Down, not yet out.

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
hercule
Posts: 965
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Down, not yet out.

Postby hercule » 10 Mar 2019, 8:42pm

It's taken me nearly a fortnight to put fingers to keyboard about this...

Two weeks ago I was cycling along the coast on my Fuego, out to visit a relative and ride back. I'd done 5 miles or so when I spotted another rider in the distance. Of course I'm not competitive :roll: but I did start to reel him in slowly.

A mile or so further and the road reached the seafront and turned a sharp right. It's a corner I've taken hundreds of times without incident. This time, doing about 14-15 miles per hour and not at any extreme level of lean, the front wheel washed out from under me and I hit the tarmac. Hard. Fortunately there was no vehicles behind me. I did land with a bit of a clatter, enough to make the cyclist ahead (by this stage about 100m) hear and stop to check that I was OK. I disentangled myself from the carnage and after giving him the OK to continue dusted myself down, checked over the bike, readjusted the handlebars and rode on with no further drama.

More intense review after I got home revealed: favourite pair of tights ripped over right hip, grazes underneath with bruises starting to form. Grazes to inside of right elbow but Helly Hansens resolutely intact. Pride, bruised. On the bike, one smashed Mirrycle Mirror; adjuster knob on right BB7 lever practically ground off; partially ground off cap nut on underseat rack (which I had only fitted the day before). Banana bags unscathed. More paintwork ground off rear mech but hard to tell from previous damage :D, no functional issues.

I have been puzzling meantime (as the bruises have become more lurid and a large lump has formed under them) what on earth happened. It was a very mild day, next to the sea, there was no risk of ice. The road looked clear of any obstacles and nothing to suggest oil or diesel on the road (although I dare say it might not have needed much). The road was pretty rough worn tarmac so pretty good friction (as my @r*e can attest). Although I use superman bars, there is no interference with my knees and I wouldn't have been turning the bars enough anyway. Occasionally I get heel strike with the front wheel but it's very mild, and again unlikely at above walking pace.

Good things were that physical damage to the rider would have undoubtedly been worse on an upright: landing on my padded posterior is preferable to my bony cranium (and I was wearing a h*lment). I think the banana bags (stuffed with things like waterproofs) helped cushion the fall.

I'm wondering if it is my tyre combination. Kojak on the front, Pasela on the rear. I've been wary of Kojak's grip in the past but need the width to give the mudguard decent clearance; 20 x 1.5" Marathons or Marathon Racers will fit but with minimal clearance. I like Paselas anyway, I had a 26 x 1.25" one going spare anyway so fitted it as something lighter, quicker and more grippy than the previous Kojak.

I wonder if the problem is using two tyres with different grip? A bit like snow tyres only on one end of the car. Is it possible that if I had Kojaks front and rear both would have slid minutely enough to keep the bike up? I have discovered it is possible to get a 20 x 1.5" Pasela but I'm not sure how it would compare width wise to Schwalbe tyres in that section.

For the meantime I'm going to go for Marathons front and rear (with Secuclips for the front mudguard). I'm still puzzled by this, I have found the Fuego very predictable in the 6 years or so of riding it, my only "offs" have been low speed "clipless moments". My only remaining thought is that I do need to replace the headset, its a bit brinelled, but the bike is perfectly rideable as it is... maybe low recumbents are more sensitive to this than uprights?

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16896
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Mar 2019, 9:00pm

I've only ever washed out like that once, and it was entirely my fault, assuming there wouldn't be anyone coming out of a road with about 5 houses (I know people who live there) but I've never actually seen anyone coming out...

I therefore had to adjust my line to avoid their vehicle, which a) made the turn tighter than I had planned, and b) put it though some gravel.
Given that I was doing about 22mph at the time I am very glad I wasn't on an up wrong. Head went nowhere near the floor, though I did bruise my ankle...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

hercule
Posts: 965
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby hercule » 10 Mar 2019, 9:22pm

It has happened to me once before... I was "exploring the performance envelope" of my BikeE and hit a bit of moss whilst turning. The BikeE has a very lightly laden front wheel (it's almost like a unicycle with stabiliser wheel) and the inevitable happened. It's a lot further to fall compared to the Fuego! But this is what puzzled me with this recent incident: the Fuego's centre of mass is, if anything, more front biased than rear so I would have thought that would have helped with adhesion on the road.

BlackPanther
Posts: 206
Joined: 3 Jan 2012, 11:24am
Location: Doncaster

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby BlackPanther » 10 Mar 2019, 10:15pm

I’ve had 2 offs. One at 30mph on a Bacchetta Strada on a left hander. Result was little damage to the bike, but a heck of a bruise on my left hip. Too fast and a greasy road to blame....my fault.

2nd off was a walking speed front wheel washout on a slight left turn. Result, no damage to bike, but a horrific £1 size chunk of flesh off my left elbow, very painful, and took a couple of weeks to heal (should have gone to the hospital!)

What I learned was to go a bit slower, and ALWAYS were elbow pads.

Oh, and ride a trike instead! :wink:

You could have hit a patch of diesel, happens a lot on corners, or a single loose stone can cause mayhem at speed.
The photobucket images don't work !!!

UpWrong
Posts: 803
Joined: 31 May 2009, 12:16pm
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby UpWrong » 11 Mar 2019, 6:43am

Most likely to have been diesel or grit or even sand that caused the front wheel to slip or roll sideways. I don't think mismatched tyres had anything to do with it although I am wary of kojaks too. I swapped out the rear kojak for a Pasela protite yesterday. Also changed front from a Supreme to a Maxxis DTH BMX tyre. The strong winds stopped me from getting a ride in though.

recumbentpanda
Posts: 217
Joined: 6 Apr 2009, 12:13pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby recumbentpanda » 11 Mar 2019, 9:17am

When my fuego suddenly dumped me a few weeks back, I carefully examined the site for evidence, Sherlock style. A recumbent capsize usually happens so much quicker - the journey to the ground is shorter, and so it can be hard to be sure exactly what happened.

Tyre tracks revealed that in avoiding a pot-hole I had strayed off the edge of a concrete road surface that was partially obscured by mud. The front wheel had made it back onto the hard stuff, but the back wheel had remained stuck in a ‘reverse kerb-jam’.

Resulting capsize had therefore little to do with loss of grip, and I suspect might well have occurred on an upright bike with similar width tyres.

In your case the surface may not retain such clues, but it might be worth having a look.

Just lately I have been riding over a lot of broken twigs as a result of the recent gales, and have often felt front or rear wheel step sideways without feeling the bike was in any danger of going down, so I remain confident in the Fuego’s abilities.

recumbentpanda
Posts: 217
Joined: 6 Apr 2009, 12:13pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby recumbentpanda » 11 Mar 2019, 9:21am

Oh, and yes, BlackPanther, I second the recommendation of elbow pads! Stole my son’s Bauers after he gave up inline skating. Put more scratches on them than he did! Have also long contemplated some hip pads as I get older and bonier. :lol:

hercule
Posts: 965
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby hercule » 11 Mar 2019, 7:50pm

Hip pads seem the most important upgrade if I go that way... the bruising is now settled but there’s weird bumps that weren’t there before. I can walk, run and pedal without any discomfort so I assume it’s just soft tissue swelling. Can’t lie on that side though! I’d hate to land on that area again at least for a while.

I’ll probably be riding that way later in the week (on my trike!) and will inspect the road surface... though I suspect any offending debris or oil will long since have washed away. I did leave two impressive scores along the tarmac at the time, though, so all least I can pinpoint it accurately!

The more I think about it I suspect at least a contribution from the headset and will be replacing it PDQ... I have the replacement ready to go.

Speaking of PDQs, that was one of my first recumbent bikes and in hindsight the mesh seat was a real plus in the early stages of riding: fall, and the seat frame took the hit and saved the softer parts. I wonder if I could fit a mesh seat to the Fuego? :lol:

Lodge
Posts: 58
Joined: 28 Feb 2016, 8:59pm
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby Lodge » 11 Mar 2019, 8:37pm

Done very much the same from a Bacchetta Giro. Down a 15% hill, level out and into a right handed corner at about 45 kph. Front Kojak lost grip. Damaged handlebar, right brake lever & cable, and derailleur (but still rideable). And damaged me of course with small graze to my right hand and a 10 cm circular loss of skin on the right buttock. Much use of Mepore dressings for the next few weeks and being very careful how I sat down. I was glad to be on the recumbent as if that had been from my upright tourer it would have been much worse. There again I couldn't sit on a recumbent for some weeks so had to ride the upright to work (no car!).

And yet I'd been round that corner every day for years, it being on the way to work. This time it was clear, dry and no traffic (luckily). I can only surmise that I drifted very slightly over the centre white line when it went down. Or that there was loads of dusty pollen around (it was May).

Upshot: I sold the Bacchetta and stayed with my ICE Sprint. Not as fast as the two wheeler but safer (perhaps... hopefully). At least with the trike I can feel when the tyres are starting to slide.

Stradageek
Posts: 610
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby Stradageek » 12 Mar 2019, 1:38pm

I've also suffered two or three wipe outs and had many front micro-slides whilst running Schwalbe Duranos (406X28) on my Speedmachine. I switched to a Continental Sport contact and pretty much eliminated the problem but still suffered the odd 'moment'.

The solution has been to bring the front tyre pressure right down to around 60psi - no problems since

Interesting comments on Kojaks - I was about to buy one as I wanted to try a wider 406x35 - but as the problem seems to have gone away at lower tyre pressure, I might shelve the idea

speedy7777
Posts: 12
Joined: 24 Sep 2017, 11:20pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby speedy7777 » 12 Mar 2019, 6:59pm

Ive washed out badly with a kojac on the front (on an upright) I read in reviews online that they grip well but when they let go there is no warning. However ive washed out with other brands of tyres too so its not proof. It could have been a little gravel or moisture or like it was for me the road surface was very polished on the slightly off camber corner and there was no grip.

hercule
Posts: 965
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby hercule » 12 Mar 2019, 8:52pm

It’s a relief to hear that I’m not the only one. So now I have a list of things to do:

- replace headset
- lower tyre pressure on front (I was running it at 80psi)
- buy a new pair of cycling tights!
- stay on trike meantime (landing again on that side doesn’t bear thinking of, I don’t think I could ride home...

Stradageek
Posts: 610
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby Stradageek » 13 Mar 2019, 6:48am

hercule wrote:It’s a relief to hear that I’m not the only one. So now I have a list of things to do:

- replace headset
- lower tyre pressure on front (I was running it at 80psi)
- buy a new pair of cycling tights!
- stay on trike meantime (landing again on that side doesn’t bear thinking of, I don’t think I could ride home...

I too resorted to a spell on the trike but I'm glad I got my confidence back - the two wheeler is much faster and so much fun

Enjoy :D

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 9499
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Down, not yet out.

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Mar 2019, 8:32am

Nothing at all to do with HPVS!!!!!1

The human body is s wonderful thing

It has a reflex that in case of danger allows you to run away or stand your ground.

Unfortunately, the first thing that does is to deliver massive doses of painkillers

ALWAYs be aware of this when you have an accident as it will mask injuries that could be exacerbated if you carry on. Make a detailed survey visually and by feel rather than trust whether it hurts or not