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Is it normal for a steel frame to vibrate?(6 posts)

Is it normal for a steel frame to vibrate?Matno
Feb 23, 2003 7:26 PM
I'm trying to avoid replacing my frame if at all possible, but it's not looking too good. I've replaced a few things here and there that have helped minimally, but it always comes back to the frame. It just doesn't seem to absorb bumps, vibrations, or anything else in the road that's not perfectly smooth. At all. I feel everything. I noticed that I can actually get both the frame and fork to vibrate just by giving them a little whack with my fingers! It's an older Schwinn SuperSport made with Columbus tubing. I've been riding it to long to just give up on it (and I can't really afford a decent replacement), but I may be stuck if I want a smoother ride. A friends CAAD4 felt very "muted" by comparison. Bumps were just bumps instead of the resonating jolts that I'm used to. I've already gotten new wheels, tires, and stem, with minimal improvements. I've also tried different saddles and seatposts (short of a suspension seatpost) to no avail.
Old frame ?MR_GRUMPY
Feb 23, 2003 8:00 PM
If you're talking about the original SuperSport, you're talking about a 25-30 year old frame that was made with straight gauge chromoly tubes. I think that it's time to retire your old frame, or learn to live with it.
Only on the women's version (nm)js5280
Feb 23, 2003 9:08 PM
are you sure it isn't loose headset? nmcyclopathic
Feb 24, 2003 7:00 AM
How big ARE those new tires?retro
Feb 24, 2003 8:52 AM
As somebody else has pointed out, that frame is pretty much a clunker by today's standards (nothing wrong with that, by the way--my second-favorite bike is pushing 20). But if you replaced the tires with new versions of the same size, 27x1 or 700x23 or whatever they are, you might try going wider and running less pressure. Decent tires in 27-inch are getting pretty hard to find (I think Nashbar has some), but you have a wide range in 700. I weigh 225, so I'm biased toward big tires, but I use 32s for nearly everything and 35s for bad roads and touring.
Perhaps a bit of clarification is in order...Matno
Feb 24, 2003 1:51 PM
This SuperSport was bought new in '92. It may not be from that model year, but the components on it were semi-current 600's at the time (it may have been a leftover from the late 80's).

Yes, I'm sure it isn't a loose headset. I do more maintenance on my bikes than I do riding! (Not really, but enough that I know there aren't any problems that can be solved by being adjusted/tightened/loosened/etc. I'm mostly looking for what I can replace cheaply now).

The new tires are actually smaller. I've been riding 700x28's for years. Now I'm switching to 23's with modest improvement.

I really do think that the frame is the source of the vibration, but isn't there anything that can be done to reduce that? Kind of like those little things you clamp on to a tennis racquet? :^)