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Old 08-03-09, 11:04 AM   #1
Laggard
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Ever get that flat feeling?

My teammates and I used to discuss this event and never figured it out. You're riding along on a flat surface when suddenly it feels like you are losing air. You get off your bike expecting a flat or a leaky tire only to find that all is fine.


What is going on? In 20 years I've yet to understand this.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:19 AM   #2
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All the time. I think my inner ear plays games with me. Gives the feeling that the bike is squirming.

More often then not I'm feeling really slow and think the tires have gone down or the brakes are rubbing, though. Never is the case, I'm just slow.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:45 AM   #3
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For me, it has been a sense of squirming that is either real or imagined. Having had enough flats that I let progress to advanced squirminess, perhaps I overreact and imagine things. I would say it happens sometime at least every other ride, if not every ride. A glance back at the rear wheel contact patch is reassuring, and I barely slow down. I tend to think that I hit a spot with just a tad bit less traction, and my flat-paranoid brain screams out. I have even stopped the bike because sand or dirt sounded like air escaping - having had a 35mph front tire deflation once, anything that sounds like air escaping really gets my attention fast. Since converting to armadillo tires, I haven't a single flat in months, but my paranoia persists.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:43 PM   #4
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That's happened to me occasionally.

Get off, check tire, it seems fine.

Perhaps this is a sign of worrying too much, or maybe I hit a patch of dark energy (74% of the universe...).
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Old 08-03-09, 12:54 PM   #5
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I had that feeling once. They had just repaved the path near me, and evidently they opened it before it was totally cured. I got off of the bike to check what was wrong and instantly knew what was going on without even checking the tire - my feet were even sticking to the fresh asphalt.

I wasn't causing any deformations in the asphalt so it was MOSTLY cured, however not totally and it was like riding my bike on a path made of fly paper. Very weird feeling.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:06 PM   #6
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I had this often for a year or so after I crashed from a rapid flat during a fast turn. I chalk it up to paranoia, and the variations in road conditions. Eventually the feeling went away.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:07 PM   #7
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I get it in the car way more than on the bike.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:24 PM   #8
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I've always attributed it to pavement irregularities (wobbly pavement that is difficult to see while on the bike), or how I'm handling the bike.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:46 PM   #9
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I do get that "I've got a flat" feeling every now and again. I don't understand it either.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:53 PM   #10
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Glad this is common. I find it usually lasts only a short distance.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:12 PM   #11
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I do get that "I've got a flat" feeling every now and again. I don't understand it either.
me too, hardly believe it when I get off and squeeze the (fully inflated) tyre... oh I only experience this on the rear wheel... wierd stuff

p.s cool thread, I would never have thought about bringing this to discussion as I always thought it was "just me" (as most others do I imagine)
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Old 08-03-09, 02:51 PM   #12
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Happens to me too. I figure it's because i've used up all my energy.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:03 PM   #13
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Oh good I'm not crazy.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:11 PM   #14
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glad im not crazy either
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Old 08-03-09, 03:15 PM   #15
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me too, hardly believe it when I get off and squeeze the (fully inflated) tyre... oh I only experience this on the rear wheel... wierd stuff
yep- all false alarms have all been the rear wheel.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:23 PM   #16
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I'm going to try and recreate it. Next time it happens I'll turn around and ride the same section. This must be solved for the sanity of all the worlds cyclists!
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Old 08-03-09, 06:25 PM   #17
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I've ridden over a few stretches of grooved pavement where the back tire makes a wallowing noise. Very disconcerting and it seems like it slows me down.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:40 PM   #18
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I guess if you ride enough, you get that slow feeling once in a while and the squirmy feeling from time to time!
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Old 08-03-09, 07:12 PM   #19
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I find if you get off the bike and get back on, all is well.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:07 PM   #20
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Yeah. But I also get phantom vibrates from my cellphone: even when it's not in my pocket.

My brain sucks.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:10 AM   #21
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Happens to me too. Maybe it's my horribly out of true wheel.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:56 AM   #22
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had a newly rebuilt wheel put on the bike recently and was freaked out by a rather loud popping sound. thought oh no a blowout. nope just a rock pinched out to the side. tire was fine. I did feel a little foolish standing there checking my not-flat tire. just a little over-protective of my new wheel. oh well.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:02 AM   #23
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Yeah. But I also get phantom vibrates from my cellphone: even when it's not in my pocket.

My brain sucks.
I get those, too. FML.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:42 AM   #24
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Yeah. But I also get phantom vibrates from my cellphone: even when it's not in my pocket.

My brain sucks.
You too? Ha!

As for the bike thing, I find it sometimes happens when I hit a patch of smoother-than-usual road surface. I ride a rigid, small-framed aluminum bike with skinny tires, so any excessive smoothness has me worrying.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:46 AM   #25
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Yeah. But I also get phantom vibrates from my cellphone: even when it's not in my pocket.

My brain sucks.
Me too! Funny thing is that I frequently don't feel the real phone vibrations. I am known for my loud, obnoxious ring tones.
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