Space Mountain hurts me too much to ride it again until it's repaired. Anyone else feel this way?

WEDway Inc & Company LLC

Well-Known Member
Wear and tear of what? The track? When they repair it, do they change its path? Do the replace it with a length of track that introduces a new path that causes Gs that weren't there before? Or is it wear and tear of the supports? And when they weld or replace them, they change the course of the track that adds new Gs?
By now, essentially everything is being worn. The ride gets 1800 people on hour, or 900 per track. It has been operating for almost 45 years. By the constant use of the ride, everything is getting worn. The ride vehicles, the track, the supports, and more. But as @larryz said, the wheels are part of the issue as well. Naturally, this causes the ride to be rough and jolt people around, causing pain. Overall, if the entire ride was refurbished, with even a new track, it would feel much better. When you have what is likely the most-used roller coaster ever, and then you don't have half a year to update it as necessary every year, then you will have maintenance issues, which cause these issues, causing constant jerking around and pain.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
By not swapping out the urethane main wheels as they wear.
By now, essentially everything is being worn. The ride gets 1800 people on hour, or 900 per track. It has been operating for almost 45 years. By the constant use of the ride, everything is getting worn. The ride vehicles, the track, the supports, and more. But as @larryz said, the wheels are part of the issue as well. Naturally, this causes the ride to be rough and jolt people around, causing pain. Overall, if the entire ride was refurbished, with even a new track, it would feel much better. When you have what is likely the most-used roller coaster ever, and then you don't have half a year to update it as necessary every year, then you will have maintenance issues, which cause these issues, causing constant jerking around and pain.
I understand how this increases vibration.

So, for all the people out there who are complaining about whiplash and bruised ribs (lateral Gs) being really bad now, but, they weren't before; is it because of this increased vibration that you're being hurt?

Because, I don't see how that increased vibration leads to neck or rib injury.

If I'm coasting on a bike down an inclined road that is smooth, I feel very little. If the road is rough, the bike vibrates and I feel it in my hands. But that rough road isn't going to hurt my neck.

If the coaster car makes a sudden turn to the left, it isn't going to have more lateral Gs because its vibrating more. If anything, the vibrations slow the vehicle down and *reduce* lateral Gs.

Being thrown against the side of the vehicle is a function of the radius of the turn, not the internal oscillations (i.e., vibrations) of the vehicle.

I could understand if people were complaining about their butt being sore from the vibrations. But increased and more suddenly changing (i.e., "jerking") Gs don't come about because the vehicle vibrates.
 
I think a large part of Space Mountain's rough ride is that it's in the dark. You can't see what's coming so you can't prepare your body for a dip or sharp turn. I rode it during the "lights out" event during Mickey's Halloween party and it was crazy. The unexpected twists and turns of SM are a big part of its allure.
Yep pretty much this. But there's not a lot of lateral or neck support either for those dips and sudden directional changes. If you're not expecting it, it can whip you a bit. I've had a pretty nasty neck pull twice (years ago) on it where I couldn't turn my head for a week and a half. Rode it the last time (front seat) and did ok but still ended up with some minor soreness.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
MisterPenguin,

If you don't know the science, physics, and engineering behind something, don't argue with it. Either learn more about it, or admit that you don't know what you're talking about. Wooden coasters can be re-tracked over time, but steel coasters have expiration dates, and can really only be scrapped and replaced (I guess Matterhorn Bobsleds is an exception, but that's just because DL does an unreal, out of this world job of maintaining it). Space Mountain is clearly beyond its expiration date, and is past the point of nowhere.

As somebody said, the fact that its indoors and in the dark may add to the problem -- and yes, not being able to properly brace yourself for the roughness does make the ride much more painful -- but even if it was in broad daylight, you'd still come off reaching for the Advil.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
MisterPenguin,

If you don't know the science, physics, and engineering behind something, don't argue with it. Either learn more about it, or admit that you don't know what you're talking about. Wooden coasters can be re-tracked over time, but steel coasters have expiration dates, and can really only be scrapped and replaced (I guess Matterhorn Bobsleds is an exception, but that's just because DL does an unreal, out of this world job of maintaining it). Space Mountain is clearly beyond its expiration date, and is past the point of nowhere.

As somebody said, the fact that its indoors and in the dark may add to the problem -- and yes, not being able to properly brace yourself for the roughness does make the ride much more painful -- but even if it was in broad daylight, you'd still come off reaching for the Advil.
I do know physics, thank you. Maybe you should learn better reading comprehension skills. You simply regurgitate the claim "it's old and therefore rougher in some way that I refuse to define clearly that makes sense with regard to mechanical physics."

But we have a claim: That SM is throwing more vertical and lateral Gs now than it did before. And they're blaming it on the tracks being repaired and not replaced.

I know enough physics to know that you can only get increased changes in acceleration and jerk if the vehicle is moving faster or the trajectory of the track has been changed.

Repairs to a track don't ordinarily change its trajectory or the velocity of the vehicle. If anything, as I mentioned above, if the vehicle is experiencing internal vibrational energy from a "rough track" or "old wheels", that vibrational energy will create friction in the wheels' bearings and at all contact points with the track which will sap the vehicle's velocity due to increased friction. And that would *reduce* acceleration and jerk.

I don't doubt the ride is more vibrational and thus, in that sense, 'rougher.'

I highly doubt that there is now significant changes in acceleration and jerk from when the ride was new due to years of repair unless someone can confirm that yes, indeed, the repairs have altered the actual trajectory of the tracks.

So, have these repair increased the turning radius of the curves? Have these repairs removed the banking that once existed on turns?

If not, the claims of more acceleration and jerk are in people's heads.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
I do know physics, thank you. Maybe you should learn better reading comprehension skills. You simply regurgitate the claim "it's old and therefore rougher in some way that I refuse to define clearly that makes sense with regard to mechanical physics."

But we have a claim: That SM is throwing more vertical and lateral Gs now than it did before. And they're blaming it on the tracks being repaired and not replaced.

I know enough physics to know that you can only get increased changes in acceleration and jerk if the vehicle is moving faster or the trajectory of the track has been changed.

Repairs to a track don't ordinarily change its trajectory or the velocity of the vehicle. If anything, as I mentioned above, if the vehicle is experiencing internal vibrational energy from a "rough track" or "old wheels", that vibrational energy will create friction in the wheels' bearings and at all contact points with the track which will sap the vehicle's velocity due to increased friction. And that would *reduce* acceleration and jerk.

I don't doubt the ride is more vibrational and thus, in that sense, 'rougher.'

I highly doubt that there is now significant changes in acceleration and jerk from when the ride was new due to years of repair unless someone can confirm that yes, indeed, the repairs have altered the actual trajectory of the tracks.

So, have these repair increased the turning radius of the curves? Have these repairs removed the banking that once existed on turns?

If not, the claims of more acceleration and jerk are in people's heads.
I'm not going to read through everything that you're writing when you're not writing comprehensible English.
 

TPSou

Member
What on earth are you on about Trackmaster? Their post was absolutely fine to read.

Also, steel coasters can and do get partial retracks all the time. Sometimes most of the track is replaced (recently Python at Efteling in Holland had this), sometimes a single section can be replaced. Over the year (or in the off season for seasonal parks) the track is x-rayed for cracks and weaknesses and then those sections can be taken out and replaced. Obviously parks do it as little as possible because it's expensive and means the ride has to be down for a while (especially in the case of something like Space Mountain where access is limited) but it definitely happens.
 

Joel

Well-Known Member
Again, *define rough*.

Nobody has yet to do that. In fact, "rough" is such a vague word, just please, everyone, stop using it and be more precise over what the problem is.
Only if you stop using the phrase "lateral Gs" (and variations thereof), which is something that nobody else is really talking about. No one is claiming that the patching up of the track over the decades has magically increased the G-forces of the turns and drops. I don't know why you keep obsessing over this point.

Because, I don't see how that increased vibration leads to neck or rib injury.

If I'm coasting on a bike down an inclined road that is smooth, I feel very little. If the road is rough, the bike vibrates and I feel it in my hands. But that rough road isn't going to hurt my neck.
Hey, good for you! Maybe bumpy rides affect some people's bodies (especially their spines/necks) more than others, though? Is it really so hard to believe that pain can be caused by something other than "moar gees"?

I love Space Mountain and am not bothered by "rough" rides. I could ride BTMR all day. But I only rode SM once on my December trip, and my body was perfectly fine with that. I'm sure there are several factors involved in why people find it more uncomfortable than it used to be, and our aging bodies surely have a bit to do with it. But I'm not going to question other people's experiences or act like this is purely a matter of basic rollercoaster physics.

This summer they repaved a decent stretch of what used to be a very bumpy country road out where I live. Driving 55 mph on it is immensely more comfortable on my body than it used to be. Go figure.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
No one is claiming that the patching up of the track over the decades has magically increased the G-forces of the turns and drops. I don't know why you keep obsessing over this point.
Yes. They are. They're talking 'whiplash' and being thrown about. And how it's much worse now than long ago.

When I ask about that, they just keep talking about roughness. So, I translate that into more precise physics and *ask* are you talking about more lateral Gs?

They could say, "No, it's not more lateral Gs, it's just a lot of shaking and chattering and vibration." But still, no such straight answer from those who talk about their body being punished now as opposed to long ago.

I've asked: Is it just chattering and vibration that's worse? No answer.

The thing is that there is this meme: That because Space Mountain hasn't been maintained properly it's a rougher ride. And I don't doubt it is with regard to vibrations. But then some chime in that "yeah, it's rough, I'm being thrown about and getting bruised and getting whiplash." It's those latter claims that seem outlandish to me and want to know exactly what it is that is battering their bodies.

Or, you can just read the thread title.
 

Walt_Disney

Active Member
Matterhorn has never been the same since they redid the tracks, it is a kids ride at this point, a bigger version of Barnstormer
What did they change? The first time I rode Matterhorn was about 3 years ago. I liked it but felt it was rough. Did it used to be different?
 

Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
I understand how this increases vibration.

So, for all the people out there who are complaining about whiplash and bruised ribs (lateral Gs) being really bad now, but, they weren't before; is it because of this increased vibration that you're being hurt?

Because, I don't see how that increased vibration leads to neck or rib injury.

If I'm coasting on a bike down an inclined road that is smooth, I feel very little. If the road is rough, the bike vibrates and I feel it in my hands. But that rough road isn't going to hurt my neck.

If the coaster car makes a sudden turn to the left, it isn't going to have more lateral Gs because its vibrating more. If anything, the vibrations slow the vehicle down and *reduce* lateral Gs.

Being thrown against the side of the vehicle is a function of the radius of the turn, not the internal oscillations (i.e., vibrations) of the vehicle.

I could understand if people were complaining about their butt being sore from the vibrations. But increased and more suddenly changing (i.e., "jerking") Gs don't come about because the vehicle vibrates.
Yeah, I'm not sure if getting older factors into this. I rode this first in the early 90's and it was fun. Now, the lateral g's are too painful to actually enjoy the ride. It rides like a mad mouse at times or one of the old Jumbo Jet coasters. I can ride rough coasters well enough (ex. The Beast at Kings Island is one that I ride quite a bit) but Space Mountain isn't one that I prefer to experience.

I would prefer tearing out the old coaster and installing maybe just a single circuit from Mack or Gerstlauer that would use the whole interior. With proper banking and newer track, it could provide a smoother ride with more easily tolerated laterals. Maybe even a decent first drop as well. Could probably get the throughput up to 1,500 pph as well and thus wouldn't lose that much capacity.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
Yeah, I'm not sure if getting older factors into this. I rode this first in the early 90's and it was fun. Now, the lateral g's are too painful to actually enjoy the ride. It rides like a mad mouse at times or one of the old Jumbo Jet coasters. I can ride rough coasters well enough (ex. The Beast at Kings Island is one that I ride quite a bit) but Space Mountain isn't one that I prefer to experience.

I would prefer tearing out the old coaster and installing maybe just a single circuit from Mack or Gerstlauer that would use the whole interior. With proper banking and newer track, it could provide a smoother ride with more easily tolerated laterals. Maybe even a decent first drop as well. Could probably get the throughput up to 1,500 pph as well and thus wouldn't lose that much capacity.
I'm all for a new coaster under the hood!

To open a can of worms: Are you saying your tolerance for the lateral Gs has decreased, or, are you saying that the lateral Gs has increased over the years?
 

GinaD613

Member
Yeah, I'm not sure if getting older factors into this. I rode this first in the early 90's and it was fun. Now, the lateral g's are too painful to actually enjoy the ride. It rides like a mad mouse at times or one of the old Jumbo Jet coasters. I can ride rough coasters well enough (ex. The Beast at Kings Island is one that I ride quite a bit) but Space Mountain isn't one that I prefer to experience.
Funny you should say that, since I believe SM is the style of coaster called a Wild Mouse!

It could be that what’s going on is people are subconsciously comparing SM, an early steel coaster, to modern steel coasters, which have a different design. Do you really remember exactly how the ride felt when you rode it 30 years ago? I don’t. And the more people who say the ride is jerkier now, the more this belief is reinforced.
 

Nunu

Premium Member
I don't feel SM has become any rougher. I think what makes it uncomfortable (or painful) for some, is the sharp turns, maybe it's the too-closed angles?

My first time on SM was as a 14yo, what I recall, is not liking the short drops. Nowadays it's the quick unpredictable turns, what have become too much for me. I'm not a 14yo anymore, so I guess age, and some neck issues, are the reasons for me not riding anymore.
 
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