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Road Rash and Slicks

Updated on July 27, 2009
Ow!  Road Rash
Ow! Road Rash

I have been a little preoccupied lately and a little more prone to getting my frustrations out during my workout. Yesterday it had just rained and I went out for a little bike ride. I followed my 17-mile loop that goes over a couple of moderately challenging hills. I was concentrating on keeping a fast pace - in fact I passed a peloton.

As I said it had rained not too long before. At about the 2-mile mark there is a sharp corner that I usually take pretty aggressively. I did not think about the wet road. I thought only of how good it felt to bike hard and how I wanted to make the loop in record time.

Sure enough, the bike slid out from under me as I made the right turn. I took the fall mainly on my right hip, shown in the picture.

My tires were definitely a contributing factor. Last year I purchased Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick bike tires (see picture below) to use on my annual bike ride that I do to raise money to help people with MS. They were great for the event, but then again we had dry road for two days.

The Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick is a very enjoyable ride, and has proved as immune to puncture as other excellent Vittoria tires. Vittoria tires are my favorite.

The advantage of a slick over other bike tires is low rolling resistance. These tires have probably increased my speed, and I can definitely feel the difference between these and tires with tread. Yet the first time I rode them and I took a corner with a little sand on it, I could feel the give and hear the tire want to slide.

So yesterday when I took the sharp right on the wet road with my mind not quite where it should have been, I went down. I slid perhaps fifteen feet across the roadway on my hip, creating the damage shown. I was lucky there was no car behind me.

The peloton caught up with me and asked if I was okay. I said I was and limped off the road to walk it off. In a couple of minutes I was back on the bike and resumed my ride. I made my 17 miles in good time, went home and did my regimen of calisthenics. Then I took the photo.

I'll tell you one thing, showering with road rash is painful. I suggest you avoid road rash whenever you can.

One can draw two lessons from this episode. First, when biking, stay focused. Second, slick tires may not be the best choice for every day use.

Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick bike tire, image from
Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick bike tire, image from


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      My Specialized bike actually came with slicks. I shredded them on my commute in days. Seemed to me like they were just cheap tires. In favor of the Vittoria's, I went down on a bit of wet sand. I'm thinking few tires, treaded or not, will stand up to that?

      Thanks so much, Michael, for adding your prodigious knowledge to my hub. :0)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      Hi Tom. "Special-lies" oops- I meant "Specialized" did a test years ago (okay-maybe decades ago) and they swore their tests revealed that their "slicks" were better for cornering and cornering in the rain. The theory is with a tire so small as we use on a bicycle, the "slick" actually has more rubber on the road. With larger tires, as on automobiles, more tread is needed to dissipate the water. They insisted that bike tires are so small that more rubber on the road is better than having only rubber where there are "dots" or tread. I actually use the "bald" tires and I like Michelin mostly as their rubber is softer than some and "hugs" the road better. Regardless of "science" -let's be careful and- keep that rubber side down! Thanks

    • profile image

      Am I dead, yet? 

      9 years ago

      Doing something you love is definitely accepting the good and the bad, the pain and satisfaction. Continue to ride hard, Tom.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Yes, indeed. Thanks, Jen.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      9 years ago from Delaware

      OH MY! I'm glad you are alright Tom. 15 feet is indeed a long way to slide. You'll have that healed bruise for quite some time I expect. Let's be careful out there, hmmm? :)


    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Jodi!

      I'm back on the bike today, Wesley. Sore, but doin' it.

      Thanks, Candie! Type "O" is a good color, yes. :0)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Wow! Ow! That sure is a pretty shade of red! I've endo'd mtn biking, but never on the road (knock on wood).. did I say "Ow"? yeah.

    • wesleycox profile image


      9 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Reminds me of the time I wiped out on my bike. I ended up on one side of the road and the bike on the other. Glad to know you continued your ride.

    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 

      9 years ago

      Ouch is right! Sounds scary to lose grip in speed! Good to hear you're alright!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, BC. Gotta keep my mind on the task at hand.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, K@ri!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Ouch, that had to hurt! I'm glad to know you're OK. :D


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