I recently purchased a road bike after having ridden a dutch style bike for over a year and a half. The roads that I ride on have the usual gravel and dirt on them but every now and then my road bike goes over tiny pebbles in the road and ends up throwing them (I hear the sound of them bouncing off stuff behind me). Today was the worst because while going very slow I heard a pebble get whacked right in a car at the red light. I apologized and everything but is this normal with road bikes?

  • Are you saying the stones are thrown from the back, or do they "squirt" out the sides? I have stones "squirt" on occasion but they rarely travel more than a couple of feet. And (nearly bald) road tires won't throw stones out the back. May 2 '15 at 11:58
  • 1
    You don't say specifically what tires you have, but many people on road bikes run tires way skinnier and harder than is useful. On my road bike, I started at 28mm and ended up at 35mm by the time I stopped using it. Particularly if you're regularly using gravel/dirt roads, I'd suggest running the fattest tires that will fit.
    – Reid
    May 2 '15 at 13:57
  • Cars and trucks do this too. I had a windshield broken by a large truck throwing up a stone.
    – Criggie
    Dec 25 '17 at 22:19

Yes, it's normal.

The higher pressure (eg 100 psi, 6-7 bar) of the tires can squeeze stones out quite quickly.

And, yes, sometimes they can hit nearby cars, cyclists, dogs, cats, ... .

Ride on :-)

  • 1
    And when the stones hit other cars on the road, that's their problem, not yours. That's normal wear and tear. May 2 '15 at 21:17
  • 2
    Happens to me regularly with high-pressure tyres - I think it is normal and unavoidable - luckily so far on unoccupied parked cars! Sometimes when I am in my car a car ahead throws up a stone that strikes the windscreen alarmingly. The problem is not yours but the local authority's that doesn't clean the roads regularly!
    – inbike
    May 3 '15 at 7:26

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