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My new bicycle pulls to left and right

Old 04-24-23, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
the front wheel thru-axle is tightened properly?
Yes, as far as I can tell. It's a DT Swiss quick release.
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Old 04-24-23, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
aren't all bikes going to pull to one side if you turn the handlebars?
I suspect that the OP is experiencing the steering quickness of racy geometry, and it's an unfamiliar feeling.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I suspect that the OP is experiencing the steering quickness of racy geometry, and it's an unfamiliar feeling.
Yes, probably.
I just rode both bikes, back to back, at low speeds. In both cases, I had barely any weight on the handlebars; just enough to touch and move it.
With the Faran, when I turn the handlebar, it stays there and the bike just turns.
With the Routt RSL, it feels like the handlebar wants to either flop to the left or to the right, and not stay centered; this effect diminishes with increased speed. I wouldn't call this "steering quickness", it's more like a steering stability issue, but then again I'm a newbie, so...

whatever the case, I've got a "professional" who's going to look at it soon.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Yes, probably.
I just rode both bikes, back to back, at low speeds. In both cases, I had barely any weight on the handlebars; just enough to touch and move it.
With the Faran, when I turn the handlebar, it stays there and the bike just turns.
With the Routt RSL, it feels like the handlebar wants to either flop to the left or to the right, and not stay centered; this effect diminishes with increased speed. I wouldn't call this "steering quickness", it's more like a steering stability issue, but then again I'm a newbie, so...

whatever the case, I've got a "professional" who's going to look at it soon.
You just discovered what "steering quickness" is on a bicycle. This is a function of steering geometry design (head angle, fork rake, trail). It's not a flaw, it's just different than what you're used to. The Moots is designed for high-speed precision and agility. It sounds like the Faran is designed more towards low-speed stability.
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Old 04-24-23, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Yes, probably.
I just rode both bikes, back to back, at low speeds. In both cases, I had barely any weight on the handlebars; just enough to touch and move it.
With the Faran, when I turn the handlebar, it stays there and the bike just turns.
With the Routt RSL, it feels like the handlebar wants to either flop to the left or to the right, and not stay centered; this effect diminishes with increased speed. I wouldn't call this "steering quickness", it's more like a steering stability issue, but then again I'm a newbie, so...

whatever the case, I've got a "professional" who's going to look at it soon.
Like i said earlier.. you wanted a nice cushy Corvette and bought a short, fast handling, supercharged Shelby Cobra.
Try sliding the seat back and maybe swap on a shorter steering stem.. Both are recommended by Moots RSL owners.
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Old 04-24-23, 12:22 PM
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Nothing out of the ordinary here. It's a skill issue. You will learn soon enough. If you're having this much problem with a gravel bike, just wait until you try a real road bike. Probably fall on your face.

Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Hello,

I'm a complete newbie, with only one other gravel bike as a frame of reference, so I don't even know how to accurately describe what I'm experiencing with my new gravel bike (Moots Routt RSL) that I received couple days ago.

While riding, when the handle bar is in center position, the bike is very stable and it just glides; however, if I turn handlebar to the left or right just a few degrees, I feel a slight pull in that direction. The pull isn't strong enough for me to lose control, but it is strong enough for it to be noticeable. Since I don't experience this with my older gravel bike, I'm trying to understand if this is normal? If I pick up the bike and turn the handlebar in either direction, it feels very smooth with no resistance whatsoever. So I'm guessing it's got something to do with the geometry?
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Old 04-24-23, 12:27 PM
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You might try installing different tires and see how it handles. I've had some cx tires that were downright dangerous on pavement. One set had a fine bead in the center and tall and small knobs on the edge that squirmed like crazy in turns. First turn at some speed and it felt like someone pushed me hard sideways. One ride was enough to convince me to get rid of those tires.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:19 PM
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I dont for a moment pretend to have the answer here but what you are describing is potentially dangerous, like it couild spill you.

from what you've written I'd suspect that the fork is mismatched to the head angle resulting an unfavorable trail.

I'd really like to have others more knowledgeable than me - like John J or Gugie or Fausto or Mark Bulgier - weigh in on this

would be best to test ride the bike or measure it.

but something's not right and it might be dangerous

/markp
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Old 04-24-23, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
I dont for a moment pretend to have the answer here but what you are describing is potentially dangerous, like it couild spill you.

from what you've written I'd suspect that the fork is mismatched to the head angle resulting an unfavorable trail.

I'd really like to have others more knowledgeable than me - like John J or Gugie or Fausto or Mark Bulgier - weigh in on this

would be best to test ride the bike or measure it.

but something's not right and it might be dangerous

/markp
Highly doubtful. The pic of the bike posted of the bike indicates the stock fork that comes with the bike from Moots. What the OP has described sounds like the steering behavior commonly found in race-oriented road bikes. Pretty much exactly like my Storck.

However, I am, a little bit curious why a self-proclaimed newbie, with very riding experience, would spend $11k+ on a bike without understanding what they were getting in to.
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Old 04-24-23, 06:54 PM
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right so unlike you I don't know everything, and after 40+ years on bikes like Serotta, Cinelli, Richard Sachs etc etc...

my only concern is the safety of the rider. he says he has another bike that doesn't do this so I'll take him at his word.

I think there's something weird with the trail measurement which is hard to see from the fork pic. I was hoping one of the forum members with more experience than I would weigh in.

the "turn in" behavior he describes is potentially very dangerous. I think he should take it back to where he bought it.

Maybe he just wanted the nicest bike the shop had and was able to afford it ?

/markp
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Old 04-24-23, 07:05 PM
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The Moots gravel fork apparently has 47mm offset. Maybe someone can elaborate on how that might affect the handling? Here's a link to the other specs.Routt RSL Also FWIW, I'm using the same GK Slick 38 at 40 psi with tubes. I weigh 190. You have a very nice bike!
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Old 04-24-23, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Oh crap, Max 75psi is for Tubed, and for Tubeless the max psi is 60. I have tubeless, so I brought it down to about 50pis, thanks! The tires are Panaracer GravelKing Slick 700 x 38.
not related to your issue - but in the Panaracer Gravel King line for gravel and similar riding conditions - the Gravel King SS is a much better tire than the Gravel King slick ... more durable - more puncture resistant - and the side Ďknobsí can be an asset in some conditions
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Old 04-24-23, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F

However, I am, a little bit curious why a self-proclaimed newbie, with very riding experience, would spend $11k+ on a bike without understanding what they were getting in to.
It was over $13K+ before tax, to be exact.
I call myself a newbie because the first bicycle I bought for the first time in over twenty years was during the first year of the pandemic. The memories of riding a bicycle when I was in my teens are mostly gone, so it felt like riding a bicycle for the first time.
That first bicycle was a Brompton folding bicycle. I didn't know what I was getting myself into then, and there is only so much you can learn from reading and watching. At some point, you've got to make the decision, pull the trigger, and experience it for yourself and decide. The Brompton has a very unstable steering by nature; it's basically a circus bike for a very specific purpose (slow steady commute). The steering is no unusual that I almost crashed a couple of times in the beginning; however, after a couple of weeks of riding it, I got used to handling it and could ride it without a sweat.

I don't regret the Moots, not one bit. In fact, I absolutely love it! It's really light, smooth, and quiet, and I'm sure I'll get used to the steering. I'm already thinking about my second Moots (maybe a Vamoots RCS?) .
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Old 04-24-23, 09:50 PM
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Mr. Friendly - Get an ebike ! you'll love it.

as for the steering - this still does not sound quite right to me, I'd definitely have somebody else ride it and see.

Want you to stay upright. it should not be "twitchy" as you described

/markp
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Old 04-24-23, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
not related to your issue - but in the Panaracer Gravel King line for gravel and similar riding conditions - the Gravel King SS is a much better tire than the Gravel King slick ... more durable - more puncture resistant - and the side Ďknobsí can be an asset in some conditions
Thanks for the tip. I actually have the Panaracer Gravel King SK on my Faran, and I like it. I'll probably try the SS next.
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Old 04-24-23, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Also FWIW, I'm using the same GK Slick 38 at 40 psi with tubes. I weigh 190. You have a very nice bike!
FWIW, I weigh 115LB (52kg) and exactly 5'8" (173cm) tall.
I'm not sure if 50pis vs 40psi is going to make noticeable difference, but I guess I could try.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
right so unlike you I don't know everything, and after 40+ years on bikes like Serotta, Cinelli, Richard Sachs etc etc...

my only concern is the safety of the rider. he says he has another bike that doesn't do this so I'll take him at his word.

I think there's something weird with the trail measurement which is hard to see from the fork pic. I was hoping one of the forum members with more experience than I would weigh in.

the "turn in" behavior he describes is potentially very dangerous. I think he should take it back to where he bought it.

Maybe he just wanted the nicest bike the shop had and was able to afford it ?

/markp
I would never claim to know everything, but Iím not new to this cycling thing, either. With all your experience with high-end race bikes, itís interesting to me (seriously, not sarcastically) that you donít recognize that the steering traits the OP mentioned are pretty common for racy geometry - twitchy/quick at slow speed and increasingly easingly stable as speed increases. Every one of the road race bikes Iíve ridden (older and newer) exhibit this characteristic to greater or lesser degrees. My MTBs and gravel bike, significantly less so. My gravel bike leans more towards the geometry of the OPís Faran (stability), rather than the racy tilt of the Moots. As such, my gravel bike is easy to ride at slow speeds with no hands. In contrast, my current #1 road bike is quite nervous riding no hands until youíre moving along pretty well. A small degree or two more so than any of my other (or previous) road bikes.

My pointÖI have a hard time seeing the steering response the OP describes as anything other than him being unfamiliar (as he acknowledged) with how a quick-handling bike feels, rather than a catastrophic or dangerous situation with the geometry or fork.

That said, the mechanical issues are a pretty big red flag to me about the quality of the shop the bike was purchased from.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:06 PM
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Two stories about bike handling and rider's perceptions being somewhat malleable.

1- I had a bike shop in the 1990s and we sold Terry bikes. The whole small rider bike design and uber male influence at the time could make this a challenge... Women would come in, often with their athletic male partners, looking for a bikie they could ride and "perform" on. It could take a bit of time to get past what she was being told by others, and to deal with the often male partner, to have a test ride happen. Some of this time was my describing the handling differences between a slack head angle, low trail, high BB height bike they had and would see elsewhere and the quicker and less "chopper" handling of the Terry. Often the test ride would end the shopping as the terry was far more nimble and positioned the rider to better use their body to steer with, unlike their old bike did. I would tell them to expect this and that it was normal. Then what they should do is to ride their old bike and see how slow and floppy it felt like and to come back a week later and re ride the Terry. On the second Terry test ride the rider usually started to feel in more control and at more easy with slight steering inputs. More often than not I ended up with a sale and they with a bike that fit far better than the trucks offered back then (and in the smallest frame sizes today, still true for many riders). A rider's perception of what's a good handling bike can and does change.

2- When I was courting my wife I did the usual bikie thing and serviced her bike. It was a Specialized Allez, not that brand is important. On removing the ft wheel and bars I noted how tight the headset was and that it was good that no brinelling had yet started. Of course i gave that bike all the tricks and tips I know and was excited to deliver it to her the night before we were to do a club ride. On her short test ride she had a hard time going straight ahead and said it felt like the bike was drunk, unable to keep a straight line. Her response time had been slowed by the tight bearing/friction. I explained the situation and asked her top trust me and just ride the bike for now. Thankfully she did (hence our 11th anniversary soon) and now she thinks her bikes feel just fine again, with all their headsets adjusted as they should be.

When I read of riders questioning new/different bikes handling I have a grain of salt I toss. Andy
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Old 04-24-23, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
FWIW, I weigh 115LB (52kg) and exactly 5'8" (173cm) tall.
I'm not sure if 50pis vs 40psi is going to make noticeable difference, but I guess I could try.
I expect you will feel a difference. For reference, I weigh 182 lbs(ish) and run 40-45psi in 35mm tires on my gravel bike.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
I dont for a moment pretend to have the answer here but what you are describing is potentially dangerous, like it couild spill you.

from what you've written I'd suspect that the fork is mismatched to the head angle resulting an unfavorable trail.

I'd really like to have others more knowledgeable than me - like John J or Gugie or Fausto or Mark Bulgier - weigh in on this

would be best to test ride the bike or measure it.

but something's not right and it might be dangerous

/markp
I just got back from the local bike shop that built my Moots. They fixed all the issues I mentioned, and they told me the fork is good. The steering now feels a bit less "loose", but the "pull" effect I described is still there (but maybe not as strong?). I'm guessing they also tightened the headset?
I emailed Moots about steering issue, and they told me to call them to speak over the phone .
There is a local Trek shop near my area, and my plan for tomorrow is to have one of their mechanics to take a look and see if they think anything is off with my steering.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
The Moots gravel fork apparently has 47mm offset. Maybe someone can elaborate on how that might affect the handling? Here's a link to the other specs.Routt RSL Also FWIW, I'm using the same GK Slick 38 at 40 psi with tubes. I weigh 190. You have a very nice bike!
With the average HTA of 71.5 degrees, a 47mm fork rake and a 38c tire, the trail is a substantially high 69mm of trail.

That is going to feel weird at low speeds. I had a bike with 65mm of trail and I did not like riding hands free at lower speeds.
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Old 04-24-23, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
With the average HTA of 71.5 degrees, a 47mm fork rake and a 38c tire, the trail is a substantially high 69mm of trail.

That is going to feel weird at low speeds. I had a bike with 65mm of trail and I did not like riding hands free at lower speeds.
The Head Angle on my Moots is 71 degrees, the Fork Offset is 47mm, and I think the trail is 74mm.

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Old 04-24-23, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
The Head Angle on my Moots is 71 degrees, the Head Offset is 47mm, and I think the trail is 74mm.
My Faran, on the other hand, has a Head Angle of 72 degrees, Fork Offset of 60, and the trail is about 48mm. So less trail than the Moots, so in theory it's supposed to be less stable than the Moots, right?

Last edited by MrFriendly; 04-26-23 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 04-25-23, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
My Faran, on the other hand, has a Head Angle of 72 degrees, Head Offset of 60, and the trail is about 48mm. So less trail than the Moots, so in theory it's supposed to be less stable than the Moots, right?
Steering geometry doesn't work like that. There is no "ultimate stability", just stability at different speeds. High trail bikes are stable at high speeds, which a lot of people desire because they find descending scary. Low trail bikes are easier to ride at low speeds over uneven ground. Both have a kind of stability.

This from the guy who designed the Merlin/Seven road geometry:
https://www.spectrum-cycles.com/geometry.php
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Old 04-25-23, 07:22 AM
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It might be responsive steering, but I don't think the OP's description of what he's feeling is nearly accurate enough to tell us what is going on.
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