I recently fell in a corner. My front wheel lost traction (slid out from underneath the bike, what they call a 'lowsider' in motorcycling iirc).
I was running quite low tire pressure (front wheel) to improve front wheel grip, which worked wonders to improve the grip when braking (front brake) in wet weather. But I was wondering if a front wheel tire pressure which is too low can cause one to fall in a corner.
Note: the tire did not roll off of the rim (the tire was still fully on the rim after the fall).
My front tire wasn't worn excessively and is quite new (a year old, plenty of thread left, Schwalbe big ben 26x2.15" folding tire (using inner tubes, so not tubeless). My rim's outer diameter is 26mm (if this makes any difference). My wheel was in good condition before the crash (properly tensioned, no cracks in rim). My bike had some luggage (on the rear rack) on it weighing approx 30kg, the bike with all the luggage weighs approx 45kg. my weight is 80kg. The bike is a hardtail mtb using 120mm travel rock shox reba suspension (in good condition), 26 inch wheels.
I wasn't braking (in the corner). It was dry (temp approx 15 Celcius, surface was tarmac with some loose pieces laying on top (not sure how much, I was distracted by my tacoed front wheel so didn't look very closely, but judging from the pieces of tarmac in my hand there was some loose stuff :P).
I was going approximately 25-30kph (a bit fast for the corner's radius). Here is an image of the corner:
Here's a picture taken standing on the road approaching the corner (sorry I couldn't find a better photo..):
Location of corner on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/9x4xXEWvxYZk8TwE6
- I would expect lower tire pressure to give larger contact patch also when cornering so should equate to more grip in corners (assuming the tire stays on the rim).
- Is this assumption wrong? Does the cornering grip decrease under a certain amount of pressure? (still assuming the tire stays on the rim under this low pressure)?
- if such low tire pressure is detrimental to cornering grip, what is the reason the cornering grip is decreased?
- what could i have done to prevent this accident ? (apart from taking the corner slower)?
tire thread condition:
Note: I just noticed from the last picture that can be seen above (the photo taken from the bridge deck approaching the corner) that the first part of the bridge has an incline of approx 5 degrees but just before the corner starts it appears as if the incline decreases or disappears completely (aka bridge deck becomes horizontal in the corner), which could perhaps be an explanation as to why I lost grip (front tire may have momentarily lifted due to the decrease in incline, which combined with the lean angle required for taking the corner caused the accident. What are your thoughts on this? It could be an optical illusion though, I did not pay much attention to the exact angles of the bridge after the incident occurred. could go back to check once I get a new wheel.
Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Wheel after crash:
(NOTE: wheel 'folding in half' was caused by front wheel hitting fence posts of the bridge after losing traction/front wheel sliding sideways, as can be seen from the two dents in the rim highlighted in red in the last photo).