Doing An Endo -- How Do You Avoid It, or Handle It When It Happens?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by SierraSlim, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Hey, Y'all.

    We just got into a little bit of a discussion on doing an endo in the thread on Mirrors -- Are They Pointless? One rider's wife did an endo while descending, but there was also discussion that an endo can happen on flat ground (which is what I currently ride on). Since at the age of 60 I don't heal as well as most of you younger ones out there, I'd like to avoid one if possible at all, or at least would like to know what to do should one start to happen.

    I'm assuming an endo is simply when the front wheel stops and the rear one flips you end over end. So the questions are....

    What are the most common causes of doing an endo?

    How do you prevent an endo from occurring?

    If an endo is about to happen, how do you deal with it/try to stop it/survive it?

    Thanks for the help!

    Sierra Who Wants To Avoid Endos At All Cost
     
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  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    An Endo is actually a trick that kids love to do on thier bikes and motorcycles. So I am sure we have loads of experts out there who know how to pull one off.

    Last July I hooked up with a friend of mine who is a die hard mountainbiker. We went out riding in the trails of Arcadia in Rhode Island. We were biking down a hill into an area refered to as the rock garden. I was riding a little to fast to handle the rugged terrain that we had encountered. The combination of speed, braking and going over all the rocks ended up with me doing an endo that we refer to as my face planting today. Luckily for me when I was at the point of no return I let go of the bar and broke my fall with both arms. I went all the way to the ground and busted up my face a little but not enough to cancel the remainder of the ride. Thank God for platform pedals on my mountain bike.
     
  3. Scotttri

    Scotttri Member

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    A good start is to apply the rear brake befor the front if needing to stop in a hurry.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Don't go worrying about endos. At the speeds that you ride and as long as you are not going fast down a big hill, you are not going to do one. Just continue riding and gaining confidence and experience and you will be fine. You will hear horrifying and gruesome accounts of all kinds of bicycle accidents, but the truth is that only 12% of bicycle accidents result in serious injury.
     
  5. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    For one thing, if you see you are going off the path, try to stop if possible, but
    don't hit anything with the front wheel while braking. It is best to ride it out and
    slow down gently. If the front wheel hits a hole, dip while braking it can flip very
    quickly! If you run off the path into the grass it will slow you down very nicely on
    its own. Hitting a curb while braking is the best way to flip. You need to learn to
    give the handle bars a lift as you hit an obstacle. practice on small bumps on the
    path and you will get the hang of it with out problems. Do it at a slow speed to
    start with.
     
  6. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    [SIZE= 10pt]Thanks, you 4![/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]I didn't THINK I had much chance of doing an endo, with speeds of 12 mph and riding on flat terrain, but I wanted to be more certain, because that's a very scary thing to think about! I DID kind of an endo on my first bike at age 10 or 11, when I went from hardtop road to grass too quickly, braked because I was coming up on some shrubs that had just been chopped to 2" height and didn't want to hit them, so of course went face first into them when the bike stopped and I didn't. I still have a small scar from that little adventure; nowadays, most people think it's a wrinkle, lol. I didn't know what an endo was called, then. But I would just as soon not do it again.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]There is one 'hole' in the pavement on the route I do that I always watch out for. It looks almost like a deliberate bike trap, because it's the perfect width for a bicycle tire to fit down into, but I don't think it's long enough to ride on out of, I think it would just grab the tire and hold tight. So I always make sure I don't hit it. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]I had not thought about hitting a curb while braking, but on my bike path that could be easy to do in a couple spots, so will watch that, Brad. That part about lifting the bars as I hit an obstacle will take some nerve-gathering, though, lol. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]Dave, I'm glad your face plant wasn't any more serious. Gives me the shivers, though! If you'd have clip-ons, would you have been able to get out in time??[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]Scottri and KD, thanks for the advice. I actually do always apply the rear brake a second before the front, just out of habit, because I was afraid of hand brakes a few months ago, lol. And I am soooooo anxious to get back out and feel comfortable on the bike again, after these past 2 months of rain, that I'm going to have to make sure I"m careful when I do finally get to go, or I'll do something stupid out of excitement! [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]Thanks again, y'all. Love the information gathering![/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]Sierra[/SIZE]
     
  7. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Well if I was clipped in and could not get out I would have been in that 12% catergory with some injurys sustained from the bike.
     
  8. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

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    Before I got into road riding, I rode bmx freestyle for a long time. Endos and their rolling counterpart, the nose wheelie, were two things that I always like to do in my runs. From my experience, the best way to try to control it is to get out of the saddle, fully extend your arms while gripping the bars and thrust your body backward. This does two things:
    1) If done early enough, it can cause your body weight to push the rear end of the bicycle downward and stop the endo from progressing.
    2) If done past the "point of no return" it sets you up to be able to jump off of the bike and avoid injury.

    If you are in situation 2, the next step in avoiding injury is to grab the rear brake (you don't want your rear wheel moving when you apply pressure to the pedals for the rest of the motions) remove your rear foot from the pedal and begin to move it up and forward over the handlebars, with your hands still gripping the bars.
    Once your foot has cleared the top of the bars you will want to essentially jump with your forward foot (still on the forward pedal, which should not be able to spin since you're holding the brake). As soon as your forward foot comes off of the pedal you can release your grip on the bars and get your whole body over them. Depending on how fast you are going you will either need to land in a light run once over the bars or, if moving too fast for that, tuck and roll to avoid a single hard impact.

    I've used this method literally hundreds of times on a bmx bike without sustaining any injuries and had to use it once on the road bike at about 28mph. Once again, no injuries.

    This is a rather tough string of motions to explain, so I hope that the way I wrote it is understandable and helpful.
     
  9. cyberlegend1994

    cyberlegend1994 Moderator

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    Here is a Wikipedia article on doing a front wheelie, also called a 'Stoppie' 
     
  10. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Good Wiki graph on how it's done on a heavy motorbike; not sure if everything applies to a road bike where obviously bodyweight is a much greater proportion of overall weight. Also believe the reduced weight of our bikes vs moto's would make the rotation happen much quicker under the strong front brake pressure. Since our bikes are taller and have shorter wheelbases than the road-race motorcycles, we shouldn't have to brake as hard either.

    About 0.5g's is enough to unload the rear wheel for a rider in normal seated position on a road-race bike, which would be the critical point where the bike starts to pitch forward. Sliding back on the seat and getting as low as possible will raise this limit-braking threshold. With good body position, don't know how hard a road bike with sticky tires can be stopped at the extreme limit on a clean, dry, smooth road surface, but would guess somewhere around 0.7g's with a skilled rider. Getting this level of braking in a modern car is a lot easier.

    Years ago I did some hard cornering and stopping practice drills on a playground. Never felt I was very good at it, but believe all road riders should practice to progressively get the feel of harder and harder stops in a controlled environment. After all, you never know when you might have to make a quick stop on the road to avoid a car or pedestrian, or the rider just ahead.
     
  11. john gault

    john gault New Member

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    In my experience endo's are just part of a learning curve in cycling, at least for me. I did several when I first got into cycling, but now I'm pretty good at applying the rear brake first and harder and I also force my body to the rear when it must be a really quick stop.

    However with all my accumulated expertise /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif I still did an endo about a month or two ago and I don't know how it happened. I was sitting at a stoplight, the light turned green and off I went...this road was kind of narrow with no shoulders and a lot of traffic, so I scooted over closer to the curb and suddenly noticed I was about to clip the curb, therefore quickly braked and was catapulted on the road; I then jumped up real quick to get out of the way of traffic. To this day I have no idea how it actually happened and I'm not even sure how fast I was going, because it happened only about 30 feet from when I first started from a dead-stop. All I know is I did not hit the curb. It's just one of those times when all you can say is sh1t happens.

    However, there are other causes of endo's besides improper braking. One Way: I was riding down a rode in 2008 and a small pick-up pulled in front of me (he was at a stop sign, I had the right-of-way) and I ran into his vehicle directly behind the rear wheel; I did an endo right over his rear gate.

    Another Way: Once I was riding on a shoulderless road, I was near the edge of the road that tappers off and then there's the ground. I inadvertently (I was doing about 20mph) drifted off the road and automatically tried to swerve back on the road, but when my front tire rubbed against the raised portion of road it stopped my forward momentum in an instant (like quicker than a second) I went flying over my handlebars and landed directly in the middle of this 2-lane road. It happened so damn quick, one instant I was on my bike then another I was in the road, I don't remember myself flying through the air, but somehow something forced me up off the ground and caused me to run to the side, just in time not to be hit by the car behind me...It was one of those times that really make you wonder.

    Be very careful of cracks in the road/path that go parallel with your travel, if you ride into the crack and your sidewall brushes up against it, it doesn't take much to knock us off a bike.
     
  12. john gault

    john gault New Member

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    I should have read all the posts before I posted, this is basically the point I was trying to make about cracks in the path. That's exactly what happened to me when I veered off road. It happened early in my cycling career and part of the learning curve. But it's one of those lessons that is so deeply imprinted in my mind.

     
  13. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Sound advice. Every once in a while I practice quick braking and avoidance manuvers on some backroads.
     
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