This was first posted Oct. 21, 2005.
When pedaling on a DH I’m often in the false (too light or heavy) gear so I thought about how pros do it. Do they plan their shifting, e.g. “before the 5th corner I have to shift to 4th gear?” Or how do they manage to be in the right gear?
Good riders plan ahead. Downshift before you enter the turn, so you’re in the right gear when it’s time to pedal. You want a gear that’s easy to get spinning, but that you can spin for a while before you have shift. Which leads me to …
They have broad powerbands. Look at it this way: If you can turn a hard gear at only 50 rpm, and you can spin that gear all the way to 150 rpm, that means you can triple your speed without having to shift. The wider your effective powerband, the more time you spend in the “right” gear.
Plan ahead. Get strong. Spin fast.