SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Steering Stabilizer -- First Tests

Steering Stabilizer v2.0
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
I just installed a home-brewed steering stabilizer on my wife's
Bianchi Milano, and did a few test runs, tweaking things each time.
The hypothesis: Can this device make a front-loaded, high-trail bike
handle as sweetly as a low-trail bike? The early findings: Sorta, but
not quite. There is definitely some improvement, but the bike still
feels floppy.

I lengthened the lever arm even further than shown here (by moving that bolt) and noticed some improvement. The bike still feels pretty floppy, but it's improved over no spring at all. Still doesn't feel as neutral as a low-trail bike, though.

I was surprised by how much spring tension is required to have any sort of impact on the steering. I actually bought other, lighter springs than these, but ended up not using them. Making the lever arm longer is one way to compensate for a weaker spring, since torque = force x length.

More details are on my Flickr stream.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the arrangement that you have now produces a sin(x) function... i.e. no centering force at zero displacement. It's only when you get a non-zero steering displacement that it produces any force.

I wonder if some different spring and lever arm arrangement might be better? Too bad I'm a EE instead of a ME. :-)

Steve Kurt
Peoria, IL

5:54 PM  

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