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Does your bike handle different in the hot weather?(9 posts)

Does your bike handle different in the hot weather?Chicago_Steve
Aug 26, 2003 6:24 AM
Okay this sounds like a silly question but hear me out...

I am daily commuter riding a True Temper OX Platinum steel cyclocross bike. The bike has at least 10k miles with probably 90% on the road and 10% offroad (no racing, just singletrack).

Yesterday was the hottest day yet in Chicago at 95F with some strong humidity. I'm riding home and my bike has sort of a disconnected feel. Its like that feeling you get when you start to lose tire pressure because of an impending flat. The bike just seemed to wander slightly more then it should. It felt so strange that I was a little afraid to corner hard on it!

Since the bike felt pretty strange, I stopped riding, checked the tires and looked over the BB area, headtube, chainstay, and seatstay joints for cracks. Nothing was found.... Next I checked the saddle rails to see if they had cracked or the shell of the seat had failed. Finally, I checked the headset and even put the wheels on the truing stand last night to see if the tension was even... NOTHING...

The only thing I can figure out was that the heat made the rubber compound of my tires (Serfa's Seca RS) a little soft? Their pressure was slightly low (90 PSI) but I've ridden many miles at that pressure...

Any suggestions? Do steel bikes get a little "flexy" after a lot of miles?

FWIW... I'll be back on the bike tomorrow and will see if the strange ride characteristics continue or not....
Aug 26, 2003 6:33 AM
The engine is more lethargic and requires more coolant and the fluids need to be topped off more frequently.

The worst is stopping at a light and realizing my cleats are imbedded in the melting asphalt... a gooey mess.

I think the difference in air temp (maybe 20 degrees between a normal day and a HOT day) is relatively insignificant compared to the heat generated by hard braking... so I don't think it is the tires.
If not tires and asphalt, you had heatsroke maybe? ;-) nmSpunout
Aug 26, 2003 6:44 AM
No heatstroke but maybe subconscious new bike lust?Chicago_Steve
Aug 26, 2003 6:54 AM
I have been hanging out on Calfee's website lusting over their carbon frames.... I wonder if my current bike found out about this and is trying to show me who's boss?
Only when I'm on Mercury.MR_GRUMPY
Aug 26, 2003 6:59 AM
When the temps get up to 8-900 degrees, the frame gets a little "soft."................... Don't be silly..... It's the road. Asphalt can get pretty soft under direct sun, when it's in the 90's.
As Phil Leggett would say...Brooks
Aug 26, 2003 7:50 AM
"The bitumen is getting sketchy" (just before Beloki went down). As the Grumpster says, it's the road. Asphalt when hot makes it feel like your tires are squirmey (if that's a word).
Aug 26, 2003 8:34 AM
When it's in the 90's, I notice a big difference on a local hillclimb when I ride on the asphalt road compared to the foot and a half-wide concrete border along the sidewalk. Riding along the sidewalk border feels like it takes about 10% less power. The asphalt feels like I'm just sinking in.
Aug 26, 2003 9:32 AM
I'm going on my third summer with this bike and prior to that a couple of years on a Trek road bike. The hot asphalt is noticible but nothing like this. The sensation is kind of like riding across carpeting....

FWIW, I did ride most of last summer with CX tires on (700x35c) and right now I'm riding typical road tires (700x25c).

To further confuse the issue I did a 50 mile loop on Saturday when temps were in the 80's with no strange bike handling issues. A 10F to 15F wouldn't seem to make that much a difference to affect my bike's handling this much.

Tomorrow's a cooler day (80's again) so it will give me another chance to evaluate the ride...

Thanks for all the responses...
Hmmmmm....asphalt assault
Aug 26, 2003 8:10 AM
I'd think that the heat would effect your tires if anything, and asphlt is certainly softer on those +90 days. The combination of the two might have given you that weird feeling.

FWIW, the motor sure runs better in cooler weather!

Ricko>>>Planning to ride in the Thornton "oven" this afternoon:)