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Leaning Schwinn

Old 04-28-10, 01:03 PM
  #1  
keval
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Leaning Schwinn

Greetings.
I rescued a Schwinn World Voyageur a few weeks ago and just got it back on the road (single speed, otherwise stock). What a great ride.
Issue is this: when I ride without hands, the bike wants to lean slightly to the left. Why might that be? Is there something out of alignment somewhere? Am I subconsciously leaning to the right?
Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 04-28-10, 01:34 PM
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It might be that your wheels are not centered between the nuts. Check the dish on your rear wheel.
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Old 04-28-10, 01:36 PM
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Frankly, I've never had a bike that comfortably rides straight with no hands on the handlebars.
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Old 04-28-10, 01:37 PM
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Sounds like something is out of whack. It could be frame/fork related, but it could also be the wheels - check that the dishing is even. I had a badly-dished rear wheel on an old three-speed and it wasn't obvious until I mounted it all the way back in the drop outs (with the chain off the chainwheel.)

edit - beat to the punch
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Old 04-28-10, 02:00 PM
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OK. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check to see if the wheels are in right.
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Old 04-28-10, 02:08 PM
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perhaps your Keys and wallet are in your right hand pocket.
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Old 04-28-10, 04:15 PM
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don't most bikes lean/veer slighlty left? besides there is little reason to ride no hands.
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Old 04-28-10, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Frankly, I've never had a bike that comfortably rides straight with no hands on the handlebars.
What??........... even the cheap Sears made campus bike I shared with my older brother in our early days in college (yes,......we were poor boys) was a treat to ride with no hands.....better check you frame alignments and your headsets for adjustment or straightening. Also see if you brake cable routing is putting too much pressure on one side of the bar too.
Both my PSV and Vitus Carbone also ride nicely without hands on the bars, more the Vitus than the Peugeot though....for some reason.
BTW, the usual "crown" running at the center of roads that is for rain water drainage, do make it neccesary to sometimes compensate with a little bit of lean towards the center of the road, depending on how big the crown is.

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Last edited by Chombi; 04-28-10 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 04-28-10, 06:00 PM
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Of course there's no reason to ride hands-off. That's the point.
Problem is that a bike should be balanced well enough that there's no lean or tendency to veer; certainly there's no sign of bias when I ride hands-on, which is why I'm wondering whether something else might be going on.
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Old 04-28-10, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by keval View Post
Of course there's no reason to ride hands-off. That's the point.
Problem is that a bike should be balanced well enough that there's no lean or tendency to veer; certainly there's no sign of bias when I ride hands-on, which is why I'm wondering whether something else might be going on.
You're completely correct. The only bikes I had with a tendency to track to one side had problems - one the aforementioned dish issue, and the other had a bent chain stay (an old Schwinn cruiser.) Once I straightened the stay, it rode normally.
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Old 04-28-10, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by keval View Post
Of course there's no reason to ride hands-off. That's the point.
Problem is that a bike should be balanced well enough that there's no lean or tendency to veer; certainly there's no sign of bias when I ride hands-on, which is why I'm wondering whether something else might be going on.
I agree, you should be able to ride no hands. I am assuming you have another bike that you can ride no hands in a straight line? Some of my bikes are easier to ride no hands than others, wider tires help you feel more stable. My road bikes are a lot twitchier riding no hands, and the saddle to bar drop really puts you far away.... basically if you lose your balance you are screwed.

You may want to double check your headset adjustment too.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
.....better check you frame alignments and your headsets for adjustment or straightening. Also see if you brake cable routing is putting too much pressure on one side of the bar too.
I suspect the out-of-balance condition is in *my* frame, not the bike's. Seriously. I *can* ride no-handed, but I always feel like I'm leaning pretty significantly to the right to pull it off. This is on every bike I've ever had.
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Old 04-30-10, 04:56 AM
  #13  
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My C-Dales ride straight as an arrow as does my 84 Fuji.
I recently picked up a 84 Lotus and discovered it pulled left if I was at all loose on the bars. I started paying attention to the front wheel's orientation to the down tube while riding in a straight line after making sure the rear wheel was centered. The front wheel was turned slightly left to make the bike go down the road in a straight line. Sighting down the wheels I could visually see that the were not in line with the front wheel lined up with the down tube. The bike was dog legging. The rear wheel even though it was aligned in the triangle was pointing left.

I did something ugly to fix it and only recommend to those that are brave.

With the wheels still on the bike to keep the drop outs spaced I set up blocks of wood under the rear axle, seat post and stem. I then put my weight on the center of the crank to push the bike back into alignment and repeated till the wheels sighted straight. It also will now stay straight when riding hands free.
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Old 04-30-10, 12:18 PM
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I test every bike by approaching no hand control. I slowly relax my grip on the bars, feeling for pull, one way or the other. If any pull presents itself, there is a problem with the bike and that warrants investigation. The cause could be any number of things, but certainly at least one thing will be found to be out of whack.

Riding a bicycle, with no hands, is stupid, dangerous and against the law. Riding a bicycle, that pulls one way or the other, is stupid and dangerous but perfectly legal.
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Old 04-30-10, 03:11 PM
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Could be a bent fork.
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Old 04-30-10, 03:59 PM
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I test drives cars by letting go of the wheel at speed
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Old 04-30-10, 04:44 PM
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If all the bikes you ride lean to the same direction, perhaps your pelvis is tilted.

The best case scenario, as desconhecido said, is that the wheel isn't in straight.

Second is that the fork is bent to the side. If you have a bench vise and some patience, you can do this.

If one fork blade is bent back, it will be hard to straighten, and you might want to consider replacing the fork.
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