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My bike feels bumpy but the shop can't find anything wrong with it

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My bike feels bumpy but the shop can't find anything wrong with it

Old 06-05-21, 03:41 PM
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DreamRider85
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My bike feels bumpy but the shop can't find anything wrong with it

Yea, this one is an annoying problem. A couple of weeks ago while on a ride, I started to notice my bike felt bumpy. When I'm riding well-paved roads, I still feel like I'm riding bumpy roads. I'm stumped. It feels like it is the front tires. I took my bike into the shop twice and the manager doesn't seem to think anything is off. But I know that something doesn't feel right. I can feel the bike vibrating harder. I thought the tires might have been worn but he said they look fine. What else could it be? Shock absorption? I'm not pumping up the tires any more than usual. But it doesn't feel right. The bike actually feels lighter, but it feels like there's something making the front tires bump hard. He even rode it for a minute and said it felt pretty fine to him. He said if I want I could schedule a time for him to look at it for a longer period of time. But do you have any suggestions? Bikes cannot just feel weird all of a sudden if there's nothing wrong with it, right?
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Old 06-05-21, 03:57 PM
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ofajen
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Yea, this one is an annoying problem. A couple of weeks ago while on a ride, I started to notice my bike felt bumpy. When I'm riding well-paved roads, I still feel like I'm riding bumpy roads. I'm stumped. It feels like it is the front tires. I took my bike into the shop twice and the manager doesn't seem to think anything is off. But I know that something doesn't feel right. I can feel the bike vibrating harder. I thought the tires might have been worn but he said they look fine. What else could it be? Shock absorption? I'm not pumping up the tires any more than usual. But it doesn't feel right. The bike actually feels lighter, but it feels like there's something making the front tires bump hard. He even rode it for a minute and said it felt pretty fine to him. He said if I want I could schedule a time for him to look at it for a longer period of time. But do you have any suggestions? Bikes cannot just feel weird all of a sudden if there's nothing wrong with it, right?
Maybe the tire is not seated properly on the rim at all points? Trying holding the front wheel off the ground and spinning the tire. Look along the outside tire surface along the direction of travel and see if you see a place where some sort of lump or change in shape comes past. If so, check to see if the tire is seated in the proper way at that point.

I’d have assumed a bike shop tech would check for this right off, so don’t get your hopes up. Also, this would usually be something that was this way from the time the tire was last installed. Still, I hope this helps.

Otto
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Old 06-05-21, 04:31 PM
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Damage to the tire casing (often from hard pothole hits and the like) can show as lumps like an early hernia. An old, tired tire can do the same, as can some really cheap ones. Probably not what you are seeing, but rule it out now as that damaged casing is a big, un-repairable blowout waiting to happen. (With the tire at riding pressure, spin the wheel and look for an odd bump to go by or the center strip of the tread suddenly taking a jag to one side like it was hand wrapped around the tire and the employee got all the way around but missed by an 1/8th inch and had a 1/4" to get it to meet up. Most tires are made with cord layers crossing on diagonals. You can damage a middle layer and be unable to see any damaged cords on the outside or inside. But with the tire blown up, everything stretches. Except where the cord is broken, the remaining cord lacks support and so shifts a little.)

Edit: actually I like Otto's idea of a poorly seated bead. I spin the wheel after mounting a tire and look for three things - the center tread to wander up and down (I sight past the tire at a stationary object. Maybe hold the wheel vertically and look over the top at the gutter of a house.) Also I look for variations of the distance between the molded line and the rim on each side. (Virtually all tires have a thin line of rubber molded in that sits less than a millimeter outside the rim. That line is exactly parallel to the bead.)

Last edited by 79pmooney; 06-05-21 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:15 PM
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If a bike shop manager couldn't find a problem then it's probably your imagination.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:31 PM
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Ask the bike shop to put a spare front wheel on your bike (or borrow a friend's) and test ride it to see if you notice a difference. You can isolate from there.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:32 PM
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lower the psi 10-15% & see how much it changes.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:39 PM
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Does the front tire bump ONCE per revolution? If so, could it be the spoke tension?
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Old 06-05-21, 06:40 PM
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Is this a rhythmic bump everywhere, even on smooth cement... or just a jarring rattle?

In the first case, it could be a tire/wheel issue, for example a bead not seated, wheel dented or out of true, skid mark, etc. I once tried a full sized Park Boot, and could feel it bump.

In the second case of a rattle, could be tire pressure, or even in the head. Perhaps thicker bar tape or gloves? Or a headset issue?
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Old 06-05-21, 06:41 PM
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swap w/a mates tyre for 5 mins.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:44 PM
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It's things like this - which are real, and a pain in the hole - where I find all the crap I've hoarded over the years, to be invaluable.

My neighbor's bike needed a quick clean and general look-over... instantly I see he's got 3 spokes BROKEN on his front wheel.

Yeah, I've got a old 26" mtb wheel in the shed.

Swap out the front wheel for something else you know works, and go from there.
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Old 06-05-21, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
Does the front tire bump ONCE per revolution? If so, could it be the spoke tension?
No, it could not be that.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Is this a rhythmic bump everywhere, even on smooth cement... or just a jarring rattle?

In the first case, it could be a tire/wheel issue, for example a bead not seated, wheel dented or out of true, skid mark, etc. I once tried a full sized Park Boot, and could feel it bump.

In the second case of a rattle, could be tire pressure, or even in the head. Perhaps thicker bar tape or gloves? Or a headset issue?

It's more like a jarring rattle. Would you recommend higher pressure? I tried with 95 psi as recommended and feel it. If I go higher, I still feel it.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
It's more like a jarring rattle. Would you recommend higher pressure? I tried with 95 psi as recommended and feel it. If I go higher, I still feel it.
The less tire pressure the more cushion you get.

What is your weight?
What size of tires do you have on your bike?
Tubes or Tubeless?

You really need just a bit more pressure than what is needed to keep the tires from bottoming out on bumps, although there may be a pressure/energy curve, so too low pressure and it takes power, and too much, and it also robs power.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
If a bike shop manager couldn't find a problem then it's probably your imagination.

You really believe that?
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Old 06-06-21, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
It's more like a jarring rattle. Would you recommend higher pressure? I tried with 95 psi as recommended and feel it. If I go higher, I still feel it.
Pretty hard to believe that the shop manager did not notice a ‘jarring rattle’ but I would definitely have another rider take it for a quick spin
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Old 06-06-21, 08:25 AM
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I don’t recall what kind of bike you have but if it has a suspension fork that’s another place to look. You might have engaged the lock out, if it has one, or it might be malfunctioning.
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Old 06-06-21, 09:02 AM
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Wheel bearings is my first thought. The bearings could spin freely on a stand but randomly bump and skip under load.
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Old 06-06-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
It's more like a jarring rattle. Would you recommend higher pressure? I tried with 95 psi as recommended and feel it. If I go higher, I still feel it.
I think your tires could just be overinflated. What kind of bike and tire are you using?
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Old 06-06-21, 10:12 AM
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Perhaps a better description of the bike.

Also, how long you been riding that bike and during that time period, when did it start? I mean how long in terms of years, months, weeks, not "how long" in terms of a particular ride.

Also describe the type of riding you do.

Also, do you have all kinds of attachments on the bike? I see some posts that show riders with lots of stuff on the handlebars, lots of lights, bags, audio equipment, baskets, etc.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:47 PM
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Well. You'll never believe this. So the manager checked it out again and he had another manager check it out. They say nothing is wrong with it. Then I tried a spare tire from where I thought it was happening and I didn't notice a difference. We came to the conclusion it was in my head. I never in a million years thought that could be the case. But I guess it is. When I don't focus on it, the bike feels fine. But when I focus on the bumpiness, I notice it. The manager said, ''Don't worry. We've all been there.''
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Old 06-10-21, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Well. You'll never believe this. So the manager checked it out again and he had another manager check it out. They say nothing is wrong with it. Then I tried a spare tire from where I thought it was happening and I didn't notice a difference. We came to the conclusion it was in my head. I never in a million years thought that could be the case. But I guess it is. When I don't focus on it, the bike feels fine. But when I focus on the bumpiness, I notice it. The manager said, ''Don't worry. We've all been there.''
wolfchild called it in post #4.
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Old 06-10-21, 09:03 PM
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Sounds like you have a slightly oval wheel.
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Old 06-10-21, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Sounds like you have a slightly oval wheel.
Seriously? You're just joking, right?


Right?
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Old 06-10-21, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
It feels like it is the front tires....The bike actually feels lighter, but it feels like there's something making the front tires bump hard.
How many front tires do you have on this thing? Did you switch front tires at some point in the troubleshooting process and experience the same problem with more than one front tire? Did you swap tires on the same front wheel, or did you use one tire on the front wheel and try a second front tire on a second front wheel? Just trying to figure out the process.
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Old 06-11-21, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Well. You'll never believe this. So the manager checked it out again and he had another manager check it out. They say nothing is wrong with it. Then I tried a spare tire from where I thought it was happening and I didn't notice a difference. We came to the conclusion it was in my head. I never in a million years thought that could be the case. But I guess it is. When I don't focus on it, the bike feels fine. But when I focus on the bumpiness, I notice it. The manager said, ''Don't worry. We've all been there.''
We believe it!! Happy you got it figured out. Wonder what's the next obstacle....

Last edited by shelbyfv; 06-11-21 at 07:36 AM.
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