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Thread: tires & water?

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    tires & water?

    Yesterday was 68 degrees & today we are getting snow & the roads are wet so no riding today, it's off to the gym instead.

    Since this is my first road bike & there is "NO" tread on the tires I was just wondering; how well do these bikes do in rain?

    I know this spring & summer I'll get caught in a rain storm so I might as well know what the heck to do before crashing and finding out.

    I know race cars with slicks don't do well at all & my personal car when the tires are getting bad don't do well either, so I'm assuming bike tires are the same?
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Bike tires are too narrow to hydroplane. Tread is important in dirt. On a road tire the only real purpose of tread is psychological. Most people just can't accept that they don't need it.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Pat
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    I have ridden quite a bit in the rain.

    I make it a practice to stop and wait things out if the rain is so intense that I can not see. But that takes a cloudburst and those do not last long.

    Tread pattern really has no effect. A road bike tire is far too narrow for the tread to channel away water and avoid hydroplaning. I suspect that the tread pattern on bike tires is there mainly for the cosmetic appeal (that is to get the customers to buy the tire) and not for any particular practical reason. I could be wrong.

    However, in automobiles, hydroplaning starts at around 50 mph. I have don't think I have ever had an instance of hydroplaning on a bike or even heard of one. Maybe you could get it if you built up a whole bunch of speed on a steep hill and then hit a section of road that had a couple of inches ofn water on it.

    The major problem with riding in the rain, is the brakes do not grab until the brake pads burn the water off of the rims (or is it wipe the water off the rims?). This takes a little time, so it is good to come into stops and lightly hit the brakes a few times before you get there.

    Another problem with wet riding is corners. I take corners a bit slower than normal.

    I once wet down on wet pavement while turning at a very low speed.

    I did go down once while turning at a very low speed on wet pavement. It felt like hitting a piece of wet ice (I have done that too when I rode in MI). I think it must have been a bit of oil that the water had floated off of the road surface. But that was an isolated incident.

    By in large, bicycles handle pretty well on wet roads. I think they do better on wet roads than autos do.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Bike tires are too narrow to hydroplane. Tread is important in dirt. On a road tire the only real purpose of tread is psychological. Most people just can't accept that they don't need it.
    I doubt that tread makes much difference on hard packed dirt either. Exposed roots and rocks are another story.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The cross section of a bike tire automatically moves water out of the way to the side. The automobile tire is wider and flat and water can't get out from under it, thus hydroplaning. Tread on car tires is designed to pump the water out from under the tires.

    On MTB tires tread may be useless but knobs shure do help on dirt. I'm not sure that knobs equate to tread?........

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    There are other things to watch out for when riding in the rain.

    To name just a few, manhole covers get very slippery when wet as do railroad tracks and painted lines.

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    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Compare the overall size of the bike tire contact patch to the size of the tread patterns on a car tire. The bike tire is comparable to one rib of the car tire's tread.

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    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    ...
    By in large, bicycles handle pretty well on wet roads. I think they do better on wet roads than autos do.
    I agree, but in either case you have less traction on a wet road. I fell hard on my bike once on an asphalt road with lots of embedded gravel, a surface where I thought being wet wouldn't matter much. And that was back when I ran tires with a slight tread.

    Be careful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by byte_speed View Post

    Be careful.
    I think that is the secret right there, just need to watch a little closer to what you are riding over.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix

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    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    I did go down once while turning at a very low speed on wet pavement. It felt like hitting a piece of wet ice (I have done that too when I rode in MI). I think it must have been a bit of oil that the water had floated off of the road surface. But that was an isolated incident.

    By in large, bicycles handle pretty well on wet roads. I think they do better on wet roads than autos do.[/QUOTE]

    Today, travelling right along her in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I saw, very late, a patch of ice and snow, I tensed up and rode through it, but it was a bit disoncerting, as I had pictures in my mind of sliding through and hitting something. Thereby damaging my bike, really didn't think of killing myself.

  11. #11
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    Also, keep in mind that you'll have a LOT more flats on wet roads.
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    One thing that has not been mentioned- Is the quality of the rubber. I use 23 tyres and Now use Michelin Pro Race 2's. I like the feel of them. I had a set of Vrederstein Fortezzias and I found they slipped on damp surfaces that do not affect the PR2's. Recently I bought a new bike with Michelin Lithions on it. They were changed after a couple of damp rides to the PR2's again. And my one experience of Kenda tyres was promising. They stuck like Glue- Unfortunately they also caused drag through their stickiness- but never had a slip with them though.

    There is a lot more to tyres than the size- and some of these Expensive "Race" Tyres have a reason for their Expensive price- They work.
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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Some companies make softer compound tires for the wet or cold conditions, and you can also run lower air pressure in the wet. You can also get studded mtb tires or snow chains for ice.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    There are other things to watch out for when riding in the rain.

    To name just a few, manhole covers get very slippery when wet as do railroad tracks and painted lines.
    +1

    Especially railroad tracks. The worst.

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