• This topic has 27 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by cokie.
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  • Why am I pulling to the left?
  • Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Bear with me, I’m going to try and post a picture…

    https://i.postimg.cc/bJgFcTNm/IMG-20190516-200706.jpg

    I’m working on getting this old girl, a Pashley Tourmaster from the mid 1970’s, up and running again. Everything seems fine, the frame looks straight and all the welds are solid looking. The front wheel is true, and although the back has taken a bit of a beating, it’s so solidly built I reckon it’ll outlast me. The old school threaded headset runs smooth, with no deadspots or play. The gears are the same as I had on my glorious old Chopper, Sturmey Archer 3sp hub and the brakes, well, moving swiftly on…which is all you’ll ever do with those mental brakes!!

    However, once on the bike and pedalling, all she wants to do is go left. I wouldn’t mind, but sometimes I’d quite like to go right. Mrs Beagleboy (the stoker), and I are not ahem…lightweight, and we’re very aware that we’re pushing the noodley tubeset on the frame to its limit, could this be the issue? I’m completely stumped, anyone have any good ideas, other than go on a diet….which I’m already on!!

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Picture posting didn’t work, sorry!

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Full Member

    No idea but I love the bike πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Great colour 😎

    Premier Icon blacklabbikes
    Free Member

    wheel alignment/frame alignment is out. Try carefully measuring. I’ll bet that the front contact patch is off to the right of the centerline. Or worse, the contact patch is ok but the headtube is out of alignment

    Premier Icon blacklabbikes
    Free Member

    that said, if you’re riding on a heavily cambered road with a lot of weight on, it could just be that causing a twist.

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    Knackered hub?
    Bars/stem straight?

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    Christ, I just looked at the pic, with the frame being so long, would you be able to tell by eye if it was slightly bent/twisted?

    Does it ride straight with only one rider?

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Nope, it still pulls to the left even with one rider. Feels worse with the stoker onboard…just don’t tell her I said that.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Haunted?

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Full Member

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    If you can rule out the hubs/wheels with a different wheelset it’s gotta be a slightly twisted frame then?

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Full Member

    Tip it upside down and put the bars straight then run a piece of string along the back wheel to the front and I would be willing to bet that, as was said above, the front wheel’s contact patch is to the right of where the rear wheel is pointing. When your weight(s) are on it this will effectively fall to the left of the tyre contact patch and initiate a LH turn.

    Once you’ve established this get 2 hefty blokes to pull either end in different directions until it’s straight. Chances are that’ll fix it.

    Then again I could be talking out of my ar$e and it is indeed haunted.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    Beagy, ride it the wrong way round the Velodrome for 3 hours and it’ll be sorted 😎

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Is the Stoker leaning to see forwards?

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    There is a lot of stem there for those bars. I find the ‘sit up and beg’ bars a mare. I ‘test rode’ a friends ‘pashly’ after I serviced it – it’s such an unstable bike/setup – they don’t half wobble about compared to modern setups.

    You might need to get a shorter stem

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Cheers Fossy, I actually fitted the stem to give me a bit more stretch, and stop my knees from preventing the bike turning…at all! It’s the only non-original part on the bike. However, it’s one of those adjustable stem jobbies, so I could raise it and shorten the reach a bit, I’ll give it a go. Having said that, the original 10mm stem still left me fighting to keep the bike in a straight line. I’m leaning towards (See what I did there?), the likelihood that there’s a twist in the frame as Blacklab and Speeder have suggested. I’ll try the trick with the bit of string at the weekend and see if anything glaringly obvious shows up.

    It’s actually a lovely, comfortable tandem to ride, as long as you want to ride it in a long arcing left hand turn. Straight ahead is a bit of a battle and turning right? Whoo baby, things get interesting, very quickly. It’s essentially a double version of Mrs Beagleboy’s Pashley Princess, which, on the odd occasion that I’ve taken it out for a test run has to be one of the most comfortable and stable bikes I’ve ever ridden.

    The bizarre thing is that when out riding with the good lady on her Pashley, I’m on my Jaspa Trackracer, a replica 1920’s road bike. When you see how out of alignment the fork legs are, with one leg welded a good 5mm in advance of the other, yet realise that the bike runs as straight and true as an arrow….how??? πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon SSBonty
    Free Member

    Could be bent forks as well, even if your Jaspa’s don’t affect the steering – I serviced a bike for an elderly relative and had the same symptoms, took me a while to figure it out but it was a bent fork (both legs bent a bit towards the left I think, though I don’t remember if that made it steer left or right…)

    Or maybe you’re a bit offcentered, if the Jaspa runs straight despite wonky forks? πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    Consider yourself lucky, my mid-century tandem just steers anywhere it bloody well pleases.

    Is the rear wheel completely straight in the dropouts? And the front? It can be hard for us to get the wheels in the dropouts properly on ours which could make the steering funny.

    (As an aside, the front brake on ours is terrible – has anyone got any old half decent canti brakes knocking about we could buy for it?)

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Yeah Munro, the wheels are a pig to get in the dropouts, particularly the rear because it has a double canti-brake setup running from a single lever at the front. I would have thought though that if I was putting the wheels on wonky, the laws of average would mean that I’d be steering right from time to time, but this Pashley is a blood red leftie, through and through!

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Sussed it – you’ve got one arm longer than the other πŸ™‚

    If the bike with the dodgy forks goes straight, and the tandem goes in circles ?

    Just jesting

    Premier Icon kcal
    Full Member

    I would have though bent forks as well — can you swap front wheel over to see if it now steers right – or cancels the left leaning..?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    You should try riding it with Mrsstu on the back see if that cures it.
    She always used to pull to the right when she was on the back of our tandem.
    It was a constant battle to keep it straight sometimes.
    Mincy
    Twinglespeed

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Full Member

    Singlespeed, we had a lovely MTB tandem. Mrs B. made me sell it when we got the Pashley. I’m going to get another MTB tandem though, because as the Captain in this pairing, I think I should get a say in these matters.

    Why?

    Why can I hear laughter?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    We got shot of ours in the end.
    It was great fun if we used it a lot and got in sync on it but very frustrating if we’d not been on it for a while…
    Just not enough free time to ride it when we were both wanting to ride other stuff.

    Premier Icon chevychase
    Free Member

    Unbalanced testicles?

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    dressing to the left?

    Premier Icon cokie
    Free Member

    Our neighbours got divorced after getting a tandem and going touring.
    Pulling to the left is the least of your worries.

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