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Old 06-06-08, 11:35 AM   #1
dishwashersafe
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I can('t) ride my bike with no handlebars

I have an old Fuji road bike and whenever I let go of the handlebars it veers to the left. It's rather annoying and borders on dangerous when I need my hands for other things. It was brought for a tuneup last year and they didn't mention anything although while biking the other day some guy yelled out his truck at me "You're frame is bent!" The frame looks fine when I inspect it but I'm no expert. Is there something specific I should be looking for that would cause my bike to veer to the left? and what could some guy driving by notice that I can't?

Thanks for any help

--Chris
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Old 06-06-08, 12:10 PM   #2
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He probably yelled that because he could see that your wheels weren't tracking together. Yes, your frame is probably bent and you can't always tell by use of the Mk. I Eyeball. Your LBS should have frame alignment equipment. There are also tests you can do yourself. (Don't have the URLs handy...)
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Old 06-06-08, 12:32 PM   #3
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Run a string from one dropout around the head tube to the same place on the other dropout. Measure the distance from the string to the seat tube on both sides. It should be the same.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:36 PM   #4
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I can't ride my bike with no handlebars either. Its really hard to grab the stem and turn it to make the bike turn.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:17 PM   #5
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Giuliano Calore doesn't need handlebars. No stem either. Think how many kilograms he saves (and try to figure out where to mount a cycle-computer, eh?)

He does ok on flat surfaces, too. (as seen a little ways into this Italian broadcast)
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Old 06-06-08, 04:37 PM   #6
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If your bike would go straight ahead while you do a two-handed blackberry thing, then that would be safe.
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Old 06-06-08, 04:56 PM   #7
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sounds like my girlfriend's three speed. whenever I'm following her, I can see that her wheels aren't following the same path. And it amounts to the same kind of handling difficulty you mentioned.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:18 PM   #8
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A quick way to check is ride straight across a water puddle and stop to look at your tracks on the other side. There should only be one.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post
A quick way to check is ride straight across a water puddle and stop to look at your tracks on the other side. There should only be one.
Excellent suggestion.

Other possibly problems are:

The fork is bent
The wheels aren't true
The wheels aren't dished properly, This applies to the front wheel too if it isn't centered correctly.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:57 PM   #10
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I hate that stupid song!!!!
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Old 06-06-08, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
I can't ride my bike with no handlebars either. Its really hard to grab the stem and turn it to make the bike turn.
Very funny! The same image occurred to me as well.

Take the bike to a good LBS with the tool to straighten out the front fork (if steel). Sounds like the front fork may be out of alignment.

If it is a carbon fork one of the methods mentioned above would probably work to check out the frame alignment.

Another even simpler possibility is that the brake/sti (or ergo) cables might be uneven and working to steer the bike for you. When you hold the bike by the saddle do the handle bars always settle to the left???

Last edited by Deanster04; 06-06-08 at 09:46 PM.
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