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Question about odd feeling steering...(11 posts)

Question about odd feeling steering...joekm
Aug 26, 2002 11:02 AM
I have a bike with an Ultegra set component set, Reynolds 853 frame, and Mavic Cosomos wheels. Occasionally, I get a wierd feedback at the handlebars. It makes me think I'm loosing pressure in the front tire or there are some gyroscopic forces at work. I'm not absolutely sure, but it seems to more often happen after I'm climbing out of the saddle for an extended period of time.

The wheels have less than 300 miles on them, could it be the hub bearings?

any other ideas?

Thanks in advance,
Aug 26, 2002 11:19 AM
It's really easy to check the bearings. Just pick up the wheel and slowly spin it while still holding on to it. If the bearings are rough, you'll feel them.

I'll bet it's not your bearings at all, since the wheel is new. It could be that the hubs aren't adjusted right. Grab the wheel and kind of shake it side to side. If there is too much play, you'll need to tighten the "cones" (not sure if they are called cones on Mavics). You should have gotten a special plastic tool to do this. When I got my Ksyriums, brand new, I had to tighten them up.
Aug 26, 2002 11:24 AM
Thanks, I'll give that a try...
very likely the case ...Humma Hah
Aug 26, 2002 3:09 PM
I could tell you a horror story 'bout what happens when you ignore the headset on an old cruiser for 20 years, and then one day it won't go straight after a right turn!

Even after replacing the chewed-up race, an old problem persisted: hands-free riding was nearly impossible, where the bike did it effortlessly when new. A shop found an NOS headset for the bike, and it now turns as sweetly as new. The old cones were badly indexed.
Help same problemmikebikr
Aug 26, 2002 12:05 PM
After an out of the saddle climb the steering feels tight and wants to pull a little for 1/2 mile or so. Then everything is fine.

Almost feels like a headset problem???

What kind of headset do you have. Mine is a Ritchey with Cane Creek Wheels.

Let me know if this helps.
Talked to Cane Creekmikebikr
Aug 26, 2002 12:11 PM
They suggested it may be the headset. THe spec on the cartridge bearings is off a little and it causes it to rock off center just a bit. If your headset was manufactured by Tongai (sp) it is almost definatley the problem. They had a similar issue with their headsets back a year or so ago.
OK, I just called Cane Creek myselfjoekm
Aug 26, 2002 12:31 PM
The guy I talked to seemed reasonably helpful. He said to take a look at the bearing seal. If it's black, it probably should be replaced - presumably this is the "off spec" cartridge. If the bearing seal is blue, then the problem is probably something else.
Help same problemjoekm
Aug 26, 2002 12:13 PM
My headset is a Cane Creek S2. I feel a little drag when I pick up the front and just turn it but that may be normal. I've just tried the recommended fix mentioned earlier. I should have an idea if that works when I ride tomorrow.

Symptoms are the same though, pulls for a while then goes back to normal. I think that when I'm out of the saddle, I put a lot more stress on the front wheel hub than I do on the headset.
re: Question about odd feeling steering...UPDATEjoekm
Aug 27, 2002 7:08 AM
Following the reccommendations from Cane Creek, I removed the fork and took a look at the bearings. The bearings had the blue seals indicating they were not the ones that were "out of spec". However, I found metal shavings on the bottom bearing. I called Cane Creek and told them what I found. He said that the problem may be that the head tube was not properly faced but he offered to replace the headset assembly. All he asked was that I send him the old one so they could inspect it. He also reccommended that I take it to a shop and them check the headtube.

I have to say that I'm impressed with the level of support I'm getting from these people.
Your luckymikebikr
Aug 27, 2002 11:05 AM
My headset is a Ritchey. I've left two messages with no repsonse. I'm not happy.
re: Question about odd feeling steering...UPDATEs4orce
Jan 6, 2003 7:53 PM
I had the exact same problem that you had. The bike steers completely fine until you sprint out of the saddle. Immediately after you sit back down after sprinting, the handlebars become extremely hard to control for a few yards, pulling from left to right like some mysterious gyroscopic force. This can be scary if you need to make an emergency manouver and can't fully control the steering because of this problem.

I have a relatively new Lemond Zurich with a Reynolds 853 steel frame, Cane Creek S2 threadless headset, and Bontrager Race Wheels. I've only ridden the bike for less than 500 miles.

In my scenario, the problem was completely related to the headset - nothing else. I found that the compression bolt that secures the top cap of the headset was overtightened, causing the steering to feel a little tight. To fix this, I loosened the compression bolt and stem, slid the stem and spacers up, pulled the upper bearing cover up and then reseated the upper bearing cover. Then I retightened the compression bolt ever so slightly to secure the top cap.

Once I did this simple fix, The problem completely went away. I hope this info helps your situation.