Speed Bumps and Train Tracks...Kills speed and tires!

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by NickInNC, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. NickInNC

    NickInNC New Member

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    Man I don't know what it is about my town but speed bumps and traintracks seem to be on my key routes, and they kill my tires and me back. So far I have found on the train track issue the best thing to do is to slow way down to like 5mph and ride super slow. And speed bumps I pop a little bit of a wheely (a challenge with my 6'3 structure and my road bike) but it still takes a toll on my tires I can tell they need air just a mile or so after a big speed bump or a train track.
     
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  2. mawtangent

    mawtangent New Member

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    Hey...I'm new here...and maybe I'm stating the obvious...but...

    I've recently found myself facing a more bumpy ride as I experiment with commuting. Although I like to take Sunday morning rides down the paved highway (on my newer Windsor Stratford roadbike, with 1-inch-wide skinny tires), I find that I favor my old Huffy with thicker 1-3/8 inch tires for rougher areas. The consistant thickness of the tires (from wire-bead to wire-bead) gives me more confidence against flats. (I've even thought of going to wider tires on my Stratford)...also a wider tire seems to be more forgiving on the body (although a wider tire will roll with some degree of more resistance than a skinnier tire)

    You might want to try a wider tire, especially on the rear wheel (normally more weight is carried by the rear wheel). Also you can make yourself more "shock-absorbing" by bringing your butt barely off the seat and somewhat relaxing your arms (as opposed to stiffeining them) when you are about to hit a bump...This should take a lot of the vibration off your back..Just some ideas you might consider.
     
  3. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    I'm a bit surprised that your tires lose air from bumps like that. Bumps or no bumps, unless your tubes have a leak, my understanding is that they wouldn't lose air in such a short time...

    Regardless, your care, esp. w/ tracks, is quite warranted. If you're riding skinny tires (esp. if they're underinflated or on wider rims), tracks and big bumps can lead to pinch flats. Another post has good advice (taking weight off the saddle, bending the knees and elbows but keeping a good grip on the bars), but don't rush it... You'll get more comfortable getting through bumpy bits with practice, but some bumps are just too big to get over without some mad bunnyhopping skills.
     
  4. Europa

    Europa New Member

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    Our speed humps typically (but not always) have either a gap at the side or the end is tapered down so a cyclist can go roaring over them without any bump at all :D I doubt it's intentional (be the first time the authorities did anything nice for cyclists if it was), and I usually ride with the traffic, but I have been known to give a metaphoric finger to some git in a car by riding away from him as he has to slow down for the bumps :D

    Richard
     
  5. chemcycle

    chemcycle New Member

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    While train tracks may be uncomfortable, or actually cause a flat, there really isn't an instance where only some air will escape unless there's a problem with your tube.
     
  6. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    That is way beyond any physical explanation! :eek:
     
  7. bigpedaler

    bigpedaler New Member

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    that's just one reason i commute on a MTB -- it's designed for obstacles!
     
  8. reallyoldpunk

    reallyoldpunk New Member

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    Increase your speed and bunny hop over them.:D
     
  9. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Yes bunny hop is your friend and at 6'3" it should be even easier.
     
  10. NickInNC

    NickInNC New Member

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    I took my tires in and explanned the problem to the tech. Go figure my tubes are P.O.S's and my wheel and tire is not much better. So I had him put nut tubes on.

    What wheels do you suggest for a road bike???:p;):rolleyes::cool::D:)(sorry my kid wants me to put all the simley face guys on! nice.
     
  11. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    Hmmm, I don't get it... Bad tires, you should definitely do something about, since they're relatively inexpensive and can save you the trouble of fixing flats, but most any standard, cheap-o tube should be fine (i.e., *not* some ultra-light, super-thin, super-puncture-prone tube). Did the shop guy recommend replacing your tires *and* wheels?

    If the bumps are tough on your back, some fatter tires at slightly lower pressure will help smooth out that ride. You'll want to check your rims' inner width to see how wide a tire you could safely run. What size are your current tires? Look for markings like 700c x 25mm on the sidewalls.

    As for wheels, they have relatively less influence on ride quality (compared with tire choice and pressure), but a bumpy ride can mess up a weak or poorly built wheel. Any decent rim with 32 spokes should be more than sufficient for an average-weight rider, unless you're interested in trading durability for weight and aerodynamics.
     
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