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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-21-07, 06:30 PM   #1
marburg99
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Man down

Well, it finally happened. We got a little rain today, but not a lot, which made the streets pretty slick. The nice thing about the rain, was that it cooled things down a bit. I guess riding in 100 degree weather conditioned me somewhat because i was flying. I guess flying is relative, but i was going much faster than usual. Anyways, i broke the cardinal rule and decided to avoid a line of cars by getting on the sidewalk and cutting through a gas station. Dumb move. Crossing onto the sidewalk, i didnt notice the "lip" since it was covered by a little water-and i fell. Got back up, composed myself and proceeded through the gas station...slick oil...down again. It sucked the energy right out of me and made me somewhat skittish. Now i felt like i was riding on a sheet of ice. My questions are-which tire performs in wet weather and did crashing affect your style of riding? I have to add that i havent fallen off of a bike in years and i mt bike quite frequently too.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:50 PM   #2
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My Conti 2000s perform awesome in the wet or dry, however, they aren't the most rugged for commuting.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:02 PM   #3
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No tire is going to work well on an oil slick. I have never had a "bad" tire for wet riding, if anything the more aggressive the tread the worse it will be on wet pavement, mainly due to reduced contact patch. One of the reasons there are so many car crashes when it first starts raining is because the rain lifts the oil off the pavement and causes slick spots on the roadways (remember oil floats on water) after a while the oil washes down and the roads are less slick. As a general rule I will always slow down when it is raining.

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Old 08-21-07, 07:03 PM   #4
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I just fell off for the first time in years the other day. went to turn around in a parking lot, it was blacktop, it didn't look that new, but ws slick as ice. I just fell right over when I went to turn around. It made me take more care when in parking lots.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:36 PM   #5
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Rain I've not had issues with, if anything I just go slower and/or ride more cautiously. I don't have any particular brand to recommend.

I fell over today due to a still-clipped-in slamdunk. Was just talking to someone on the phone and had my "out" foot down, and just over balanced the wrong way, and seemed to just resign myself to falling despite the fact that I think I could've saved it, weird.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:19 PM   #6
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On pavement you're not going to do better than slicks. It's all about contact area. Lower tire pressure will help.
IMHO, tread is only good for two things; gripping loose material (gravel/dirt/mud/snow/ice) and on cars, channeling water away to avoid hydroplaning. You don't have to worry about hydroplaning on a bike; your PSI on the contact patch is huge and your speeds are slow compared to a car.

So if you're on pavement, slicks is going to be your best bet.

But as someone said, nothing's going to help versus an oil patch.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:38 PM   #7
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Rain I've not had issues with, if anything I just go slower and/or ride more cautiously. I don't have any particular brand to recommend.
There is your answer................. it's NOT the tires.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:48 PM   #8
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thanks...i guess i was just overzealous with the nice weather.
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Old 08-21-07, 11:08 PM   #9
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ive gone down on more than one occasion in the rain. i have started staying more upright in the turns when the road is wet and i also avoid paint like the plague. thats about the only real advice i can give you. wet roads have certainly gained my respect.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:50 AM   #10
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Rain I've not had issues with, if anything I just go slower and/or ride more cautiously. I don't have any particular brand to recommend.

I fell over today due to a still-clipped-in slamdunk. Was just talking to someone on the phone and had my "out" foot down, and just over balanced the wrong way, and seemed to just resign myself to falling despite the fact that I think I could've saved it, weird.
What were you doing talking on the phone while biking!?!?!?!
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Old 08-22-07, 09:35 AM   #11
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avoid paint like the plague
I avoid manholes covers like the plague after someone at my university ended up with more metal in his elbow than bone after slipping on one.
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Old 08-22-07, 10:40 AM   #12
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It happens. You have to slow down. Also I just wouldn't cut through a gas station on account of the oil slicks. Have you ever noticed there is one at every single pump? It is the same reason I won't ride through parking spots, there is usually a slick at one if not both ends of the spot. Now if I could just find a way to avoid the one in my driveway I could be oil slick free.

Watch out for wet leaves those are the things that have taken me out more than anything else. On the plus side I've noticed that sliding on wet pavement usually results in much less scraping and loss of skin; which I guess is the silver lining.
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Old 08-22-07, 10:43 AM   #13
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Avoid painted markings on the road, metal covers/grates, and definitely cellular telephone usage. Tires with sufficient silica content also seem to help. Best of luck and keep the shiny side up!
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Old 08-22-07, 10:50 AM   #14
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Depending on how long between rains, it can be super slick because of oily buildup on the roads. Here in Southern California, it tends to not rain all Summer. So by the time it does rain in the Fall, that first rain is like ice because all the oily buildup gets washed away.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:00 PM   #15
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+1 on riding more carefully. I'm not nearly as paranoid about wet pavement as about snow/slush, but I do tone down my riding style a little. I'd say I go just as fast on straight sections (even riding on painted lines and metal covers), but am really careful with any leans or turns. Worked for me so far. *knocks on wood*
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Old 08-22-07, 12:09 PM   #16
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Don't eat while riding either. I went down last winter while eating a sandwich. Encountered a sheet of ice.

There is almost nothing you can do with an oil slick. I went down a couple of weeks ago on my nice bike due to an oil slick. The road rash is still healing.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:53 PM   #17
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What were you doing talking on the phone while biking!?!?!?!
Well I expected this, and I know it's wrong, but I did it anyway (just like rolling a stop, or occasional reds - calculated risks). I was telling the guy whose office I just pulled up to that I was there - it was minimal/no danger to make the call, and I was only going walking speed or slower (which is why I fell in the first place - I just didn't balance myself to the proper side). I have and probably will again ride while on the phone, but that's my call - usually I pull over, sometimes I don't.

Flame away if that's what makes you feel better. It's not going to change what I do.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:18 AM   #18
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sorry to hear you went down. ouch.
As others have said, no tire will do too well on an oil slick....
that said, I've used a half dozen or so slicks, and they all act a bit different in the rain. My current Marathons feel the best, very secure in the wet. The Nimbus Armadillo were probably the worst in the wet.
Cheers
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Old 08-23-07, 08:20 AM   #19
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What were you doing talking on the phone while biking!?!?!?!
i yak on the phone while biking occasionally too. just slow it down & pay attention... it's okay, it's okay...
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Old 08-23-07, 10:02 AM   #20
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Flame away if that's what makes you feel better. It's not going to change what I do.
I'll just flame you for not mounting a bluetooth headset in your helmet. Hands-free voice dialing. Yak without slowing down. Keep your phone packed away dry in downpours. All of this can be yours.
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Old 08-23-07, 10:40 AM   #21
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I too get skittish on wet pavement. I jsut about slid into the back of a big truck the other day when my tires hit some really smooth ashphalt.
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Old 08-23-07, 10:45 AM   #22
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I avoid manholes covers like the plague after someone at my university ended up with more metal in his elbow than bone after slipping on one.
+1
I ended up sliding through and intersection on my leg after trying to turn on a manhole in the rain. Just scrapes and bruises, nothing broken.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:03 AM   #23
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rain = cautious cornering. other than that I pretty much ride the same way in the rain as I do when it's dry.
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Old 08-23-07, 12:17 PM   #24
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Crossing onto the sidewalk, i didnt notice the "lip" since it was covered by a little water-and i fell. Got back up, composed myself and proceeded through the gas station...slick oil...down again. It sucked the energy right out of me and made me somewhat skittish. Now i felt like i was riding on a sheet of ice.
That sucks. Last time I had a ride where I lost my wheels so much I was riding on...well...a sheet of ice last winter. Talk about an excessively un-fun commute.
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