Crashed Again

On Saturday I had my second high speed front wheel blowout in 2 years. This time I was really riding hard on a descent, and I hit the deck at 30 mph. The resulting road rash is still oozing blood 2 days later, not pretty. I have removed about 8 square inches of skin from my thigh, and another perfectly decent pair of bib shorts are now trashed too. The left hand Keo pedal took a big hit and while it is still usable, it’s missing part of the platform and will also need replaced. At least I wasn’t running power meter pedals this time!

The last time this happened was on the V20 and I surmised that something had dinged the rim enough to cause a blowout – this time it was caused by a sharp stone putting a gash in the sidewall of the Pro One tyre. I am now actually suspicious that perhaps the first blowout was also a gash in the tyre, even though the rim was also dinged. I did notice a hole in the Maxxis Padrone tyre that I had on the V20 at the time when I was later using it on my road bike with a tube.

I am slowly coming to the acceptance that running fragile low rolling resistance racing tyres on the Borders back roads just isn’t sensible. Too much gravel, and these tyres aren’t sturdy enough. It’s a shame, because running Pro Ones tubeless gives a lovely ride quality and are definitely smoother and faster over these not very well maintained roads. The truth is though that I have had many punctures running these tyres both with tubes and tubeless, and two of those have resulted in considerable damage to both me and the bike.

I’m going back to Duranos on the CHR for now. A bit slower, but considerably more durable. My desire to keep removing chunks of my legs is at an all time low.

12 thoughts on “Crashed Again

  1. That’s a nasty scrape from the sounds of it. No pictures please…!
    Heard on the CityCycling forum and meant to pm you. Anyway it’s one of these debates and think the decision to go to something heavier is the right one.

    If you were getting paid to ride fast it might be ok but in the world of cycling for ‘fun’ it’s not worth the personal risk or injury. Sorry to hear of the damage to yourself and bike.

    Best wishes for these scrapes to heal!

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    • Yes, I really need to let go of my obsession for going as fast as I possibly can. I’ve always had it, since I was a kid. The M5 is the ultimate bike for scratching that itch…..

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  2. I had an “off” late last year on my Fuego… only doing 15mph but took a sharp corner at speed and the front wheel went from under me, perhaps on some oil or diesel. Apart from a few minor scrapes the bike was OK (though it felt like I slid along the tarmac for quite some distance). However I shredded my favourite pair of tights, got some spectacular bruises, and had a very painful lump in my gluteus for weeks. I haven’t been on the Fuego this year, in the Age of COVID the trike seems a much safer proposition. The VTX is no slower anyway!

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  3. Sorry to hear this David – I haven’t been brave enough to go for such superlight tyres. Continental Contact Speeds might also be worth a look – quite supple, but still some puncture resistance. I had them on my road bike and liked them, and have also run them on the velo (~35mm on the road bike which were great, only in 28mm width for the velo; the 28mm were a bit narrow for my tastes and our rural back roads).

    I shall avoid any mention of 3 wheels being better than 2. A Milan or Alpha 7 would suit your need for speed while still giving stability 🙂

    Hope you heal up quickly and are able to get back on the bike soon.

    On Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 14:30, Recumbent Cyclist Scotland wrote:

    > David Mason posted: ” On Saturday I had my second high speed front wheel > blowout in 2 years. This time I was really riding hard on a descent, and I > hit the deck at 30 mph. The resulting road rash is still oozing blood 2 > days later, not pretty. I have removed about 8 square i” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi David

    My Challenge Fujin is on Duranos, I find 80psi in the rear gives a nice ride and doesn’t seem slower and 90 in the front and it rolls lovely 👍 I’ve tried 100 on both but it’s way too much and probably asking for a blow out! I was thinking about tubeless options which I’ve done on my road bike and yes there’s a nice feeling going on (and very clever how they self repair!) but when they finally wore out I didn’t really miss them and found more comfort in a nicely fitted tube in a nice new tire (much cheaper also) so maybe this set up perfect anyway. Hope you recover soon fella
    Ps ever thought of getting a Kawasaki ZZR 1400??!!! Seconds thoughts – no you’ll remap it and make it go 290mph !!

    Good luck and take it easy David

    Cheers Oliver
    London

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  5. There’s some good points made here. The main one that I am mulling is – should I have been riding so fast at all given the current Coronavirus situation?

    I have taken great care throughout lockdown to do almost all my riding within walking distance of the house should something go wrong. During my double century I was never more than 4.5 miles from the house. The few rides I have ventured slightly further (e.g. the Innerleithen loop which takes me 15 miles from the house), I have also ensured that my wife has been at home with a car should I need picked up.

    A blowout can happen at any time, but perhaps if I had been going a bit slower I might have stopped in time (although I doubt it).

    I have considered the fact that drivers also appear to be more angry during lockdown, and that my weekly time trial up and down the A7 is possibly not the best plan either. I’ve had a few people clearly annoyed at me being on the road, despite the fact I am moving faster than a lot of the farm traffic that also shares the road at this time of year. As such I’m moving the TT to the Zwift world for the duration of the challenge.

    I think running safer tyres is definitely the right thing to do though.

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  6. David,
    I think Grand Prix 5000 TL would have been the better choice than the first Pro Ones TLE regarding puncture resistance and rolling resistance. However the current Pro Ones TLE with ADDIX compound should been improved in termes of safety. Hope this is true. I’ve just ordered one tyre set of new Pro Ones for my second recumbent.

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  7. Sounds nasty – hope the skin is regrowing well
    You have got me worried now as I have Pro ones on both my M5 and the P 38 ( they do a 406 size)
    Particularly on the P 38 ,I ride a lot of gravel cycle paths and have never seen any scraping or damage to the sidewalks
    I don’t reach the sorts of speeds you attain except downhill!
    I usually inflate to about 10% below max rec pressure .I do squirt about double the recommended amount of sealant into them for extra reassurance
    Mine are all 28 mm except for the back of the M5 which is 25mm
    Max pressure for the 28 mm 700 Pro One is 80 PSI – I wonder if the sealant has more chance to work at a lower pressure ?
    I don’t know if you use narrower ones or if wider ones are less fragile
    I really like these tyres -anything to get a bit more speed from less effort- but now I am fretting a bit !

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  8. My suspicions about narrow tubeless tyres were confirmed by Paul at Criterion Cycles who was adamant that you should not use tubeless in anything narrower than about 30mm
    High pressure and small air volume precludes the sealant functioning as intended
    Have opted for Vittoria Corsas with ultra light inner tube- tan and black looks good on a black M5 To my eye

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  9. I’m nursing two recent gravel rash sliding down the road impacts. New on top of old. Still
    Six weeks on picking out gravel from pussy lumps. Now there is a picture. David you have my deepest sympathy . Still a few years and the battle honour scars fade. How many front flats have you not gone down. ? Tyre pressure monitors won’t help with a gashed tyre. Therefore unless you run tannus tyres perhaps an off like this is unfortunately reasonably inevitable and the cycling risk is known and accepted. Funny how when descending at 100 klm per hour the faith in the tyre is never questioned. In the end all you can do is take reasonable precautions. Running the largest tyre at the lowest practical pressure doesn’t slow you down relative to the comfy ride and possible increased flat gash protection? Running 32mm conti gp5000 tubes at 50 psi and 28 mm at 90 psi on brevet and vendetta. You can buy cycling body armoured wear. Just ask larry oz. he had a terrible run of slides a few years ago. Recover well. Finally a flat on the rear of a delta trike layout can be disastrous too. Quatrovelo anyone 👍

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  10. It is precisely when I descend at 100 Kmh that thoughts of my life depending on a few millimetres of rubber enclosing a few puffs of air, flash across my mind!!
    Rather an intoxicating cocktail of terror and ecstasy though !

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