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My new Zozzi Liberte steers to the right.

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My new Zozzi Liberte steers to the right.

Old 08-14-20, 09:08 PM
  #1  
tubesocksFred
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My new Zozzi Liberte steers to the right.

I recently got a Zozzi Liberte folding bike for my wife to ride. I assembled it and took it out for a test ride. Besides having trouble riding with one hand off the bars (something I assumed to be the short trail (27.5m) and steep head tube angle (86.8 deg)), I also tried riding with no hands. It was extremely unstable that I was not able to remove my hand for more than a split second. I gave it another try another day and realized the bike veers quite aggressively to the right and in order to ride it with no hands, I had to pre-shift my weight to the left, varying the amount I shift until the bike goes straight when I remove my hands. I could just go on riding like this, but it is a little hard to steer around things when my weight is off-center on the bike when going straight.

I went on loosening the front wheel and shifted it within the constrains of the recessed dropout so it is tilting left (cyclist point of view), which I assumed is what should be done given the bike veers right but things didn't improve. Then I did the opposite, tilting it to the right, and all of a sudden, I was able to ride with no weight shifting. I have attached a picture where you can see how offset the front wheel is.



I figured it is due to some frame alignment and did all sorts of non-tools measurement, including seeing if both wheels are dished (by turning it around and checking if they are still centered between the brakes/chainstays)...they are, and tying a string from the rear dropouts to the headtube then measuring the distance from the string to the downtube, which they were at 3.4-3.6cm. I could not determine whether the fork is straight and the headtube alignment due to the requirement of the Park Tool.

I figured maybe I could do some photographic observation/measurement and set set the bike's front dropouts on a level surface and took some pictures. I drew some lines along the outer edge of each arm of the fork and they seem to align with each other vertically. In the rear, I have a T square ruler sitting at 90 deg perpendicular, right next to the seat tube, and from the looks of it, the seatpost seem to diverting away from the ruler, indicating the rear is not aligned with the front. Visually, the headtube seems to skew in the same direction as the seat post, leading me to think it might be the fork. I did some pixel offset count on the fork, seatpost, headtube and t-square to get a more accurate assessment beyond the eyeball and it seem to confirm what I see.



What I am wondering, is this normal for folding bikes? Given that they are on hinges and were built as separate parts of the frame and not in a jig to ensure their alignment before being welding. Are there other ways I can narrow down to exactly what part is not straight without disassembling the bike or specialized equipment?

The manufacture said this is not a defect, thus not covered by any warranty.
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Old 08-15-20, 08:00 AM
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Well Zizzo DOES have a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you feel the frame is somehow defective, return it and re-order later? Assuming they have any bikes to ship.

I am curious how you know that the frames are not put in a jig for welding?
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Old 08-15-20, 09:23 AM
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Folders ARE hard to ride no hands. And with the smaller tires, it's not all the safe anyway. One small rock and oops. My BF frame and assembly is perfect and I can't ride no hands for more than a second.
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Old 08-15-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Well Zizzo DOES have a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you feel the frame is somehow defective, return it and re-order later? Assuming they have any bikes to ship.

I am curious how you know that the frames are not put in a jig for welding?
That's what the mfg told me, to return if not satisfied. My wife would be out of a bike to ride.

I assume since the front and rear of the bike are separate parts of the frame, only bolted together at the hinge during assembly, that they are made separately. Unless they assemble the whole painted hinge assembly, then weld the rest of the frame around it.

The more one rides it with no hands, the more one get use to it. Although I only did it around 4x, once or twice for maybe 30 sec, since it is not my bike an I was just testing it
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Old 08-15-20, 05:48 PM
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If it's not a mechanical issue waiting to happen, and your wife isn't going to ride hands free, then don't worry about it. If you think it is indicative of a mechanical problem, then return it.
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Old 08-16-20, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
If it's not a mechanical issue waiting to happen, and your wife isn't going to ride hands free, then don't worry about it. If you think it is indicative of a mechanical problem, then return it.
If it is a mechanical issue (due to a component), I wouldn't worry as much since things could be adjusted or replaced for it to be back to original spec. This issue is on the base frame, which could only be compensated by making something else wrong.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tubesocksFred View Post
If it is a mechanical issue (due to a component), I wouldn't worry as much since things could be adjusted or replaced for it to be back to original spec. This issue is on the base frame, which could only be compensated by making something else wrong.
IF it's a problem with the frame that is going to cause any other issues, return it. If the problem is only going to result in being unable to ride hands free (which most folders do very badly anyway) then maybe move on to other things in your life.
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Old 08-17-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
IF it's a problem with the frame that is going to cause any other issues, return it. If the problem is only going to result in being unable to ride hands free (which most folders do very badly anyway) then maybe move on to other things in your life.
My wife doesn't dare to ride even with one hand (to wipe sweat, grab a drink, etc) because the bike will veer to the right and its a constant balancing act to keep the bike straight. When I ride it with only my left hand, I have to apply a slight pull to the handlebar in order to counter the bike's natural path.

I did see another person on the bike path with the same exact bike. I thought of asking him if I can test ride his bike, but when I reached the end and turned around, I did not see him again.
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Old 08-17-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tubesocksFred View Post
My wife doesn't dare to ride even with one hand (to wipe sweat, grab a drink, etc) because the bike will veer to the right and its a constant balancing act to keep the bike straight. When I ride it with only my left hand, I have to apply a slight pull to the handlebar in order to counter the bike's natural path.

I did see another person on the bike path with the same exact bike. I thought of asking him if I can test ride his bike, but when I reached the end and turned around, I did not see him again.
Okay, if she can't ride with one hand then you should return it. Now on my BF, if I ride one-handed, there is still definitely some "squirrely" movement and the bike does not track perfectly straight, there's probably a one foot wander side to side as I go. I'm assuming that is because I am female, my reach is just barely right due to very short proportioned arms, and I don't have the upper body strength/arm strength a guy would likely have. If you can ride one handed and the bike tracks straight (after you are used to folder steering, of course), then it might not be the bike. But, either way, if she can't ride one handed you need a different bike. There will be times where she's going to want/need to do that. Send it back and make sure she test rides whatever you get.
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Old 08-17-20, 11:39 AM
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You could take it to a shop that has alignment jig. It will cost some money though. First they have to remove bottom bracket because it mounts there and the first step is to see if the seat tube is perpendicular to the bottom bracket. And this is just the first step.

Last edited by Schwinnsta; 08-17-20 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Changed to the text
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Old 08-19-20, 12:11 PM
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Ok, you found the shortcomings of folding bikes on the lower priced tier level...

maybe buy your wife a more expensive bike & get a refund on what you paid for that..
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Old 08-19-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ok, you found the shortcomings of folding bikes on the lower priced tier level...

maybe buy your wife a more expensive bike & get a refund on what you paid for that..
As the owner of BOTH a EuroMini Zizzo AND a Brompton (which cost 6X as much) riding no-handed on the Euro-Mini Zizzo is far more doable than on my Brompton so your argument regarding cost isn't a strong one.
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Old 08-19-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
As the owner of BOTH a EuroMini Zizzo AND a Brompton (which cost 6X as much) riding no-handed on the Euro-Mini Zizzo is far more doable than on my Brompton so your argument regarding cost isn't a strong one.
To be fair, comparing a 16" to 20" isn't exactly the same. My Dahon Mu Uno is easier to ride one handed than my Bike Friday. I assume it
is partly wheel size (thus wheelbase/geometry), partly the added weight of the Dahon. Definitely not an issue of stiffness as my BF is very rigid with no hinge. Maybe also riding position as my Dahon is pretty upright and my BF is more an active position.
Personally, I find all folders a bit hard to ride one handed for very long (constantly making minor corrections tires my arm) and nearly impossible to ride no hands. But then, I see people doing things on bikes I would never dream of being able to do so....
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Old 08-20-20, 09:43 AM
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Why are you going on about riding no handed?
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Old 08-20-20, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ok, you found the shortcomings of folding bikes on the lower priced tier level...


maybe buy your wife a more expensive bike & get a refund on what you paid for that..
I presumed it isn't on a rock bottom price tier, nor do I think they are rebranded bikes from China like what I think some other brands do, given how drastically different one model looks from another. Same goes for the quality of the weld, no clear booger welds, even in the out of view sections of the bike. I did measurements of frame's alignment and everything (minus the fork) seemed to be with +/-1mm.


Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Why are you going on about riding no handed?
I usually ride the last mile or so of my ride hands free, to cool down, get a drink from my fanny container, or get more resistance/provide more draft to the one riding behind me. But for this folder, I just want to see if I can do it, but then it became a bicycle tracking/frame issue.
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Old 08-20-20, 10:58 AM
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Stopping and doing that, then starting again holding on with at least 1 hand, afterwards, is shame inducing common sense ?

One thing that can steady a small wheel is adding mass like Low-rider panniers centering around the hub axis..
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Old 08-20-20, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Stopping and doing that, then starting again holding on with at least 1 hand, afterwards, is shame inducing common sense ?

One thing that can steady a small wheel is adding mass like Low-rider panniers centering around the hub axis..
I know about adding mass. When I ride citibike and strap my laptop bag to the front basket, the handling becomes so heavy and when I ride with no hands (on the 10% of bikes that actually tracks straight), I have to really shift my body weight around just to make corrections and keep the bike straight. I did do a quick ride with the front fork/handlebar rotated 180 deg, creating a negative trail and vastly increasing the trail (it must have gone from 28mm to over 75mm). This made the bike ultra stable, thought about using this setup for my wife, but then I didn't want to use the bike not as it was intended.

Last edited by tubesocksFred; 08-20-20 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-20-20, 04:09 PM
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Making Accurate precision Jigs and other fixtures to make the parts if a folding bike ,

is important in getting the whole bike to line up when its all together..
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Old 08-20-20, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tubesocksFred View Post
I know about adding mass. When I ride citibike and strap my laptop bag to the front basket, the handling becomes so heavy and when I ride with no hands, I have to really shift my body weight around just to make corrections and keep the bike straight. I did do a quick ride with the front fork/handlebar rotated 180 deg, creating a negative trail and vastly increasing the trail (it must have gone from 28mm to over 75mm). This made the bike ultra stable, thought about using this setup for my wife, but then I didn't want to use the bike not as it was intended.
It's really not intended to be ridden with no hands either! LOL
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Old 08-20-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Making Accurate precision Jigs and other fixtures to make the parts if a folding bike ,

is important in getting the whole bike to line up when its all together..
Since there is only one size to make, tooling cost is less. The only issue I thought there would be is when the separated parts are joined together via hinges and whether they would still maintain its alignment even after the paint goes on. I guess the final QA does not include a pushing it on a roller to make sure it goes straight.

Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
It's really not intended to be ridden with no hands either! LOL
LOL, I usually ride it real hard, and I don't want to go into the office or train station and sweat like a faucet for the next 10 minutes, especially in the summer. At least if it is the PATH train in WTC, the station is air conditioned and there are these giant cooling ducts where I can stand in front of until the train comes. This summer, its been pretty much WFH, so its the same scenario except the final stop is home.
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Old 08-24-20, 02:27 PM
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I can't understand how this is not a warranty. Are bikes supposed to be misaligned?

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Yan
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Old 08-24-20, 04:06 PM
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Has it been determined that the bike is indeed misaligned? Just because the OP has trouble riding no hands doesn't necessarily mean that. Did I miss a post that showed the alignment had been verified as incorrect? I do believe Zizzo gave him the option of returning it, anyway, for any reason within the 30 days.
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Old 08-24-20, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
I can't understand how this is not a warranty. Are bikes supposed to be misaligned?
They said the bike is not intended to be ridden hands free, and their limited lifetime frame warranty seems to indicate it is to be free of defects in materials and workmanship. I presume it falls under one of those, otherwise, if someone received a frame that is bent 20 deg to one side, it can't be considered outside of what's covered under warranty for material or workmanship.

Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Has it been determined that the bike is indeed misaligned? Just because the OP has trouble riding no hands doesn't necessarily mean that. Did I miss a post that showed the alignment had been verified as incorrect? I do believe Zizzo gave him the option of returning it, anyway, for any reason within the 30 days.
I've never had trouble riding hands free, steering it around obstacles and such, on any of the bikes I've had, from cyclocross, track bike, race bikes, 10spd, kids mtn bike w/20" wheels, citibikes. I could do it with the zizzo too, I just have to shift my weight to the left before releasing the handlebar. My best guess at it being alignment is the fork's vertical alignment vs the seatpost. Not going to disassemble something that is still on trial period.
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Old 08-24-20, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
I can't understand how this is not a warranty. Are bikes supposed to be misaligned?

Thanks,
Yan
I dont think this bicycle has been verified to have been misaligned, and the offer to return has been made by the manufacturer....seems like a no-brainer. If we're going to speculate on manufacturing/design shortcomings without basis of fact or verification there's an interesting post on this thread Downtube folding bike about a cracked seat tube not far from this post that makes for some interesting reading and the opportunity for speculation as well.

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Old 08-26-20, 11:20 PM
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I’ve got a Liberte too. They’re a bit of a challenge to ride no-handed compared to a larger-wheeled bike but I can do it for short stretches. I’d never try taking a wind shell off or putting one on while riding though; just too unstable.

Have you checked the headset? Mine has need adjustments twice in 9 months. Otherwise, it’s been a great bike. I’ve gone on 30 mile rides with it and it was fine.
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