How To Deal With Bad Roads And Potholes | GCN’s Cycling Tips

– [Matt] Rumbling and rattling over rutted rugged cracked uneven potholed road is something, that all cyclist will have to face from time to time And some, more than others, depending on where you live – [Simon] Yeah, it can be jarring experience in more ways than one with punctures, broken wheels, sometimes even crashes being the outcome. But, for smoother, safer cycling, why not check out these following tips. Be prepared Be prepared… And by that I mean a couple of things Firstly, an awareness of the route is always a good idea. Just so you know to expect, and what’s coming up ahead. And secondly, and arguably more importantly – is make sure you’ve got the correct tire pressure. So, firstly, not too soft, just to avoid the risk of any pinch punctures, and secondly, not too hard, so you don’t get bounced all over the road and even risk losing control. Look ahead The best way to avoid potholes in particular, is simply to avoid them in the first place. To give yourself a chance to do that, you just need to look ahead and not just at patch of tarmac immediately in front of your front wheel. So, if you scan the road ahead like Matt’s doing there, then it’ll give you time to assess the road surface and then, crucially take a considered line, to avoid the potholes as opposed to swerving last minute or worse, just crashing straight through it. Bunny hop Look, I know this isn’t a skills video, so just hear me out. The humble bunny hop, is a vitally important and very very cool skill, to have in your toolbox of skills
– [Simon] (shout) Woohooo!! There an absolute get-out-of-jail-free card, especially, when you faced with a pothole on a fast descent, or a very quick stretch of road, when there’s no time or just not safe, to maneuver around it Well-executed bunny hop has got us out of some pretty difficult situations on many many occasions It’s just a shame that my toolbox of skills was empty about year ago, when I hit that log (Vinyl Backspin sound fx) (log kick sound and then laughting) Puddles Puddles… This isn’t about not wanting to get your bum or your feet wet. If you ride blindly into a puddle, you’re taking a risk as underneath hidden from view, could be a pothole or other objects, that could at best puncture your tire, ruin your wheels, or even worse, throw you off your bike Technique The best technique to employ, when riding over rough roads – is a hold a handlebars either on the tops, or on the brake hoods. You want to hold them firmly, but not tightly, as a tighter grip is just going to increase fatigue in your shoulders and your neck. So you want to try and relax your body, Because being less rigid, can mean you’re much better able to absorb shocks and vibrations, coming up in the road. Also, look to decrease your cadence, to about 70 or 80 RPM, Because at hight cadences on bumpy roads – the body tends to bounce around in the saddle a lot, and pedaling a lower cadence, will also increase and help with your stability. Now, on shorter sectors of really bumpy roads it’s also worth, if you can incerasing your speed, but this will have the effect of smoothing out those bumps, as you glide over the top of them. – I feel like I’m gliding – I feel like I’m gliding Si Point out the potholes Point out potholes… Now this one may seem a little bit obvious, but believe you me, there are many riders, who simply forget, and there are those, that are just unaware, that is, until we end up down a pothole themselves. So, if you’re out in your bike, on the front of a group, or, just one rider behind you, always, always, always point out potholes. It’s not just courteous, it’s also – safer. Tire width If you ride regularly on rough roads, then you’re really gonna want to get some wider tires. They increase your comfort significantly, and they’re also gonna reduce the risk of pinch punctures. And to fair why the tires are actually becoming increasingly popular across the board, because you can also get lower rolling resistance with them as well. Now you’re going to want to look at maybe 25, at 28, or even bigger, if you can fit it in your frame. Summary It’s also worth noting, you’ll actually spend a little more energy at a given speed on rough surface as opposed to riding on a nice smooth surface, so don’t be too worried, if your average speed starts to drop a little bit. And if you feels a little bit harder, it’s not you, that’s inefficient, – it’s actually the road surface. – Road lag – Definitely – Yeah So, you want to look up ahead, relax on the bike, consider getting wider tires, and practice… And definitely, practice! Those bunny hops. And if you do end up down a pothole, or worse, you might want to check out a roadside maintenance playlist You can get trough to that just up there (poninting) Good tip side, and for our new show – “Ask GCN”, how about clicking down here. We will try and answer all your burning cycling questions If you can e-mail in about “how to bunny hop”, couldn’t you? – You could definitely. Oh, and to subscribe to GCN, click on the globe somewhere whithin this frame.