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2 wheel slide ?

Old 05-26-19, 07:18 AM
  #1  
McMitchell
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2 wheel slide ?

Still trying to figure out how it happened. I was making a tight turn with a small dip in a paved/gravel road. The conditions were very wet. I have made that turn many times before. My guess is the wet conditions caused the issue.

I smacked my head on the pavement and slid it across the road a ways. Yes, I was wearing my helmet. +1 for a helmet saving a worse injury. The immediate damage was to the top of my shoulder, bruise & scrape. Several days later a nasty bruise appeared, apparently I hit the handle bar hard enough to make a well defined bruise that lasted a week or two.

I got a cold pack on the injured area which probably helped prevent too much swelling. About to get back on the bike again after a week or two off.

I have 27.5 plus tire Mtn Bikes. The crash happened on my 40mm, Focus Cyclocross bike, revised into more of a gravel/commuter set up. Now I am trying to figure out if I should just ride the Mtn bike? I think the issue with the Focus bike is I may have a tendency to go “too fast”, especially around turns. There is loose gravel/sand/granite dust on the “paved” surface.

One might hope I learned a lesson about trying to corner too fast with relatively narrow tires.

Last edited by McMitchell; 05-26-19 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 05-26-19, 07:40 AM
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I never lean hard on any wet pavement, I'm not racing. Mud/silt is like hitting ice. I've done that once as well at speed, came around a blind turn on a path I knew was wet and in a blink of an eye was on silt.

It happens so fast, saw the silt, hit the deck and managed to roll my body as I hit. Got up, straightened the handle bars and continued on with both knees bloody. Took a few weeks to scab over the knees, got dangerously close to going to the doctor's for the infection. Very painful.

Now I buy somewhat pricey tires that have lower mileage but are grippier. Maybe riding the mtb would've avoided the crash, but in my experience lower pressure knobby mtb tires on a hard turn on pavement are just as sketchy about throwing you to the ground.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:22 AM
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Twice I've had a front tire slide on what looked like dry pavement, but didn't go down. These are corners I ride all the time. It happened once on Paselas, and once on a Conti Gatorskin. Be careful out there.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
Still trying to figure out how it happened. I was making a tight turn with a small dip in a paved/gravel road. The conditions were very wet. I have made that turn many times before. My guess is the wet conditions caused the issue.

I smacked my head on the pavement and slid it across the road a ways. Yes, I was wearing my helmet. +1 for a helmet saving a worse injury. The immediate damage was to the top of my shoulder, bruise & scrape. Several days later a nasty bruise appeared, apparently I hit the handle bar hard enough to make a well defined bruise that lasted a week or two.

I got a cold pack on the injured area which probably helped prevent too much swelling. About to get back on the bike again after a week or two off.

I have 27.5 plus tire Mtn Bikes. The crash happened on my 40mm, Focus Cyclocross bike, revised into more of a gravel/commuter set up. Now I am trying to figure out if I should just ride the Mtn bike? I think the issue with the Focus bike is I may have a tendency to go “too fast”, especially around turns. There is loose gravel/sand/granite dust on the “paved” surface.

One might hope I learned a lesson about trying to corner too fast with relatively narrow tires.
The most important thing, that you left out, was technique. You might have been going to fast, you might have had your center-of-mass wrong for the camber of turn, you might have not had grippy enough tires for the surface...lots of things can make a turn go wrong.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:39 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
paved/gravel road.
Which was it? Paved or gravel?

Skills with Phil helped me tremendously with gravel.


Last edited by TimothyH; 05-26-19 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-26-19, 08:55 AM
  #6  
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I haven't had two wheels go out from under me on a bike in quite some time. In my case I was riding a BMX bike on polished concrete while scooting across an outdoor basketball court at speed. I leaned that bike and both tires just went out, slamming me to the concrete.
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Old 05-26-19, 12:35 PM
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Are you riding to get a paycheck? Is this a race ?

or just to get exercise and have fun?

if you ain’t gettin paid you might want to SLOW down
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Old 05-26-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I haven't had two wheels go out from under me on a bike in quite some time. In my case I was riding a BMX bike on polished concrete while scooting across an outdoor basketball court at speed. I leaned that bike and both tires just went out, slamming me to the concrete.
As a teenager riding a BMX bike I gave my guardian angel quite the workout. Twice on the same hill although different corners I had both tires break loose. One of the times I was passing a pickup on the inside and I swear my tires went up underneath the side of his truck before I recovered from the slide. He yanked his steering wheel toward the ditch and I kept riding down the hill. I have no idea how I survived those years I was pretty much an idiot.
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Old 05-26-19, 01:09 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Are you riding to get a paycheck? Is this a race ?

or just to get exercise and have fun?

if you ain’t gettin paid you might want to SLOW down
And if you don't want to slow down, consider shaving your legs. Wounds are less, clean up better and faster and bandages are far more pleasant to change out. If you go to the emergency room, you will get to hear the wonderful words "thank you for shaving so I don't have to" from the ER nurse.

Ben
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Old 05-26-19, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
Still trying to figure out how it happened. I was making a tight turn with a small dip in a paved/gravel road. The conditions were very wet. I have made that turn many times before. My guess is the wet conditions caused the issue.
BTW, did the slide happen while in the dip or just coming out?

If you're at the limit of traction and the tire to ground pressure lightened up while in that lean, well there ya go.

Last edited by FiftySix; 05-26-19 at 05:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-26-19, 02:07 PM
  #11  
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When you're on 2 wheels, you can go down anywhere at anytime.
Going fast can be fun and only you can determine if the reward is equal to the risk.
Ultimately only you should determine what is fast and How fast you want to go.
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Old 05-26-19, 03:31 PM
  #12  
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Slow down before the dip.
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Old 05-26-19, 03:53 PM
  #13  
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It occurs to me that I just put a -17 degree 110 stem on this bike. I may have too much weight forward?

The dip, is a place where a cross road is higher than the road coming off of it. The transition area has asphalt covering the gap. The road also slopes down at the spot where my tire might have lost traction.

Last edited by McMitchell; 05-26-19 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 05-27-19, 07:31 AM
  #14  
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@McMitchell Is it possible you had a pedal strike, but it was "muffled" by the gravel?

There's a curb cut-out on most of my commute routes that I have navigated hundreds of times (if not thousands) over the last two decades. Last year I took that left turn a little tighter than usual. I pulled my left foot from the toe clip and as the bike leaned left the left pedal came to rest on the elevated pavement and lifted both wheels off the ground. I'm not really sure how it happened exactly but since my left foot was free I caught myself and didn't fall. Plus I was going only 2 mph or less.

When you mentioned "a small dip" it reminded me of this.
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Old 05-27-19, 08:52 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
@McMitchell Is it possible you had a pedal strike, but it was "muffled" by the gravel?

There's a curb cut-out on most of my commute routes that I have navigated hundreds of times (if not thousands) over the last two decades. Last year I took that left turn a little tighter than usual. I pulled my left foot from the toe clip and as the bike leaned left the left pedal came to rest on the elevated pavement and lifted both wheels off the ground. I'm not really sure how it happened exactly but since my left foot was free I caught myself and didn't fall. Plus I was going only 2 mph or less.

When you mentioned "a small dip" it reminded me of this.
That might have happened too, BobbyG.

These roads are paved, but they dump gravel on them too. The roads are hilly, windy which may be why they dump gravel on them, especially during winter. The valleys and turns hold sizable amounts of granite dust, sand and small gravel....Car tire tracks frequently mark the turns and valleys too.

Last edited by McMitchell; 05-27-19 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 05-28-19, 03:32 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
The conditions were very wet.
I'd say this was probably the cause ... maybe with a tyre that didn't have enough grip for the conditions.

Towards the end of last summer I was riding with Vittoria Voyager Hypers, we were heading down to get the ferry across the estuary and I suddenly realised I was heading the wrong way and turned sharply when it was wet and the whole bike slid sideways ... the miracle was I didn't actually come off ... did leave a stain in my pants though

I had a 2nd incident similar a couple of days later so swapped out the tyres for ones better suited to the winter / wetter conditions.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:43 PM
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Some great suggestions here. I definitely learned many things and will put many of the suggestions to use. I have slowed down, working more on cadence than speed now. I think there were a combination of factors in play. I am using less air pressure in my tires, not worrying about the “recommended” pressure. I am only around 160lbs now.

The tires were 40mm WTB Nanos. I may go with a softer grippier tire next time. I will play with the grips too. I think I have too much weight on the front tire.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:09 PM
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Tires vary a lot for wet weather traction. Both the rubber compound and sidewall stiffness and to a lesser degree the thread pattern. Good handling tires in the dry can be poor in the wet. I try to remember to hit the rear brake sharply a few times with tires I don't know to get a feel for their grip. (Not a definitive test, side grip is not the same as braking traction but at least I won't crash in the testing process.)

Be aware that almost always, good wet weather traction comes at the expense of flat resistance and rolling resistance. Tires that I have found to be very good in the wet are the soft rubbered Vittorias. The now obsolete (but still around) Open Paves are very good for a narrow, high performance tire. I don't have a good feel for the mid-priced Vittorias as I haven't used them in years. I"ll bet there are some good ones. I have had the best of the wet weather Vittorias re-grip after I've started to slide. I first saw this years ago with their long discontinued twin-tread tires (that were quite inexpensive).

My rude introduction to clinchers came 30 years ago when I went around a wet downhill corner I had been around many times on tubulars in exactly those conditions. As I approached the apex, I could feel both tires going. No way to save 'em. A pretty young woman not quite in sight yet got to hear a very loud expletive as I knew exactly what I was in for. (A belated "sorry ma'am") I got exactly the injuries I expected. That was the wake-up call. Decent, nothing special tubulars cornered far better than the clinchers of the day. Wet roads magnified that difference. Not saying you should go tubulars. Just saying I know your pain. I've been there.

Edit: Yeah, lower pressure helps a lot! One of reasons I really like old-fashiuoned frame pump sis that I can drop the pressure any time and not have to wonder "will I have enough tomorrow?"

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 05-30-19 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 06-01-19, 02:29 PM
  #19  
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Ouch! Glad to hear that you're relatively okay.

After laying my bike down on a descent a couple years back, watching a bunch of videos (GCN, etc.) about descending on the road helped tremendously. It never occurred to me that 'choosing a line' is just as important on a paved surface as it is on gravel or dirt, especially when there's the possibility of debris or a washout. When that gravel pops up in a turn out of nowhere, it's too late to scrub speed.
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Old 06-01-19, 03:18 PM
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Sometimes, it happens.
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Old 06-03-19, 03:50 AM
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I don't understand how people can hit their head laying a bike down. I've gone down in that manner a few times, and two very hard ones spring to mind;
1) Fast cornering on an unknown path, went over a manhole cover, front wheel just went. Broke my wrist on the resulting impact.
2) Quite recently took a T-junction at a silly speed, 50yds from my flat (can see it from my window), knew i was pushing my luck. Sure enough it went due to dusty surface, both wheels. Handlebars spun as i went down. Lovely slide but just a grazed hip and tender hand skin.

I'm not saying don't wear a helmet. I am pushing to maintain the right to choose. And i am saying.. wear gloves! And jeans. I do that much, thankfully. And yes i've had bigger crashes, like being wrapped around a tree and thrown down concrete stairs. Maybe it's luck. Maybe it's reactions. Maybe one day it'll hit me.. but still.. a slide..?!
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Old 06-03-19, 04:07 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
And i am saying.. wear gloves! And jeans.
Jeans may protect agaisnt scrapes, but not always. I had a minor slow speed crash recently on asphalt; my jeans were intact, no tears or holes, but my knee underneath them still had a bloody abrasion. Apparently denim is coarse enough to cause a damage to the skin.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:07 AM
  #23  
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Old 06-03-19, 09:15 AM
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I seem to have difficulty posting text with pictures. The picture wants to take up “all the space”! So, I am resorting to multiple posts......

The helmet did not suffer much damage, just a scrape. Still my head took a substantial jolt to the side. Might have struck pavement on the uphill, where the “pavement” was actually higher. I will take a picture of the “crash” site when I ride later today.

I wear knee pads, elbow pads & helmet. Long “support” socks, baggy shorts, 3/4 length pants, long pants, depending on weather, long sleeve shirts, even when it is hot......There are deer, Turkey, squirrels, snakes, hikers with dogs on “Flexi” leashes... so I try to be prepared.

I am pushing 70 and do not heal like I once did.

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Old 06-03-19, 05:44 PM
  #25  
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Pictures of crash area:
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