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How to cycle downhill on a road bike in style

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How to cycle downhill on a road bike in style

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cycling downhill

February 12th, 2015

Lorna North

Everyone always talks about their dread of going up the big hills. Feeling like your lungs will burst and your legs will drop off. I too share that dread but also know that I can reduce it by getting stronger and fitter through lots of training and miles on the bike.

One thing that I have an irrational fear about is actually going downhill! This is the part that I should love and look forward to during a ride with the wind in my hair and a reward for the legs for all that hard work but unfortunately, it scares me. I think I am just very aware that I am on a very light bike and my feet are stuck to the pedals and in these winter months I feel like even the smallest twig could send me flying through the air. This is not a natural human state to be in and my mind keeps reminding me of this at particularly perilous moments whilst I descend a hill.

For ages I’ve been trying to get over this mental block and just harden up and get down there in the coolest – most daredevil-like fashion I can. Instead I look nervous and very uncomfortable and probably go faster on a flat route!

Whilst I train to become a better a rider I find the Global Cycling Network a really helpful resource of practical videos to give you some useful tips. This video is great if you are nervous about descending and want to improve your downhill technique so that it makes it less of a white knuckle ride and something to actually enjoy!


A lot of descending confidence comes with increasing experience on the bike and practising how to approach it – especially on steep hills with sharp corners. It’s also important if you are covering a lot of distance in one day, such as on one of the awesome Ride 25 tours, that you stay focused on your descent even when you are exhausted! We’d love to know what you think about going down hill and how to tackle it like a pro. Tweet us @ride25tweet with your thoughts.



2 Responses to “How to cycle downhill on a road bike in style”

  1. Sandra Nundy Says:

    Great advice although I wont be racing. I am a novice at this and love the short videos as they provide small elements of information I can absorb without feeling overwhelmed with new facts.

  2. John Shaw Says:

    Disc brakes. They’ve given me far more confidence descending as I know I can slow right down.

    My fear is being able to stop, particular on hairpins / corners. Being a heavier gentleman, as I understand the laws of physics and gravity aren’t on my side, and caliper brakes don’t inspire confidence, particularly on wet roads. Disc brakes are a whole other ball game though – I just wish more manufacturers had frames that could take them (I’m looking at you, Cervelo).

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