Drainage lids in various countries?

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elviento
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by elviento

Last night on my way to a neighborhood convenience store to grab some beers, my front rim got caught in one of those sewage lids and I flew over the handlebar. Not sure how I managed to land on my feet but my new carbon rim is cratched up pretty bad.

While pretty pissed off, I can't help thinking sewage lids in several countries I have visited seem to have this sort of really annoying design. Since WW is a very international forum, which countries have more cyclist-accommodating sewage lid designs?

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by Weenie


Tugboat
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by Tugboat

In New Zealand probably 98% of them are like that. Some councils are progressively turning them 90 degrees as other work is done so they are less of a wheel trap. But they're incredibly rare.

The worst ones though have never been raised as layer after layer of new asphalt has been laid on the road surface next to them. So in a worst case scenario you have a six inch deep hole to fall down before your front wheel hits the grating.

Moral is don't ever ride in the gutter.
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mattyb95
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by mattyb95

We have those in the UK but most tend to be at 90 degrees to the picture so wheels don't get caught, either that or they have a bar section in the middle to split the grill up so hopefully your wheel would get nudged out halfway rather than just get wedged in the full length of the grill like in the picture.

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bura
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by bura

I have discussed this matter with some urban engineers.
The reason why these are set up like on the photo is to get small twigs from trees plus leaves and other urban dirt into the sewage system when it starts to rain.
So these lid openings are set up in the direction of the water flow. O/wise the dirt does stuck easily in the lid and following leaves and other stuff will block the lid from taking road water in.
Was also informed that biker friendly set up lids will cause stress for people with a baby carriage crossing urban roads who will stuck with their wheels within the traffic.
Now the last design it good for both worlds.
The newest lid openings are X shaped.
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boysa
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by boysa

I had the same thing happen a few years ago in California. I was on aluminum wheels, so luckily they only had to be rebuilt. Very dangerous.

Surprisingly, now I'm on the east coast and see less of them. Most of the ones here are rotated 90deg.
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Pharmstrong
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by Pharmstrong

In the UK they're at a 45 degree angle so as to avoid trapping wheels coming across them and still face in to the flow of water.

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Rick
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by Rick

Around here (Utah, USA) the grates seem to be designed so that bike wheels won't fall in from any angle.

Last year, however, I had my front wheel slip into an expansion crack in a section of concrete road and went down very hard at high speed. Usually the expansion cracks are less than 1" wide and have some sort of asphalt packing stuffed into them. I have gone over them hundreds of times. So I wasn't being cautious enough and tried to ride over this one that was exceptionally wide and unpacked. It was just wide enough to allow my from wheel to slip down in and hold it.

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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

The answer here would be not to ride in the gutter. The 3 ft. rule applies.
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Butcher
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by Butcher

Seattle area in the USA seems to be positions at the 90 degree mark. As for riding on them, I try not to no matter how they are oriented.

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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

elviento, glad you're ok. Some in the US are at 45 degrees, but that didn't stop a horror story - a good friend bike shop owner left his shop at night, hopped off the curb and went straight into one of these 45 degree ones. Straight onto his face and almost died. Be careful out there.

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strobbekoen
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by strobbekoen

These things can indeed be dangerous. I cracked a wheel on a similar one to elviento's in taiwan. It was under a bridge, the transition from bright to darkness made me miss it. Here in belgium where I live they are narrow and 90 degrees angled.

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djconnel
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by djconnel

That 45-degree example looks frightening in the rain.

Most in the US are perpendicular. The parallel (dangerous) orientation is specifically excluded in design manuals. That said, there are still examples, and people still get launched over bars.

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743power
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by 743power

Most of the ones I ride past are grids, not slats. If I see a slatted one though, it's always parallel to the road.
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elviento
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by elviento

It was too dark that night so I totally didn't see the thing as I normally stay away from them. Maybe it's karma for getting beer so late at night. LOL

Maybe another reason for going wide rim/tire.
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by Weenie


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by 5 8 5

Tugboat wrote:The worst ones though have never been raised as layer after layer of new asphalt has been laid on the road surface next to them. So in a worst case scenario you have a six inch deep hole to fall down before your front wheel hits the grating.

Moral is don't ever ride in the gutter.

That's what they do in my area as well as it's too expensive to raise the drain. Fortunately the drain slats are now mostly at right angles to direction of travel.

Good advice re. riding in the gutter and if you have to be ready to bunny hop.

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