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A Question Regarding Blowouts

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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

A Question Regarding Blowouts

Old 09-26-10, 07:06 PM
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theschwinnman
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A Question Regarding Blowouts

I'm fairly new to the 'serious' cycling scene, I have been riding for three years, the genesis of which was an attempt to loose weight, so now I'm a healthy weight, possibly on the lean side.

I began 'serious' road riding on an 80's road bike, which served me well, but now I built myself a modern road bike, and am really starting to enjoy climbing, which leads me to my first question...

I have been doing some psychotic descents of late, a ten mile, down a mountain of a very high grade, I reached and sustained 45 mph, no joke. I have a few buddies who have suffered tire blowouts on their bikes (I have too, but that was a smooth sided 80's rim), I have come to the realization that if I incur a blowout while descending the aforementioned mountain, I could die.

Now, this is not a real fear to me, just a small anxiety that I thought a second about before beginning the descent for the first time. Is this an unfound fear, or is it legitimate?

I'm not certain if it matters or not, but I'm using 700 x 28 Panaracer Pacelas on Mavic Aksium Race wheels.

Thanks for your time reading this, and for any help that I may receive.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:13 PM
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Well it's a genuine fear, but I think your question is "is it likely to happen to me?", which we can't really answer. Just mitigate the most obvious risks - be sure to inspect your tires regularly and keep them properly inflated, check the conditions of your rims, and replace stuff before it gets totally worn out. Also be mindful of what crap you ride through on the roads. You can never remove all the risk though.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:17 PM
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This rider hit a car on a blind curve. He was going down, the car was going up pulling a trailer.
http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...ccident_142872
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Old 09-26-10, 07:56 PM
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The report doesn't mention anything about a blowout though.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:59 PM
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blowouts?

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Old 09-26-10, 08:47 PM
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Could happen. A semi could flip a rock just right, and kill you too. Make sure your tires are in good shape; make sure you don't have patches on the tubes; make sure your brake pads are not worn, and properly centered, and your cables are secured. Believe it or not, you are going to be much more stable in a tuck with your hands on the tops than anywhere else (especially on the hoods!), if there is any cross wind involved.

If you do have a flat, don't give up! brake 'er down, and try not to turn sharply. This is a good time to thank the tires that fit so tightly on your rims you cursed repeatedly, and swore you'd never buy another. If the tire doesn't come off the rim, go buy ten more.

<edit> If you have a bad habit of 50mph descents, check into tubulars. You can ride 'em flat.
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Old 09-26-10, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by theschwinnman View Post
Now, this is not a real fear to me,
Well, it is for me.
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Old 09-26-10, 09:58 PM
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Interesting I ran into this thread today as yesterday I had a blowout on the front tire while descending 41 mph on a hill.

I immediately twitched and grabbed onto the rear brake as hard as I could and skidded like crazy and ended up with some serious road rash but no broken bones or bike parts except for a scratched up shifter and bartape.

Never had the fear before and it only happened this time because I decided to try Forte's Lunarlight Tubes and it didn't go so well for me.

I brought the tube into Performance and a rep confirmed that it was a defective product so at least I know that it wasn't my fault at least.

Today I went down the same hill on some heavier yet more durable Continental tubes and was feeling more nervous and frightened but I got by ok

I suppose that if you are confident in your ability to install the tire and tube correctly, chances are that you won't have a blowout. Just hope that some bad luck doesn't come your way.
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Old 09-27-10, 04:52 AM
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Tubulars eh? I contemplated them for a long while before I finally decided on clinchers, mostly due to the cost factor- I'm a high school student who mows grass- so I don't have all that much money. If I do begin amateur racing, like I plan to, I will surly buy a second wheelset for tubulars.

I do put my tires on myself, and am very meticulous about seating the bead properly, so I think I'll be fine, it doesn't seem to stop anyone else from going fast.

Thanks everyone for the advice, I really appreciate the speedy responses.
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Old 09-27-10, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
blowouts?

I'm going to have nightmares about that.
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Old 09-27-10, 04:58 AM
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[quote=luker A semi could flip a rock just right, and kill you too. Make sure your tires are in good shape; make sure you don't have patches on the tubes; make sure your brake pads are not worn, and properly centered, and your cables are secured. Believe it or not, you are going to be much more stable in a tuck with your hands on the tops than anywhere else (especially on the hoods!), if there is any cross wind involved.

If you do have a flat, don't give up! Brake 'er down, and try not to turn sharply. This is a good time to thank the tires that fit so tightly on your rims you cursed repeatedly, and swore you'd never buy another. If the tire doesn't come off the rim, go buy ten more.[/quote]

I''ll second this STATEMENT!
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Old 09-27-10, 11:57 AM
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Happened to me a few years ago on ~35 m/h descent on a front wheel. Went over handlebars, thorn shoulder ligaments, road rash and broken saddle.
Just as other people were saying, don't panic, try to carefully slow down.
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Old 09-27-10, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by astardotcom View Post
Interesting I ran into this thread today as yesterday I had a blowout on the front tire while descending 41 mph on a hill.

I immediately twitched and grabbed onto the rear brake as hard as I could and skidded like crazy and ended up with some serious road rash but no broken bones or bike parts except for a scratched up shifter and bartape.

Never had the fear before and it only happened this time because I decided to try Forte's Lunarlight Tubes and it didn't go so well for me.
Was it a true blowout, with a loud "bang" and everything? I don't believe a tube failure will result in a ("bang!") blowout...
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Old 09-27-10, 02:52 PM
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I had a "bang!" blowout on my old bike, I had just rode about three miles from home to go fishing, about an hour in to fishing, I heard this loud bang. I couldn't attend to it then because I was fighting a 30lbs Drum fish... But when I went to my bike to go home, the tire was blown off the rim.

These rims were from 1980, and had no hooks to seat the beads of the tires, so I con't say it was completely unexpected, but still, rather rattling.

Thanks for the advise on how to deal with blowouts, I'm substantially less worried now.

VTJE, I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune, did you practice the technique mentioned here? How long did it take you to heal up?
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Old 09-27-10, 03:08 PM
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I often descend thsoe speeds. I make sure my tires are in good shape before the ride and also inpsect them at the top of the mtn before starting the descent. A slow leak at the top can be dangerous on the way down and in fast switchbacks once it hits the cushy stage.

The blow off the rim could have been a result of poor tire installation. I've had buds repair flats on rides with the intentions of doing a fast DH with a bubble on the side of the tire. He thought his mechanics were A+ but I stopped him adn didn't let him go down the hill. I guess a roadside demonstration and clinic was much better than watching him eat it at 45+ on the DH.

You'd be surprised at how many guys really don't know how to safely install a tire/tube. Make sure the valve is all the way seated, make sure the tube isn't pinched, make sure the tire bead is seated and properly spaced around the circumference of the rim. If it isn't don't ride the friggin bike.

Make sure your tires are in good shape. I once went on a ride knowing the tire was worn. LBS didn't have the right tire so I did the "one more ride thing". Summer heat, newly paved road and a fast switchback. Rear blowout in the turn, out of control bike into oncoming traffic. I didn't go down but if it weren't for some good drivers paying attention, I'd be a dead Fred right now!

I'm not that stupid anymore
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Old 09-27-10, 05:19 PM
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700 x 28******************** how u can make that to explode? is wider than a F1 tire.

Well i have seen more stupid accidents in tank old bikes than in the super duper ones, if the tire i sin good shape as many mentioned it, you should not have a problem ever.
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