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Crashed my bike. Need help figuring out what happened and how to regain confidence.

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Crashed my bike. Need help figuring out what happened and how to regain confidence.

Old 09-06-20, 12:03 AM
  #1  
ErikDaGenErik
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Crashed my bike. Need help figuring out what happened and how to regain confidence.

I have a 2018 S-Works Tarmac with FLO 60ís, Turbo Cotton 700x24 clinchers. Like to climb, love to descend. On 8/12/20 I was going down Tesla Road, a step road near my home, at 40mph (64kph) according to Wahoo when all of a sudden I heard a loud pop from the front tire. Sure enough the tube blew. I instantly hit the brakes but saw my flattened tire begin to wobble. I lost control, fell on my left, separated from the bike as I and the bike tumbled several times. Though I had number cuts and bruises, I was able to walk away. In fact, there was zero cell service and I was really lucky that a kind passerby offered me a ride 11 miles back home, which I accepted.

I checked out my tube a few days later and saw a slit about a cm long. No visual damage to the tire. The tube was 20 days old, the tire was 6. I canít figure out how something like this could happen. I was on a descent on a portion of a road that seemed normal. I pumped air to 110psi before the ride. Iíve taken the bike down similar hills with similar or higher speeds plenty of times before the crash. Was this just bad luck? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I ride literally everyday, and I after the accident, I hopped back into the saddle of my other bike the following day - I took it lightly but wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with me despite the injuries. Iím beginning to do more climbs and descents, but while going down, I canít help but to envision my tire blowing again. To regain some confidence, some friends recommended I go tubeless which could help reduce the chances of losing control after a tire blowout. Others believe I may have overinflated my tire that day considering the weather (it was mid 90s that day). Any suggestions on helping cope with my paranoia would be appreciated.

I was shocked that I had minimal damage to my bike. Scratched seat, damaged front wheel (from rolling while flat), bent skewer on the rear wheel from the tumble, and scratches on both of the shifter name plates. I replaced the wheels, tires and tubes.






Thanks in advance for any input.

Last edited by ErikDaGenErik; 09-06-20 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 09-06-20, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ErikDaGenErik View Post
Bummer about the crash. Considering the short span of time since the tire was installed, an installation problem is a likely culprit.

Long gashes in tubes are often the result of the tube being caught between the rim and the tire bead. It's a good idea to put a bit of air in a tube before installation so that it can roughly hold a shape as you go through the installation process.
After the tire is fully on the rim, prior to inflation, it's good to double-check that the tube is fully "within" the tire and not caught under the bead anywhere around the wheel.
After inflating the tire, it's good to check that it is seated evenly around the rim. Most tires have a "lip" that sits right above where the tire enters the rim, and this is a useful reference for checking proper seating:



If the "lip" is significantly higher in some areas than others, and especially if the lip dives below the top of the rim in places, this indicates that the bead is not sitting evenly around the rim. This can indicate a tube interfering with the tire bead, although it can also be caused by a poor match between rim and tire (which can also be dangerous if not addressed, especially in a tubeless setup where there's no inner tube to aid in tire bead retention).
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Old 09-06-20, 04:58 AM
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I'd go with installation error, too, but would also check the tire just in case the bead is exposed or something on the inside. And I'd check rim tape/strip. If you're using a strip (harder/plasticy thing), you might consider cloth or tape. I use tape on my wheels as it's thinner and lays down completely flat and the tube can't wiggle around it (I use latex tubes which can find wiggle room in a hurry).

Confidence comes from just getting back out and riding again. I've had many, many crashes, and each time go through the same timidity for a ride or two afterwards. Eventually it goes away.
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Old 09-06-20, 06:24 AM
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A front blowout on a clincher at 40mph is something nobody wants....ever. Some recommend sewups because if a tire blows it's a little more controllable than clinchers, meaning you might have a couple more seconds to slow the bike down before you get on the rim. Hope you were wearing gloves.

Ya, that tube looks like a pinchflat blowout. I've ridden those Turbo Cotton tires and they are fast and cushy.... but I don't think very good puncture proof. I think I was running about 90 in the front.

How can you tell if the tube is pinched when you have been riding it for a couple of weeks and it has been fine? I guess deflate it and squeeze the tire in to check?

Only thing I see wrong is maybe 110 lbs for the front might have been too high.


Sounds like you handled it well. Rest up and come back. A crash like that stops your clock for a while.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:25 AM
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Most people use tires large enough that they don't need to inflate beyond 90 psi theses days. Some carbon rims, particularly tubless, have even lower inflation limits. Tubeless tires are not immune to tires coming loose from the rim. If they do, the result is the same.

A simple pinch flat would not cause a tire to come off. Your tube was probably pinched between the rim and tire bead. I hit a rock that caused a pinch flat on a steep descent recently and was easily able to come to a stop, but it was a twisty road, where my speed was only around 30. If I'd done that going 50+, it might have been ugly.

I ride hilly and mountainous routes, where side winds can be a problem. No aero carbon wheels for me. Campy Zondas are my choice - very reliable and relatively cheap to replace.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 09-06-20 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 09-06-20, 10:21 AM
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Thank you all for the feedback. As much as Iíd like to blame the installer (LBS), I wonder why the pinch flat didnít happen on an earlier ride where Iíve ridden on rougher asphalt, steeper descents and higher speed. I do agree this was due to a pinch flat in combination with over inflation. I normally I flat tire 100 before the ride but that day for no reason, I felt like inflating to 110. I remember taking a very hard 30+ mph turn about 1/4 mi before the blowout, Iím curious if that turn could have caused the pinch. I checked the rim and it does not have a lip as mentioned in one of the posts above.

Anyhow, I now have a pair of Knight 65 clinchers with GP5000 and Conti tubes. Also I was not wearing gloves during the crash but I bought a pair since, and do not ride without them. Yesterday I hit 37mph on a descent where I normally hit 42-45, and it felt good. Slowly but surely I should regain confidence. I do not inflate over 100 anymore.



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Old 09-06-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
A simple pinch flat would not cause a tire to come off.
This and with 110 psi in the thing, you'd have to hit a big, sharp-edged, hole—the kind that would take you down all on its own— to cause one.

Heal up fast and get back on this bike. Whatever caused this won't happen again with a properly installed, non-defective, tire on a non-defective rim.
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Old 09-06-20, 11:05 AM
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This is the one case where tubular tires are far better. That same blowout would be a big heart rate spike, but slowing to a stop would have been easy. You can even use the front brake (gently). No big deal. BITD I did it at your speed and it was so uneventful that I don't remember when or where. (All assuming a good glue job but good glue jobs are easy to do.)

I'm still on clinchers but will be going back to the tubulars I rode 25 years because I want to go back to that secure feeling of knowing the metal of my rims is never seeing the road. (I blew a rear clincher going 25 MPH and did far worse than you - collarbone, ribs, acres of road rash and helmet slam. Bike did a lot better than yours however. A $500 "Team Dumpster".)
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Old 09-06-20, 11:22 AM
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OUCH! One time I went down hard a 20mph without gloves, and like a fool I put my hand out to break the fall... mistake! I rode the bike home and remember a big bottle of wine was my friend. After that I never went out without gloves... never. Friggin hurt like a mofo. My advice is.. immediately after crashing wash the gravel and dirt out of there with water bottle before it really starts hurting.
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Old 09-06-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikDaGenErik View Post
Thank you all for the feedback. As much as Iíd like to blame the installer (LBS)
Maybe the best take away of all is to no longer trust the kid at the LBS for maintenance including tube installation. It is pretty easy to not seat the tube well inside the tire. A rushed LBS employee could do this easily.
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Old 09-06-20, 01:35 PM
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Get back on that baby! After a crash, that caused me to land facedown, stop breathing for about 80 seconds until my friend rolled me over and unconscious for 3.5 minutes (documented by video), I got back on my bike as soon as a neurologist said I was OK. That was about 10 days later. I would have gotten back sooner, but my wife was terrified I wasn't well enough to start again. Now that I look back, it took me about a week to recover, so I'm glad she held me back. But get back with calm rides and work your way back up to where you were.

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikDaGenErik View Post
... when all of a sudden I heard a loud pop from the front tire.
If you heard a pop, it means the tube was outside the tire when it burst. A tube may deflate suddenly, but it can't make a loud bang or pop as long as it is contained. The most usual explanation for this type of failure is the tube working its way outside the bead and then bursting. Without the tire, the tube isn't strong enough to contain the high pressure. The most usual explanation for this is the tube was caught between the bead of the tire and the rim and eventually worked its way out. Depending on how the tire was installed, this can happen right away or after several miles.

By the way, it doesn't make sense to look at how a tubular would handle this situation since this type of failure can't happen with tubulars.
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Old 09-06-20, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikDaGenErik View Post
I checked the rim and it does not have a lip as mentioned in one of the posts above.



Are you saying these are "beadless" or "hookless" rims?

And ya, tubulars don't blow off like this.

Last edited by trailangel; 09-06-20 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 09-06-20, 02:21 PM
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The tube working it's way outside the rim is likely the cause, as others have mentioned.

Another scenario is the rims heating up with braking and blowing the tube. The recent heat wave in California doesn't help as the roads are hot; but I've only heard of this happening on long descents with a lot of braking.
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Old 09-06-20, 02:22 PM
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The future is tubeless.
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Old 09-06-20, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Are you saying these are "beadless" or "hookless" rims?

And ya, tubulars don't blow off like this.
honestly Iím still new to cycling (since April 30) and Iím not sure about the terminologies.
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Old 09-06-20, 03:07 PM
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Which do you have?

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Old 09-06-20, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
The tube working it's way outside the rim is likely the cause, as others have mentioned.

Another scenario is the rims heating up with braking and blowing the tube. The recent heat wave in California doesn't help as the roads are hot; but I've only heard of this happening on long descents with a lot of braking.
im beginning to agree with both scenarios as you and others mentioned. I did think about the rim heat from braking but never thought that was a realistic scenario until you mentioned it. Below are screenshots from Wahoo/Strava showing the descent. Yes I did a LOT of braking and prior to the crash, and some of the curves were sharp despite how it looks on the map. Both may well have contributed to the tube working itís way out, as well as inflation from temperature.



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Old 09-06-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Which do you have?

just checked. Hook Version.
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Old 09-06-20, 03:15 PM
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Good
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Old 09-06-20, 03:36 PM
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Was it bad luck? Sure it was, but the amount of bad luck you are likely to experience does vary depending on the gear you choose. - Some tyres are (much) more susceptible to cuts and flats than others.
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Old 09-06-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Was it bad luck? Sure it was, but the amount of bad luck you are likely to experience does vary depending on the gear you choose. - Some tyres are (much) more susceptible to cuts and flats than others.
Either the tube was pinched between the bead and rim, installation error, or excessive heat from braking softened the rim or bead allowing the tube to slip out, rider error. Luck had nothing to do with it.
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Old 09-06-20, 05:00 PM
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Agreed with the other guys that installation error was the likely culprit. Hitting the brakes when tires blow out (especially the front) is something you really want to avoid if you can. Note that while overinflation can cause all sorts of problems, you don't want to ride too soft either because if you get a leak on a descent, you want to have time to feel it and do a controlled stop

All kinds of weird things can happen even if you do everything right. You could hit a piece of metal or glass, a stick can get kicked in your spokes, an elk might suddenly jump in front of you, you might hit a deep hole or crack you didn't see, you can get the death wobble, the possibilities are endless. The reality is the faster you go, the more you are trusting things not to change.

You seem to be handling this really well and it sounds like you've made some good adjustments, so don't sweat the paranoia. In your case, I think it's mostly you just being more aware and it won't be messing with you in a short time.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:03 PM
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And this is why I love to climb (despite being way too fat for this sport) and hate to descend.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikDaGenErik View Post
I checked the rim and it does not have a lip as mentioned in one of the posts above.
The "lip" I'm referring to is the shaping on the sidewall of the tire right above where the tire enters the rim, not part of the rim.

Granted, not all tires have an obvious lip. Cold-glued cotton tires often don't, for instance, because they aren't bonded in a mold.

Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
And this is why I love to climb (despite being way too fat for this sport) and hate to descend.
Climbing is easy, you just pedal and eventually you get to the top. Descending is hard, it requires bicycle riding skills.
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