Nothing feels as close to flying as cycling down a hill. With the wind and gravity doing all the work, it is every cyclist’s dream. The thrill of downhill cycling is certainly better experienced than explained. Here, you’ll find out all you need to know on how to descend hills on your bike.
Is cycling Down a Hill Dangerous?
Cycling generally has its risks, and although cycling downhill certainly has more risks than other forms of cycling, the same precautions apply to them all. What you should take note of is that not all bikes are suitable for cycling down a hill. There are power-assisted/electric bikes like KBO Breeze electric bikes that are specially designed to suit the rigors of cycling up or down a hill. Downhill cycling is only dangerous when you don’t have the right skills, and of course, the right bike.
Downhill Riding Techniques
To have a flawless downhill ride, there are a couple of techniques you need to employ.
Your fears may keep you from making a smooth descent even when you have relevant riding skills and a great urban electric bike. All forms of cycling, regardless of if you are a novice or an expert require confidence. Confidence in your bike and more importantly, confidence in your abilities. Using an electric bike will certainly boost your confidence.
Maintain a Balance
One of the keys to a flawless descent is balance. Maintaining your balance on a bike while riding on a leveled road is certainly much easier than when descending a hill. The forward motion of the bike coupled with the effects of gravity naturally influences you to adopt a forward posture while riding. Ultimately you have more weight pulling towards the front of the bike and this imbalance can cause you to lose control of your bike. The KBO E-bike is designed to help you maintain balance, there are however a few techniques you could adopt as well.
- Shift your weight back by moving your bottom backward on the saddle. Take caution not to move too far backward such that the front end of your bike begins to wobble.
- Bend your elbows and keep your body very low to the bike. Make sure to grip the handlebars firmly but not too tightly.
- When taking a corner, drive down the outside leg and shift towards the inner drop. You can extend your outer knee for more balance but keep your elbow at the same level as your head and shoulder.
- Keep your feet at a platform position. A platform is a 3 or 9 o’clock position and it is the perfect feet position to keep you balanced on your bike.
Control Your Speed
There is always the urge to go down a hill as fast as you can, but you have to keep your safety and those of others in mind. Remember that the faster you go, the harder it will be to stop. Riding at a controlled speed will not take away the fun in descending. You can learn to control your electric bike speed and still enjoy the thrills of downhill cycling.
Your eyes are an indispensable asset while riding down a hill and you should keep them open and focused ahead. You should mentally map out the route you want to take (pick a line) before your descent and determine the paths that are potentially free from obstructions or hazards. This is very important especially when the hill is rocky or has vegetation scattered around. Also, keep an eye out for passers-by or wandering bears and rodents.
As you descend, focus on about 15 to 20 feet ahead of you and occasionally look back towards your tires. This way you have a good view of your environment as you go. Looking ahead while riding not only helps you stay clear of hazards but also helps you maintain your balance.
Avoid Obstacles or Obstructions
Some cyclists may choose to hop over certain obstacles or to run them over, it is however advisable to avoid obstacles as much as you can. Obstacles like debris or cans can cause you to lose your balance.
In the case where an obstacle causes you to lose your balance, do not grip on the handlebars too tightly. Always maintains a loose posture while riding. It is not unusual to fall off a bike but you can do your best to reduce the injuries you might sustain as a result of the fall.
Engage Your Brakes Appropriately
Using your brakes rightly is very important during downhill cycling. This is because the brakes on your E-bike are fast-acting and one wrong move could lead to you losing balance or crashing. When faced with an unexpected obstruction, do not suddenly apply your brakes, especially when you’re are riding at a high speed. Instead, shift backward and apply the brakes evenly. Your brakes also play a major role in controlling the speed of your tires.
How to Stop a Bike at HIGH SPEED
Flying down a hill on your E-bike can be so exhilarating that you get carried away. Bike accidents often happen when a rider has to make an emergency stop while riding at a high speed. The common mistake riders make while trying to stop their bikes at a high speed is that they try to steer the bikes off the road. You should remember that the back brake is for regulating speed while the front brake is for stopping. The bike will come to stop when the front brake is applied.
If you are faced with a steep descent, make sure to keep your body upright and brake as hard as possible. Although your bike may not immediately come to a stop, you can use the back brake to regulate your speed and eventually bring your bike to a stop.
Being able to safely and efficiently stop your electric bike when riding at a high speed is a skill, and just like any other skill, it may take you a while to perfect. What you want to do is to practice. Practice in safe environments like a parking lot or an open field. This way, it won’t matter if you’re descending a hill or if you find yourself having to make an emergency stop, you’ll be able to stop your bike with ease.
Feeling the wind on your face as you ride down a hill can be quite an experience, especially with the fear of free falling and losing control of your bike eliminated. The downhill electric bike provides a safe opportunity to enjoy the thrill of downhill riding. Adopting all these techniques together with taking proper cycling precautions will certainly make the experience much more effortless and enjoyable.