New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Damn Seagulls

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
... and other fall cycling musings.

I am lucky to ride on a coastal barrier island. The roads are well paved, wide and traffic is very light. In mid-August, I upgraded to Contintental 4000, 700x25 tires, mostly on the recommendation of two friends. The reviews for these tires are positive except to puncture resistance, to which my friends disagreed. Anyway, the tires are now trash. The culprit was small seashells. The gulls pull them from the water and drop them on the roads to break the shell, permitting them to eat. The shells dry out in the sun and turn hard as rocks that break with razor sharp edges when a bike tires rolls over it. Thank cell phones and my wife for picking me up following complete destruction on one tire. Damn Seagulls.

I also made the change to compact front chainrings. Riding in some very strong winds this fall resulted in sore Patella tendons in my knees and limited my cycling for over a month. Compact gearing takes getting used to, and, makes me appreciate how good the engineering design is in traditional chainrings where fine tuning is easy. Compacts are very easy to get into cross-chaining and I've learned to pay more regular attention to this. But it is nice to climb and maintain a low heartrate.

My LBS did a refitting of my body position and raised my seat-height by 3 mm to help fix the knee issue. Their experience is that low seat height is the most common cause of Patella pain. So far so good. It was worthwhile to revisit body position with a pro after 3 months on a new frame. He changed alignment on my Shimano SPD's, plu, did a swap out of my stem for a slightly longer and lower stem. They are good people to work with and merit my business.

I'm really looking to ski season to feel the effect of the conditioning that 6 months on a bike brings. I know now that my conditioning last year was way poorer than I believed.
post #2 of 10
In the south west (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.) they have goathead weeds. They produce a small thorned seed that is hard as a rock and as sharp as a razor. From what I understand, tire liners are the only way to keep your tires intact out there. It sounds like you have a similar problem. It is likely that tires won't make much of a difference.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

In the south west (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.) they have goathead weeds. They produce a small thorned seed that is hard as a rock and as sharp as a razor. From what I understand, tire liners are the only way to keep your tires intact out there. It sounds like you have a similar problem. It is likely that tires won't make much of a difference.

they have them in utah as well, tubeless tires on road or MTB is the only way to do it.
post #4 of 10
Are you using an aero wheelset?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

... and other fall cycling musings.
My LBS did a refitting of my body position and raised my seat-height by 3 mm to help fix the knee issue. Their experience is that low seat height is the most common cause of Patella pain. So far so good. I

Nice.  Were you having problems walking down steps?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


Are you using an aero wheelset?


Nice.  Were you having problems walking down steps?

My wheelset is just a very basic Mavic Axsium with radial spokes.

Walking down steps was painful. Just about any knee exercise caused most of the knee joint to be very cranky and, I normally have very good knees. In retrospect, I probably went too far,  too fast during my return to cycling. Rest, ice and ibuprofen were the remedies.

The Atlantic coastline is subject to Northeast storms where 25 knot winds can blow for days. Right along the coast, there's no place to hide. I got caught twice 20 miles from home with no choice other than to grind it out under 10 mph straight into the wind. Not fun.

Helluva - What destroyed the tires was sidewall rupture, tape would not have helped. Agreed that most tires will not stand up to a very hard shell. But why did it have to happen to my new $100 plus pair. Just whining. Thanks again for the recommendation on Ritchie compacts.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post
My wheelset is just a very basic Mavic Axsium with radial spokes.
 

Gotcha.   So you could, in theory, go out to something like  32mm Panaracer T-Servs.   Assuming you were OK with the minor aero penalty and the bigger weight penalty.


Walking down steps was painful. Just about any knee exercise caused most of the knee joint to be very cranky and, I normally have very good knees. In retrospect, I probably went too far,  too fast during my return to cycling. Rest, ice and ibuprofen were the remedies.
 

Been there, done that, suffered from ITB inflammation for close on half a year after  


The Atlantic coastline is subject to Northeast storms where 25 knot winds can blow for days. Right along the coast, there's no place to hide. I got caught twice 20 miles from home with no choice other than to grind it out under 10 mph straight into the wind. Not fun.
 

That too, only not as often as you.


Helluva - What destroyed the tires was sidewall rupture, tape would not have helped. Agreed that most tires will not stand up to a very hard shell.
 
     Heck, now I'm -really- curious whether a 32mm TServ could've dealt with that.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

Helluva - What destroyed the tires was sidewall rupture, tape would not have helped. Agreed that most tires will not stand up to a very hard shell. But why did it have to happen to my new $100 plus pair. Just whining. Thanks again for the recommendation on Ritchie compacts.
 

That is odd actually... A sidewall blowout sounds like the result of either a really severe pinch flat or a defective tire. I've never seen one just "blow out" without a pre-existing problem of some kind... Especially those tires. The GP4000 is known for it's durability or so I thought. I use Pro3's, so I'm used to not having durable tires, but I'd think that the GP's would be fine.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
The killer shells are smaller "conch" type shells that I've seen up to 2" high. When freshly removed from the water they are very soft and easily crushed. Baking in sun makes them more like porcelin. Damage was never done in the middle to the tire. The roads are very smooth and pinch flats just don't occur.

Conti 4000 reviews on Road Bike Review show a strong failure mode in sidewall.

Comprex,
The replacements were 700x23 Maxxis that the shore bike shop swears by. Tire availability away from home is very limited, buy what they sell or park the bike. I also should get a spare tire.  I've no plans to use a wider tire as I enjoy riding with some pretty good people and need all the speed I can muster.

While I may not be the brightest rider on saving tires, the area of concern is a 5 mile road through a tidal wetland with a full width shoulder that would easily support parked cars. Only bird watchers park there, so shell density can be high. 3 blowouts have taught me to look ahead better and/or ride a little closer to the car lane where the shells are crushed by normal vehicle traffic. In part, my practice on riding on the far right greatly increased probability of this type of hit.

Live and learn! I'll try to get some scenery pics this weekend.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

The killer shells are smaller "conch" type shells that I've seen up to 2" high. When freshly removed from the water they are very soft and easily crushed. Baking in sun makes them more like porcelin. Damage was never done in the middle to the tire. The roads are very smooth and pinch flats just don't occur.

Makes sense to me:
The tread center crushed the section of shell under it, allowing the tire to drop down towards the pavement and allowing the sidewalls to make contact with the bit of shell that -didn't- get crushed.

I rembemer reading at least one  article about those shells' toughness
http://www.americanscientist.org/my_amsci/restricted.aspx?act=pdf&id=13926622645062

Heh, too bad you don't have any inline skaters on that 5 mile section.   It'd be swept clean.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Comprex,
That link cracks me up. I never knew that:

The queen conch is a marine snail that grazes seagrass beds in shallow Caribbean waters. It does so openly, and with little fear of natural predators: Unmolested by human fishers, an adult conch may live 20 years. This prodigious lifespan for an invertebrate is possible because of the conch's amazing shell, a defensive adaptation that represents the pinnacle of molluskan evolution. In conch shell, slender crystallites of calcium carbonate are bound by a proteinaceous glue into planks, sheets, and layers, and at each level of organization, adjacent elements are oriented at right angles. This architecture dissipates the force that might otherwise fracture the shell through a system of noncatastrophic microcracks. Breaking into a conch shell requires a crack to travel a tortuous path of false starts and switchbacks as it wends from sheet to sheet and layer to layer. In addition to such estimable toughness, the shell microstructure self-assembles and is self-healing, providing a lofty target that human engineers are beginning to match.

Yup, I run over the ruins of their already dead kids! The motto of small conchs is "Damn Seagulls".
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling