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lightning and bikes(11 posts)

lightning and bikesbianchi boy
May 28, 2001 7:40 AM
Now for a different angle on the endless debate over frame materials: Which materials are more or less susceptible to lightning strikes while out on the open road? I ask this because we have had a streak of thunderstorms on days when I had planned to be out riding. I'm not wild about riding in the rain, but won't even consider it when there's thunder.

Anyway, all this rainy weather got me to thinking, does it make any difference to the lightning whether you're on a steel, aluminum, ti or carbon frame bike? I know that aluminum is a great conductor of electricity. Carbon fiber, I would presume, is not. I don't know about steel and titanium. Or does it not make any difference at all because of the rubber tires?

Just curious.
re: lightning and bikesDaveG
May 28, 2001 9:29 AM
I can't remember where, but I remember reading an article on this that said that material doesn't make a difference. Nor are rubber tires going to help you, because you are the conductor. When you are in a car, its the steel cage around you that protects you (there's a name for that which I forget) not the rubber tires.
A Faraday cageKerry Irons
May 28, 2001 1:20 PM
is what people think makes a car a safe place to be in lightning. However, given the voltages and current flux involved in a lightning strike, if you're in a car that's hit, you're toast anyway (and literally!!!). The thing to do is lie down, or get in a ditch - avoid being the high point. Nothing will help you in a direct strike.
re: lightning and bikesIan
May 28, 2001 10:12 AM
Look at it this way - Wood is a very poor conductor of electricity, but when lighting strikes the top of a tree, it will travel down through it and blow the thing to pieces. I don't think frame material will make one bit of difference.
Glow In The DarkStormGirl
May 28, 2001 11:41 AM
The others are absolutely correct. If you're struck by lightning - directly or otherwise, you are the conductor and will be electricuted. There is a 100% chance that you will experience some permenant adverse affects from the strike. There is also a 90% chance for brain damage on some level. Doesn't matter what kind of bike you're on.

Getting stuck by lightening looks a lot like having a stroke, and it will alter your life forever. Seriously, I'm a local lightening photographer and I've been studying this stuff since 1996.

Be safe!
I heardGiosDude
May 28, 2001 11:52 AM
that blue bikes and Italian bikes are more prone to this phenomenon
Guess I better watch it, huh?bianchi boy
May 28, 2001 7:33 PM
My new Gios is supposed to ship out tomorrow. I wonder if I still have time to get them to install lightning rods?

After grumbling about the weather all weekend, I finally took off for a ride this afternoon when it looked like the sky was finally clearing. Sure enough, it started raining 5 minutes after I left but I kept going. Fortunately there was no thunder and lightning but I got pretty wet.
Say it ain't so!4bykn
May 29, 2001 7:34 AM
Bianchi boy riding a Gios???? What's the world coming to.
re: lightning and bikesSteevo
May 28, 2001 6:14 PM
Those who said that the bike frame material does not matter in a lightening storm are correct. However, being inside a car with the windows rolled up is a fairly safe place to be during a lightening storm. The lightening will most likely follow the car's exterior sufaces and not go inside to harm you. The rubber tires do nothing.
power linesHaiku d'état
May 29, 2001 7:52 AM
been noticing a little shock (between the thighs and on the hands, felt like a bee sting at first) when riding under certain large power lines. anyone else experience this?
Yes, and I don't like it one bit.Alex R
May 29, 2001 9:54 AM
The hair on my arms bristles and I feel a subtle buzzzz in my whole body.

I have heard that in days gone by a rancher could electify his wire fence by running it beneath a primary line. Is this true?

Additionaly, does anyone know average line loss from source to use these days?

Just curious,