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Front wheel swings side to side easily

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Front wheel swings side to side easily

Old 05-25-17, 03:55 PM
  #1  
Fett2oo5
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Front wheel swings side to side easily

I've noticed that some riders when they walk their bike hold very little, or don't hold their bars at all. Instead they walk next to their bike and hold it on the saddle. Not only does the front wheel stay straight, but they can even steer a little. All while only holding the saddle.

How are they able to do this?

The moment you let go of my bars the front wheel, if the bike is not plumb, will swing toward the side.
Is it because I have an older bike (2000'ish Klein) which has an older/different style head-tube? (to be honest I don't know what would be different about it, but I'm sure there is some difference.)


How are some bikes able to have a front wheel that doesn't easily swing from side to side, and are able to be walked by only holding onto the saddle?
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Old 05-25-17, 03:59 PM
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Maybe they overtightened the headset bearing?
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Old 05-25-17, 04:22 PM
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It's a secret.

(but really, the same principal [balance] that allows you to ride a bike no-handed, allows you to steer one from the saddle).
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Old 05-25-17, 04:41 PM
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I do it all the time when walking in the hallway at work (can't ride there!). It depends on your fork but usually, you only have to make very small movement to make the front wheel turn.
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Old 05-25-17, 06:11 PM
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Could this be related to "trail"
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Old 05-25-17, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Flounce View Post
Could this be related to "trail"
Yup, the term is "flop" actually.

https://calfeedesign.com/tech-papers...bike-handling/

Which depends on trail, which traces back to....a bunch of things. All frames do it to some degree, generally the more the trail the more the tendency to flop. And it tends to get worse as you load gear on that front axle.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 05-25-17 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 05-25-17, 06:24 PM
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I learned this "trick" back in middle school and the other kids were amazed that the bike "knew" where to go. No trick, really. It's just holding the bike plumb and leaning it slightly to make it turn. A little practice is all it takes. BTW, I used to be able to ride without my hands but I can't do that anymore (I'm 62). Rode with a 75-year-old yesterday and he could easily without hands. I hate him. (not really)
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Old 05-25-17, 06:24 PM
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I've wondered too...I have to hold my bars or my bike is going down, quick. I usually keep something in front of the wheel (or around wheel & DT) when it's parked also, so it doesn't go down if its not placed just right. It's annoying.
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Old 05-25-17, 06:33 PM
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The less trail on your steering, the less it steers in response to lean, making it easier to stabilize at low speeds without holding onto the bars.

Or maybe they're just better at pushing their bikes than you.
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Old 05-25-17, 06:40 PM
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Thank you for the replies. I've thought of and experienced many of the situations you all have. However with my current bike, it is prone to "flop" more than any other I have seen.
Originally Posted by Hardrock23 View Post
I've wondered too...I have to hold my bars or my bike is going down, quick. I usually keep something in front of the wheel (or around wheel & DT) when it's parked also, so it doesn't go down if its not placed just right. It's annoying.
This is my exact situation as well.

If I don't hold the bars, and the bike begins to roll, they will turn.

Save
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Old 05-25-17, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Fett2oo5 View Post
Thank you for the replies. I've thought of and experienced many of the situations you all have. However with my current bike, it is prone to "flop" more than any other I have seen. This is my exact situation as well.

If I don't hold the bars, and the bike begins to roll, they will turn.

[I MG]http://imgur.com/4JVYQS4.jpg[/IMG]
Save
What frame size is that? Judging by headtube length that is probably a 50CM at most. That right there would explain the difference in experience between you and bike mates bikes.

Handling issues are more apparent on smaller frames, as smaller sizes aren't just scaled down big bikes....since things like wheels and tires (and these days fork offsets) are basically fixed in size.
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Old 05-25-17, 08:57 PM
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If it bothers you enough, you can put a stabilizer spring on the front wheel.

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Old 05-25-17, 09:22 PM
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It looks a bit bigger than a 50cm, but its hard for me to size bikes with fatter tubes. I'd guess 53-54cm or so.
I've got a 49cm myself. I didn't think of size being a factor but now I can see how it could be.

My bars turn even without movement of the bike first. After a couple falls and quite a bit more near falls, I've pretty much gotten used to it and know how to deal with it better now...still annoying though lol
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Old 05-26-17, 10:46 AM
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Trail. is the distance on the ground, between the line down from the axle, and the line thru the angled head tube center.

they cross above the ground, so .. same HTA & Fork rake can have a different trail if the wheel radius changes.

Larger trail , wheel tends to stay straight.





....
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Old 05-26-17, 11:44 AM
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I have no trouble rolling my bike by holding onto the seat and pushing it. Just a slight lean in the direction I want the bike to go and the front wheel follows. I just find it easier to push the bike by the seat rather than having to hold onto the bars.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I have no trouble rolling my bike by holding onto the seat and pushing it. Just a slight lean in the direction I want the bike to go and the front wheel follows. I just find it easier to push the bike by the seat rather than having to hold onto the bars.
Yea, I wish I could do that.
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