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Old 06-02-08, 08:31 AM   #1
starla
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Cattle guards on the road...

Is it okay to ride over these on a road bike or should I walk it across? As in, am I going to do any damage to the bike? Here's what they look like for those who might not know what I'm talking about...



I ride on a country road that has three of these things in less than a mile.
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Old 06-02-08, 08:59 AM   #2
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I discovered these things last year. While models and upkeep seem to vary considerably, I followed the advice to ride over them at speed like RR tracks. It worked. I was on 23c racing tires, too.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:42 AM   #3
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If the guard is dry, then just ride straight across. If it's wet, then stop and walk.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:09 AM   #4
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I've usually slowed down to 10-15 mph for them on my race bike and maybe 20 mph on my cyclocross commuter. The one time I came across one unexpectedly while descending from Dead Horse Point, I bunny hopped it at about 45 mph. Damn near soiled myself doing it but braking would've been just as dangerous.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:21 AM   #5
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I discovered these things last year. While models and upkeep seem to vary considerably, I followed the advice to ride over them at speed like RR tracks. It worked. I was on 23c racing tires, too.
Yea, the one wrong thing to do is cross really slowly on the bike. Either walk or cross at speed. I'd be inclined ot walk if wet. Also it might be worth a one time inspection to be sure they are in good condition, as in no burrs or sharp spots, unlikely and even if they have that kind of problem you would likely be OK on any given crossing. But if on a regular route if there are rough spots you might eventually get unlucky and flat.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:31 PM   #6
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If you are wearing cleated shoes that don't have good walking soles, then ride over them or take your shoes off.
Those things + slick soles = broken ankles
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Old 06-02-08, 12:36 PM   #7
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Just ride over them. Keep up your speed and stay loose and light, just like you would for train tracks.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:44 PM   #8
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Ride 'em. I get off the saddle, because it's easier to stay loose on the bike that way. I have jumped them, but the timing has to be right on. I know of riders who always jump them.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:57 PM   #9
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wheelie.....?
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Old 06-02-08, 02:41 PM   #10
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Ride 'em. I get off the saddle, because it's easier to stay loose on the bike that way. I have jumped them, but the timing has to be right on. I know of riders who always jump them.
I do a ride in the New Forest most years and it is called the "Grid Iron" You pass in and out of the forest going over these cattle grids. No problems but can be slippy in the wet. Just hit them square on and out of the saddle.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:45 PM   #11
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Cool...thanks everyone. I rode over them, but it was a little jarring, so I wasn't sure if it would be okay for the bike to keep it up.
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Old 06-02-08, 04:05 PM   #12
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Have crossed hundreds of cattle guards on our tandem and single bike (we live in AZ). Lift butt a bit when crossing; cross at 10-14 mph. As stated: carefull when they're wet (as bad as wet RR trax).
On wider roads 2 or more cattle guards will be butted together. Do not ride where two sections meet . . . have actually dropped a wheel (years ago) into one of these section that were not properly butted against each other. . . fortunately front wheel caught on the quick release and ended up doing an unexpected paratrooper roll over the handle bars.
Yes, at speed have jumped a cattle guard on single bike.
So yes, you can cross a cattle guard safely (usually).
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Old 06-02-08, 05:46 PM   #13
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An old acquaintance of mine would like me to tell you that you should absolutely not, under any circumstances pop a wheelie while turning the front wheel sideways on one of these things. Bad things happen. Very bad things. Emergency room bad things......

He really wasn't that brilliant of a fellow actually.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:58 PM   #14
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If you are going about 20mph they are pretty easy to bunnyhop.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:50 AM   #15
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I've usually slowed down to 10-15 mph for them on my race bike and maybe 20 mph on my cyclocross commuter. The one time I came across one unexpectedly while descending from Dead Horse Point, I bunny hopped it at about 45 mph. Damn near soiled myself doing it but braking would've been just as dangerous.
exact same thing happened to me in jax hole, wy. and right after, i almost hit 2 grouse that wouldn't move. missed them by a couple of inches.
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Old 06-05-08, 07:36 AM   #16
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An old acquaintance of mine would like me to tell you that you should absolutely not, under any circumstances pop a wheelie while turning the front wheel sideways on one of these things. Bad things happen. Very bad things. Emergency room bad things......

He really wasn't that brilliant of a fellow actually.
I have a feeling this fellow was more than an acquaintance...
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