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Pedal Strike

Old 05-08-13, 11:31 PM
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Pedal Strike

So I'm rolling in hot to a right hand sweeper followed by a sharp left hand. Probably hit the left hand curve (a bit off camber at that, high left and low right) at about 15 mph and whoops, next thing I'm thinking locked rear wheel and I'm landing hard on my right side as in bang and down hard. Probably knocked me out for 2-3 seconds and I could hardly breathe when I thought. Damn. Took three breaths and thought 911 or the S.O. I thought about it for a few more seconds and figured all the parts worked and no bones were broken (so I hoped) and called the S.O. (still at work 2 miles away). Seat pointed left and bars pointed right. Checked everything out and then thought. Oops...pedal strike. Sure enough...left hand pedal, lower forward has the asphalt gouges. How stupid am I?

I've been riding the Colnago for months, it has nice tight TIME pedals. Switching to the old classic Centurion Super LeMans and I never gave it a thought.

I decide to take the Centurion out for a spin and..well..been a while since I struck a pedal but I bit this one hard..I distinctly recall powering through the curves and leaning left without a thought or a care in the world. The SL has old school aluminum rat traps with clips and I was in somewhat loose with court shoes..but keechrist that hurt. Pulled my right groin, jammed my lower right rib cage, chipped a tooth, and road rashed from knee to shoulder here and there and a nasty hip pointer. The Bell helmet has right side scratches and a dent. I figure it saved me from a cracked skull and whatever that would've brought. The wife would've killed me if that happened. Lesson learned is there's a hell of difference between the two bikes and I learned that hard way. Pedal clearance never even crossed my mind.

And this was to be a "recovery ride". Sheesh .







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Old 05-08-13, 11:35 PM
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Answer: You are "VERY Stupid!"
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Old 05-09-13, 12:37 AM
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I pedal strike too often on my Centurion, a lot of them just have low bottom brackets! But I feel that being loose on the bars usually saves me from going down, and I tend to power only the outside pedal in curves, just in case. Good luck on your recovery~
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Old 05-09-13, 04:09 AM
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I have sold every bike with a low Bottom Bracket for exactly this problem. One more reason never to even look at a Centurion. Hope you recover, stay safe.
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Old 05-09-13, 04:33 AM
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Ouch.

Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 05-09-13, 04:56 AM
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sounds like a pretty bad fall. glad nothing's broken, hope your rib heals within a couple weeks and hope the bike is ok too.

i've done this before with velo orange 'city' pedals, but part of the pedal chipped off and i recovered my balance. scared the hell out of me though.

get well, jimbo.
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Old 05-09-13, 05:00 AM
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Aww that looks very sore.

Get well soon and hope your ribs dont hurt too much.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:04 AM
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Road rash sucks. Have fun picking! Glad you are OK and consider having yourself checked for the suspect concussion.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:27 AM
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It's not a fixed gear...so why were you still spinning ( and leaning) into a corner?

Glad nothing was broken....but inside pedal up next time
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Old 05-09-13, 07:31 AM
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Crashes. Don't do them. Feel better sooner.
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Old 05-09-13, 07:33 AM
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Been there, done that. I don't pedal through corners anymore either.
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Old 05-09-13, 07:48 AM
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1. Get better soon.
2. We didn't need the body shots.
3. I never spin through a really tight corner. Inside pedal stays up. I struck a pedal on my UO8 once many years ago. Hit so hard it bent the crank arm. Fortunately I didn't go down. It taught me a lesson. Take it to heart - don't do it again!
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Old 05-09-13, 08:00 AM
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Lesson learned the hard way.

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 05-09-13, 08:19 AM
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It sure is a RUDE awakening, isn't it? Always an unexpected jolt. Hope you heal up well.
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Old 05-09-13, 08:31 AM
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Yikes! Get better soon.


Silver lining: you get a new helmet.
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Old 05-09-13, 09:59 AM
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Ouch - that's a lot of rash! Hope the body recovers quickly

I hadn't hung a pedal in years until last summer; luckily for me and the Davidson, I simply got away with this after putting the hammer down a little too early coming out of a left-hander:



As your pics so painfully illustrate, it could've been worse

DD
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Old 05-09-13, 10:28 AM
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Ouch! I've never hit a pedal, and hope I never do. Hope all is OK and heal up quickly!
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Old 05-09-13, 10:41 AM
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Raleigh once marketed bikes with lower bottom brackets as their "Safety" and "Safety First" line. I guess they were thinking of lower bicycles and not pedal strikes. I coast in the turns with the appropriate pedal up, but there's a litany of things that can go wrong with even a basic ride, whether it be pedal strike or something else. It is good you have no permanent injuries. You're right about the helmet. It's probably time for me to convert to wearing one too. I have one on the way on order.
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Old 05-09-13, 11:52 AM
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Update.

The Centurion BB height at crankshaft centerline appears to be ~10.5", same as Colnago (I'll square up with right angle and check) and crank arms are of similar length ~170mm. Time pedals are narrower, swoop up on outside. Rat traps are wider, very angular. I'll measure everything EXACTLY.

I checked the crash site out of morbid curiousity. All the marks are there: Left side pedal strike in pavement, rear tire streak and corresponding mark on tire, marks on pavement as bike went down (right side), marks on bike (right side seat, right side bars, right side pedal as bike slid). My marks are there too: I flew about 22' through air before I hit, then I slide another 7-8 feet. My speed was likely 17-18 mph. The curve does have a bit of reverse camber which means the pavement slopes down to the right (no super elevation).

Helmet inner foam (like sytrofoam) is cracked clear through from exterior hard shell glueline to inner side of foam. The crack is 2" above and slightly behind my right temple. Hardshell is abraded but not cracked. That inner foam is just under an inch thick. While it is near the skull, the helmet actually rests (on your head) on narrow foam strips. Helmet is a 2011 Bell Crux purchased at Costco.


Helmet goes bye bye. Did its job.
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Old 05-09-13, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jseis
Update.

The Centurion BB height at crankshaft centerline appears to be ~10.5", same as Colnago (I'll square up with right angle and check) and crank arms are of similar length ~170mm. Time pedals are narrower, swoop up on outside. Rat traps are wider, very angular. I'll measure everything EXACTLY.

I checked the crash site out of morbid curiousity. All the marks are there: Left side pedal strike in pavement, rear tire streak and corresponding mark on tire, marks on pavement as bike went down (right side), marks on bike (right side seat, right side bars, right side pedal as bike slid). My marks are there too: I flew about 22' through air before I hit, then I slide another 7-8 feet. My speed was likely 17-18 mph. The curve does have a bit of reverse camber which means the pavement slopes down to the right (no super elevation).

Helmet inner foam (like sytrofoam) is cracked clear through from exterior hard shell glueline to inner side of foam. The crack is 2" above and slightly behind my right temple. Hardshell is abraded but not cracked. That inner foam is just under an inch thick. While it is near the skull, the helmet actually rests (on your head) on narrow foam strips. Helmet is a 2011 Bell Crux purchased at Costco.


Helmet goes bye bye. Did its job.
Pedal strike was a typical criterium race problem in the 70's. So much so that guys who could got a "criterium" bike with a high bottom bracket, myself included. This is when Campagnolo pedals were ubiquitous. Some things guys did was go to 165 mm cranks, plastic pedal dust caps (they tended to launch less and grind down more). Remember your C&V bike can lean more to the left than the right.
My criterium machine had an 11" high bottom bracket, and 167.5 cranks, Campagnolo SL Pista pedals. With that the only guy who could pedal deeper in a corner was the guy with a Schroder that had an 11.5" high bracket. To others who had not learned, I would pedal through and I would hear the soundtrack of a pedal stuffing into the pavement behind me. It did not win races, but made it easier.

One thing I have done is while at a stand still, and still semi seated place the crank down on each side and lean the bike over till it touches, then back off a bit, it will give you some sensation of how far you can go before hitting.

As you get older this is less of a concern, as wisdom overpowers exhilaration. That and 7400 DuraAce pedals (their last strap pedal) that give you quite a bit extra room.
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Old 05-09-13, 12:40 PM
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I wonder if there is a current trend toward higher Q-factor. That would make pedal strike more likely. (It also contributes to BB flex. A stiffer BB would mean less flex so manufacturers could use higher Q-factor without riders thinking the frame was soft.)
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Old 05-09-13, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
One thing I have done is while at a stand still, and still semi seated place the crank down on each side and lean the bike over till it touches, then back off a bit, it will give you some sensation of how far you can go before hitting.

As you get older this is less of a concern, as wisdom overpowers exhilaration. That and 7400 DuraAce pedals (their last strap pedal) that give you quite a bit extra room.
Thanks repechage. I might have made that turn hundreds of times without a problem but all things played into a nasty accident that I should've foreseen. The exhilaration factor numbed my brain. I like the C&V aspect of the Centurion...and it brought back a distinct old memory of a similar though not unseating incident with my Motobecane. I'll check out the 7400's and in the meantime....ride more respectfully while astride the Centurion. I was bucked off our horses (in my 30's) enough times, I don't need my bikes doing the same thing.
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Old 05-09-13, 01:04 PM
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If I were the OP's pedal....I'd be on Strike too!
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Old 05-09-13, 02:51 PM
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Ouch. Good luck with the recovery.

+1 to repechage's suggestion of the Dura Ace pedal. If you ever decide to try clipless pedals, the Dura Ace-branded Look pedals (Shimano model PD-7401) also have good clearance. Modern clipless pedals probably offer even better clearance.

I used to practice pedaling through corners while out of the saddle, such that you reach the bottom of the pedal stroke on the inner pedal while with the bike is leaning away from curve. This technique is discussed in Eddie Borysewicz's Bicycle Road Racing (VeloNews Corp., 1984), and came in handy when trying to accelerate out of a tight crit turn before your competitors. A bit awkward at first, but fun to do once you get the hang of it.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I wonder if there is a current trend toward higher Q-factor. That would make pedal strike more likely.
Yes, both modern trends to external bottom bracket bearings and offset (as opposed to straight) crank arms increase the "Q-factor." Shorter crank arms may help if you have persistent problems with pedal strike.
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