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ladycyclist

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  18:56:26  Show Profile
I had an accident in my FAW and wanted to share what happened and ask some questions.


I was riding my FAW home from work. I was going down a slight hill going about 35 mph when the rear the velo began to sway. I applied the brakes and it began to fishtail violently, the more I applied the brakes, the more violent it became and started to push the nose into the lane on the left. The tail then swung around to the right and then things really started happening. I had crossed 2 lanes (fortunately, there were not cars) and could not stop it. I was heading toward a median and on the other side a light had changed and cars were coming in the opposite direction. I continued to apply the brakes, knew I was going to hit the median, hoped I wasn't going to go over it and closed my eyes, deciding I'd rather not see the car that hit me if I went over the median. Well, things started to happen very quickly, I know there was some spinning, perhaps it rolled (there is damage to the top of the nosecone on both sides, with a hole shaved right through the top of the right side of the nosecone. Finally, it slammed over on the right side and began to slide down the road.


I unclipped (being clipped in saved major damage to my legs and held me in), did a quick physical rundown on my condition, mostly scrapes and bruises, no helmet damage, and then I got it over to the side of the road. By this time there were some people to help me get it off the road.


The cause of the accident appears to be a bad tire which came off the rim. When I pushed it to a bike shop the mechanic showed me how the tire did not fit on the wheel any longer. The only thing I had done differently this day was to add 5 more psi, however, this was well within tolerances for the tire and weight. It must have been enough to cause an already bad bead to have a problem and come off the wheel. I am in contact with the tire manufacturer and I am having the wheel examined to make sure there is nothing wrong with it that would have caused this to happen.


I am in the process of repairing the damage. I have placed tape over the nosecone until I can figure out what else to do about it. Mostly, though, the damage is cosmetic. The wheel alignment, chain, and wheels appear to be fine. I will know more after I get it in order to put back on the road.


So, here is my question: why wouldn't the FAW stop when I applied the brakes and why did the fish tailing become so much worse and shove me into the lanes to the left? If fishtailing does begin, how can it be contained? Obviously, I never want to be in this position again.


Any thoughts or comment would be appreciated.


Ann

Charlie Ollinger

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2009 :  12:21:21  Show Profile
So which tire was it that came off?
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ladycyclist

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2009 :  17:36:14  Show Profile
The rear tire. (Sorry to have omitted that before.)
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Alan Krause

23 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2009 :  08:48:25  Show Profile
hard to say without looking at the bike, tire and the street where you crashed but...
if the rear tire came off the rim it could have caught in the frame and started to skid. the brakes ( again I assume) in the front may have not been providing equal force to both sides and "steered" you into the lane.
It's hard for me to say without being there...

Al
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Charlie Ollinger

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2009 :  14:03:55  Show Profile
As Al says, we can't be sure without being there. But there are some things that could cause such a response, which should be checked out before you have another thrill ride.

First, a flat back tire will squirm, steering the trike side to side. The over-inflation I consider a non-issue, as tires can go flat anytime - its what happened next thats interesting.

At high speed, a trike with a narrow track, like the alleweder, will lift one front tire or the other - or both alternately - rather easily*. Hard braking tends to make this worse. High speed braking has a way of exposing bad behavior in any vehicle.

To avoid such excitement in the future:
1. Make sure the front brakes are balanced, and run clean (no "pulsing")
2. Keep the front wheels true, replace rims or tires with *any* damage.
3. Carefully check the alignment of the front wheels. Any toe-in will exaggerate the oscillation. Actually, a wee bit of toe-out can tame an oscillation, but bear in mind that with narrow, high-pressure tires, tiny amounts of toe-in/toe-out will make a big difference.

You might want to take the time to do some testing. Find someplace you can go fast safely (no cars or other solid obstacles), and hit the brakes hard - at progressively higher speed. If all goes well, try steering a bit while braking. This should help find, and let you fix, problems before they show up in traffic.

Charlie

*we built a trike in college, for the ASME competition. The rider took the opportunity to wind up on a long descent. He commented that at high speed, there's no such thing as a tricycle, just bicycles with alternating front wheels.
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ladycyclist

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2009 :  19:55:26  Show Profile
Thank you for your input. I like the idea of "testing" it in a safe place before I start back to work in it again.
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SeanCostin

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2009 :  13:35:03  Show Profile
FAW = Flevo Alleweder.

Sean
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lesley

9 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  12:39:31  Show Profile  Visit lesley's Homepage
That sounds scary! I am glad you made it through it with only minor damage. Sorry I can't be of any help. I am a newbie.

Charlie gave some good feedback.

Lesley
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n/a

6 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  03:59:59  Show Profile
1. Make sure the front brakes are balanced, and run clean (no "pulsing")
2. Keep the front wheels true, replace rims or tires with *any* damage.
3. Carefully check the alignment of the front wheels. Any toe-in will exaggerate the oscillation. Actually, a wee bit of toe-out can tame an oscillation, but bear in mind that with narrow, high-pressure tires, tiny amounts of toe-in/toe-out will make a big difference.

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mycmark

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2009 :  08:53:17  Show Profile
Good to hear you made out.

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jaggsenmarten

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2010 :  21:13:44  Show Profile  Visit jaggsenmarten's Homepage
There's no way roller blades can ever be faster than a bicycle. Consider this... the ice speed skating record is 34mph, and that's on ice, so pavement has to be slower. The record for a bicycle unpaced (not drafting) is 83mph.

Edited by - jaggsenmarten on 03/16/2010 21:14:14
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alexsmth114

Germany
6 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2011 :  00:27:49  Show Profile
Glad to hear that you are fine!!..
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