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Self steer

Old 07-27-22, 02:46 PM
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Self steer

Ok, I'm on a rant about my Pugsley, and fat bikes in general lately, but here's something I wish I had known more about before I built one: Self-steer.

It's irritating at best, and unnerving at the worst, when, for instance, you make a right-hand turn, and during the turn have to actively push back with your right hand to keep the tire from steering hard on its own into the turn. That, of course, is after you have to fight it off its line to force it to start turning. Turn mechanics that start with force, then oppose the turn, are simply not comfortable, and make for poor handling.

Just wanted to put that out there. This is one of the reasons I think that the fat bike trend is dying. What cyclist wants to put up with that after the novelty wears off, and what tire manufacturer wants to try to overcome that, while dealing with very unhappy customers who just dropped a lot of money on tires?
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Old 07-28-22, 08:05 PM
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A Modern fat bike and decent tires does not self-steer even a low 3 psi pressures.
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Old 07-29-22, 07:40 PM
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Not an issue I have with my fat bike.

One hater thread wasn't enough Banzai ?
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Old 07-29-22, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Airfehr View Post
Not an issue I have with my fat bike.

One hater thread wasn't enough Banzai ?
You are free to place me on ignore and not reply. I'm happy to discuss self-steer, but if all you can do is personal jabs, it won't hurt my feelings if I make your "ignore" list. You will earn a spot on mine.
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Old 07-29-22, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
A Modern fat bike and decent tires does not self-steer even a low 3 psi pressures.
Teravail Coronado Tires.

Not much choice for tires anymore, either.
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Old 07-29-22, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
You are free to place me on ignore and not reply. I'm happy to discuss self-steer, but if all you can do is personal jabs, it won't hurt my feelings if I make your "ignore" list. You will earn a spot on mine.
You come to fat bikes and bash fat bikes in every thread you post in. I'm for positive discussion. Is this a discussion about fixing a problem or about bashing fat bikes.

Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
This is one of the reasons I think that the fat bike trend is dying.
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Old 07-30-22, 06:00 PM
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I have a pugs, never had a self steering issue...
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Old 08-01-22, 08:29 AM
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I do not have the self steer issue with either my old Nates or my current Van Helgas.

The only time I ever feel anything like that is when I am running very low pressure for soft snow and then ride on a firm dirt road with a rut. The steering will tug a tad.
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Old 08-01-22, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Not much choice for tires anymore, either.
That is a load of crap.
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Old 08-02-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Ok, I'm on a rant about my Pugsley, and fat bikes in general lately, but here's something I wish I had known more about before I built one: Self-steer.

It's irritating at best, and unnerving at the worst, when, for instance, you make a right-hand turn, and during the turn have to actively push back with your right hand to keep the tire from steering hard on its own into the turn. That, of course, is after you have to fight it off its line to force it to start turning. Turn mechanics that start with force, then oppose the turn, are simply not comfortable, and make for poor handling.

Just wanted to put that out there. This is one of the reasons I think that the fat bike trend is dying. What cyclist wants to put up with that after the novelty wears off, and what tire manufacturer wants to try to overcome that, while dealing with very unhappy customers who just dropped a lot of money on tires?
It's you. Not the bike.

Low pressure on pavement will result in a little self steer but nothing like you describe. That and not sure why you would run low pressure on pavement. I don't have any self steer on the 2 fat bikes in my household.

The fat bike trend isn't dying. It's just that it's peaked.
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Old 08-03-22, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Ok, I'm on a rant about my Pugsley, and fat bikes in general lately, but here's something I wish I had known more about before I built one: Self-steer.

It's irritating at best, and unnerving at the worst, when, for instance, you make a right-hand turn, and during the turn have to actively push back with your right hand to keep the tire from steering hard on its own into the turn. That, of course, is after you have to fight it off its line to force it to start turning. Turn mechanics that start with force, then oppose the turn, are simply not comfortable, and make for poor handling.

Just wanted to put that out there. This is one of the reasons I think that the fat bike trend is dying. What cyclist wants to put up with that after the novelty wears off, and what tire manufacturer wants to try to overcome that, while dealing with very unhappy customers who just dropped a lot of money on tires?
I was under the impression that self steer was the bike having a tendency to turn without leaning. Or rather you'd turn but had to force the lean as it wasn't happening 'automatically' like it usually does. I had that happen with one pair of tires but after upgrading haven't noticed it happening unless I'm at 1psi pressure range.

Sound like what you're experiencing is either faulty hardware, user error or weight distribution that's way off whack (too much weight at the front wheel). Though bad weight distribution would fall under user error.

Usually with a fatbike I'll get understeer due to the gyroscopic effect the tires and wheels create and have to counter steer to prevent the bike from straightening itself. But that's normal bicycle and especially motorcycle behaviour.
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Old 08-04-22, 08:05 PM
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Choice of tire is a factor, and often pressure is a factor. For example, Origin8 Supercell tires are pretty awful at low pressure, but the same tires do almost no self-steering at the max (20 PSI) pressure.
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Old 08-08-22, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
I was under the impression that self steer was the bike having a tendency to turn without leaning. Or rather you'd turn but had to force the lean as it wasn't happening 'automatically' like it usually does. I had that happen with one pair of tires but after upgrading haven't noticed it happening unless I'm at 1psi pressure range.

Sound like what you're experiencing is either faulty hardware, user error or weight distribution that's way off whack (too much weight at the front wheel). Though bad weight distribution would fall under user error.

Usually with a fatbike I'll get understeer due to the gyroscopic effect the tires and wheels create and have to counter steer to prevent the bike from straightening itself. But that's normal bicycle and especially motorcycle behaviour.
Iím going to rule out user error and weight distribution.

My other bikes with various tire/wheel sizes are not a struggle to operate. ďNaturalĒ or ďeffortlessĒ would be better descriptors.

I weigh a whopping 145lbs, and the bike fits appropriately.
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Old 08-08-22, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Iím going to rule out user error and weight distribution.
.
Well, none of us are having this problem with our fat bikes, so what do you chalk it up to?
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Old 08-09-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well, none of us are having this problem with our fat bikes, so what do you chalk it up to?
The tires. I once had Nates that didnít have this problem. Also Black Floyds that pulled like crazy.

Thatís some expensive trial and error there.

Not a problem on all tires, but it is a problem with enough, and the options available have been shrinking. Iíd wager a company like Continental would do the R&D to ensure a tire that pulls doesnít hit the market, but Continental doesnít even care to be in the shrinking fat bike market anymore.

The fact that it is a problem on some tires and you might be making $250 dice rolls on it is, well, a problem in this market segment.
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Old 08-09-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well, none of us are having this problem with our fat bikes, so what do you chalk it up to?
Also, what kind of unique and special skill set is required of a highly experienced cyclist on a properly fit and well maintained bike? If it really is so highly specialized in the skills required, then that, too, is a problem in this market segment regarding accessibility and long-term viability.
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Old 08-09-22, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Also, what kind of unique and special skill set is required of a highly experienced cyclist on a properly fit and well maintained bike? If it really is so highly specialized in the skills required, then that, too, is a problem in this market segment regarding accessibility and long-term viability.
Well, since literally nobody I ride fat-bikes with has this problem the way you do, it is clearly not all that specialized or advance of a skill. Yet you still struggle.

Sounds to me like you may be under-inflating your tires for your conditions.
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Old 08-09-22, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well, since literally nobody I ride fat-bikes with has this problem the way you do, it is clearly not all that specialized or advance of a skill. Yet you still struggle.

Sounds to me like you may be under-inflating your tires for your conditions.
Well, now we both have anecdotes.

However, fat tire steering issues are certainly known, and a cursory search will reveal numerous anecdotes and discussions on multiple sites.

Additionally, I have run 4 kinds of tires on this bike in the years Iíve had it. 2 had unnerving steering/cornering properties, 2 did not. My ďskill levelĒ (cyclocross racer, road racer, recreational MTB-er, long distance rider, and drunken-master urban pub crawler) remained relatively constant between all 4 sets.

So, thatís a 50% rate of unacceptable performance where the only variable that changed appreciably was the tire.
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Old 08-09-22, 12:51 PM
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The only way you are going to get self steer is running very low pressure on hard pack surface. That will happen with all tires.

So yes...it's you. Maybe fat bikes aren't for you since you don't know how to operate them and maybe you should move on because nobody else seems to have this problem.
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Old 08-09-22, 01:24 PM
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One anecdote is you. The other is everyone else.

Yes, self steer can be an issue if you run the tires too low on hard-pack as stated above.

Most people simply adjust their tire pressure. But I guess whining on the internet is another approach.

Running pressure too low causes issues on any size tires. Smaller tires donít tend to self steer because you will get rim strikes or wrecked wheels before the pressure gets that low.
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Old 08-09-22, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
The tires. I once had Nates that didnít have this problem. Also Black Floyds that pulled like crazy.

Thatís some expensive trial and error there.

Not a problem on all tires, but it is a problem with enough, and the options available have been shrinking. Iíd wager a company like Continental would do the R&D to ensure a tire that pulls doesnít hit the market, but Continental doesnít even care to be in the shrinking fat bike market anymore.

The fact that it is a problem on some tires and you might be making $250 dice rolls on it is, well, a problem in this market segment.
Why not get something tried and true like jumbo jims and be done with it..?

Believe it or not, I've had bad experiences with lots of different tire types and sizes. It's almost as if design flaws can happen in any tire type.

Also like many have stated, pump up your tires more. A different casing will require different pressures so if you're just going by arbitrary numbers you're going to have a bad time.
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Old 08-10-22, 04:57 AM
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I've got 2 fatbikes - one is my daily driver with more than 2000 km on it, most of that on cheap Kenda k1118s at 30 psi. rolls fast (fatbike fast anyway) and behaves exactly as I expect it to.

I've never experienced the phenomenon you are experiencing. Not even in the winter on Jumbo Jims where I generally ride at 6-9 psi.

Good luck
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