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Rough roads

Old 04-20-16, 02:22 AM
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nightshade18
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Rough roads

Does anyone have any tips for rough roads?

Whilst descending a road I'd never been on before yesterday, I can across a really rough section - it was too wide to avoid and I bounced through it jarring myself. It felt like my eyeballs were going to be rattled out of my head.
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Old 04-20-16, 03:18 AM
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the best what you can do is to find the new road. Other way - slow down.
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Old 04-20-16, 06:25 AM
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Slow down. Stand in the pedals. If you know you'll be riding on rough roads, install wide tires and run them at low pressure.
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Old 04-20-16, 06:26 AM
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Take your weight on the pedals. Lift butt off seat slightly (or assume the attack position, if you like). Coast if downhill. Try and stay balanced on the pedals. Don't lock your arms. Try and keep arms loose. Think in terms of letting the bike bounce around underneath you rather than you bouncing around w/the bike.
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Old 04-20-16, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Slow down. Stand in the pedals. If you know you'll be riding on rough roads, install wide tires and run them at low pressure.
Yes on standing up with one caveat. No (or not necessarily) on slowing down.

Nightshade18: If you stand while riding over rough pavement, lift yourself off the saddle with your feet parallel to the ground and your knees and elbows flexed. If you stand up with your elbows rigid and your knees locked, you might as well sit down. The idea is that you are using your legs and arms as shock absorbers. Even with suspension on a mountain bike, your arms and legs the bulk of the work when it comes to absorbing shock.

Also have a loose grip on the bars and let every joint you have in your body be as relaxed and fluid as possible. The loose grip ensures that your elbows and wrists are flexible. If you have a white knuckled death grip on the bars, those joints will be frozen and the bike won't be free to move.

As for slowing down, if the holes are large, you may have to. But be aware that your bike is going to drop into every depression and hole. More importantly, you...the load...are going to drop into every hole and depression. Your wheel will deflect off of these holes and the bike will start to wander off the line you want to take. If you slow too much, you may even hit something that is large enough to stop the wheel...which could be very bad.

If you can carry through the rough with speed, your bike and you will tend to float over the tops of the holes and depressions. More importantly, you, the rider, will float over the bike in the direction of travel...look up Newton's First Law. The bike will take a beating but, if you are absorbing the shock with your legs and arms, you won't. Momentum is your friend when it comes to rough surfaces.

This is, by the way, something that you learn very quickly when mountain biking. Mountain biking is an excellent way to learn bike handling skills quickly. Once you've traversed a field of baby heads*, a little rough patch on pavement is a piece of cake!

*Baby heads: rocks, smooth or not, that are roughly the size of a baby's head. Nasty little buggers
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Old 04-20-16, 09:24 AM
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Washboarding is the exception the all the above. The faster you go, the worse it gets to infinity. Rare on most paved roads but still something to be aware of.
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Old 04-20-16, 11:49 AM
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You can really damage yourself & bike on bad roads. I would immediately begin looking around for smoother roads to ride on. Or, get a full suspension bike with nice big tires.
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