I recently had a question on a forum about bike handling.
Here I post the conversation to see if others can benefit or had to the fix.
- Good morning, afternoon, evening. I have a serious question. Just road my bike first time fully loaded. It felt squirrelly at first, I got over it and when i picked up speed the bike seemed to be having like a gyroscope effect. I felt like i was riding on a flat tire most of the time for a 2 hourIs ride. this normal? Is there any possible ways to fix it?
- Hi Nick, interesting question. assuming you check tire pressure, and depending on the load weight you should increase the pressure to compensate, but be careful not to exceed the max recommended on the tire. 1- you may need to get bigger tires. 2- your bike geometry it's not suitable for the task at hand 3- Your wheels are not adequate for the weight. 4- wheel spokes are loose 5- weight distribution problem
Now lets review some of these in detail. starting with (2) you need a longer wheel base bike and or a more relaxing front angle about 71.5 or 72. degree.There are specific cargo bikes on the market check them out. longer wheel base or bigger front rake will feel wobbly at low speed but it gets better as speed increases. (3) your wheels may have low spoke count, you should look for 32 or 36 spoke and wider rim (4) it may not be the problem but have it checked (5) to much weight in the rear, and you lose steering control making the bike feel like riding a surf board. To much weight on the front and you steering will feel, heavy and responds to quick to any movement.
Try this. Walk with your bike (no cargo) hold it by the saddle only. when you walk slow if the bike handle bar moves to quick and its hard to get it to roll in a straight line, but gets in control as you walk faster you are good on geometry. If the bike is stable at slow walking but gets wobble as you walk faster you may have a short wheel base and steep front angle (great for CX and criterium racing)
Nick Richert 10:11pm Feb 13
well, that seemed helpful.