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Tyre Choice - - Would It Have Made A Difference?

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Tyre Choice - - Would It Have Made A Difference?

Old 07-31-19, 05:00 PM
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Witterings
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Tyre Choice - - Would It Have Made A Difference?

Had my 1st ever nasty accident today ... came to a turn I've cycled many, many times before but goodness knows why my front wheel went and without a millli second to think about it I was on the ground .... really smacked my head and all I can say is ... thank the big man above I was wearing a helmet as my head took a seriously major impact and it's the bit of me that's not injured. .... maybe I should re-phrase ..... no more injured than it was before the accident

I was riding with Vittoria Voyager Hyers which are pretty slick down a paved farm track and as we turned into what becomes more of a "gravelly" road .... as it's been a dry summer here there was a fine layer of dirt and my front wheel just went and I was down before I could blink.

In that sort of situation and what was obviously a very loose / slippery surface .... would something like Gravel King SK's of made a difference or do you think the outcome would have been the same and it wouldn't have mattered what tyre you were running????

My friend was right behind me and slammed his brakes on and almost ended up worse than me as he skidded / fell on the same surface ... I've posted a couple of pics of some of the damage although I've dressed my injury's so you can't see quite how bad they are but he's a Paramedic and it's his hand with the serious injury so he's taken himself off to hospital as his tendons were showing.

He told me to come home, jump in the bath and soak for quite a while so the area softens up before rubbing it to try and get the grit that was embedded into me out ... the Mrs is convinced there's still a load of muck under the flap of skin on my elbow having done this.

Worse part for me is I've had both hips replaced and whilst I had cargo shorts, cycling shorts and underpants, one of my hips took the main impact (shared with my helmet) ... because it was covered it's showing no signs of injury apart from swollen so sitting here with an Ice Pack on it but just hoping it's nothing more than some nasty bruising.

Really kind of shakes you up after something like that and sitting here in quite a lot of pain as I type this!!!

Painkillers and bed me thinks although I think I'm going to look at tiddly winks and snakes and ladders for future pursuits.






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Old 07-31-19, 05:08 PM
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Ouch! Hope the bikes are OK If you had loose sand over an underlying hard surface, I don't think any sort of tread compound or pattern would have helped. Like riding into a patch of small bearing balls.
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Old 07-31-19, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Ouch! Hope the bikes are OK If you had loose sand over an underlying hard surface, I don't think any sort of tread compound or pattern would have helped. Like riding into a patch of small bearing balls.
Think the bikes are OK .. worse part of it I was riding my gravel bike ... he has a hardcore road bike not suitable for some of the rides we do or a 26" MTB which he found he was struggling to keep up with us on so I lent him my 29er to see if he felt it made a difference so both the bikes involved were mine.
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Old 07-31-19, 07:24 PM
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Do you have a photo of the surface you were riding?

For best grip on loose surfaces, high end, wide mountain bike tires are your best bet, but you are sacrificing a lot on road with those tires.

Hope for fast healing.
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Old 07-31-19, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Ouch! Hope the bikes are OK If you had loose sand over an underlying hard surface, I don't think any sort of tread compound or pattern would have helped. Like riding into a patch of small bearing balls.
^^^^^^^
Agree with that.
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Old 08-01-19, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Do you have a photo of the surface you were riding?
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Like riding into a patch of small bearing balls.
I didn't take a pic ... maybe I should have although the more I think about the the analogy of small ball bearings is probably pretty accurate!!!
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Old 08-01-19, 04:14 AM
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The whole point of tread on tires is essentially to channel those small ball bearings so that some rubber can reach the road surface. So, completely slick narrow tires have no chance at all while hugely treaded wide mountain bike tires can deal with deeper piles of "ball bearings."

I tore my rotator cuff years ago (not from bicycling) had surgery and turned into a big baby about falling - I do not want to go through that rehab again. On my road bike that I use the most and on 99% paved roads, I like having a bit of side tread for water siphoning (right now using Contiental GP5000s) and on the routes where I do have a gravel stretch I am making sure I am staying completely vertical which equates to slow. In my experience, all my front wheel slippage episodes were when I was leaning on a turn or went into a turn too fast. On downhills with curves that often accumulate sand or gravel, same thing - I am going slow. I am obviously not winning any races...

On the bikes that I use more often on crushed limestone rail trails and dirt/gravel roads I usually use tires with a solid center patch but lots of side tread - for years now Schwalbe Marathon Plus. But I'm still slow on any downhills/curves, but I'm less frigidly vertical!

I have a friend who has turned into I guess what these days is called a "gravel bike" rider and they now have a class of tires for those who are mostly riding on gravel roads. He swears by Vittoria Terreno that have a fairly solid center patch, aggressive side tread. He doesn't feel much slower on pavement but he is a pretty strong rider - he would beat me downhill if he was riding on his rims...
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Old 08-01-19, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I was riding with Vittoria Voyager Hyers which are pretty slick down a paved farm track and as we turned into what becomes more of a "gravelly" road .... as it's been a dry summer here there was a fine layer of dirt and my front wheel just went and I was down before I could blink.
Had the same accident happen to me a few years back and ever since I've been gun shy about hard cornering. All I can say about tires is that wider and more supple tires help my confidence levels and seem to provide better grip. I like to run at least 38 mm wide tires, and usually in the highest thread count that's available for whatever brand and model I'm buying.
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Old 08-01-19, 06:22 AM
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If the front tire washed out on a loose surface then I would suspect poor technique such as braking into the turn or while turning rather than braking before the turn.

The same thing can happen on any tires if technique isn't correct. I would not change tires until I learned and practiced proper cornering technique for flat turns on loose surfaces.


-Tim-
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Old 08-01-19, 06:37 AM
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Wow. I hope that you heal up better than new. Falling is no fun. What's worse, it can destroy your confidence, an essential part of good cycling.

While it may have sounded like tough love, I'm going to agree with Tim. Likely cause of your fall was technique-related. The fact that you had navigated that turn many, many times before says that something was different about how you approached it this time...maybe more so than the surface simply being dry and dusty.
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Old 08-01-19, 06:48 AM
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Glad it wasn't worse. Best wishes for speedy recovery.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:06 AM
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Ouch, I imagine that will hurt for a while ! One of the most fun things about cycling to me is bike control & handling, and I like leaning into turns. Over the past year I've put 28 & 25 width Thickslicks on a couple of bikes. I've read here before the tread really doesn't do much when you only have that small amount of contact with the road. I'm rarely over 25mph, and live in flatlandia so high speed is not usually a factor in my situation.

Opinions on slicks ?
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Old 08-01-19, 08:19 AM
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And thank you for deleting the gory injury photos.

"Lacerations and stitches" is enough to paint the picture.


-Tim-
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Old 08-01-19, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
If the front tire washed out on a loose surface then I would suspect poor technique such as braking into the turn or while turning rather than braking before the turn.

The same thing can happen on any tires if technique isn't correct. I would not change tires until I learned and practiced proper cornering technique for flat turns on loose surfaces.


-Tim-
It was most certainly poor technique but it wasnít the braking...at least not for Witterings. The simple act of turning a corner on loose gravel can cause the front wheel to wash out. He was probably too leaned over and had too much speed for the tires being used. Knobbed tires have some side grip so they donít wash out as easily on loose surfaces.

A wider tire would have helped as well. Wider tires wouldnít wash out as easily either because they float on softer surfaces rather than digging in.

For the friend, his crash could have been related to braking, although it could just be unfamiliarity with the bike.
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Old 08-01-19, 11:05 AM
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I learned this lesson some 40 years ago when railing through a corner on a training ride. Didn't have helmets back then, and I hit the ground hard, but not the head. Scar on my arm was there for over 30 years and then it finally faded away. Fortunately most race courses have the corners swept, but outside of a closed course, I no longer hot rod through turns.
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Old 08-01-19, 12:15 PM
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I washed out front wheel on a slight corner on a thin layer of slick mud and like you I hit the ground in a split second. I broke a rib and after healing it took me couple weeks to get my nerve back. I had too much weight on my hands and used front brake going into turn so technique was a factor, but tires with some tread will help. I crashed on schwalbe pro-one 700x25c tires, which are virtually treadless, and now I run schwalbe g-one speed 700x30c which have some tread and I love them.

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Old 08-01-19, 01:35 PM
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OP or anyone who has washed out on slick surfaces might want to have a look at the video below.

Millions of people ride on loose surfaces with all kinds of tires every day without wiping out. The proper way to corner on loose surfaces - all braking done before the turn and don't lean into the turn like a road bike on pavement.

I thought my gravel tires were garbage because the front kept washing out until I watched this video. The video is specific to MTB but applies to any bike on any loose or slick surface.

Cornering is a technique which can and should be practices and learned.

FFWD to 1:50 for the relevant part about braking.


The problem with road riding and braking is that people ride on nice pavement, see sand or gravel in a turn at the last moment, hit the brakes and the front washes out. It's classic. Tread and/or knobbies will only help so much.

-Tim-

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Old 08-01-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by literal trope View Post

The OP went down because he didn't scan ahead, or scanned ahead but couldn't properly read the surface, and he didn't make the required adjustments to ride the corner.

This is a technique issue, not an equipment issue.
I love the way people that weren't there, haven't seen what the ground is like, have absolutely no idea what speed you were doing nor how tight the bend is and yet they suddenly become the overriding expert on exactly what happened on that particular ride

They don't even ask the question ... have you ever taken that route before .... probably assuming you haven't and it's a new ride ....
I take that route and that exact bend every single week and and have been through there at least 150 times so if my judgement is so skewed as you're suggesting how come the 1st 150+ times of taking the exact same corner were OK.

Sorry if my post seems a little strong in response but yours just seemed like you're the divine authority on a situation in which you weren't even present.
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Old 08-01-19, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I love the way people that weren't there, haven't seen what the ground is like, have absolutely no idea what speed you were doing nor how tight the bend is and yet they suddenly become the overriding expert on exactly what happened on that particular ride

They don't even ask the question ... have you ever taken that route before .... probably assuming you haven't and it's a new ride ....
I take that route and that exact bend every single week and and have been through there at least 150 times so if my judgement is so skewed as you're suggesting how come the 1st 150+ times of taking the exact same corner were OK.

Sorry if my post seems a little strong in response but yours just seemed like you're the divine authority on a situation in which you weren't even present.
You explained the situation and asked your question so why are you dissatisfied with the answers? Many of us have been in exactly your situation before. We donít have to experience the same turn under the same conditions as you do to know what happened. Your situation is not all that unique.

As to going through somewhere 150+ times, you really shouldnít expect it to be the same every time you are there. Conditions change constantly. Your tires might be just a fraction more smooth then they were at the 149th time. The soil might be a little drier than it was on the 88th time. The dirt might be a little deeper than it was on the 113th time. You might have been leaned over a little more than the 140th time. Thereís a whole host of variables that combine each time you go through and you just happened to hit the wrong combination. Front wheel washouts are difficult to deal with and difficult to control once they happen. You are likely to be on the ground before you know that you are headed that way.

But, if you ask for help figuring out what you did, donít shoot the messenger when you get advice you donít like.
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Old 08-01-19, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by literal trope View Post
Thank you for proving my point.

If you've successfully ridden this corner 150 times then in this case you obviously didn't scan ahead, or scanned ahead but couldn't properly read the surface, and when you began to lose traction you didn't make the required adjustments to successfully ride the corner.

It's not about the tires, it's about technique - a great many folks are able to ride loose surfaces on skinny tires without becoming road pizza.
So 9 posts since you joined the forum and you're the expert which means one of 2 things ... either you're a complete newbie and know nothing .... OR .... you're incredibly opinionated lacking people skills / a way with words so were constantly getting into arguments and banned so have just signed up with a different username.

Personally I think I'd put more faith in jpescatore's response

The whole point of tread on tires is essentially to channel those small ball bearings so that some rubber can reach the road surface.
This is the same argument in favour of tyres with tread in the mud that the tread cuts through the slippery top surface to find a more solid footing that it can grip onto underneath.

It's not just a case of "scanning ahead" as you should be doing that and evaluating the surface constantly whenever you ride ... how do you scan ahead for some diesel or oil on the road that you can't see (which maybe one of the farm vehicles left behind but was covered in a bit of dust) making the route totally unpredictable however hard you were looking at it.

I've never had an accident like this before and as a kid rode thousands of miles and many more ever since (now 55) and yet one of my friends is constantly having accidents ... his ability to scan in front of him possibly isn't great.

I think you're making assumptions you know nothing about nor someone's overall sporting ability and level of perception which often tend to go hand in hand.

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Old 08-01-19, 05:29 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You explained the situation and asked your question so why are you dissatisfied with the answers?
Because like most of us if we didn't have the ability to read the road and conditions we'd constantly be having accidents which isn't the case.

I totally get your 150th time on a worn out tyre when it was OK on ride 149 ... which is the whole point of what I was trying to ask.

So for arguments sake a slick that goes through the corner 150 times is probably going to have less grip than a nobbly that does it the same number of times... although that may be totally dependent upon the compound of the tyre ... so are you more likely to have an accident on one rather than the other.

I think people are jumping on the ... You're incompetent at reading the road ... which I genuinely don't feel is the case and if I was I wouldn't be so shocked at what happened for the 1st time in my life at 55 because it would be something that had happened to me on a regular basis.

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Old 08-01-19, 07:55 PM
  #22  
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So for arguments sake a slick that goes through the corner 150 times is probably going to have less grip than a nobbly that does it the same number of times... although that may be totally dependent upon the compound of the tyre ... so are you more likely to have an accident on one rather than the other.
I would say it has much more to do with the technique than the tire. If you wanna be absolutely safe on every corner, keep the bike upright and do all the leaning yourself. It's a PITA, no one wants to ride like that. So we recklessly lean into our corners, in the name of fun, sometimes too much for the conditions, and when we do, we go down. It happens.

I would echo the advice in the video above, if you're not sure of a corner, don't lean into it too much.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:48 PM
  #23  
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I have a lot more confidence in my 40mm Giant Crosscuts keeping me attached to the road then I did on my high pressure tires on my hybrid. 50psi with me at 192 lbs and they are pretty grippy. Not sure bigger knobs would make a difference in that situation that dumped you.

I like throwing the bike around, but am always concious of my age and have a fear of falling and breaking into pieces which tends to make me a bit cautious.. I think if I was with you on that ride and we hit that turn at speed I would of dumped too.

Anyhow, TimothyH had posted a sale on those Gravelking SK's the other day and I almost jumped on them. But my tires are good for the rest of this year. Wish someone who rides with SK's would answer your question about them.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:04 PM
  #24  
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I changed wheels and tires from training level tubulars to clinchers 30 years ago. Took a corner not as fast as I did routinely in the wet on the tubulars. As I approached the apex, it was "oh s***, I'm not going to make it" except mot as polite and a lot louder. Both tires slid out and I came down hard.

This was just good, clean water on a corner I had taken wet many times. (My regular winter ride in Seattle.) Yes, tire changes can matter a lot. I am not an expert on gravel but I have noticed big differences in road tire grip that is obviously mostly a matter of thread compound. I now pick tire based in large part on their grip. I've had really grippy tires bail me out when I've started to slide on gravel and the like, then re-grip when they came to good pavement.

Ben
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Old 08-01-19, 09:06 PM
  #25  
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Technique... technique... technique...

There is no argument that someone with good skill and great technique will do better than someone without. But that is not what the OP is asking about, nor does any of us (Unless someone here knows the OP outside of virtual candy land) know the OP's skill or speed into the corner or how far he was leaning. Unless we have video showing any of this we are all pissing into a fan.

So regardless of skill and technique (as these are variables X and Y but should assume they are fairly consistent with the rider) What we do know is the type of tires he was riding.

So the question is... if you take a corner on those vittoria tires from a paved farm track road and turn onto a more "gravely" road say 1000 times or ride another tire like Terreno Drys or Gravel King SKs 1000 times into the same corner, which tire will give out the most? Say a percentage?

Is it the same experience with every tire going over those surfaces everytime?
(Because thats what the "Its only skill not the tire" peeps sound like... regardless of tire its the same outcome and only skill will make a difference)

@Witterings feel free to correct me if I am wrong here but I think that's what the initial curiosity was.

Sorry for the spill. That sucks and I am one step behind you in age and I'll be darned if each year it doesn't cost me twice as much in time and doctor bills each time I get hurt.

My experience riding slicks in the summer and 35c treaded tires in the winter is that the treaded tires do make a difference. Especially in the layered surfaces. When its a fine layer of gravel on top of a paved road though I think the percentage of save from the treaded tires might be slim. I think (as mentioned earlier) fatter tires with lower air pressure would be the best bet (they may catch before completely going under). The ball bearings are a great example here.

-Sean
Wilmingtech is offline  

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