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  1. #1
    Little Pony obra3's Avatar
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    The Unusual in a Crit

    So... the OBRA (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) championship crit was this past weekend. It's a 6 corner, flat as a pancake course. (I'll have the video prepped next week) I raced both the Cat 3 and the Master's 30-39. In the Cat 3 race, something quite unusual happened. During one of the laps, I got out of the saddle to jump, I felt some pressure on my back wheel and my back wheel skipped out.

    At this point I'm like WTF? Normally, when you feel sideways pressure (pretty significant) on your rear wheel, it means that someone overlapped your wheel. But... I didn't hear what should have come next- the sounds of crashing. Then the odd sensation of having your rear wheels swept out...

    I ran it through my head- I could think of only one person who is heavy and strong enough to survive hitting my rear wheel and almost taking ME out (isn't the rule the guy in back is the one who almost always goes down?). After the race, my suspicions were confirmed- the guy who hit my wheel is who I thought it was- a former wrestler for Oregon State University- strong as an ox and 190 pounds. I'm no lightweight (155-160) but I guess there's an advantage to being a big muscular guy.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    The angle of the overlap and rubbing has a lot to do with the sensation and who crashes as well. If you got out of the saddle and scooted your bike back and leaned into him, you're the one that's off-balance and his straight momentum would keep him upright and he'd push you back up to riding straight. And that force is of course, related to his weight and how much he countersteers into you (if needed).

    If there's a lot of overlap, his tyre would actually be rubbing your spokes. Or sometimes, they reach out and shove you away by the seat.

  3. #3
    cmh
    cmh is offline
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    Usually wheel rubbing has a pretty distinctive and scary 'vvvvtt' sound.

  4. #4
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    When you stood up out of the saddle, you probably shifted your weight forward, which unweighted the rear wheel, so when they guy in back hit your wheel, it moved instead of staying put. Thats why your rear wheel skipped out and why the guy in back of you didn't fall. Instead of hitting an immovable wheel, the wheel gave and he was able to hold on.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
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  5. #5
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    On one occasion, my front tire touched someone's rear tire in a race, and I stayed upright to tell the tale. He was pulling in front of me at a faster speed than me, so the contact was very brief.
    Bring the pain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I've rubbed my front wheel against someone's rear wheel more than once and survived. If you don't overreact it's not that hard, though it can be a little disconcerting. You don't want to pull away, so much as keep applying steady (but not hard) pressure to the wheel while you drift backward off it.

    I've also had someone exactly in front of me get out of the saddle and bounce his rear wheel off my front with no effect other than a "wow, that was interesting".
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  7. #7
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    I've rubbed my front wheel against someone's rear wheel more than once and survived. If you don't overreact it's not that hard, though it can be a little disconcerting. You don't want to pull away, so much as keep applying steady (but not hard) pressure to the wheel while you drift backward off it.

    Actually, I think that's backward from everything I've been trained.

    If you press against the overlapped wheel, then when your tire clears the wheel, the support that was holding you up is suddenly gone, and you go over to the side where the wheel used to be instead.

    Instead, the technique I was taught is you pop off the wheel by a quick countersteer so you tap the wheel and come off the opposite direction.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bantam's Avatar
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    I had a guy jump and accelerate beside me once. He went across the road and our tires rubbed with no harm.
    2009 Paralympic Fast-O-Meter: 3/8

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Actually, I think that's backward from everything I've been trained.

    If you press against the overlapped wheel, then when your tire clears the wheel, the support that was holding you up is suddenly gone, and you go over to the side where the wheel used to be instead.

    Instead, the technique I was taught is you pop off the wheel by a quick countersteer so you tap the wheel and come off the opposite direction.
    I suppose it depends on the contact-- a lot of times the rear wheel is coming across your front, and if you try to pop off it will still be coming at you (or staying on). When I've done it successfully I think it's always been as I described and the contact ended up lasting several seconds.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Actually, I think that's backward from everything I've been trained.

    If you press against the overlapped wheel, then when your tire clears the wheel, the support that was holding you up is suddenly gone, and you go over to the side where the wheel used to be instead.

    Instead, the technique I was taught is you pop off the wheel by a quick countersteer so you tap the wheel and come off the opposite direction.
    What causes you to fall is that, as your front tire rubs against the rear wheel, the opposite rotations of your front tire and the rear tire lift your front end off the road. When the front tire hits the road again, you are usually leaned over and you can't catch your bike and go down.

    You have to get away from the rear tire and most importantly, get your weight leaning away from the rear wheel. Theres not much you can do with steering in this situation, since your front wheel is in the air and bikes don't steer very well with the front wheel off the road. The only thing you can do is try to shift your weight away from the rear wheel in front of you.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  11. #11
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    What counts is that you won. Congrats!

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