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Blowouts and control

Old 07-21-04, 10:53 AM
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TheRCF
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Blowouts and control

Most of the time I'm not going real fast - less than 20 mph - but there are times on hills I go a lot faster. My record so far is 42.6 mph.

What I would like to know is how much of a control problem I would have if I had a sudden blowout at high speed. I assume it is different for each tire.
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Old 07-21-04, 12:07 PM
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I a still a newbie ride, just started this season. I haven't have a blowout yet, knock on wood.

I have heard that you will still have considerable amount of control if you lose the rear tire.
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Old 07-21-04, 12:35 PM
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Fortunately i've never had a blowout at speed. Had one al low speed on my old Raliegh road bike. Front tire. Wobbled a little, then went to the rim. Got hard to pedal.

Never had one on the Trek, but I imagine an endo is possible if it is the front tire. I suppose on a 'bent it could get tricky. Possibly wind up dumping it. All depends on speed.

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Old 07-21-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bnet1
Fortunately i've never had a blowout at speed. Had one al low speed on my old Raliegh road bike. Front tire. Wobbled a little, then went to the rim. Got hard to pedal.

Never had one on the Trek, but I imagine an endo is possible if it is the front tire. I suppose on a 'bent it could get tricky. Possibly wind up dumping it. All depends on speed.

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I'm not concerned with how hard it is to pedal. I'm more concerned about whether it might well either just cause me to crash or possibly suddenly throw me out into another traffic lane.
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Old 07-21-04, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRCF
What I would like to know is how much of a control problem I would have if I had a sudden blowout at high speed. I assume it is different for each tire.
If you mean that the bead on a clincher tire gets blown off the rim, then it can be bad if it is a rear, it can be far worse if it is the front. Depending on your brake setup it is possible that the tire will wedge itself between the shoe and rim and lock the wheel. You can picture the results from there. A simple tire that goes flat is less of a problem if you detect it before you try cornering. All in all, a catastrophic tire blow off is not that common if you use decent tires and install them using the correct pressures. Also, not all bike setups result in lockups even if it happens.

You can usually feel a tire going down with plenty of time to safely slow to a stop. If a tire pops, you just have to try to be calm and smooth. Don't make quick moves, and use the good tire to do the stopping.
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Old 07-21-04, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by khackney
If you mean that the bead on a clincher tire gets blown off the rim, then it can be bad if it is a rear, it can be far worse if it is the front. Depending on your brake setup it is possible that the tire will wedge itself between the shoe and rim and lock the wheel. You can picture the results from there. A simple tire that goes flat is less of a problem if you detect it before you try cornering. All in all, a catastrophic tire blow off is not that common if you use decent tires and install them using the correct pressures. Also, not all bike setups result in lockups even if it happens.

You can usually feel a tire going down with plenty of time to safely slow to a stop. If a tire pops, you just have to try to be calm and smooth. Don't make quick moves, and use the good tire to do the stopping.
I didn't think about the tire getting wedged. That would definitely cause a big problem. As for breaking with the other wheel, I suspect the problem there would be instinct. I don't panic. When I was going 42.6 mph, a car suddenly came over onto the bike lane and forced me to go off onto the rough ground. I expected to bounce right off the bike, but didn't. I also didn't touch the brakes until I lost some speed naturally. However, in that situtation, instinct told me not to brake at all.
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Old 07-21-04, 03:10 PM
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I had the front tire of my shortwheelbase recumbent blow out on me a few months ago.

Going downhill, I heard a PSSSSSSS and thought, "Oh [poop]."

The bike leaned to the left, and I was unable to steer to correct. The seat, my left hand, and left thigh slid along the street for a good bit. I think I was doing 35 at the time. Fortunately, I had a good glove on that took the hit for my hand, but my thigh was left with a big patch of road rash.

Later, looking at the tire, it appears that I was braking too much on the downhill, and the tire pressed through the cheap plastic rim tape, causing multiple slices through the tire surface. I don't think the slime helped me steer, as it lubricated everything when it escaped the tire, making life that much worse.
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Old 07-21-04, 08:05 PM
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If you blow a tire, you will have control problems. How much depends on your speed, how sharp are the turns, the size of the blown tire, your skill, etc. It's impossible to state whether you will crash or not. However, the flat wheel will not have as much lateral friction since the tire will be much less rigid so your wheel will tend to slide left and right. If you slide far enough to put the rim on the pavement, then your probability of crash is going to skyrocket as there will be very little friction against the road for control. I expect that very narrow tires will be more prone to this than wider ones.

If you are bombing down a hill, your best option is to stay as straight as possible and get stopped.
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Old 07-21-04, 08:09 PM
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I had a rear tyre blow going downhill at about 45MPH. The innertube blew right through the casing actually. The tyres were pretty well worn I admit. Luckily it was the rear. Luckily I was going straight and could continue to go straight. If it was the front and/or happened on a curve, the results would have been messy. There was no damage to the rim or anything. I simply rode it out and coasted to a stop.
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Old 07-21-04, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by supcom
If you blow a tire, you will have control problems. How much depends on your speed, how sharp are the turns, the size of the blown tire, your skill, etc. It's impossible to state whether you will crash or not. However, the flat wheel will not have as much lateral friction since the tire will be much less rigid so your wheel will tend to slide left and right. If you slide far enough to put the rim on the pavement, then your probability of crash is going to skyrocket as there will be very little friction against the road for control. I expect that very narrow tires will be more prone to this than wider ones.

If you are bombing down a hill, your best option is to stay as straight as possible and get stopped.
Well, one good thing is that the places I might have high speed are pretty much all straight. I can only think of one that I know has a slight curve near the bottom.
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Old 07-21-04, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
I had a rear tyre blow going downhill at about 45MPH. The innertube blew right through the casing actually. The tyres were pretty well worn I admit. Luckily it was the rear. Luckily I was going straight and could continue to go straight. If it was the front and/or happened on a curve, the results would have been messy. There was no damage to the rim or anything. I simply rode it out and coasted to a stop.
Well, that is encouraging. Seems the biggest threat, aside from a front blowout, is if the tire gets wedged.
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Old 07-21-04, 09:34 PM
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I've only ever had one blow-out, on the rear tyre at 47km/h on a gun-barrell straight road about four years ago. For a few seconds I still had the adrenaline pumping, and even on the flat I was able to hold 43km/h! That moment didn't last long, but no, I had no sudden crash as a result.
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Old 07-22-04, 11:13 AM
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I had a blow out the day before yesterday on the front of my fixie. being the fool that I was, i did not seat the wheel all the way in the dropout, and as a result, the brake pads were hitting the tire. when I hit this bump, I heard this hiss hiss hiss, and then there was this sound like a gunshot as my sidewall ripped out. I think that being on a fixe helped a whole hell of a lot, becuase I was going downhill, and therefore able to gently backpedal to slow down. i just held my line until I stopped, then I called my boss to tell her I was gonna have to walk the other two miles to work.
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Old 07-22-04, 12:09 PM
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I had a front tyre failure and explosive blowout downhill at 20mph. It is important not to panic, to recognise the problem and DON'T brake with that wheel.
I still had a little braking control at the rear and could ride it out with no problem. It was an 8mile push home.
If you have to crash, then pick a safe zone where you can slide along the road or down a back. Avoid posts, trees etc. A long slide will dissipate the energy and leave you with surface abrasions. Do wear gloves, keep your fists clenched and keep your arms and head tucked in, but relaxed.

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