true blue wrote:1) Start the descent in 3rd, and stay there until the bottom. Brake as necessary, declutch if speed drops too low.
2) Start the descent in 3rd, braking as required to control speed/balance. When 3rd is no longer viable, declutch, select 2nd and re-engage clutch without using throttle to rev match. Benefit: better control than 1). Drawback: avoidable clutch wear.
3) Start the descent in 3rd, braking as required to control speed/balance. When 3rd is no longer viable, declutch, select 2nd, off brakes, rev match, engage clutch, back on brakes if needed. Benefit: mechanical sympathy. Drawback: less control than 2).
Excuse a long time lurker interposing some thoughts.
My own experience of heel and toe sounds like Reg's in that most cars I have driven have a brake pedal too high relative to the accelerator to allow me to easily H&T under normal levels of braking for road driving. My feet (size 9) are neither unusually large or small, so am fascinated to hear how people manage to get around this problem.
It seems to me that there are a couple of useful variations on the theme that are not detailed which help if your feet don't want to H&T.
Firstly option 2 can be done more sympathetically, simply by ensuring that while the clutch is depressed you continue to brake. The effectiveness will depend on your speed, but by the sounds of it it would be good in the situation described. So in my ride 3rd would become unviable around 15mph, but then if I were to brake down to around 11-12mph while changing to 2nd you move into a mechanically nicer setting. I would be bringing the clutch up with an engine speed of around 900-1000rpm and a road speed in 2nd equivalent to maybe 1100rpm, so the speed difference across the clutch is negligible. I'm not having to have the clutch down for an unduly long time to lose the extra 3-4mph, so control isn't compromised.
Option 3 is more useful if you are a bit quicker, but want the lower gear for more control rather than because 3rd is running out. You can retain good control simply by slowing to a little below your ideal speed, to give you some time to match revs while the speed begins to rise slightly on the downhill back to your preferred speed.Say I was doing 25mph in 3rd using the brakes to maintain speed, so wanted 2nd for more control: lose a few more mph under braking down to say 20mph, release brake, raise revs (while road speed increases down the hill), release clutch in 2nd. This is one of the few cases where I prefer a blib to a sustained rev change.
I agree with Reg that this is an area where there are always likely to be compromises and tradeoffs. Personal preference and the particular characteristics of the car, as well as the prevailing road conditions are likely to have a strong bearing on the approach taken for me.