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A bit of a newbie fail

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by d_n2blue, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Hi everyone,

    This is probably quite obvious (and a bit long winded) to most of you but perhaps not to some of the newbies out there so I though I would share my recent experiences so that it can potentially help them.

    Recently pumped my tyres up at home with a trusty bicycle floor pump which I've had for years. Works a treat and has a built in gauge so it is easy to see when you have reached your desired pressure, which was a good thing since both front and rear tyres were at least 10 psi low!

    Riding to the shops shortly after this I was coming up to a fairly busy roundabout when the car to my right which did have it's left indicator on decided to turn right anyway (because cage), I was going very slow but a healthy pump of the rear brake pedal locked the rear wheel and it started skidding. Fortunately no fall and I wasn't in any danger IMO since I was watching the car like a hawk and was ready to pounce but what did catch me by surprise was the locked rear wheel.
    I have stood on the rear brake many times at higher speeds without a hint of locking ever so I was surprised by this but chalked it up to the white lines of the zebra crossing I had just passed as the cause. No more issues on the way home but I was more careful with the rear brake.

    The next day riding to work the rear of the bike just felt weird, like the bearings were shot or something else was loose. On the way home was kind of scary, locked the rear wheel again coming out of the carpark at work (again only going very slow) and on the way back I had very little confidence to lean the bike over since it felt like it might let go and slide out any second.
    When I got home I decided I was going to check the whole rear end, check all the bolts, bearings, tyres and chain to see if anything was loose. First obvious thing I could do was check that the tyres weren't flat as that seemed the most obvious thing. Neither tyre was going flat but I thought I should just sanity check my pressures since that was the only thing I had touched recently.

    I connected my trusty bicycle pump which has the only pressure gauge I currently have and both tyres were right were I left them a couple of days before. All seemed well but something just didn't seem right. I happened to be staying at the folks place that night and my Dad happened to have three of those cheap pencil type pressure gauges. I tried each of them and all three showed within a couple of psi of each other of which the average was about 50 psi!

    Wholly cr*p the sticker on the side of the swing arm says to have a max of 33/36 psi front/rear! I bled some of the air out to get them down to what they should be. I then reconnected my trusty bicycle pump which showed pressures around 12-15 psi lower than what was really in there. I then threw the pump out the window into the bin.

    Once the pressures were back to normal the bike rides like it always has so happy days and I have ordered a proper pressure gauge. Moral of the story is get yourself a decent pressure gauge and a backup!

    I hope this help someone else!
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  2. That can be a trap for older more experienced riders who have old pressure gauges. Yes I'm sticking my hand up, but mine was reading 10psi high, so when I thought it was 40psi on the rear, it was in reality 30 psi, damn right it's noticable.
  3. You should have kept the pump, and bought a good tyre pressure gauge.
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  4. lol, that was a joke, but I did feel like doing that!
  5. stop using the rear brake

    and get one of these
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  6. Far more common than you think, as chilliman64chilliman64 said get a decent gauge. I have tyre pressure monitors standard on the BMW but I still double check with my gauge, usually only 1 psi variation though. Remember to check pressures cold.
  7. Pleasing to see you double checked. You have a ride coming soon that you don't want to miss.

    Stay off the rear brake. 70% of your stopping power comes from the front brake, by using both brakes you will stop much quicker and without applying so much rear brake force. If upright you will be surprised how hard you can squeeze the front without it locking, just don't snatch at it.

    If leaning, stand the bike up to lessen the lean angle (often you will still be leaning some way to complete a turn) as you start applying the brakes.

    It is a myth you can't use the front brake while not upright, but it does require good technique.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  8. Thanks, no way I'm missing the epic ride next week! I ordered a bunch of stuff for that including a decent gauge so should be all good there.

    I may have made it sound like I was using just the rear brake but that's not the case, I was covering the front as they teach in the learners course, I think what caught me out was the sudden need to stop and the vastly overinflated tyre. I have used the front quite a bit in corners mostly while going downhill to slow for a roundabout, used to do it all the time on the pushy and never came off.
  9. Got this today which should help avoid future tyre pressure fails. Also works as an inline gauge for any pump so I'm sure that will come in handy!

    Attached Files:

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  10. I use a little digital one I bought for $15 to chuck in my bag when mountain biking. I have supercheap mini compressor that I got for the car and use that to add air and then check against my digital guage.

    I am starting to think this, I am quite capable of cornering whilst very gently using the front brake and not have the bike even move off my line. Grabbing during a corner is different.