum grip is best with the bike as upright as possible. Therefore putting the body as much to the inside of the turn as possible reduces the required lean angle to get through the turn. If the rider tries to lean the bike away from them pushing it under them, they increase the required lean angle and the risk of losing adhesion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5Z3jyO2pA
    Nice film .makes it all very clear - I knew about countersteering but never seen it explained so well! (Am an old cyclist but fairly new motorbike rider.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    philthy3 wrote:
    Not sure what you mean by lean the bike and not the body as the stability of the bike and maximum grip is best with the bike as upright as possible. Therefore putting the body as much to the inside of the turn as possible reduces the required lean angle to get through the turn. If the rider tries to lean the bike away from them pushing it under them, they increase the required lean angle and the risk of losing adhesion.

    that might seem logical but its not correct for bicycles ( though i stand corrected if you can show me footage of a pro rider using your technique ?) which have very poor levels of mechanical grip and v. high centers of gravity.
    A slightly upright body position, weight centered over bike, maximises grip and gives better control, this pushes the tires into the ground, as does weighting the outside pedal - increasing grip, knee out lowers c.o.g further - as does a low body position.

    Watch this guy, even at slower speeds : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxXqQqAc2pA - so this is how its done.

    a bike isnt a m/c - and the lean angles obtainable on a cycle are nothing compared to a M.C - watch Rossi - compared to even Cancellera.

    as to whether crit racing will improve anyones cornering? i dont know, i guess it depends on the course and if you can keep up and stay up :)
    I believe mtb ing would be a better bet, the techniques are easier to practice and much softer if it goes wrong, other wise, find a quiet section of road, start very slowly, build up confidence and tech and then get faster and faster.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    mamba80 wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Not sure what you mean by lean the bike and not the body as the stability of the bike and maximum grip is best with the bike as upright as possible. Therefore putting the body as much to the inside of the turn as possible reduces the required lean angle to get through the turn. If the rider tries to lean the bike away from them pushing it under them, they increase the required lean angle and the risk of losing adhesion.

    that might seem logical but its not correct for bicycles ( though i stand corrected if you can show me footage of a pro rider using your technique ?) which have very poor levels of mechanical grip and v. high centers of gravity.
    A slightly upright body position, weight centered over bike, maximises grip and gives better control, this pushes the tires into the ground, as does weighting the outside pedal - increasing grip, knee out lowers c.o.g further - as does a low body position.

    Watch this guy, even at slower speeds : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxXqQqAc2pA - so this is how its done.

    a bike isnt a m/c - and the lean angles obtainable on a cycle are nothing compared to a M.C - watch Rossi - compared to even Cancellera.

    as to whether crit racing will improve anyones cornering? i dont know, i guess it depends on the course and if you can keep up and stay up :)
    I believe mtb ing would be a better bet, the techniques are easier to practice and much softer if it goes wrong, other wise, find a quiet section of road, start very slowly, build up confidence and tech and then get faster and faster.

    2 wheels are 2 wheels and it makes no difference whether it is powered by an engine or pedals. A motorcycle rider is able to put all their weight to the inside of the bike because of the riding position i.e. no pedals to rotate. If a cyclist was able to move his weight entirely to the inside of the turn, they would be able to minimize lean angle by keeping the centre of gravity on the inside of the corner. Watch Nibali and Cancelara and they both use inside weighting to minimise lean angle and maintain outright corner speed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxXqQqAc2pA A pedal cycle is never going to achieve the lean angles of a motorcycle due to the size of the contact patch and that isn't what was being claimed. You steer a pedal cycle by counter steering just as you do a motorcycle. Having raced motorcycles around a track and now riding pedal cycles, I apply exactly the same techniques to get around corners quickly. That inside knee dangling out isn't an air brake but a stabilising weight. If you do the opposite by putting your weight on the outside of the turn you'd need to push the bike away from you and down in to the turn increasing lean angles and the risk of reduced traction inviting a wash out of the wheels. MTB cornering on uneven and moveable terrain would be similar to motocross where the opposite is true. To steer a motorcross bike you still apply counter steering, but the rider keeps their weight on top of the bike pushing it away from them to induce rear wheel steer and be able to control it and save a high side if the slide suddenly grips.
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  • dw300dw300 Posts: 1,642
    The best performing brakes you can get on your bike that give you really precise control will allow you to be faster and more confident.
    All the above is just advice .. you can do whatever the f*ck you wana do!
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