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Questions and answers about sports

What are the most significant factors affecting downhill cruising speed?

6 min read

Asked by: Donald Wallace

Your max speed downhill is affected by your aerodynamics, and your rolling resistance.

Why do you go faster downhill?

The change in speed on slopes is due to gravity. When going downhill, objects will accelerate (go faster), and when going uphill they will decelerate (slow down). On a flat surface, assuming that there is little friction, they will then maintain a constant speed.

What are the forces acting on the cyclist when he is accelerating downhill?

There are 4 forces that act on a cyclist and determine how fast the cyclist moves – propulsion, gravity, rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag. These four forces interact in various mixes with the conditions in which the cyclist is riding – wind, terrain, road surface, etc.

Does weight Affect speed down hill?

In principle, a lighter mass will accelerate at a faster rate under the same pedalling force. Yet, at the same time, a heavier rider will have more gravitational force and more momentum preserving their speed.

What factors affect cycling?

These variables include: (a) changes in body position, configuration, and orientation; (b) changes in seat to pedal distance; and (c) the interaction of workload, power output, and pedalling rate.

Why do heavier cyclists descend faster?

Heavier riders can descend faster than light riders because heavier riders don’t have significantly more volume/surface area than their lighter counterparts, despite possibly major differences in weight.

How does steepness affect speed?

The speed/velocity of the car will gradually increase by the same amount every second. The steeper the slope (the bigger the angle of inclination of the ramp) that the car is rolling down, the faster the car will accelerate. This is because the amount of gravity experienced is dependent on the angle of the slope.

What two forces make a cyclist slow down?

The two main forces that oppose your motion are aerodynamic drag (air resistance) and rolling resistance of the tyres against the road.

Why does gravity make it easier to ride a bicycle downhill than uphill?

Why is it harder to cycle up a hill than on flat ground? Because when you are biking up a hill, gravity is pulling you backwards down the hill. Gravity is the force that prevents us from floating away to outer space. The heavier you are, the greater the force of gravity acting on you.

What forces cause a bike to slow down when you stop Pedalling?

When we stop pedalling, the bicycle begins to slow down. This is again because of the friction forces acting opposite to the direction of motion. In order to keep the bicycle moving, we have to start pedalling again.

Are heavy bikes faster downhill?

A heavier bike will travel downhill faster than a lighter bike when all other factors including drag, rolling resistance, and weight of the cyclist are equal. This is due to the fact that the force of gravity has a greater effect on heavier objects.

Why do heavy people slide faster?

There will be a resultant force which will be proportional to the mass of the object. Hence an object with greater mass feels greater force than the other one. So even if the slope is same for both objects, a massive object moves faster through the slope than a less mass object.

Are lighter cyclists faster?

And even though a lighter bike has a slight advantage over a heavier one, any lead it achieves up a hill will be partially cancelled out on the way down. (A heavier bike won’t make up the entire difference, especially if the downhill requires breaking, but it will accelerate slightly faster than a lighter one.)

How does weight affect cycling speed?

Because adding weight to a bicycle, wheels and components increases inertia, it will slow down the rate of acceleration. But reducing small amounts of weight on the frame does not affect steady state speed greatly, but rotating weight is different.

Do fat people have a higher terminal velocity?

So : the larger sphere has greater acceleration and terminal velocity, so gets ahead and stays ahead. Show activity on this post. Fat person will fall a lot faster in free-fall, if the surface area is the same.

Are Heavier riders faster on flat?

Because of this, when we take drafting out of the equation on a flat course, a heavier rider will always be faster than a light rider when both are doing the same w/kg–because the heavier rider is putting out more watts.

Why do heavier people go faster on slides?

There will be a resultant force which will be proportional to the mass of the object. Hence an object with greater mass feels greater force than the other one. So even if the slope is same for both objects, a massive object moves faster through the slope than a less mass object.

How can I race downhill fast?

Adrian explains how to do it:

  1. 1 – Have patience. If you haven’t been riding your Downhill bike all winter, have some patience. …
  2. 2 – Ride through winter. …
  3. 3 – Ride a lot. …
  4. 4 – Perfect your braking technique. …
  5. 5 – Go pump tracking. …
  6. 1 – Break it down. …
  7. 2 – Go faster on sections you find “easy” …
  8. 3 – Practice the hard sections.


Do heavier things slide faster?

Heavier things have a greater gravitational force AND heavier things have a lower acceleration. It turns out that these two effects exactly cancel to make falling objects have the same acceleration regardless of mass.

Do heavier objects slide down a ramp faster?

After a two sample t-test, we find that heavier rolling objects have a statistically faster clear time for a given inclined plane in comparison to lighter rolling objects. In addition, heavier objects will be more resistant to the effects of air resistance and rolling resistance.

How do you make a slide go down faster?

Rub wax paper over the entire plastic slide surface. It sounds too simple, but it actually works. When you rub the wax paper on the surface of your plastic slide, it transfers the food-safe wax making your slide slippery again.

What makes you go faster down a slide?

Different things affect how fast you move down a slide. The surface of the slide, the clothes you are wearing, how heavy you are, and the amount of your body touching the slide all make a difference. Whether the slide is flat, wavy, or spiral makes a difference too.