How can I Center the Steering ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How can I Center the Steering ?

    My steering always seems to pull Away from center. All my other bikes handlebars seemed to want to be centered. If I let go of the handle bars while riding straight, the steering becomes unstable, pulling to one side or the other.

    Is there a way to Control This ?

  2. #2
    Meatbomb
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    Don't let go.

  3. #3
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    You have to cut your longer leg shorter.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Are you new to riding bicycles?

    What size tires?

  6. #6
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    If I had to guess I would say that one of the wheels is dished incorrectly for the frame. Some frames require an offset dish and the wheel is centered or the frame needs a centered wheel but it wasn't dished correctly when it was built.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    If I had to guess I would say that one of the wheels is dished incorrectly for the frame. Some frames require an offset dish and the wheel is centered or the frame needs a centered wheel but it wasn't dished correctly when it was built.
    I'm going to say that this is just how OP's bike is.

    This is not exactly a design requirement of mountain bikes.

    If OP wants to ride with no hands, maybe OP should look into this instead of mountain biking.


  8. #8
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    Would be interested to know what the head tube angle is and the offset of the fork plus wheel dia and tyre width. Low trail figures will produce quick steering. And wandering stability.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  9. #9
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    Check the back wheel is seated correctly in the drop-out.

  10. #10
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    Of course I don;t ride without hands, just comparing to my other bikes. Occasionally I would like to let-go for more than 3 seconds to zip my coat without crashing the curb.

    Here is a picture of this cheap bike that I've been rebuilding for a month or so. The handlebars are upside down so I can get a lower profile to get out of the wind.

    How can I Center the Steering ?-img_2676.jpg

    I ride this bike 2.5 miles to work and often home and back for lunch.

  11. #11
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    ^if it is that bike which is riding squirrely no-handed, it could be anything. the fork tubes themselves could be geetered. if you cannot resolve it with basic checks of axle centering... and want to, really need to hang bike from two ropes or jig frame some way to ensure seat tube is exactly perpendicular to ground, and start measuring to see if anything else is off-angle off-centered.

    personally I never ride no-handed unless I am specifically a) stretching on a long ride or b) training for smooth high cadence or training core (both hands behind back and lean forward chin as close to bars... eyes forward... and frickin spinning)

    but if bike requires me to knee the top tube to keep riding straight no-handed I don't ride that bike until problem is solved.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  12. #12
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    I have some amount of hands-free riding on 60% of my rides.

    We all talk about all the fun we have on trails by doing all sort of stupid stuff. Why can't no hands be added to the mix?

    I come off one trail with an achy back near the end of my ride. It's 1/4 mile down a paved trail before the connector. I don't think I ever use hands on the bars for that stretch. It's a gentle negative grade. I sit up nice. Barely pedal. And get to relax coasting 20 with relatively no input.

  13. #13
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    I've never been able to ride no hands. Heck, struggle using two :0(

  14. #14
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    Remove the bowling ball from your right rear pannier. Or add a bowling ball to your left rear pannier.

    On that particular bike, I am guessing that if your wheels are centered in the dropouts, and the rims are centered on the hubs, your bundle of cables up front are pulling your bars. You might have induced that when you flipped them.

    I can ride my fatbike no hands in a circle on my driveway. It shouldn't be too hard.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  15. #15
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    riding no hands is fine but if you are passing by someone (MUP, hiker, anyone) it makes sense to just grab the bars at least while passing. dick move to ride no-handed when someone is nearby and not part of your crew...one mistake and if you hit them, that's a paddlin
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  16. #16
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    This is interesting. My bike did the same,and I always assumed it was the stiff hydraulic line that ran to the front brake. I replaced the fork, headset, bars and stem over the winter. No more pull.
    I'm guessing the old headset had it's own "center" point, and it wasn't lined up with the frame.
    Maybe the new one has it too, and I just got lucky...

  17. #17
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    Sounds like the OP isn't complaining about pulling to one particular side, but but just lack of steering stability. I'm not sure whether its HT angle or some other design difference that drives this, but I can ride my old '90s era rigid MTB no handed for miles, but it's hard for me to go more than a hundred feet like that on a modern MTB, even on a smooth straight path, without the wheel trying to flop off center.

  18. #18
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    that's normal when you ride sidesaddle...


  19. #19
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    Judging by amount of seatpost exposed, I think that bike may be too small for you. That could make it unstable. How tall are you and what size is that frame?

    Check that both wheels have the axles fully seated and centered in the dropouts.

    That's a hybrid, which was never really meant for precision handling at any sort of speed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    That's a hybrid, which was never really meant for precision handling at any sort of speed.
    While what you say about the size is probably also true, I think this is the absolutely critical part about this that everybody else is ignoring. It's just a hybrid and this is just how it's going to handle.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Judging by amount of seatpost exposed, I think that bike may be too small for you. That could make it unstable. How tall are you and what size is that frame?

    Check that both wheels have the axles fully seated and centered in the dropouts.

    That's a hybrid, which was never really meant for precision handling at any sort of speed.
    Thanks , this appears to be the most informative answer.
    I feel the the saddle and handlebars could be 6 inches farther apart and I would feel much more comfortable. I am 5'9" and I don't know the frame size or how they are measured. Bike is mainly used to go 2.5 miles to work everyday.

    This bike was given to me after a great bike got stolen. It was not even in good enough condition to ride. It looks like a Never Used bike that was left out in the weather. The chain was rusted solid and the brakes were all over the place. I've rebuilt most of it, but still needs new cables and chain plus the Headset and Crank need to be done.

    As for the steering, I thought there was some kind of adjustment to hold the front wheel center. Now that I know more about it I think I will tighten down the headset enough that it doesn't spin so freely. The frame appears like new without any stress to it ever.

    Sorry for the length of time to reply, doing 12-14 hours a day at work for the last month without a day off

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WooferHound View Post
    Now that I know more about it I think I will tighten down the headset enough that it doesn't spin so freely.
    That's a terrible idea that is going to make the bike handle worse, and wear out the headset cups. Unless you tighten down the headset so much that it locks into one position, it's still going to steer. Worse yet, the front wheel will steer and get stuck in that position until your muscle it back into line with the rear wheel. There is something else going on.

    The mechanism that keeps the bike going straight is YOUR ARMS, in addition to your equilibrium as you lean and balance on the bike. If you can't ride in a straight line, either there's something wrong with your body, your proportions on the bike, or your ability to ride the bike.

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