Why am I pulling to the left?
Bear with me, I’m going to try and post a picture…
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!!Posted 1 year ago
Picture posting didn’t work, sorry!Posted 1 year ago
No idea but I love the bike 🙂Posted 1 year ago
Great colour 😎Posted 1 year ago
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 alignmentPosted 1 year ago
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.Posted 1 year ago
Knackered hub?Posted 1 year ago
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?Posted 1 year ago
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.Posted 1 year ago
Haunted?Posted 1 year ago
If you can rule out the hubs/wheels with a different wheelset it’s gotta be a slightly twisted frame then?Posted 1 year ago
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.Posted 1 year ago
Beagy, ride it the wrong way round the Velodrome for 3 hours and it’ll be sorted 😎Posted 1 year ago
Is the Stoker leaning to see forwards?Posted 1 year ago
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 stemPosted 1 year ago
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??? 🙂Posted 1 year ago
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? 🙂Posted 1 year ago
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?)Posted 1 year ago
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!Posted 1 year ago
Sussed it – you’ve got one arm longer than the other 🙂
If the bike with the dodgy forks goes straight, and the tandem goes in circles ?
Just jestingPosted 1 year ago
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..?Posted 1 year ago
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 can I hear laughter?Posted 1 year ago
We got shot of ours in the end.Posted 1 year ago
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.
Unbalanced testicles?Posted 1 year ago
dressing to the left?Posted 1 year ago
Our neighbours got divorced after getting a tandem and going touring.Posted 1 year ago
Pulling to the left is the least of your worries.
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