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  1. #1
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    What is "wheel flop" and is it affected by tires?

    My understanding of wheel flop:

    1. The front of the bike self steers deeper into a turn once the turn is initiated.
    2. It is increased in conditions of slow speeds, and by increased trail.

    My understanding of trail:

    1. More trail increases stability at high speeds and decreases it at low speeds. Less trail does the opposite.

    Is my understanding above correct?

    I ask because the only bike I can sense any wheel flop (if that is what it is) at all, is My stock Karate Monkey (with KM fork). It has the least trail of any bike I ride.

    I ride this bike exclusively as a commuter on the road with 2.35 Big Apple slick tires. It definitely wants to "flop" or fall deeper into a turn at speeds below 10mph. Not difficult to control, but the bike feels slightly unstable at these speeds.

    My other two bikes have more trail than the Monkey, but use knobbies (Exiwolf) on the front. I use them mainly off road, but even the few times I have ridden them to work, I have never sensed this same tendency to flop. I have never felt it off road either.

    I am thinking the type and shape of the tire has a great deal to do with what you sense on the front of the bike. Maybe more than the trail number? Either that, or what I am feeling on the Monkey is not "wheel flop"

    Thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  2. #2
    meh....
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    My understanding of wheel flop:

    1. The front of the bike self steers deeper into a turn once the turn is initiated.
    2. It is increased in conditions of slow speeds, and by increased trail.

    My understanding of trail:

    1. More trail increases stability at high speeds and decreases it at low speeds. Less trail does the opposite.

    Is my understanding above correct?

    I ask because the only bike I can sense any wheel flop (if that is what it is) at all, is My stock Karate Monkey (with KM fork). It has the least trail of any bike I ride.

    I ride this bike exclusively as a commuter on the road with 2.35 Big Apple slick tires. It definitely wants to "flop" or fall deeper into a turn at speeds below 10mph. Not difficult to control, but the bike feels slightly unstable at these speeds.

    My other two bikes have more trail than the Monkey, but use knobbies (Exiwolf) on the front. I use them mainly off road, but even the few times I have ridden them to work, I have never sensed this same tendency to flop. I have never felt it off road either.

    I am thinking the type and shape of the tire has a great deal to do with what you sense on the front of the bike. Maybe more than the trail number? Either that, or what I am feeling on the Monkey is not "wheel flop"

    Thoughts?
    I may be wrong, but here goes: I think wheel flop is actually when the wheel tries to steer back to the center, the more trail the more it self centers. I think what your KM is doing is oversteering because of the lack of trail, getting twitchy on you, diving into the turn.

    Monte
    (front wheel done, rear tomorrow or next night)

  3. #3
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    Anyone?

    Shiggy?
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  4. #4
    Recovering Weight Weenie
    Reputation: Padre's Avatar
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    Exiwolfs are taller than Ignitors.

    When I run Exiwolfs on my DeSalvo up front, the front wheel "flops" more easily since the HA is more slack.

    When I run the Ingitors the HA is more steep and "flops" less.

    So, IME, the HA is more to do w/ the flop not the tire.

  5. #5
    HIKE!
    Reputation: sparrow's Avatar
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    Wheel flop is what you get when...

    .... your Hopey Steering Damper is turned off! Don't have a Hopey? Then your bike has wheel flop. Those things sure cure wheel flop and wandering front ends.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    I ask because the only bike I can sense any wheel flop (if that is what it is) at all, is My stock Karate Monkey (with KM fork). It has the least trail of any bike I ride.

    I ride this bike exclusively as a commuter on the road with 2.35 Big Apple slick tires. It definitely wants to "flop" or fall deeper into a turn at speeds below 10mph. Not difficult to control, but the bike feels slightly unstable at these speeds.
    .......
    I am thinking the type and shape of the tire has a great deal to do with what you sense on the front of the bike. Maybe more than the trail number? Either that, or what I am feeling on the Monkey is not "wheel flop"
    Just an update.

    I installed the Big Apples on a new wheelset with Salsa Delgado Disc rims. These rims are significantly wider than the previous rims I was using. Guess what, the bike no longer feels like it is falling or self steering into turns any more.

    This tells me that what I was feeling was definitely related to the tire rim combination, and the shape of the contact patch, and not related to the trail of the Monkey.

    The Big Apples seem to like the wider rims.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

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