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Skid Recovery

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Skid Recovery

Old 08-07-01, 12:32 AM
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Skid Recovery

Let's say you took a turn too fast and your rear wheel lost traction...how do you recover from this? How about if both wheels lose tractions? Maybe some of you more experienced cyclists could give us newbies some tips on how to recover from those =)
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Old 08-07-01, 12:40 AM
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If you're talking about damage to your wheels/tyres, replace the tyre. If it has no traction it's as good as useless.

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Old 08-07-01, 02:23 AM
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Not really damaged tires...let's say the road was wet. I'm talking about skids here similar to what happened to Erik Dekker during that wet stage in the TdF when he was going all out and almost lost it on the final turn.
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Old 08-07-01, 02:34 AM
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I believe the general rule for front-wheel skids is to steer into the skid (=in the direction you're skidding). This is contrary to instinct, so it's hard to practice unless you've--practiced.

If both wheels skid, I have no idea what you do except hope for the best!

But I'm sure there are those here who do know what to do.
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Old 08-07-01, 05:49 AM
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First, try and avoid skids. Stay off the back brake, and use some finesse with the front.
Safety advocates say avoid the front brake and use the rear, but cycling advocates know better.

Keep an eye out for skid-inducing conditions:
lose gravel
oil slicks
rain after a dry spell
outside camber on a curve.

Look ahead for dangers, so you dont have to do emergency braking so often. Dogs, pedestrians, drivers sitting inside cars (ie getting doored), kids on bikes should all trigger alarm bells. Assume they are all out to get you.

Ride within the safety envelope, and leave a little traction in reserve to correct for errors. Traction is a resource. You can use it to accelerate, steer or brake, but you use it up. When its all used up, you skid.

If you are in a skid, ease off the brakes, keep your weight stable and low, arms relaxed, turn into the skid, but not too much.
If you fall, relax , roll into a ball, and go with the flow. Most fall injuries are to arms and shoulders as you try to stop a fall.

A helmet will protect your head a bit, and gloves will keep your hands from skinning, but they are not magic charms.
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Old 08-07-01, 06:02 AM
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If the rear skids then you turn your front wheel toward the direction you were heading. The problem is how fast your reflexes are, cause if your slow then you will go down. In my experience a full skid- especially on painted lines, is over quickly and with a wobble you are ok. On a really greasy road where you skid around a corner and lose it -well not much to hope for except you will go down.
Hope they aren't too painful, Altwegg
Sorry, Altwegg- Michaels post above is a lot better than mine, we were posting at the same time!

Last edited by sillystorm; 08-07-01 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 08-07-01, 07:51 PM
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Thanks guys! I don't plan on practicing skid recoveries...but I'll try to keep inmind what you just said...just in case!
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Old 08-10-01, 07:44 AM
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Practice! Only don't do it on the road, take your bike to a nice grassy field after a rainstorm. I should do this myself...
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Old 08-10-01, 09:14 PM
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Like other posters said, steer into it. Very gentle with the brakes. Try not to freeze up... stay loose and ride with it as long as you can.

If cornering traction is a common problem for you, racing tires (e.g. Conti Grand Prix Supersonic, Michelin Axial Pro) are made of a softer compound and will hang in corners better. They're also lighter and more fun to ride, but are expensive, more susceptable to damage and punctures, and don't last as many miles.
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Old 08-27-01, 06:56 PM
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Most skids I've experienced be they on bicycles, or motorcycles for that matter, were triggered by the rear brake. Let go of that brake lever (pedal in case you ride motors also)! I strongly agree with other posts that advocate more front brake usage. Much more controllable power in the front than the rear. As long as you practice form and shift your weight to the rear as you brake going over the handlebars is a myth.
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Old 01-22-15, 08:09 PM
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The main thing is to relax and follow where the bike wants to go. When you've lost your rear, you'll turn into the skid. Don't use your brakes unless you want to lay the bike down and don't fight with it unless you want to get hurt.
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Old 01-22-15, 08:31 PM
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Old 01-22-15, 08:33 PM
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a small push from the front isnt normally a big deal, but if you lock it, you will generally be on the ground before you realize what happened. rear wheel slides are much more controllable and fun. front end slides are scary.
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Old 01-22-15, 08:37 PM
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Wow, I think 14 years has to be a record for a zombie thread?

I think the best method is to ride in all conditions from a young age then it'll just be experience that takes over. Failing that, get a time machine, go back in time, kidnap your younger self and force yourself to ride until you're a bike handling genius, time paradoxes be dammed...
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Old 01-22-15, 08:41 PM
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Old 01-22-15, 10:13 PM
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Do like Daniele Ratto in the 2013 Vuelta if you're going through slick corners - unclip a foot so you can tripod it if a wheel slips.
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Old 01-23-15, 03:32 AM
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If you're skidding on 2 wheels you've failed. The win is to avoid the skid pre-emptively.

But if you're gonna skid on 2 wheels, I concur that it's best to have practiced muchly when you were young and supple. There's a learning curve.
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Old 01-23-15, 03:44 AM
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Hot wash. Heavy duty cycle.
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Old 01-23-15, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
Hot wash. Heavy duty cycle.
hahahaha
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Old 01-23-15, 08:30 AM
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Old 01-23-15, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
Hot wash. Heavy duty cycle.
+1. In golf you replace your divots. If you skid you should always clean your skid marks.
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Old 01-23-15, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
The main thing is to relax and follow where the bike wants to go.
This is the answer but is very difficult to implement because it must be instinctive. You are either going to crash because you have exceeded the tire capacity for traction and it cannot recover or you will crash because you over corrected and when traction was regained the bike was pointed to far in the wrong direction. If you just allow it to go where it is trying to go, and there is room before going off road or into an obstacle, when the traction returns you will be able to steer it to safety.
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