Crash test dummy

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by cyclintom, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I was up about 1000 feet yesterday in a part of Oakland called Montclair. I came down via Broadway Terrace. Near the bottom a car kept running up on me only to have to slow down for speed bumps and then taking a run at me again. So I just let off of the brakes and did the bottom turning steep part at about 35 mph. There is a light at the bottom and I came to a stop. Went across onto Broadway and stopped at a light there.. A couple of other cyclists were coming down Broadway from higher up and so when the light turned green I accelerated away from the light to clear the path ahead until it hit the bike lane again.

    I cleared the Intersection and was going only about 12 mph when there was a really loud explosion followed by me losing control of the bike. My front tubeless tire had blown completely off of the rim. I managed to slow down to perhaps 8 mph before the bare rim washed out and dumped me on the road right out into traffic. Good thing I had accelerated so fast because I was far enough ahead of the traffic that they had time to stop. The other two guys helped me up and got my bike over to the side of the road.

    I thanked them and they were on their way. I had given them the impression that I was going to call my wife and intended to. Then I thought that it would take less time for me to put a tube in the tire and ride the 16 miles home than for her to try to find me. So I pulled a spare tube out of my pack and did the messy job of trying to get a tube into a tubeless setup with all of that yucky sealant there.

    I got it in and was taking the very slow way home. I had some slight abrasions on my elbow and hip and some large one's on my left knee. But the shock as usual kept the pain to a minimum though I was immediately tired.

    I got home and cleaned up and I still had a lot of bandages around from hurting myself from seizures before I found a competent neurologist. (If you EVER have a concussion make sure that you or your friends find a neurologist to look at you ASAP.)

    I've had a lot worse so I'm not complaining. I thought about that happening while I was going 35 mph and that wasn't very nice. But then I thought that I had clincher tires have a complete blowout as well so I suppose it was the luck of the draw.

    Last night after 5 hours of sleep I woke up and lay there thinking about it. There was something really strange about it. Then it occurred to me. After I put the tube in I mounted the tire completely by hand. You CANNOT do that with a real tubeless tire. You have to use tire levers because they mount so difficult.

    I have Michelin Pro4 Endurance tires on the bike and when I had bought them the ad said that there were "bi" tires meaning you could use them as a clincher or a tubeless. So I looked them up in several places and not one of them said that they were tubeless tires! All they said was "clincher".

    So if you decide to go tubeless with all of its advantages (lower rolling resistance, very low probability of a flat and the ability to use low pressure without danger of pinching a tube) be ABSOLUTELY certain that you get real tubeless and that the factory actually rates them as tubeless. I have some Maxxi's on the way.

    Keep the rubber side down.
     
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  2. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I spent the time trying to clean up and repack my seat pack. While I am presently riding around with that pack it is for the reason that I'm a new user of tubeless tires and I really don't trust them yet. And as you saw above there is a good reason for that. I will at the very least wear out at least one set of tubeless tires before I go leaving the seat pack at home. Also I have ordered a new helmet, a new set of thermal tights and a new set of thermal gloves so that everything is back to normal.

    A fall is always traumatizing to some extent - though in one case I hit something on the road and fell over onto the side of the road into a pile of dry, dead tree leaves without the slightest mark or pain. So if you're going to fall, plan ahead to fall into something like that.
     
  3. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    Wow! 35 mph on a bike! I can't imagine that, even though I'm used to riding motorcycles at high speed. Identical speeds on bikes and motorcycles feel quite different.

    I've given up motorcycles and just ride a bike, now, a fat one and a hybrid. Recently I rode over a long, tall bridge on the fat one, that connects the mainland with an island. Riding down the far side my speedometer showed 27.4 mph, and that was scaring me. I knew not to hit the brakes hard for fear of taking a header over the bars. At that speed, my skin and the paved surface of the road would have had an argument and my skin would have lost. I've already lost skin and broken ribs from hitting somebody's homemade speed bump in the dark.

    Glad you survived to ride another day.
     
  4. audreyspency

    audreyspency New Member

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    Wow! 35 mph on a bike! I can't imagine that, even though I'm used to riding motorcycles at high speed. Identical speeds on bikes and motorcycles feel quite different.
     
  5. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I really don't know how to treat this. After 40 years or so of riding I've crashed at high speed a number of times. I don't recommend it but neither is it going to stop me from riding. I've only gotten one serious injury and that is a concussion. This was a very strange accident and would be very hard to duplicate. In most falls the idea is to land on as much body as possible to spread the impact over as much area as possible. And you instinctively hold your head up so that the helmet does the job it was intended to do - keep you from getting skin and nose and ears from damage.

    You do not go from riding at 12 mph to riding at 35 mph without a careful practice period where you slowly build up your speed. You don't grab a handful of brakes but just drag them as you look as far forward so you can judge what speed you can hold - going straight is what a bike is designed to do so there is no problems there. It is learning to turn at speed and being able to judge the speed you can corner at. And in most cases the bike can corner a great deal faster than you have the courage to try. And even the best experts make misjudgments in these cases. They showed a couple of crashes in the Tour de France that looked like the Pro was a rank amateur.

    I crash because of mechanical failure in almost every event. And a large part of that is because for a long time I wanted the latest and greatest. Well, that's not a good idea because it is betting on everything being designed by experts and if they were experts they wouldn't be designing and building bicycles. There is a time when they work the bugs out of any new designs. Carbon fiber took 20 years or more to learn reliability.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "fat tire bike". If it is an MTB the handling is normally much slower than a road bike but that also means that you have a harder time correcting steering mistakes or doing things like getting to the bottom of your bridge and have to do two 180 degree turns off onto the bike path. I can do a road bike 180 in one bike length.

    If by ":fat tire" bike you're talking about those snow tired bikes then by all means get a road bike. The worst problem you get from going fast is clinching up on the bars so that the slightest wiggle from road conditions is amplified by your muscles trying to get everything back straight. Bikes are designed to be self stable and when descending you remain as loose as possible and let the geometry do the work.

    There are descents around here with a lot of tight turns in which I can outrun sports cars and motorcycles. I raced motorcycles for awhile so I know all the tricks. But anyone can learn them by simply thinking.
     
  6. Ed Domanskis

    Ed Domanskis New Member

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    You were lucky with your crash. I think about what the Pelatones go through. Again, I encourage everyone to watch WonderfulLosersdotcom for an insight.
     
  7. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    At the age of 72 and getting close to 73, crashing is something I prefer to avoid at any cost. I can't see why anyone would take risks with speed and components that can fail. Getting over broken ribs, and missing flesh from elbows and knees is not one of my favorite things.
    I'm well aware of that, but sometimes an emergency may arise. I prefer to look ahead and predict what could happen, and ride accordingly, lessening the chance of facing an emergency. I took three of the Experienced Rider motorcycle courses, and that's one of the things they emphasized.
    I ride a Specialized Fatboy with 4" road tires. It performs well, and because I'm not into speed, I don't need to be concerned about correcting steering mistakes.
    I don't use tires designed for snow or sand. I use road tires that are designed for pavement. I've had road bikes, years ago, and I never did like them. The fat bike is my choice of ride. It's a totally different world than the road bike world. I don't ride for performance, but for exercise and pleasure. I like to see the streets, the stores, and all else along the way. And I stop to take photos.

    Apart from that, there are few places where a road bike is suitable in this county. Much of my riding is on sidewalks, and they don't make for the smoothest rides; they'd wreck a road bike but the fat bike is ideal for them. Few roads have bike lanes but I don't trust them, anyway. Too many careless drivers drift onto them, and I've had a couple of very close calls. There are places that are good for road bikes, but I'd need to transport a road bike to them, and I'm not into carrying a bike somewhere to ride it.
     
  8. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Chuckabutty - Well, I'm 74 and most assuredly don't look forward to a crash. But they will happen is you ride fast and hard. Hell, the worst crash I ever had was at 5 mph when I was bending over to see what that "clicking" was in my front wheel - as I did the fork exploded and dropped me right on my forehead from less than 3 feet above the ground.

    Since you aren't a performance rider you are unlikely to put yourself in a position as I do almost every ride. But you still are going to have high rolling speeds on long mild downhills and you should be aware of the dangers and know how to make them as small as possible.

    Keep the rubber side down and have a great time on every ride.
     
  9. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    OK - I got my new Maxxi Tubeless tires yesterday and the bead is substantially different from the Michelins I was using. You put the tubeless tire on and you have to be VERY careful to make sure that it is straight on the rim. You do this by flipping the wheel and making sure that it is perfectly centered on the rim. And then you can pump it up with a regular floor pump. You don't need anything special. Also, the tire will remain completely inflated even without the sealant in there because there is a soft rubber bead and a special bead to catch the hook on the rim.

    Also they aren't particularly difficult to get on. Certainly they were easier to get onto the rim than the Michelins although not anywhere as easy as the one that came off the rim causing me to crash.

    I happened to have 2 more ounces of Orange sealant so I put that in the front tire since I have total faith in the ability of that sealant to seal just about anything. But there is Finish Line that I put in the back since if I get a read flat it is far less likely to cause me to crash. The advantage of Finish Line is that it is a permanent sealant that doesn't need to be renewed every six months like the Orange and most of the others like Stan's etc.

    So you have to be extremely careful to get the right tire for the right job. The Michelin 25 mm seems larger than 25 and the Maxxi's seem a little smaller than 25 mm but perhaps that is simply the way they fit on the rims.

    I'll also have to look into Mavic who make tubeless tires now with the same manner of simply pumping them up with a standard floor pumps. Note: Finish Line sealant specifically says that you can use a CO2 cartridge to inflate them on the road because the stuff is good down to below freezing.
     
  10. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    OK, Continental GP4000's was the go-to clincher racing tire. They are also available in tubular if you use those sorts of things. Tubular tires are a pain in the butt and they are used by the pros for entirely different reasons that low rolling resistance or flat resistance - they have neither.

    I contacted Continental last year and asked them if they made a tubeless tire. They said that they didn't but intended to release one this year. They have though this is what this posting is about.

    They have released two versions of the new GP5000 - the GP5000S and the GP5000TL. The first is the clincher version and the second the tubeless version. The clincher has lower rolling resistance, longer wearing tread, better cornering traction and better flat protecting belt. They are expensive as hell - $65 apiece but racers will pay the going rate.

    The GP5000TL has even lower rolling resistance and without a tube is even lighter. It has all the other advantages but MAN do you pay for it. At $90 apiece I have my doubts that people are going to be flocking to their dealer to buy them.

    Riding the Maxxi's I wasn't very impressed. They feel really dead with 90 psi in them perhaps they will improve with less pressure but time will tell.

    Mavic makes racing tires that make Continentals appear cheap - $120 apiece. But they also make $60 tubeless endurance tires that would fill the bill for most people. Mavic have a good reputation and I would likely try them next rather than the Continental at that sort of going rate.

    I am rather sold on tubeless with sealant because the roads around here are pretty nasty with enough beer and whiskey bottles thrown onto the roads that flats aren't that unusual unless you ride Continental Gatorskins. While these tires are pretty flatproof they also ride dead and you don't like to corner fast with them. There are some pretty flat-proof racing tires but racing tires as a rule are expensive and short lived. Getting a flat because your tire is worn out is every bit the same as getting glass through it.

    Tubeless pretty much stops these problems. On my very first tubeless ride with the incorrect tires I got something large and sharp through my tire and the sealant stopped the leak almost instantly and with no discernable pressure loss. On other occasions while inspecting the tires I've discovered small bumps and looking at them they were beads of sealant that plugged other punctures. So I'm sold on tubeless for this alone and I don't care about the other qualities.

    I am hoping that Continental brings the price of their GP5000TL down to a more reasonable level before the Maxxi's wear out and I will put them on. Or perhaps Michelin will release a tubeless version of the Pro4 Endurance. The first time I put them on I was flabbergasted at how much difference you could actually feel in the rolling resistance after years of riding Gatorskins. So I would opt for them in a second were they tubeless.
     
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