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