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Tire Blowouts(17 posts)

Tire BlowoutsChrisVedral
Aug 24, 2001 8:43 AM
Hey ive been getting brave going down hills at about 40mph and i was wondering what happnes if a tire blowouts is there anytihng u can do u to save your self, i guess clip out and put your feet down but i dont know at 40 thats gunna suck. but i dont want htis to happen to me so what cani do to prevent it?!!?? pump the tires up to the max psi or what should i do? keep the air pressure a lil lower then normal?
Prevention methodTrollman
Aug 24, 2001 8:53 AM
1. Get off your bike

2. Hang it in the garage.

3. Sit on couch.

4. Watch tv shows of other people riding and taking risks.

5. Dont leave house.

6. Wear football pads outside house.

7. Order all food from delivery services.

I could go on, but what would be the point?

Get out and ride. If you go down, so what.
Prevention methodMrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 9:22 AM
Trollman, you troll you!
The poor kid just wanted some sage advice.
I guess I'm just stuffing moss down your troll-hole.
Trollman understands but does not repent.Trollman
Aug 24, 2001 9:31 AM
Biggest issue I see here is fear.

Just ride the hell out of life. It will ride the hell out of you sometimes, but you get it all back in the end.

Trollman has gone down before and Trollman will go down again.

Decent moss.
To repent would demand that you "pent"...MrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 9:35 AM
5-sided wheels?
Vanna White?
White Industries?
Ask Julie T. what happens during a high-speed blowout...RhodyRider
Aug 24, 2001 9:00 AM
Her story that appeared here about a week ago still makes me grimace. Her point was that unclipping at speed may be worse than going down with the ship. Stay within +/- 10 psi of your tire's recommended max and you should be ok. Don't dwell on the what-ifs, in any case.
That sounds like my cue!jtolleson
Aug 24, 2001 11:01 AM
Had a high speed front-end blowout in 1998 while descending Squaw Pass (the back way down Mt. Evans here in Colo, if that means anything).

My long, dreadful crappy experience lead me to believe that unclipping while crashing is overrated. I instinctive unclipped and stifflegged it into the ground on the way down (or so I've been told by the rider behind me). I shattered everything from the ankle on down. I've had three surgeries, a full fusion of ankle and midfoot (my foot is now so stiff that I think I could mount a cleat directly into it!) and spent about 30 weeks over the last 3 years on crutches. Rhody, sorry to make you relive it!

It is just one of those fluke things. My tires weren't too worn, my PSI was fine, I didn't overpump the brakes (overheat the rims) and I've made that decent I'd say a dozen times. (And yes, I've made it 4 times since then, too, and always remained upright!)

Most of the time, a blowout won't necessarily make you crash. But my tire went soft so fast it just about stopped the bike, the handlebars yanked sideways and I came down on leg, frame, and aerobars (no I wasn't riding on them when it happened). I came down so hard that I bent the top tube on my Cannondale R900 (buh bye, Canny). A spectacular somersault and long gravelly slide (ick!) followed.

Lots o' road rash but not even a bump on the head. Go figure.

Anyway, enough about me. Those instinctive gestures we all make on the way down are not always the best. Witness all the wrist fractures from even minor crashes when people put a hand out. Staying connected to the bike with arms and legs in may be a recipe for road rash, but it may also protect the extremities. But who can make such decisions in the blink of an eye?
Lower pressure makes pinch-flats more likely...MrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 9:05 AM
Run the recommended or even 5 psi above. Tandem teams commonly go 10 psi or more over ratings. The critical moment is when mounting the tire. I've heard recommendations to do the following when mounting a tire...
1.) Put just a little air in then check both sides all the way around for the tire seating correctly into the rim.
2.) Inflate the tire the rest of the way to it's recommended pressure, watching carefully for the tume trying to escape the tires confines. If it starts to blow you have about 1 second to let the air out BLAM! too late!
3.) Overinflate the tire by about 10-15 psi. If it's gonna blow for other reasons it'll blow now. Then let the air out to the pressure you want.

4.) Flat wire bead tires will stay on a rim longer than flat Kevlar bead tires.

5.) If you have a blowout at either end on a fast descent, slow down slowly, grabbing the brakes will put you out of control REAL FAST! If it's the front tire, try to shift your weight back behind the seat and try to steer as little as possible without going off the road or into the opposing lane.

I totally understand your concern. I ride a tandem, with my true love on the back, in excess of 50mph at times. The thought of a blowout usually creeps up during these bomber dives. Good time to rehearse the drill.
We LOVE the rush and we're willing to roll the dice.
re: Tire BlowoutsDINOSAUR
Aug 24, 2001 9:21 AM
I crashed last year due to a blowout with my front tire while descending. Things I do now are: Ride with quality fold up tires that are in good condition, any doubt and I chuck the tire. I don't inflate to 5lbs over the recommended psi, I usually stay right at the recommended level. When you blow a clincher tire it has a tendency to roll of it's rim, then you lose your steering. IMHO if you do crash and you are not riding with someone behind you, it might take sometime to figure out exactly what happened. Things happen very fast, one second you are in a blissful state and the next second you are laying in a heap in the middle of the road.
I pamper my tires, and I am aware that things can go wrong, and sooner or later we all crash. Your best protection is your helmet on your head, and carry good I.D. (also have good health insurance).
I learned not to ride like I was invincible, because I'm not, shi* happens....
Another tale...MrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 9:25 AM
A club member thinks he hit a rock during a 35mph curve while he was rushing late to a work meeting. Fractured hip. He's back on the bike 5 weeks later.
When it happens on a turn like that there's really nothing one can do to save it.
Best case scenario is going down a straight. Unfortunately for us there's more stress when turning.
Aug 24, 2001 9:27 AM
Sometimes on massive downhills I will think, if I have a blowout at this speed, how bad is it going to be and what will this speed prove. I always slowdown to something more managable.

Ride within your comfort zone and check your sidewalls before every ride. Last weekend I stopped for a snack. Just as I mounted to ride on my rear tire blew like a gunshot and deflated in 1 second. I had a sidewall failure and the tire bulged out and blew. If it had happened 10 minutes later I would have been howling downhill. every other flat I have ever had has been a slow leak that you could hear and took 20-30 seconds to slowly deflate.

Thank god for making me legs tired and having to stop and snack on Cheesey Peanut Butter crackers!
I bet you live right too...MrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 9:44 AM
Open doors for gals, offer to take out the garbage. Give tubes to hapless riders who don't bring their own, instead of lecturing them and smacking them with your frame pump like Trollman. (Just kidding)
I really believe in gettin' what you give. I've had some close but not quite calls that would make a believer outta you.
Nothing quite as exciting as locking up the front wheel on a tandem in gravel and riding it out!
All that, and don't rotate your tiresRich Clark
Aug 24, 2001 9:50 AM
A blowout on the rear is more likely to leave the bike controllable. Your best tire should be on the front. When the rear is worn, either replace them both or move the old front to the back and put a new tire on the front.

I mention this because I've had reputable mechanics tell me to swap my front and rear tires every 500 miles. What a waste of time!

use tubulars!Rusty McNasty
Aug 24, 2001 10:13 AM
they stay glued to the rim, even when flat. Also, tubulars usually don't "blow" out.
Not the magic answer...MrCelloBoy
Aug 24, 2001 11:22 AM
Tubulars can blow out, and can roll off the rim even though they're glued on.
You CAN certainly ride on them better than clinchers once they flat, but a crash is still a strong possibility in drastic situations like we're discussing.
Better to trash a tire too soon than too late.MB1
Aug 24, 2001 10:16 AM
I inspect our tires weekly on the commuting bikes and before every ride on the other bikes. On the tandem I pull the tires off way too soon and recycle the front tire for commuting-the rear tire gets tossed.

If I find a casing problem the tire gets tossed and I always check for things imbedded in the rubber. This is pretty effective I am amazed how many flats the people we ride with get compared to us.

Tire pressure markings on sidewalls are only a starting point. Miss M is 95 lbs soaking wet no way she needs the same air pressure as we do on the tandem. Front tires need less pressure than rear tires but don't rotate your tires, the best tire should always be on the front. Air pressure really effects the ride so it is worth finding out what works for you.

Get a good pump with an accurate pressure gauge and experiment with air pressure. And never go any faster than you are willing to crash.
Tire Blowouts on DescentsKStone
Aug 24, 2001 6:41 PM
I've seen many flats a the bottom of descents, most I believe to be from brake heat with a thin ultra lite tube, plastic rim strips, continuous braking, or any combination there of.