GOING DOWNHILL SAFELY ON A ROAD BIKE

Most of us suffer in climbs but almost everyone enjoys the descents. Yet going downhill safely is not that easy. This is why we are going to review the right technique and principles now.

BODY POSITION FOR RIDING DOWNHILL

We can use three different positions on long descents.

  1. We sit firmly in or hover above the saddle and our hands grip the hoods. The cranks are kept in a horizontal position and we let the bike go.
  2. An aerodynamic position with our hands on the tops will provide a fast and aggressive ride. However, we need to be aware that our fingers are not on the brake levers, and so when approaching a corner we need to change our grip if we want to control our speed.
  3. Lying on the frame is relatively a new technique that requires good technical skills and experience. When well executed, the position is more stable and aerodynamic.

There have been some other popular riding positions in the past, such as Marco Pantani’s style. However, modern methods have entirely replaced them.

DOWNHILL PRINCIPLES

The most important thing is to look forwards in the direction you are going. Your eyes must lead the way – the faster we ride, the further ahead we should look.

When descending, one of the pedals is always down and both our hands hold the bars firmly. These are the three points that provide the balance needed for braking and changing direction.

You can learn the right descending technique at the Mallorca cycling camps, where you can enjoy many iconic climbs and descents.

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