Wobble during skid stop/Saddle vs. handle bar position/Leaning forward
I'm going to try and keep this brief - I tend to be long winded if I'm not careful about what I want to say. In any case, I would appreciate any advice I can get from anyone in this community.
I've been riding fixed for about a year and a half. I ride a '69 Raleigh road conversion, 62-64 cm frame (not 100% sure what it is), original headset, chopped bull horns, new or refurbished everything else, 46:16 gear ratio, 165 cranks, front brake for the "f***" moments. I'm 6'6", 195 lb, pretty lanky. I ride between 15 and 25 miles a day.
I switched to flat bars a few weeks ago and experienced a gnarly wobble through the front wheel and handlebars mid skid. I kept at it figuring I'd get over it or whatever, but after a couple weeks, the wobble skid issue didn't go away. So I switched back to the bullhorns. The problem is that now I'm experiencing the same wobble with the old bullhorns too. So what's going on? Screwed up head set? Muscle confusion due to switching riding styles so abruptly?
Here's the next part - bear with me here - it seems to me that the bullhorns are wayyy more comfortable than the flat bars ever were. That got me wondering about my sitting position in relation to the handlebars. Is it possible that I'm too cramped up? I feel way more comfortable with my hands on the upper parts of the horns as opposed to the straight middle part just next to the stem, a difference of about 3 to 4 inches of extension. Do I need a bigger bike with a longer top tube? Do I need a longer stem? Basically, how do I figure this out?
This is the last part, which sort of ties the first two things together. When I skid, I have to lean way the hell forward, which isn't a terrible problem, but if I want to break into a skid in a split second to save my life or something, it's kind of a drag that I have to take an EXTRA split second to lean way the hell forward first. Why is that happening? Is my gear ratio all f'd for someone my size or something? Or does this have to do with the size of my bike compared to me?
Hopefully that makes sense to everyone. There is some connection right? Maybe if my stem was longer, I wouldn't have to lean so far forward? And maybe then I wouldn't get the wobble?
Thanks for any help in advance. This is a little beyond me. I can take my bike apart and put it back together again no problem but I don't know squat about how I'm really supposed to be sitting on this sucker.
I am not entirely sure.. But I've found that seated skids tend to be more controllable. But I can see swapping between bars being a difference (I do this a lot, and notice a huge difference, early in rides).
you should probably just ride your bike, if you think it's something mechanical than you should either take it to a mechanic or post pictures so someone can tell you if your headset is installed backwards or something(that's not really a thing), i mean your skids will get better with age, and then you'll learn to never skid ever
If you have to lean forward to skid stop, I would highly advise you to just run a brake. If you think about it, it's not practical at all. Bombing a hill while leaning forward to skid is suuuper sketchy. Try to learn the seated skids and nudging BOTH ways. You stop way quicker if the crank only has to rotate half a turn.
Anyway, back on topic, for some odd reason all my bikes wobble slightly when I do the 'superman skid.' Try have someone doing a seated skid while nudging to see of the bike wobbles. Or ride no hands...
Do not lean to skid "nuts to stem". Learn to skid while seated or almost seated. your weight should be more towards the back if you want to stop half effectively (note: skidding is the absolute worst way to stop) hell don't even learn to skid, learn to SKIP
your arms should be somewhat relaxed and not gripping the hell out of the bar. Make sure that you don't have too much saddle/bar drop. You should be reaching down too much for the bars