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What is abuse?(17 posts)

What is abuse?mtbnut
Oct 2, 2003 6:55 AM
Been mountian biking for a couple years and am just getting into road riding. Obviously, road bikes are quite fragile compared to my mtb but how gentle do I need to be. I feel like if I ride off a 3-4" curb, the bike may break. Or train I really need to slow down to a crawl. Let's be real...I'm not doing wheelies or drops but wonder if the bike can take a hit.
wheels are the deciding factorColnagoFE
Oct 2, 2003 7:00 AM
I think most frames can take hits like you describe and if you bunny hop over tracks there is no need to slow down, but smack a lightweight racing wheel into a curb and you are likely to break it. If you have a 36 spoke CXP33 then you might get away with it.
A guy in a race was just in front of me, a little to the left.bill
Oct 2, 2003 11:51 AM
We were winding up for the final sprint, rounding the last corner maybe 200-300 meters from the line.
I watch him go down. No one around -- he just went down. I asked him later what happened; he thought that he may have touched a pedal, but he thought it more likely that his rear wheel just folded up on him (because it indeed had folded up). I guess what may have happened is that his rear bounced a little on the turn and, when it came down, just folded up.
I drop off a 6 inch curb w/out any problemsKristin
Oct 2, 2003 7:12 AM
I do this on just about every ride. There is a place where I ride a sidewalk, then need to get back onto the street. No problems at all.

On one day, I jumped off of a funky construction ledge doing 20 MPH. I caught about 1.5 feet of air and came down on my front wheel. The fork made a disagreable sound. Since then, I've jumped the same ledge, but keep it closer to the ground and learned how to get my rear wheel down first. No problems there either. The bike might be tougher than it looks. I don't know how much of a difference frame material makes either. Mines Columbus Aelle.
Kristin "Airing it out with her bad self"...biknben
Oct 2, 2003 7:38 AM
Here's Kristin getting a bird's eye view over the street of the windy city.

Notice how she obscures her face so not to be recognized. She's always teasing us like that.

You go girl!!!
Here she is again!!!ColnagoFE
Oct 2, 2003 9:13 AM
You'll likely pinch flat before anything else...biknben
Oct 2, 2003 7:31 AM
Smacking a curb or railroad tracks is likely to cause a pinch flat. Maybe put a ding in the rim if you really nail it. I wouldn't worry much about anything else.

If you hit something hard enough to damage the frame, you'll probably be cleaning wounds too.
I used to ride down short flights of 6-8 steps in collegeStraightblock
Oct 2, 2003 7:39 AM
on my old Italvega road bike with heavy tubulars. I was only 140 lbs in those days. Never had any problems with the wheels or frame (Columbus steel) but the cheap Ofmega headset didn't last long for some reason. I replaced it with a Campy Record and never had another problem. I don't think I'd do it today with my aluminum Bianchi w/carbon fork, but I don't bounce as well today at 48 as I did at 20 anyway. I'll still do an occasional drop off or ride up a short curb, though.
140lbs.. those glorious days..cyclopathic
Oct 2, 2003 1:39 PM
no wait, I am still 140lbs 8-P


PS It takes some guts to ride staircase on road bike, admire
Abuse? How about 120 rider crits...No_sprint
Oct 2, 2003 7:45 AM
I've barrelled full bore into groups of 4 or 5 downed riders at serious ramming speed. Nothing like a nasty crit crash. I've flipped bikes, flipped myself, destroyed sets of wheels at a time, bars, shifters, ders, stems, etc. The frames seem to take it ok. Ultralight alu does pretty well in my book. Abuse? Heck yeah.
re: What is abuse?DougSloan
Oct 2, 2003 7:49 AM
I hit a 2x4 in the road at 45 mph. It blew out the tire and dented the rim, which had to be replaced. I think that qualifies as abuse. Other than that, I've found that road bikes can take a pretty good beating. Riding down a curb is not big deal; hitting one going up or sideways would be very bad.

The rider can make a huge difference. Dropping 12" while absorbing most all the shock with your body is one thing; doing it seated with stiff arms would probably be bad.

Skill, luck, equipment choiceStraightblock
Oct 2, 2003 9:01 AM
Years ago, I was with a small group doing a ride on the upper part of the Climb to Kaiser course. We were descending the Kaiser Pass Road, going WFO single file on the wide, smooth lower part. The lead rider suddenly yelled "HOLE!" and cut left. Second in line, I jerked up on the bars and pedals and hopped.

As my wheels touched down, I heard a loud bang, certain I was going down. But directly behind me the next rider had hit the hole and snapped his front wheel. I looked back to see him rag-dolling down the road at 40+mph. Bareheaded, no cell phones, 70 miles from town.

By the time we got back to him, he was starting to sit up and was swearing like mad. His bike was destroyed. Luckily a van full of campers coming down from the high country came by within a few minutes and took him to town. No broken bones, but he did have some serious head trauma that took about 2 weeks of hospitalization.

Ironically, before we had started down the hill, he had semi-jokingly asked me if I wanted him to carry my helmet down the hill for me. We were also using identical front wheels, 36 spokes 3-cross on Fiamme Ergal rims with Clement Criterium Seta 250 gm tubulars. Another friend had a similar crash about a year before, and that's about the time I realized that it doesn't make sense for most of use to use race-day equipment on everyday rides.
Skill, luck, equipment choicebrian n
Oct 2, 2003 10:17 AM
wow! at the same time, those fiamme ergal rims are known to shatter on sudden impacts. not a good characteristic in a wheel in my opinion.

hope all are fully recovered and wearing helmets now!
abuse? I'm just ridin' along (JRA)cmgauch
Oct 2, 2003 8:58 AM
I started w/BMX, got into mtn biking & about 6 years ago, road riding.

On my regular route there are RR tracks about 1/2 way down a big (40+m.p.h.) hill. I bunny hop them everytime (unless I'm on the fixed gear). I've never given a 2nd thought to bunny hopping when needed on the road bike. I'm careful going up curbs: I put the front wheel up & then the back - gentle-like.

At the end of last season I cracked my sweet fillet-brazed cro-mo GT, about an inch above the F. derailleur. I d/n when it happened - I noticed the crack while cleaning it after a rainy century. It was a pretty old frame that I never hesitated to ride in the rain so perhaps that was a contributing factor. My rims (Rolf Vector Comps) stay true.
You won't know till you break it (nm)spluti
Oct 2, 2003 9:18 AM
Most of the same rules apply...miposy
Oct 2, 2003 11:01 AM in MTB, but the bits are not as strong.

That said, some bike frames are more durable than others, as are the headsets and wheelsets which are most affected by this. Off of and up standard curbs, bunny hopping potholes, etc., you should be ok if you use proper form to land the bike relatively gently on both wheels at the same time or the rear wheel first (ideally, the rear wheel will land just before the front).

If you are using good standard stuff (I have Mavic Open Pros, a Chris King Headset, and a good custom steel Strong, you will normally not have an issue. If your headset is subpar, or your wheelset and/or frame is weeny-light, there may be durability or truing issues.

In conclusion, it's not my fault if something bad happens.

Good luck!
curbs and rails.. and how much do you weight??cyclopathic
Oct 2, 2003 1:32 PM
road bikes can take some serios abuse look at Paris-Roubaix or even last stage of TdF on relatively smooth Champs-Elysées. I had pitted headset riding cobbles in Paris. Even on smooth cobbles on top of "I am riding jackhammer" impression at 15-18mph you get 2 wheel drift in wide turns. Bad cobbles comparable to "technical rock gardens" IMHO. And those guys're ripping through at 25mph+.

there's no problem in riding off/on curb, as long as you don't pinch flat. On tracks esp angled and wet ones you pretty much have to pull wheels to avoid crash. Yes it is good idea to scream tracks and slow down, at least if you go down you won't have next guy crashing on you at 20mph.