Too slow going down hills

I'm sure this has been covered before but I couldn't find the thread.

I'm am still really cr@p going down hills. Most places I cycle are hilly and I've really improved my leg strength and speed up hills and on the flat is improving, but down hill I am such a woos. I sit on the brakes and go pathetically slowly.

Any ideas how I can improve??



  • <eagerly waits for advice on this> 

    I'm terrified going down hills.  Especially if theres a bend in the road too. image

  • Joins thread for a lurk ... think I'm slower going down hills than I am going up!
  • joddlyjoddly ✭✭✭

    I'm with you there,too. One solution is to disconnect your brakes image.

    The answer is likely to be that you get faster as you gain experience and confidence. I'm fairly happy letting everyone else zoom past me on the downhills, then start pushing before the bottom when it's slower anyway, so I've got a bit of momentum for the uphill. Rather that than ending up in a ditch image.

  • I'm slow up and downhill

    and on the flat

    even with a following wind

  • me too image. If the road is clear then on occasion i will fly down and quite enjoy it but as soon as I hear the engine of a car behind me then thats it...hands back on brakes. Not logical really as if the car was going to hit me then it would hit me whether I was going fast or slow!
  • Confidence and practice. I'm from a mountain biking background and have tentatively done some proper downhilling in France and Whistler once you've done that going fast on a road bike downhill feels very safe !! Just practice thats all I can say. I do think that my MTBing has given me a distinctive advantage so I would suggest if you have a MTB maybe give that a try on some proper MTB tracks. I was quite smug imageon a training weekend as my bike skills far exceeded a lot of the people there although they were far fitter and faster than me image
  • It's practice, practice and more practice. It also helps riding behind an experienced rider and following their line down the hill. Been doing some of that lately with our trainer.  I'm ok on the aerobars on a fairly steep hill as long as it's not too twisty - if there's a lot of sharp bends I tend to brake too. There's a massive climb near here that our club triathlon goes over, it's 11km to the top but the downhill is really scary, quite steep and very long, there's a few bends but the worst is near the bottom, it's a horseshoe, I brake so hard there I'm almost standing still when I go round it!

    Agree absolutely about MTB, it's wonderful for teaching you better bike handling skills. Need to get out more on mine.

  • Being a total girl down hills ....  when you feel like you are going to hit the brakes,  count to 3 (or 4 or 5) and each time you go out extend the counting by 1 or 2 ..  I find that works and those extra seconds get you a little bit further down the hill and then I open my eyes  image
  • M...eldy wrote (see)
    .......I find that works and those extra seconds get you a little bit further down the hill and then I open my eyes  image
  • Go cycling with Waff and follow her. The girl is fearless.

    Best with lots of whooping (to cover the nervous laughter).

  • I used to be rubbish, now I am average (although been 50 a couple of times). My tip is to descend on the drops and not the hood - you get a much better braking position.
  • Feck Riiiiiiiight Off Mr Gumps !!!     image
  • I am the complete opposite!!!, I can't help but go down any hill without going hell for leather!!!, I am always trying to beat my top speed record (32.8mph).

    I have always been a bit of a speed freak, one of the reasons I sold my motorbike!

  • As seen on the little Devil I can't go uphills but I can go down them. 43mph top speed down river hill.

    The secret is to not worry about your wellbeing and what happens happens.

    just go for it ........wahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo down hills, it make up for the slow ascents in my case. image

    My top speed ever was 51 mph following a car down a long straight decntimage never agin though, that was scaryimage

  • I'm thinking I may be a bit of a speed freak............awfully slow going up but love the downs.......34.5mph being the fastest so far and I didn't poop my pants!! image Bonus.
  • oh my ky brod dost seem tbe wrking prprlyimageimage

    or is it on ber to mny... hic

  • According to my Garmin, my top speed is 196.2mph...
  • I actually got off my bike the other week and pushed it down the hill it was so steep.  I'd forgotten about that till just now, that's quite bad isn't it image
  • PinguPongu wrote (see)
    I actually got off my bike the other week and pushed it down the hill it was so steep.  I'd forgotten about that till just now, that's quite bad isn't it image

    You should take a hill at the speed you think is safe.  If that means you get off and walk then so be it.

    Going really fast down hill is fun until you hit the wall at the bottom

  • Aw bless Pingu, it is just practice. There were quite a few on the training weekend that I did who got off on hills.

    I think my top speed on MTB is 30 something (on Tarmac!). I can't think of any Tarmac hills that were too steep to ride down not really clocked what my top speed was I'll keep a lookout. I'm on flat bars though, but I have ridden drops and I was OK.
  • The road was really gravelly and pot holey and steep.  And my bike was new, lol.

  • Gravel is fine until you try and brake on it. Lack of confidence also comes from not knowing how your bike will react on different surfaces, another good reason to do some MTB. Speed is also your friend sometimes.
  • PP - I sympathise.  The first "real" bike ride I did (apart from the then 1.5 miles to work and back) was on holiday in Austria and the hotelier offered to take a group out on a 30 mile bike ride promising no uphills and taking all day etc etc.  OH was keen so I tagged along. What he didn't say was that to get back we had to put the bikes in a cable car up the mountain and then ride back down again -it was 2000m. image  The only way down the other side was by chairlift, steep straight down cycle path or a winding service road. He had to phone his wife to meet me to guide me down the service road with non stop hairpin bends while the others went speeding down a rough steep track which I froze at.  I had my brakes on all the way and there wasn't much left of them at the bottom.  image  I'm glad they didn't inspect it too much at the hire place when I took it back.
  • hehe Soupy, glad it's not just me image
  • Top tip Melds re counting before braking Thanks!

    Soup - the hotelier called his wife or your OH did? image
  • Another  here grateful for the top tip of counting.  Thanks Melds... I got to 2 (counting very fast!) before braking.  Next time I'll close my eyes!

  • soupy - I got caught like that in France on one of those "easy" ride jobbies - fine until we reached the bottom of the mountain but then we and the bikes were transported by cable car to the top and had to come back down, all rocks and gravel and twisty bends. I didn't ride the top part, I walked down and pushed the bike!
  • hahaha....not just me then Ironwolf.  People be warned - always ask about downhills on a ride not just the ups!

    LN - hotelier phoned!  he'd even done it an hour before we got there cos he already had a thought that I wouldn't be able to do the descent. image 

  • 31mph recorded on todays Sportive   image
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