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  1. #1
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    If a tire blows out...

    how likely are you to fall off the bike? Do tires often blow out suddenly, or do leaks happen slowly, giving you time to stop the bike? If the tire blows out suddenly, is there any way not to fall?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Naw... you don't usually fall unless a conflagration of events conspires to have your tire blow out while, say, you are going down a hill at 40 mph and around a corner and lose the front tire. You shouldn't be falling off very much.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Had this happen to me once. Fortunately I was going straight as opposed to turning, at maybe about 10 mph. Heard a load "bang", and didn't even realize it was me until the tire went flat a couple of seconds later and I started riding on the rim. The biggest pain was having to walk the bike home, but that was only about a mile.

  4. #4
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    HAd a front blow up while slowing down to a stop sign (good thing I wasn't running it), it blew at about 10 mph. It was a little squirrely, but stopped ok.
    Not too much to say here

  5. #5
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    I hit a pothole at ~30 mph going down a hill. The front tire got pinched and flatted immediately (non-Tufo tire). I was able to slow to a stop.

    About 5 months ago, I went into a 90 degree turn and apparently my rim tape moved and pinched my inner tube causing an immediate flat (again, non-Tufo tire). As soon as the aluminum rim touched pavement, it was like being on ice. I went down. The bike slide across the travel lanes. Fortunately, I had the light, so all traffic was stopped behind me. I picked myself and the bike up and went back to the corner to survey the damage and to see if there was something in the road that caused the flat. Nada. Betcha it looked pretty stupid to the cagers looking on.

    That was the first time I had major road rash from a crash.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  6. #6
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    Have had at least 40 flats (about half blow-outs) in the last couple years, never crashed.

    Did have one scary moment when my front wheel got too hot after a long descent and the tube failed (scary because it was loud).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^
    That seems high. And half of them blowouts? What tire pressure do you run? I've had, maybe 7 this year riding 4-5 times a weeks for 9 of 12 months. That's a high for me: of the seven, five of them came in a one week period (Tuesday to Tuesday) where I puctured 5 separate and independent times (razor blade, two rocks, a tiny wire, and a construction staple) on my commute route, including one blowout caused by running over the razor blade - a bad stretch of luck to say the least.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  8. #8
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer View Post
    About 5 months ago, I went into a 90 degree turn and apparently my rim tape moved and pinched my inner tube causing an immediate flat (again, non-Tufo tire). As soon as the aluminum rim touched pavement, it was like being on ice. I went down.
    I had a similar experience on a cruiser bike with a 2.25-26 tire.
    The seams split in the tube with a huge bang I can only suppose
    due to cheepness, and in about .05 of second the tire was rolling off the
    rim. because I was going so slow I didnt crash but Im sure I would have
    with any momentum. It still spooks me everytime I go fast now, even
    on good bikes

  9. #9
    Slow Swimmer HQQKEM's Avatar
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    My first road bike, and I didn't know any better, had worn out tires when I bought it. One morning as I was doing laps around my neighborhood, I leaned into a right hand turn and POW!!! the sidewall on the front tire blows out. I began to right the bike, and of course couldn't make the turn and wound up flying over the handlebars and landing on my back in a neighbor's yard. No real harm, just a bit of adrenaline and I was pissed because I had to walk over a mile home.
    The Loch Ness Texan

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    This is a good argument for Sheldon Brown's version of bicycle tire rotation:

    1) Start with two new tires on the bike.
    2) When the rear tire wears down, move the front to the rear, and buy a new tire for the front.
    3) Repeat step 2. This way, you will always have the newer and presumably safer tire in the more critical front position.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  11. #11
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    My scariest moment ever was in the middle of an unsupported solo double century, out in the middle of nowhere, on a freeway shoulder on a long straight steep-ish downhill descent I'm coasting at about 55mph when the rear tire blew. It took several hundred yards to come to a stop while the rear end bounced around wildly on the rim. All the while I'm focusing on braking smoothly with the front while trying to stay up and telling myself "don't panic, don't panic"

    It took me a good 20 minutes sitting on the side of the road before I was calm enough to start repairs. Rear rim dented, warped, and mangled edges which took a little effort with the pliers to straighten out enough to hold a bead. I got going again on the spare tire and new tube, with a slight up-down wobble in the rear. At least I got home under my own steam.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I was making a right turn at speed, 20mph or so, and my rear tire suddenly blew out. I didn't really fall off the bike, but rode it to the pavement on my right side. I ended up with a bad patch of road rash in my right shin and lots of pain. The bike ended up needed a new rear wheel built.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member FarAwayBoy's Avatar
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    I once had had to blow outs on one ride. Luckily I had extra tubes and so I just swapped tubes and pumped them up. I didn't fall off either time and one was at quite a speed as well. The sacriest thing about blow-outs is that it sounds alot like a gunshot. So when it happened my first thought was "oh god, someone's shooting at me."

  14. #14
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Cyclaholic coasting at about 55mph when the rear tire blew. It took several hundred yards to come to a stop while the rear end bounced around wildly on the rim. All the while I'm focusing on braking smoothly with the front while trying to stay up and telling myself "don't panic, don't panic"

    It took me a good 20 minutes sitting on the side of the road before I was calm enough to start repairs. QUOTE]


    55 mph??

    yeah 10-4 on 20 minutes to calm down. I would've needed 1 hr. 20 min.


    Havent had nothing like that happen, but I did have a blow out on a sidewalk once. Doing about 15 and boom. Got squirrely and went off the edge of the sidewalk, which was on a knoll. I fell off the bike and rolled and rolled, right on down the hill into a ditch. I must've rolled about 30 feet. I was juiced on xanax from my recent heart surgery, so I did'nt even try to stop myself. I just kept on rolling, thinking WTF.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  15. #15
    Bikes are good El Julioso's Avatar
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    I've never quite fallen as a result of blown tires, but I have dented some good rims that way. Worst was on an off-road downhill that alternated between tar-and-chip and dirt sections. I noticed that my rear end kept on coming around on the tar-and-chip sections, and I had to do a lot of countersteering to stay upright, but I thought it was just a result of the rain at first. It was honestly a lot of fun. Then I slowed down and started to feel the thumping of the blown tire. At least I was towards the edge of the woods and didn't have far to walk.

  16. #16
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    My scariest moment . . . coasting at about 55mph when the rear tire blew . . .telling myself "don't panic, don't panic" . . ..
    I would have already been within easy sight of panic going downhill at 55 MPH let alone the extra excitement of blowing a tire!

    I've only blown a bike tire twice. Both experiences were very tame. Blowing a trike rear this summer was more exciting since it happened on a sharpish downhill curve with me already close of the edge of full control.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  17. #17
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    blown tire?

    I've only blown two....in 40+ years and both were in the last 6000+ miles. I have since switched to wider Schwalbe tires 700x 41 mm actual on my rims. The tires that I blew were both 32mm wide and I had one other flat on a 23mm tire that ruined the tube. I weigh 260 so I need and want a wide, high volume, lower pressure tire, both for comfort and carefree riding, without concern for terrain and/or flatting.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My rear tire blew (loudly) underneath me on one ride long ago. Aside from the fact that I nearly fell off the bicycle from fright, I had no problem remaining on the bicycle and keeping the bicycle upright. However, most of my flats are slower leaks.

  19. #19
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I've had two blowouts ever.... one was while the bike was sitting in the living room... the sidewall failed and the tube blew out. Sounded like a gunshot! I look around the corner, and my wife is sitting on the couch with this shocked look on her face. Then I notice the speckles. Green speckles. All over EVERYTHING. The wife, the coffee table, the laptop, the couch, the wall... even the ceiling.

    Yup, the tire had slime in it! That was fun.

    The other was while riding... a 6" long piece of metal (Looked like a knitting needle) went in one side of my rear tire and out the other... bent into a U shape, and went Ting, ting, ting, ting... hitting every time the tire went around. It happened on a downhill where I was doing about 25 mph. Got the bike stopped no problem, had to put a new tube in (There's NO way slime is gonna fix THAT hole!) and boot the tire with a dollar bill. Rode on it for 3 days like that till I could get to Performance and grab a new tire.

    Every other flat I've ever had was either a slow leak or a pinch flat. Never crashed due to a flat. (Crashed for lots of other reasons, though!)
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I like John E's idea of keeping your tires somewhat new. Still, nails , etc can cause flats in the newest of tires. / Most flats are slow leakers. A minority are rapid. Those fast leakers usually don't cause one to fall off your bike. One exception was a rapid deflation while doing a steep downhill in Big Sur. Scared the hell out of me. Never been the same on going downhill, ever since. Some how I kept control. Had I lost control , it only would have been several hundred feet fall, over the cliff, down to the sea below.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    ^^^
    That seems high. And half of them blowouts? What tire pressure do you run?

    A lot of the blowouts were due to me seeing a trail on a ride and "needing" to know where it goes. A few of the blowouts were actually just gnarly snakebites while offroading or just riding hard (jumping curbs, steps, etc) on my track bike or fixed wheel commuter (23c @90lbs on track and 35c@65-70lbs on my commuter). A couple were on my vintage bikes (old tubes). One was due to a tire failure on my 27" coaster brake play bike.

  22. #22
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I get flats, and I fall off my bikes. Very rarely are the two related.


    If you're worried about both flats and falling off your bike, run wider and more flat resistant tires or add Mr. Tuffys,

    and stay diligent about maintaining proper tire inflation.

    Anecdotally, I fell off my bike on Christmas -not flat related - and got a flat about three weeks ago commuting- a shard of glass punctured thru the 2 layer overlap of a Mr. tuffys.

    I think you just need to prepare for the eventuality of crashes and flats occuring and roll with it.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  23. #23
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I hit a grate once going down hill and got two flats. I didn't fall despite my bike being heavily laden with fresh flowers to sell.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    how likely are you to fall off the bike? Do tires often blow out suddenly, or do leaks happen slowly, giving you time to stop the bike? If the tire blows out suddenly, is there any way not to fall?
    Just try and remember NOT to brake the blown wheel---jf you have the presence of mind and the time
    This especially applies with a flat or blow out at speed----just ease the brake on the intact wheel and you should be ok most times

  25. #25
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    3 weeks ago I had a rear tire blow out...coming down a steep grade here in Colorado...I was doing about 40 mph. suddenly my rear end made a shotgun sound and then just started sliding all over the place...i had like 2 seconds to make a decision so I leaned to my right and slammed to the pavement ...cracking a rib and getting the worst strawberry and road rash on my upper thigh... it looked like a grapefruit ...I jumped up and got off the road...it was my first crash ever ( I'm 48) ...it was really scary. It taught me a couple of things ...be more aware of whats ahead ...when I'm flying down a mountain ...I go a little slower now...both hands on the bars...I just mentally prepare( just in case) it happens again ... I just kept my head up .,..when I hit and skidded about 30 feet or so...leaving a little of me all over the road. 3 weeks later ...the rash has healed ...but mentally I think about it every time I come down that 4 mile stretch. People talk about easing the brake...a blowout at 40mph? not possible...my back end went nuts...be ready to ditch...just in case.

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