road bike fork flex, questions

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  • road bike fork flex, questions
  • Royston
    Member

    just been out on my newly aquired trek 1400 anyway coming down a steep hill (12-13%) and i’m going pretty fast probably 60kph ish. the front fork is flexing alot and by the time i’m at the bottom I’m very wobbly and doing what i can to gradually reduce speed and regain control so as not to come off.
    my questions related to this are is there a technique to reduce the flex or does it just come down to controling my speed. I’m assuming that the quality of the fork would also be an issue as would the wheels Kysrium Equipe in this case, road surface smoothness as well maybe? it was a wee bit worrying to say the least as I really didn’t want to come off going that fast. the only other time I can remember experiencing flex like it was on RS Judy’s charging down that big hill from the reservior at Swinley,

    higgo
    Member

    Flex in which direction?

    It’s stating the obvious I know but going fast on a road bike feels different to going fast on a MTB. But you shouldn’t feel ‘out of control’.

    I’ve had a few different road forks in recent history from a cheap Alu set on a Trek 1000 through to some very nice carbon ones. I’ve never really noticed ‘flex’ from any of them though the carbon ones definitely smooth out the road a bit so must be moving to some extent. In fact the cheapo ones were noticeably stiff.

    Is it possible your QR was loose? Or wheel bearings/ headset?

    colnagokid
    Member

    Are you sure its your forks?
    I had a spell of haveing really bad shaking on the rode bike a couple of years ago while descending- as if something was loose/broken.
    It was just me though, as I’d had 3 crashes in two weeks, and it was nerves making me grip too tigtht/tense up

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Speed wobble can be horrendous to correct and control so well done for making it out unscathed.
    You sure it was the forks? Or was the flex caused as a result of something else? It’s very rare for forks to flex *that* much (even on my CX, they’re not that bad, on my road bike it’s virtually undectable). Give the whole bike a thorough checkover, make sure the tyres are on straight and inflated to correct pressure, brakes are pulling evenly on both sides of the wheel, all the bearings are smooth (especially headset), spokes/QRs/nuts & bolts are tight etc.
    As colnagokid says ^^, try relaxing more on the bike, if you’re tensed up it’ll exacerbate any vibrations. And, until you get used to the new bike, keep the speed down a bit! Road bikes handle completely differently to MTBs, it’ll take a while to get used to how little input is needed to make even quite dramatic changes in direction/speed.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I doubt the OP was really “out of control” he’s probably just not used to how a road bike rides – skinny tyres, speed etc, you’ll get used to it.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    headset adjusted properly?

    colnagokid
    Member

    I must apologise for the spelling on my post!
    I resorted to singing to my-self on descents just to relax and not get the “death grip”
    As crazy-legs/rocketdog say if you bike checks out ok you probably need to look to yourself

    simondbarnes
    Member

    I’ve never noticed forks flexing on any road bike I’ve ridden, even with hard braking from over 80kph and I’m not exactly light.

    aP
    Member

    I think what you’re probably finding happening is “shimmy” possibly caused by you holding onto the bars with the “grip of death”. Try relaxing more – possibly changing the position slightly – are you over reaching?
    If you want to you can force it to happen on any bike – one way to deal with it might be to press one knee into the top tube. Try googling speed wobble and you’ll find quite a lot of references to it.

    Royston
    Member

    ok! thanks guys apppreciate the advice, i had the bike checked by my lbs after i bought it (2nd hand) and had one or two things sorted (i trust these guys and they’ve done stuff for me before) but I’ll talk to them again. Definitely still getting used to the diferent handling characteristics, this is my first ‘road’bike. ‘grip of death’ also probably a factor

    colnagokid
    Member

    Royston, now you know your bike is safe, enjoy your riding! 🙂

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