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Old 05-02-06, 08:25 AM   #1
timmhaan
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flat rear tire near finish - keep racing on pull off?

sundays race i was doing pretty well. stayed in the front 1/3 of the pack the whole time and felt great with plenty of strength left for a sprint at the end. with a couple of laps to go i noticed my rear tire going low and on the last lap it was almost completely flat. i continued to race and keep up with the group but as we neared the final downhill i pulled off with about a 1.5 miles to go. see, the downhill reaches about 35-40mph and i had never hit speeds like that on a flat and didn't want to cause a crash.

i felt like i still had reasonible control over the bike, but the little voice told me to pull off. a couple of days later that same little voice is telling me i should have finished as it would have only been another 5 minutes of racing. oh well, at least i didn't screw up my rim. but one thing is clear: flatting in the final stretch is pretty lame! what would you guys have done?
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Old 05-02-06, 08:41 AM   #2
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I would pull out.
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Old 05-02-06, 08:49 AM   #3
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When I flatted at Ft Davis stage race stage 2 had just begun. I lost 3 min getting a new front wheel, which essentially took me out of contention for the podium. If it had been in the last 1 or 2 k there is no way I would have stopped, but the the last k was at 17%! I think it comes down to how important the race is to you. If it had been one of our local races I may have stopped but I had driven 8 hour to race this one and I wouldn't have thrown it all away because of a flat.
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Old 05-02-06, 08:59 AM   #4
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damn, that really sucks! with a front tire, i'd probably pull off automatically unless it was really close.

this race isn't particularly important to me, although i won't be seeing any race action in may so i wanted to finish strong here. it was actually surprising to me that i could keep pace on a flat tire. it was a little harder than normal but didn't slow me down all that much.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:03 AM   #5
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was this a crit? was the free lap rule still in effect when it started to go flat?

Assuming you couldn't get support, I'd probably of bagged it. Unless you were off the front, the odds you could place would be very low. So the question at that point is what you're riding for? and how much you value your equipment. If it was a point series, or a stage race and it mattered that you finished, I might have just dropped to the back and cautiously finished.

Also I'm assuming you were riding clinchers. One reason pros have traditionally ridden tubulars is that it is much easier to ride on a flat tubular without damaging the wheel or losing control of the bike.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:06 AM   #6
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If it were a tubular, i may have continued to ride. Clincher? no way.

Also depends on the situation, how good I'm feeling, going for series points/stage race points.

Obviously if it were a stage race and you had to finish to race the next day, I'd limp to the finish line.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:06 AM   #7
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Mechanicals suck, but they are a part of racing. And personally, though I think the risk of crashing yourself out sucks, risking my hide because of something you ould have avoided REALLY sucks. You did the responsible and right thing by letting others (Safely) contest the sprint.

Having said that, if you wanted to be selfish, a rear flat maybe (though you will still have a terrible time sprinting) but front flat? nah, the race is over.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:29 AM   #8
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Not a stage race right? Still in a fair sized group?

You have no chance pull off. Now a stage race or in a small break where last in the group is still a good placing it is a different story.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:40 AM   #9
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Aiye... I missed the race!
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Old 05-02-06, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
was this a crit? was the free lap rule still in effect when it started to go flat?
it's more of a circuit race and if you flat it's pretty much over unless you happen to have a wheel handy near the start finish. no free lap rule or anything like that so you'd have to really haul ass to catch back up.

you guys are right though...i probably could have squeezed off a top 15 in the bunch, but contesting a sprint would have been pretty dumb and ineffective anyway. no real point in it.

[edit] and yes, i'm riding clinchers.

Last edited by timmhaan; 05-02-06 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 05-02-06, 10:03 AM   #11
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Aiye... I missed the race!
i'm sure i'll see you there at the next one. right?
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Old 05-02-06, 10:47 AM   #12
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If you had a nice set of wheels, I'd pull off. I know I would be kicking myself later if ruined my wheels. No sense potentially damaging the bike much less your self or another rider.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
damn, that really sucks! with a front tire, i'd probably pull off automatically unless it was really close.

this race isn't particularly important to me, although i won't be seeing any race action in may so i wanted to finish strong here. it was actually surprising to me that i could keep pace on a flat tire. it was a little harder than normal but didn't slow me down all that much.
Hey Tim. I thought that I saw you during warm-up before the race. Too bad about the flat, but mechanicals happen. Hell at the Kings County race I had my front brake blow apart, just before the start. In those races it's really better to pull off if you have a mechanical. Why aren't you going to be racing in May? That's when FBF and the Kissena series starts! Great local racing twice a week, plus out of town races galore.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by daneil
Hey Tim. I thought that I saw you during warm-up before the race. Too bad about the flat, but mechanicals happen. Hell at the Kings County race I had my front brake blow apart, just before the start. In those races it's really better to pull off if you have a mechanical. Why aren't you going to be racing in May? That's when FBF and the Kissena series starts! Great local racing twice a week, plus out of town races galore.
actually at the kings county race i flatted early on too. had to do the walk of shame back to the starting line. i guess i've just had a string of bad luck with flats lately. what the hell happened to your front brake?

i'm out of town 3 weekends of may and the only weekend i'm here i'm doing the mountauk century. the good news is i'm bringing my bike with on my travels so i won't lose any form and might actually get more miles in this month. I have one more race and then i can upgrade, so it looks like i'll be in the 4's by June.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:45 PM   #15
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I don't know how your races are supported, but around here if its not a crit (in which case you have a wheel pit) there's a wheel truck following the group with your spare wheels.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:48 PM   #16
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If its a tubular rear on a downill finish, i would have kept riding if it meant i might have a chance to win, or meant the difference between winning and losing. I have a lot of experience controlling 2wheeled vehicles with a loose rear end though. I think you should have finished.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:24 PM   #17
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If the leak was that slow, why not just inflate it again with CO2 and be off for the final distance? It would still be leaking, but it sounds like it was pretty slow.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:37 PM   #18
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If the leak was that slow, why not just inflate it again with CO2 and be off for the final distance? It would still be leaking, but it sounds like it was pretty slow.
good thought. if i had co2 with me and i was smart enough to pull off earlier in the race it probably would have worked.

i never think about flats on this course because it's generally paved very well. i should toss a co2 in my jersey pocket though.
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