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My new bicycle pulls to left and right

Old 04-25-23, 07:38 AM
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74 mm ? that is a LOT of trail.

Most of the bikes I'm familiar with that ride well and pleasantly have a trail of 55-65mm.

what is head offset ? this is a measurement with which I am not familiar.

/markp
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Old 04-25-23, 07:55 AM
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So it seems OP has a Secan that is well into the low trail/ front load range and the new Moots is well into the high trail range. That he can tell a difference is good and not surprising given how far apart they are in that aspect. I've never paid much attention to trail and I couldn't say what it was on any of my previous bikes. Apparently they've been mid-range. My new Cannondale Topstone, at 65 is high trail and they hint at that, advertising "OutFront Steering Geometry." I didn't have a clue what that really meant but I was onboard with "stable." I've noticed a few characteristics that make sense now. First is that the bike is supremely stable on descents, great for me. Another is that it tends to run toward the inside of turns. Not a problem but noticeable. Finally, it does seem a little twitchy when I'm climbing at 3-4 mph. I've found this to be an interesting thread and thank you to OP for posting. Please follow up in awhile and let us know if you prefer one over the other.
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Old 04-25-23, 09:43 AM
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Another thought here (in line with what Andrew mentioned earlier)...How is the headset condition of the Faran? If it's overly tight and dragging, and that's what you have gotten used to, a bike with a properly-adjusted headset combined with quick handling characteristics could feel very nervous.
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Old 04-25-23, 10:41 AM
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No serious bike handling discussion takes but one or two factors into account. For the same head angle, wheel diameter, rider CG (wheelbase and BB drop), trail will be an indicator of handling. But any two bikes have so many differences that taking trail as the indicator is lacking the larger system that a bike is.

Was this Moots a custom build for the OP? Ot an off the shelf design? If custom and this stuff wasn't covered during the interview and design phase then shame on Moots.

How many other bikes did/has the OP ridden with handling on their mind? Andy
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Old 04-25-23, 11:08 AM
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That's been my experience with an older Trek 520. A lot of trail and resulting "wheel flop" at low speeds, more pronounced if you hang any weight on the front.
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Old 04-26-23, 07:00 AM
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I have owned a lot of road bikes, all in 50-51cm sizes. They all fit, and they had head tube angles ranging from 71.5 to 73 degrees. One even had a rather high BB. All wore 23cm tires.

They all had a similar steering stability, despite the geometry differences, and that is because they all had trails between 56 and 62mm. And I say that because one bike with a 72.5 HTA had a 40mm rake fork for awhile, and it rode just like the OP describes - at low speeds it wanted to turn and was hard to ride no-hands. When I put a 43mm rake fork in it, the trail went from 65mm of trail to 61 and the handling became just like every other bike I've owned in this regard.

There certainly are lots of things that go into geometry, but the low speed stability riding in straight lines certainly has more to do with trail than any other factor. I once test rode a custom 49cm Seven with a very slack 70.5 HTA (to make the TT short), but Seven's rake customizable fork was set up to 58mm, so the resulting 59mm of trail felt entirely normal - reasonably stable at low speeds and tracked well at higher speeds. To this day I'm convinced trail is a great leveler, and the reason a bike model can steer similarly across its size range. Certainly a lot of builders agree with this notion. Too bad molded carbon forks make rake adjustment largely a thing of the past.


Like many things, handling is a trade off. The OP has a low speed twitchy bike that probably feels rock solid over 30mph. And that's worthwhile to some people.
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Old 04-26-23, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
if I turn handlebar to the left or right just a few degrees, I feel a slight pull in that direction.
Could be that your headset is over-tightened, or it could just be the way this bike handles - I had an old MTB that I swapped out the original tyres with wide slicks, they made the bike reluctant to corner, so that I had to consciously turn into a sharp corner rather than just lean it in. I got used to it, I found I could corner harder just by pushing it down more, something I was nervous to do on the old tyres. It's worth experimenting with your tyre pressure, or consider changing the tyres for something with different tread, compound or width.
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Old 04-26-23, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
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
Thanks for the link. Now that read that article, "dive into the turn" is a more accurate description of what i'm experiencing on my new Moots.
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Old 04-26-23, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
what is head offset ? this is a measurement with which I am not familiar.

/markp
Sorry, I meant Fork Offset (or Rake).
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Old 04-26-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Thanks for the link. Now that read that article, "dive into the turn" is a more accurate description of what i'm experiencing on my new Moots.
The article also pretty accurately describes the behavior of your Faran (low trail), it would seem.
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Old 04-26-23, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
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.
Not even remotely true.
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Old 04-27-23, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Not even remotely true.
Oh really? So according to you, this has nothing to do with OP buying a new bike with a different geometry that he needs practice time on?

But wait, then why do you say the complete opposite in your earlier post?

Make up your mind.

Originally Posted by Kontact
I have owned a lot of road bikes... one bike with a 72.5 HTA had a 40mm rake fork for awhile, and it rode just like the OP describes - at low speeds it wanted to turn and was hard to ride no-hands... Like many things, handling is a trade off. The OP has a low speed twitchy bike that probably feels rock solid over 30mph. And that's worthwhile to some people.
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Old 04-27-23, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Oh really? So according to you, this has nothing to do with OP buying a new bike with a different geometry that he needs practice time on?

But wait, then why do you say the complete opposite in your earlier post?

Make up your mind.
I disagreed with your assertion that road bikes are hard to ride, require practice to be safe or are unstable. That isnt true

What I did say was that trail that is sufficiently far from neutral has stability issues at either low or high speeds - like the OP is experiencing. This isnt a matter of practice but just an inherent lack of low speed stability. I've been riding for 40 years - my high trail bike would not ride hands free at low speeds.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
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.
So, I've had the bike back for two days, and I thought they had fixed the issues, but I was wrong. I noticed that the front brake was still slightly rubbing, so I took it apart and noticed that one of the pistons was completely stuck (it wouldn't move at all). It took a while to get it unstuck, and it's finally moving, but the disk brake sometimes rubs (specially when it warms up). I think the disk brake might be slightly warped. And then there is the chain, which occasionally jumps and slips.

This is really frustrating. First thing tomorrow morning i'll be taking the bike to the local Trek, hopefully they can fix it for good.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
The article also pretty accurately describes the behavior of your Faran (low trail), it would seem.
It's hard to say, I guess because the trail length on my Faran is closer to neutral, and I don't think I've ever gone above 30mph. One thing I've started to notice between the two bikes is that, when maneuvering at higher speed, the Moots has a strong "grip", as if some kind of force is pulling down and keeping the bike on the path. It's kind of hard to explain, but hopefully it makes sense.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Oh really? So according to you, this has nothing to do with OP buying a new bike with a different geometry that he needs practice time on?

But wait, then why do you say the complete opposite in your earlier post?

Make up your mind.
Today I managed to ride my Moots with no hands at low speeds (probably in the 5mph range), but only for a short while. It's certainly doable, specially as I gain more experience with the bike.
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Old 04-27-23, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
No serious bike handling discussion takes but one or two factors into account. For the same head angle, wheel diameter, rider CG (wheelbase and BB drop), trail will be an indicator of handling. But any two bikes have so many differences that taking trail as the indicator is lacking the larger system that a bike is.

Was this Moots a custom build for the OP? Ot an off the shelf design? If custom and this stuff wasn't covered during the interview and design phase then shame on Moots.

How many other bikes did/has the OP ridden with handling on their mind? Andy
My Moots is technically a custom Routt RSL (off the shelf 52 with a custom 140mm head tube); they told me they can offer a custom head tube size at no extra cost. A fully custom Moots costs an extra $1k.

Initially, I was hoping that Moots would build the bike, but because they were not going to be able to source all the parts that I wanted for the build and also because I wasn't able to give them accurate enough measurement for the fit, Moots recommended to have a local bike shop in my area do my measurements and also build the bike. I was in discussions with both parties for over a month, and trail length and its effects was never brought up (and as a newbie, I didn't know anything about it; live and learn ).

I have nothing against Moots, and I love my Routt RSL. However, the local bike shop that built it really F-ed up. As I've mentioned, when I received the bike, the chain was skipping/slipping/jumping/, the brakes were spongy and not as powerful, the front brake pads were missing the screw and the safety pin that holds them in place, and as I learned, the steering was loose. I took it back to the shop for them to fix all those issues, and yet the front brake still continues to rub, and the chain slipping/jumping hasn't gone away completely. I'm never doing business with that bike shop ever again.
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Old 04-28-23, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
the chain slipping/jumping hasn't gone away completely. .
Everything is new, right? Could there be a stiff link in the chain?
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Old 04-28-23, 08:06 AM
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Over-tight or otherwise badly functioning headset was my first guess.
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Old 04-28-23, 08:51 AM
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5mph is an extremely slow speed to be riding no handed.

So it seems there are two distinctly different aspects of issue here. One is the bike's handling and this sounds like it's less and less an issue as the OP gets more time on the bike. One might say "practice" makes for better form... Second is the mechanical condition of the parts. It's this that should be more straightforward to deal with.

When the "bad" shop installed the parts were the parts all unused and new? Did they supply any parts. Did they have to detach or cut the brake lines? The springy lever sure sounds like air in the line. If the brakes came in pieces it can take a bit of fluid work to get all the air out and is not uncommon to need a follow up bleed once has been used a bit. There are some brakes that have had repeated problems with piston movement, the piston can stop moving and become stuck in the cylinder. But I don't do much hydraulic work so this is from my coworkers. Chain skip can have a few causes. Poor indexing coordination, chain link problems (stiff or side plate prying off the pin being the usual), wear miss match between cog and chain, cog to cog spacing not right, guide pulley wobble, der pivots being too tight or their springs not being strong enough (not common), wrong cable diameter (rare these days) or wrong casing or its end caps, cable route friction (internal routing sucks), lever movement hindered.

Rarely we have had to just replace parts (like chain and cassette) to find a pairing that works consistently. And this is when the source of the parts sourcing comes into play. If the "bad" shop didn't sell you the parts they have little obligation if there's a bad part but to seek warranty and charge the OP for time and costs. One would hope that the shop would have had some discussion and offered some solutions or options. Did the shop suggest or try other parts that they stock?

Being a shop wrench (went back to a day a week, after my third retirement attempt) I tend to see the shop's side and wonder what their story would be. Given the OP's story this shop isn't doing so well on a few fronts. By all means seek a shop that works better for you. Some of that is their mechanical skill and some their communication and consumer service skills. Andy
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Old 04-28-23, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
My Moots is technically a custom Routt RSL (off the shelf 52 with a custom 140mm head tube); they told me they can offer a custom head tube size at no extra cost. A fully custom Moots costs an extra $1k.

Initially, I was hoping that Moots would build the bike, but because they were not going to be able to source all the parts that I wanted for the build and also because I wasn't able to give them accurate enough measurement for the fit, Moots recommended to have a local bike shop in my area do my measurements and also build the bike. I was in discussions with both parties for over a month, and trail length and its effects was never brought up (and as a newbie, I didn't know anything about it; live and learn ).

I have nothing against Moots, and I love my Routt RSL. However, the local bike shop that built it really F-ed up. As I've mentioned, when I received the bike, the chain was skipping/slipping/jumping/, the brakes were spongy and not as powerful, the front brake pads were missing the screw and the safety pin that holds them in place, and as I learned, the steering was loose. I took it back to the shop for them to fix all those issues, and yet the front brake still continues to rub, and the chain slipping/jumping hasn't gone away completely. I'm never doing business with that bike shop ever again.
Time to find a new shop.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:53 AM
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and this is what, a $10K bike ? One wonders who the shop had working on it

/markp
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Old 04-28-23, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
So, I've had the bike back for two days, and I thought they had fixed the issues, but I was wrong. I noticed that the front brake was still slightly rubbing, so I took it apart and noticed that one of the pistons was completely stuck (it wouldn't move at all). It took a while to get it unstuck, and it's finally moving, but the disk brake sometimes rubs (specially when it warms up). I think the disk brake might be slightly warped. And then there is the chain, which occasionally jumps and slips.

This is really frustrating. First thing tomorrow morning i'll be taking the bike to the local Trek, hopefully they can fix it for good.
I just got the bike back from Trek, and it cost me $90:
  1. The front disk brake still rubs, which is annoying. The mechanic told me that rotors today are "soft" and things like this can happen. He did acknowledge that the rotor is slightly bent, which is something I've noticed too when spinning the wheel.
  2. The front break is still spongy and not as powerful as my Faran, which has similar Shimano setup.
  3. The chain slipping/jumping hasn't gone away. If I backpedal when in highest gear, the chain starts grinding and eventually climbs the neighboring sprocket.
At this point, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Anyone know a good mechanic in the Austin area?
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Old 04-28-23, 06:22 PM
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For $90 bucks, the shop needs to make it right.
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Old 04-28-23, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MrFriendly
Today I managed to ride my Moots with no hands at low speeds (probably in the 5mph range), but only for a short while. It's certainly doable, specially as I gain more experience with the bike.
It's sounding more like maybe you should hire someone to ride the bike for you too.

How long until you blame someone else for your crash because you rode your bike at 5 mph with no hands?
Will you then sue them after smearing their reputation all over the place??

"I Love my Rout RSL" You, a self-proclaimed "newbie", buy a full on race Gravel bike, then you list a bunch of mods you had installed before you ever took delivery...
now it's too twitchy for your skill level and that angers you.
C'mon....
Wow.
Hire a rider too.
Seriously.
they never mentioned rake/trail because they knew you wouldn't begin to know what the terms mean.

sorry to sound so harsh, but that seems to be my thing in life.. telling people that their armpits reek, that there's spinach in their teeth.

there's a strong possibility that the shop you took the bike to is sick of dealing with you.
sorry, but it's probably true.
And truing a disc demands use of... ready for this? A Crescent wrench, skill, and a good eye.
there are dozens of posts on this forum regarding bleeding a hydraulic brake, including my Honda Certified M/C Mechanic Tip to get even the tiniest bubbles out.... PS.. a few taps with a screwdriver helps get the bubbles moving up the line to the caliper....

and i still think this is about you wanting a cushy 'Vette and instead buying a supercharged AC Cobra.
Go buy the 'Vette. Leave it bone stock.
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