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Old 05-12-09, 10:43 PM   #1
tjwarren
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Ever have a blow-out while you were riding?

I see a fair amount of posts from people telling of how their tire blew out when the bike was just sitting there. It seems that if tires are that prone to blowing out, that it would occasionally happen while it was being ridden.

Has anyone here had that happen to them? Is it as catastrophic as it seems it would be?
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Old 05-12-09, 10:57 PM   #2
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I can only think of a couple times when my tires went flat when the bike wasn't moving, probably from little pieces of debris which caused a slow leak.

Had lots of flats while riding over the years. Be calm, don't panic, don't overcorrect your steering, keep the bike straight, don't hit the brakes too hard, slow down easily.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:19 PM   #3
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That's just it, you hear of slow flats while riding and blow-outs while standing still. It seems like you'd occasionally get a blow-out while you're moving.

I imagine it'd really ruin your day to have a blow-out while moving. Particularly when you're descending. I'm just wondering if the reality is as bad as I imagine it to be.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:37 PM   #4
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Wife and I were test riding a tandem when both front and rear tires blew out at relatively low speed. We (I) ran over a very nasty piece of gravel and I think the tires were a bit underinflated for our weight. Probably couldn't do this again in 1000 tries.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:26 AM   #5
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I had a tube blow due to rim heat from braking.


Fortunately I'd just pulled off the trail: The Mammoth Kamikaze downhill.
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Old 05-13-09, 06:49 AM   #6
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I mounted a modern high-pressure tire on an older, unhooked, rim a few years ago. About 20 miles later the tube snuck out from under the bead and blew out with a big pop. In my case, it was not hard to slow the bike down. But it seems like if you hit it wrong it send you into the ditch. It was fairly scary and changed my cavalier attitude about matching rims and tires.

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Old 05-13-09, 09:49 AM   #7
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I can only think of a couple times when my tires went flat when the bike wasn't moving, probably from little pieces of debris which caused a slow leak.

Had lots of flats while riding over the years. Be calm, don't panic, don't overcorrect your steering, keep the bike straight, don't hit the brakes too hard, slow down easily.
+1 Never had something so catastrophic happen that stuff flew up and I bailed. Had worse stuff happen w/ panniers, etc.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:22 AM   #8
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I once had a blowout with my bicycle in my bedroom. It was the middle of the night, so the noise woke me up and scared me. I hadn't seated the tire properly.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:49 AM   #9
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I had a rear tire blow out from overheating on a descent from bad braking technique - only made that mistake once.

The front would be a lot scarier; another reason to always have your best tire on the front.

Again, you don't get blowouts from thorns and glass, you get them from bad rims, or bad wornout tires, or badly seated tires, or bad braking technique on hot days. If your front tire goes soft around a downhill corner (from a thorn e.g.) you might be able to hold it together, if it blows out you're going down.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:49 AM   #10
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Blowouts...while moving or not...are a part of cycling. Sometimes it will take you down no matter what you do, but in most cases it's no big deal...unless you panic and do something stupid.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:56 AM   #11
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I had a front tire blow-out on a fast descending left turn(really sharp rock aka an axe head). In an instant, with no time to react, I was literally standing on my head, sliding, still attached to the bike. I was able to release the bike, sending it flying another 20-30 feet, before I came out of the headstand. Surprisingly, the only damage to me and the bike was a bent handlebar. I love mountain biking.
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Old 05-13-09, 11:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
Has anyone here had that happen to them? Is it as catastrophic as it seems it would be?
Yes.
No.

Yes, my rear tire blew while I was riding.
No, it wasn't all that catastrophic ... just a bit startling because of the noise.
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Old 05-13-09, 11:35 AM   #13
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If it happens, you want it to happen on the rear wheel. A flat front tire affects handling but not rear.

I think it's usually not catastrophic because the height of a tire isn't much. It's a lot in on a car tire.
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Old 05-13-09, 11:41 AM   #14
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I have had many flats over the years. I think I have had very few while the bike was just sitting there and those were the old small holes and slow kind.

As for flats whilst riding, the big majority have been rear tire. Having a rear flat does not affect the steering as much so they are not that big of a deal. They are a bigger pain to take off then the front wheel.

I have had very few flats that went from fully inflated to fully flat is a fraction of a second. Most flats take a little time to go fully flat so one has the warning of a soft tire and time to think about stopping.

I have never had a flat that was catastrophic.

I suppose a flat on a high speed descent on a steep moutain pass could be castastrophic. But even then it would have to be a front flat and happen fast. I have ridden such on vacations but steep mountain passes are a bit scarce in central FL.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:07 PM   #15
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Couple times, I hit a pot hole with a lot of force. It was an instant flat on my front tire. Not a disaster. Once I was doing a descent while passing thru Big Sur.. That scared the hell out of me.. But, I kept control It was the front of course.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:21 PM   #16
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Thanks for all of the responses. I guess I figured that, if it happened on the front wheel, the tire would roll and you'd go down. It's nice to hear that that's not necessarily what'll happen.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:23 PM   #17
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A normal puncture with a thorn or the like will make you realise that something is wrong and you can normally stop with just a bit of air still the tyre. BUT Snakebites go down immediately. Had plenty of them on the rear of the tandem when the pilot hasn't warned of rocks or holes in the trail. Only ever had one on the front though and don't want another. 35mph on a rocky descent and that one hurt. Instant down and over.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:23 PM   #18
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I'll bite. What is the proper braking technique on hot days to keep from popping tires?
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Old 05-13-09, 12:27 PM   #19
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I have had mine flatten while traveling above 30mph. That was interesting.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:40 PM   #20
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I'll bite. What is the proper braking technique on hot days to keep from popping tires?
Steep long downhills are the only place where you can get a rim hot enough to cause problems.

So Get up to high speed and brake hard to bring speed down below what you want. Release brakes and let speed rise- then brake hard again.

The other way is to alternate between front and rear braking.

The one thing you do not want to do is to keep the brakes on all the way down the hill.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:54 PM   #21
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OP, are you concerned b/c you're visualizing the tire coming off the rim after a blowout? Most stories I hear & when it's happened to me, that d/n happen.
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Old 05-13-09, 01:03 PM   #22
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I imagine it'd really ruin your day to have a blow-out while moving. Particularly when you're descending. I'm just wondering if the reality is as bad as I imagine it to be.
I've had plenty of rear flats, but only one real blow-out. It was the front tire, on a descent, about 30mph. I hit a stray chunk of broken concrete in the road just right--instant pinch flat. The tire evacuated all of its air in about 1 second. Luckily, I was able to brake slowly and pull over without incident. This road was dead straight. Had it happened on a curve, I'm sure the results would have been drastically different.

So, yeah, not necessarily as catastrophic as you might think. I always thought that scenario would be a recipe for disaster, until it actually happened...(knock on wood).
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Old 05-13-09, 02:56 PM   #23
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Usually a true blowout will blow the tire out of the rim and that's a lot harder situation to control than just an instant flat. Sometimes the blown off tire will snag on the brake or something and your wheel will lock up too.
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Old 05-13-09, 03:16 PM   #24
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i've had a unicycle tire blow out while riding. Tire blew off the rim, that is, went BANG!, didn't actually blow a hole in the tire, just a big hole in the tube. Riding 4 mph, the damage wasn't too catastropic.
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Old 05-13-09, 03:36 PM   #25
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Back tire hit glass.... big boom, just so happened I was going about 45mph down a mountain road, eased the brakes and prayed... was a lucky day for me NO Crash!! Used a dollar bill and new tube to repair, rode the 30 or so miles home.
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