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Sensitive/Twitchy Steering Bikes

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Sensitive/Twitchy Steering Bikes

Old 05-02-09, 03:34 PM
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Sensitive/Twitchy Steering Bikes

I have a couple of road bikes that I ride. One is and old RS900 Giant from the 90ís and a Specialize Allez from 2005. I road the Giant last year and started riding the Allez this year. I have notice that the Allez steering is very twitchy compared to the Giant. On the old Giant I could turn around to look behind me no problem but when I turn around on the Allez for just a moment I start to wobble a lot. If I get another bike what type of bike and/or frame measurement should I look for to get a less sensitive steering bike?
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Old 05-02-09, 05:02 PM
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Two things.

First, check the headset adjustment. A too tight headset will make the bike feel twitchy. The front fork and wheel should flop side-to-side on their own.

If you're looking to buy a new bike you'll want one that has a slacker head tube angle and a straighter fork. You can probably eyeball the fork but you'll need a trained eye to notice the fine degree of difference in head tube angle.
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Old 05-03-09, 12:46 AM
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Haven't found the critical head tube angle on a road bike yet- but on MTB's I found that any bike with an angle steeper than 71 1/2 degs was going to be twitchy.

Too high a pressure in the tyre or narrower tyre can also affect steering and the one I did not expect was too wide a handlebar. I have one MTB that is one to be wary of and I overcome it by putting my hands in the centre of the bars if I want to look behind me.
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Old 05-03-09, 06:57 AM
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Sometimes a bike will get twitchy or a vibration can set up if the weight distribution is off. I found on my steel bike that if the rear seat is too far back it gets twitchy, moving it just a little bit forward smooths it right out.
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Old 05-03-09, 08:58 PM
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Remember that one person's sensitive/twitchy bike is another's responsive/quick handling bike.

Steeper head angles and increased trail are associated with quicker steering. Slacker head angles and less trail tend to make a bike more stable.

A straight fork may or may not result in less trail depending on the angle of the fork in relation to the steer tube.
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