Bad luck, or something else?

by Skybird   August 23, 2014  

I was on a normal run the other day when I got caught in a severe rain storm. I normally never go out in the rain, in fact, I can't remember the last time I did, certainly not in the past year with my current bike. I had just fitted a set of Ksyerium Equipe wheels and tyres - these were new from EBay. They really did seem new, in packaging, with all hub protectors, skewers and tyres and tubes, just as they would have come from the factory, it seemed. The only difference is they were 23c tyres, replacing the 25c on my Trek Domane 4.3. I was going round a corner, not leaning much or going particularly fast, when the front wheel slid out from under me, causing me to hit the ground head first (thanks Kask - phew) and pretty much cut open both knees, the knuckles on both hands etc. thanks to my local casualty and a couple of x-rays, I got patched up, and fortunately no damage to the bike, but I need a new helmet.

Sorry for the length, but I don't know if I did something wrong fitting the wheels, or if I hit a pothole or if the tyres need to be worn in, or if I have been ripped off and these wheels are death traps! Or was it just bad luck? The accident can be seen in glorious HD here -

I am thinking of putting my 25c tyres back on, and scared stiff of cornering at the moment, so a problem shared...

Thanks, Skybird

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Not sure if it's the same on bike tyres but on cars you should always be really careful at first when new. When they are made the mould is sprayed with a mould release compound which transfers to the tyre. New tyres in the rain could be interesting! I run bikes with both 23 & 25c tyres i find cornering on the 23c much harder I assume because of the smaller contact patch. I ride in the wet but am a bit of a wimp so slow down for corners which i wouldn't even think about in the dry.

posted by pablo [83 posts]
23rd August 2014 - 22:14


Spot on from Pablo, new tyres need grained in first to wear through the top shiny layer.

I wouldn't have fancied a first run in the wet on new tyres, need a good few dry miles and deceleration a to clean them up.

May also have been bad luck though, could have been diesel mixed with the rain water, but new tyres don't bite just as well as worn ones.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [870 posts]
24th August 2014 - 5:32


Looking at the video, there looks to be a crease in the road at the point the wheels let go. These are a tad slippery and if you were close the limit of the tyres then it would be enough to put you on the deck.

However, I'd still say you were pretty unlucky to go down when you did.

What tyres are on the wheels? If they are Mavic tyres, then they are notoriously bad in the wet, so I'd advise keeping for dry days or getting rid of.

You also need to take into account that 25mm tyres provide a surprisingly greater amount of grip than 23mm tyres... a fact I was reminded of again last night whilst racing on 25mm... moving down to 23mm I would not be surprised that you pushed the limit.

I don't hold out too much hope that the tyres will be better after a couple of rides... yes the release solution won't help, but I'd expect it to have been rubbed off after only a few miles.

The other thing to think about is bike position. that front wheel went and went hard, which might suggest you are bearing too much weight through your arms and overloading the front tyre. Thats a dangerous combination, because as soon as your front end moves, it is compunding the issue... i.e. you can not control any form of front end slippage.

In summary, I'd ditch the tyres, get some 25mm andmaybe think about your position a bit.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [433 posts]
24th August 2014 - 9:18

1 Like

Thanks all - the tyres are Mavic tyres, it was a WTS - Wheel / Tyre / System I bought, and the tyres were brand new, folded and unused, it does seem likely that the combination of them being new and the wet didn't help, although I had done around 12 miles on them when I crashed, so I had hoped that they would have ran in by then - as I said, I never go out in the rain, I just got caught halfway through the ride, and had to head back eventually after waiting twenty minutes under cover to see if it would stop.

In terms of bike position / arms, not sure - I am 5'11" and ride a 56cm Trek Domane which has always suited me fine - I rode a 54cm as a trial and it felt way too small, and I seemed to be to far over the handlebars it didn't seem safe, so I went for the 56. No-one was more surpassed than me when the front wheel went, it was so fast I had no time to react at all.

I am definitely going to change the tyres back to 25c's while keeping the Mavic wheels, does anyone have any suggestions for a decent pair, with good grip - it seems I need them?

thanks again for everyone who replied,




Skybird's picture

posted by Skybird [13 posts]
24th August 2014 - 16:17

1 Like

Looks like there was a lot of road paint around as well, which is always slippy.

posted by JohnnyRemo [133 posts]
24th August 2014 - 18:51


JohnnyRemo wrote:
Looks like there was a lot of road paint around as well, which is always slippy.

That was my first thought (took a tumble on wet road markings in France last year) but the markings were still ahead of skybird when they fell.

If you look at the screengrab, its the old style hardcore concrete that tends to be bad with run off of water, also at the bottom of an incline, could be a wet patch with oil/petrol, and that stuff is like ice.

Add that to previous comments about new tyres not broken in and its a conspiracy of coincidences!

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [717 posts]
24th August 2014 - 19:14


The problem appears to have occurred slightly earlier than you suggest by the slo-mo footage. The road surface looks to have light damage, just before the painted ramp, and that might well have left loose, gravel-like debris on the surface. It looks to me that that was when your front wheel went sideways.

Must admit, for general riding I use 32mm tyres (or 28 if there's insufficient clearance). They last much longer and are much better on rough surfaces and in the wet. You can go more places on them too. Growing up in the 70's almost everybody used inch-and-a-quarter tyres (32mm today). Skinny tyres were considered impractical and the sole preserve of track cyclists and racing professionals. I'm still of that view.

posted by Joeinpoole [435 posts]
24th August 2014 - 19:24


New tyres take more than 12 miles to 'bed in', especially in the wet.
Could have had some diesel/oil anything on the road, could have ran too much air in them too, million and one possibilities. I'd not anaylse it too much and just put it down to 'Shit happens'.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [638 posts]
25th August 2014 - 15:49


glynr36 wrote:
New tyres take more than 12 miles to 'bed in', especially in the wet.
Could have had some diesel/oil anything on the road, could have ran too much air in them too, million and one possibilities. I'd not anaylse it too much and just put it down to 'Shit happens'.

This. Turns out 'shit happens' is an anagram of my real name! I did not know about the 12 miles, just got a new set of Conti GP 4 tyres, hoping the weather holds to start breaking them in tomorrow. Smile



Skybird's picture

posted by Skybird [13 posts]
29th August 2014 - 22:31