We use power meters because we can get a direct measurement of where we are at, then try new ways to get faster and figure out if these are working.
But how do we get faster on downhills? What skills do we need?
Say on Strava, we are 20th on our local descent. We've ridden the trail dozen of times. Can we ever imagine getting a KOM or getting faster at all?
Unfortunately, to date it has been impossible to measure or track your downhill speed other than with just time. Everything in DH has been just guesswork! This is unfortunate at the highest level, where World Cup downhillers are just holding on and hoping for the best. And of course for the rest of us, what can we do to get faster on downhills? Yes, they tick off some serious routines and processes along the way, but the only measurements are time to complete a section.
This is the whole reason we invented BrakeAce! Making mountain bikers faster is my passion, and a data-led approach is the only way to do it. This valuable tool of the future is my passion, and one day it will be on every MTB.
On top of measuring everything you do on the downhills, BrakeAce also sorts out the places on the trail where you can improve the most, called your Key Opportunities. This cuts to the chase and shows you just 3 places where you should focus on getting better. In your KO, BrakeAce shows you what exactly you are doing with your brakes, such as braking too long, with too high intensity, or with crazy high modulation. You can then go back to these sections of trail, looks for new lines and approaches, and measure your progress as you go.
There's this beautiful thing called the FlowScore (TM), which makes it super easy to measure changes in your braking in a specific section or to compare with your friends. You can use this FlowScore to see how the pros ride differently than you, since it is a direct comparison of brake efficiency on a section of trail, every corner, or every Strava segment.
By now, we've tested this on riders from beginner up to the World Cup, and the strategy simplifies getting faster, so you get faster, well, faster!
In a recent test session, our super fit downhiller was within the top 5 on Strava on a trail called Box of Birds in Rotorua. The trail was used in the EWS previously, but newer lines had been burned in since.
On day 1 of testing with BrakeAce, Tyler was actually able to get the new KOM. It was a huge surprise!
Later that day, we analyzed his Key Opportunities, then went back the very next day to see if he could get faster. He sessioned each KO 3 times, and was very confident.
Now remember, we didn't use BrakeAce to pick apart every single braking event (even though we could); we just looked at his Key opportunities and general trends of which brake he was using and how he was braking before turns.
I wasn't sure if Tyler would get faster at all since he had ridden the trail 58x, and was already the fastest, but after only 1 day of testing with BrakeAce, he beat his own KOM and lower his FlowScore!
This was super cool, and we got video the whole time. It turned out to be a nice edit, so check out the video here to learn more how this rider beat himself for the KOM!
You can still get on the list to order BrakeAce, and of course, if you ever have any questions about it, just let us know :)