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Low Speed Stability

Old 07-19-23, 11:25 PM
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Low Speed Stability

Hi. I have been wondering if there are cruiser style bikes that are more stable (balanced) than usual at low/takeoff speed.

Can the weight of the bike, or the size of the tire and wheel have a noticable affect on it?
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Old 07-20-23, 05:49 AM
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I'm not savy on cruiser bikes, but, a high trail figure can make a bike handle poorly at low speeds. Once up to speed, they would tend to want to go straight.
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Old 07-20-23, 05:10 PM
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A bike has two gyroscopes. the lighter those gyrocopes, the quicker they spin up. the more mass, the greater gyro effect.
So a 16/20" bike like a folding bike has a greater stability at a slower actual speed.
A cruiser doesn't have that going for it, so you're pretty much limited to larger lighter wheels and a smaller front chainring or very small wheels and normal gearing to increase the reciprocating gyroscopic effect. (cranks/wheels turning)
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Old 07-21-23, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
Hi. I have been wondering if there are cruiser style bikes that are more stable (balanced) than usual at low/takeoff speed.

Can the weight of the bike, or the size of the tire and wheel have a noticable affect on it?
A bike at rest wants to fall over, regardless of what it is. Unless you get a trike, that's something you hafta overcome.
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Old 07-21-23, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
A bike has two gyroscopes. the lighter those gyrocopes, the quicker they spin up. the more mass, the greater gyro effect.
So a 16/20" bike like a folding bike has a greater stability at a slower actual speed.
A cruiser doesn't have that going for it, so you're pretty much limited to larger lighter wheels and a smaller front chainring or very small wheels and normal gearing to increase the reciprocating gyroscopic effect. (cranks/wheels turning)
From the University of Cambridge Dept. of Engineering:

Bicycles are not held up by the gyroscopic effect

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Old 07-21-23, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
From the University of Cambridge Dept. of Engineering:

Bicycles are not held up by the gyroscopic effect

Ever ghost ride a bike? Hmm.
We weren't talking about them holding the bike up, just the stability.
Kinda the same reason big passenger liners have them, to provide a stability from the constant motion of the sea.
Wheels absolutely affect stability.
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Old 07-21-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
I'm not savy on cruiser bikes, but, a high trail figure can make a bike handle poorly at low speeds. Once up to speed, they would tend to want to go straight.
I think this is an important factor. My Giant Sedona has a small trail figure and I swapped bikes with a cousins Specialized step through comfort bike and was very surprised at how much more stable his bike is at low speeds. So I looked it up and sure enough it has a longer trail.

He almost crashed (he's 75 years old) because of how sensitive my bike is to steering.

That said, it only took a few minutes for both of us to adjust to the different bikes. I wonder if there is an advantage to a short trail steering spec.
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Old 07-21-23, 10:32 PM
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I'm assuming the guy who wrote that "study" can track stand a bike for six hours while I ride a century? Sometimes people are too smart for their own good.
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Old 07-22-23, 04:03 PM
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If balance and falling over are an issue when a person rides then there may not be a cruiser that solves the problem.

For general 'stability' when riding = a long wheelbase bike, with slack headtube and seattube angles works best.

For slow speed handling - say under 6mph - a slack headtube angle will not be as responsive to steering input, so a shorter front-center allows for easier slow, short radius turns. For many wide tires and handlebars help.

Bikes with a 'crank forward' position allow the rider to easily put feet on ground when slowing to a stop. A recumbent does too. Be neither is what I consider a good handling bike at slow speed or with regards to turning radius.

The category of 'city bike' might be of interest for slow speed stability. They usually present an upright riding position, feet on the ground stopping, shorter stem length and more responsive low speed steering than a touring bike, crank forward, or recumbent.

The best slow speed handling bike I ever owned was a ladies step-thru road bike, modified with an upswept handlebar. Handled well at walking speeds and could turn in very tight circles. Let me find a pic.

ahhh ha, here it is. I typically ride drop bar road bikes.

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-22-23 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 07-22-23, 04:28 PM
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IME bikes with low trail, while not necessarily more stable, are easier to manage (keep upright) at slow speeds. Decreasing the size of the tires will decrease trail to some extent. A front tire that's smaller than the rear tire will decrease trail even more.
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Old 07-22-23, 05:03 PM
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Not being rude to cruiser bike stores, but if you walked into a store that had a number of cruiser models and asked the staff to test ride the one with the lowest trail, they would probably not be able to give an answer.

Most importantly when 'pushing off' on any bike, the bike must fit the rider's proportions; and fit the rider's needs - like maybe a foot on the ground. A heavy, single speed (most beach cruisers) are harder to get to 'balancing speed' than a lighter bike. And a bike with relatively wide tires but a center raised portion for efficient pavement riding, may be squirrely when first starting off on pavement.

Maybe consider a Mini-Velo bike, like in this link = 20" wheels.
Save Up to 60% Off Mini Velo Road Bikes, Roadbikes - Mercier Nano Mini Velo Bicycles (bikesdirect.com)
even has a short video - 28 sec.
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Last edited by Wildwood; 07-22-23 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 07-23-23, 12:58 AM
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Whatever the bike, your low-speed handling can be improved with practice. I do this a lot, especially with a bike with a new (to me) geometry. I ride in NYC, and handling drills help with mounting and dismounting, as well as with riding in traffic, negotiating stoplights, and with inclines.

I use something I learned when I took skating lessons: ride in circles, decreasing the radius and the speed as you go. Do it clockwise for 25-30 circles, then repeat going counterclockwise. Then do figure 8's, which are basically circles in both directions. It's an old skater's drill to improve balance and handling, and it ends up working great on a bicycle.
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Old 07-23-23, 08:01 AM
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OK. I not sure what this high trail low trail stuff is about. My current bike is a large stepover Raleigh e-bike with a dead battery pack, and I have been riding without it.

It weighs 50lbs without the battery. It has a 7 speed Shimano Altus gearset, and 26" tires.

I have yet to be able to stabily launch the bike by peddling it from a standstill, so I believe that this can only be done with assistance from the motor.
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Old 07-23-23, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
OK. I not sure what this high trail low trail stuff is about. My current bike is a large stepover Raleigh e-bike with a dead battery pack, and I have been riding without it.

It weighs 50lbs without the battery. It has a 7 speed Shimano Altus gearset, and 26" tires.

I have yet to be able to stabily launch the bike by peddling it from a standstill, so I believe that this can only be done with assistance from the motor.
Ah, I think I understand now. the mechanical dynamics of a pedal bike vs an Ebike are different. Lile a moped vs a pedal bike. both are technically pedal bikes, but one is really a small motorcycle and engineered for that purpose.
An Ebike as you describe, is a small electric motorcycle for all intents and purposes. you can't fix what isn't broken.
It isn't really meant to be pedaled much.

Last edited by Schweinhund; 07-23-23 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 07-23-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
It isn't really meant to be pedaled much.
Even though its a class 1? If only I could get a good battery for this heap!
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Old 07-23-23, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
Even though its a class 1? If only I could get a good battery for this heap!
Why can't you? Is it a voltage thing or a fitment issue?
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Old 07-23-23, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
Why can't you? Is it a voltage thing or a fitment issue?
No voltage with a dead battery. The bike fits fine other than the handle bars being a bit short. Once up to speed there are no issues.

The speed it becomes stable at is twice as fast as the speed achieved with the first pedal stroke.
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Old 07-23-23, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
No voltage with a dead battery. The bike fits fine other than the handle bars being a bit short. Once up to speed there are no issues.

The speed it becomes stable at is twice as fast as the speed achieved with the first pedal stroke.
There are lots an lots of rechargeable battery systems out there. battery taps too. most of them rely on Samsung cells
What kind of battery system does your bike have?
There is a forum here at bikeforums, ebikes. I think maybe some of the guys over there may be able to help you fix your ebike
They have a battery thread going right now.

https://www.bikeforums.net/electric-bikes/
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Old 07-23-23, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
What kind of battery system does your bike have?
One that mounts to the rear cargo rack. No one makes a replacement for it.
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Old 07-23-23, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
One that mounts to the rear cargo rack. No one makes a replacement for it.
Did you even consider the fact that you have an "ebike" and NOT a cruiser? This thread is in the wrong section of the forums, and you omitted necessary information that you seem to KNOW would affect the assistance the members could provide. An ebike isn't designed to be ridden without power. And there's people in the "Ebike" section who could possibly provide assistance sourcing a replacement battery.
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Old 07-23-23, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
One that mounts to the rear cargo rack. No one makes a replacement for it.
Maybe you should look up LI-ion battery repair.
Not saying it can, but what's the risk in asking?
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Old 07-23-23, 06:11 PM
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Moving thread from Beach Cruisers to e-bikes
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Old 07-23-23, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
Did you even consider the fact that you have an "ebike" and NOT a cruiser? This thread is in the wrong section of the forums, and you omitted necessary information that you seem to KNOW would affect the assistance the members could provide. An ebike isn't designed to be ridden without power. And there's people in the "Ebike" section who could possibly provide assistance sourcing a replacement battery.
I put my question in the cruiser forum for a reason, as it didn't pertain just to the bike in question.

Try not to be so arrogant in your assumptions.
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Old 07-23-23, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
Maybe you should look up LI-ion battery repair.
Not saying it can, but what's the risk in asking?
Been there, done that.
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Old 07-24-23, 06:08 AM
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Generally, the stability of a 2-wheel vehicle is guided by the wheelbase and center of mass when the vehicle is in operation.
The longer the wheelbase, the lower the center of mass is located on the 2-wheel vehicle, the more stable it is at lower speeds.
LWB recumbent with battery mounted between the wheel axles is like the most stable for 2-wheel platform, but at the sacrifice of handling, not the quickest.
Sitting lower to the ground level obviously helps with putting your foot down quicker.


For cruiser type bicycles, the long wheelbase and steering angle contribute to its stability, more over the balloon wide tires & large diameter wheels.
Maybe not the most efficient platform for e-bike, but certainly not difficult to manage or to balance.


If OP still prefer sitting upright but have balancing limitation, maybe an e-trike is also an option.
My in-laws are in the 80's with balance issues, I bought them a Lectric XP Trike for $1500, they've been able to enjoy it as much as the fat tire e-bike they used to have before the pandemic, when they had less balancing issues.

Last edited by cat0020; 07-24-23 at 06:13 AM.
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