Haibike Urban Plus, wobble problem

#1
Hi All,

I just purchased an Urban Plus, here in Toronto. Love the cycle, the smooth shifting and power band. However, over 15 km/hr, when I let go of the handlebars, the bike slips into a wobble, so much so that I have to grab the bars again before I imagine the front wheels throwing the bike into a fall.

Has anyone else experienced this? I tried chaining my locks in front of me on the frame, to move the weight forward, but if it made any difference, it only slowed down the inevitable wobble fractionally.

Please let me know if I am alone with this problem, and whether you have experienced it or not. I will attempt to get my money back from the dealer if it seems the right thing to do. (and it is what I am leaning to, at this point).

Thanks!
Neil
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
#2
I can get a wobble with my 2016 XDURO Full Seven S RX with oversized Schwalbe tires, but not my 2016 XDURO Trekking S RX. Since the full seven is a mtb, it's not an issue. Did you try playing with tire air pressure? You must do a lot of hands free riding to be considering taking it back.
 
#3
I can get a wobble with my 2016 XDURO Full Seven S RX with oversized Schwalbe tires, but not my 2016 XDURO Trekking S RX. Since the full seven is a mtb, it's not an issue. Did you try playing with tire air pressure? You must do a lot of hands free riding to be considering taking it back.
Thanks for your ideas about tire pressure. As for doing a lot of hands free riding, it’s nice to be able to let go of the bars and sit upright a bit. I’ve always peddled that way. I just have never had a bike or motorcycle that has wobbled until now. I’ll keep looking for solutions.
 
#4
is the wheel straight? Also if you raise the front wheel is it balanced? bad head bearings can cause this problem in motorcycles. Also in extreme cases a bad back wheel /out of balance back wheel will cause a wobble at the front.
 
#5
im not sure how to determine the straightness of the wheel. i can look at it visually and then tighten and loosen the spokes as neccessary. wheel balance is determined by when you lift it, it doesnt spin one way or another?
 
#6
2016 XDURO Trekking S RX
I can get a wobble with my 2016 XDURO Full Seven S RX with oversized Schwalbe tires, but not my 2016 XDURO Trekking S RX. Since the full seven is a mtb, it's not an issue. Did you try playing with tire air pressure? You must do a lot of hands free riding to be considering taking it back.
i was told by the store i should expect wobble in Ebikes. i have a problem accepting this. if you dont have wobble in your xduro trekking s rx., why should i not expect the same in my bike?
 
#7
They told you at the store to expect wobble on an ebike? That's a lot of BS right there..... a big load..... and I would tell them so.
Could your cable be pulling the bars to the side?
 
#8
They told you at the store to expect wobble on an ebike? That's a lot of BS right there..... a big load..... and I would tell them so.
Could your cable be pulling the bars to the side?
Yes, that is clearly what they said. I won't mention the bike store, yet. They said because the weight is at the back because of the rear hub motor, it is to be expected. And that I had my locks in the carrier over the rear wheel. They said the problem was mine, not theirs, or the bike. I told them the wobble was occurring before I had the locks, and that my bike motor is in the crank, not the rear tire. I moved the chains around the front frame, just behind the stem, and the wobble remains even at low speeds.
 
#10
How is your steering bearing adjusted? On the loose side? Maybe you could tighten it... give it just a bit more preload, but not overly tight and see what it does.
...... is this like an uncontrollable wobble? I refer to those as "Death Wobble"
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
#11
Yes, that is clearly what they said. I won't mention the bike store, yet. They said because the weight is at the back because of the rear hub motor, it is to be expected. And that I had my locks in the carrier over the rear wheel. They said the problem was mine, not theirs, or the bike. I told them the wobble was occurring before I had the locks, and that my bike motor is in the crank, not the rear tire. I moved the chains around the front frame, just behind the stem, and the wobble remains even at low speeds.
Just curious, what model year is it? They had a safety recall on front forks. https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/haibike-recall-fork-defect.12689/
 
#12
How is your steering bearing adjusted? On the loose side? Maybe you could tighten it... give it just a bit more preload, but not overly tight and see what it does.
...... is this like an uncontrollable wobble? I refer to those as "Death Wobble"
Yes, absolutely. It is a Death Wobble. If I dont grab the bars, it will wipe out.. I got the bike back from the shop service in Toronto, and they tightened the steering bearing. But did not fix the issue.
 
#13
Just curious, what model year is it? They had a safety recall on front forks. https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/haibike-recall-fork-defect.12689/
Its a 2017, as far as I can tell.
How is your steering bearing adjusted? On the loose side? Maybe you could tighten it... give it just a bit more preload, but not overly tight and see what it does.
...... is this like an uncontrollable wobble? I refer to those as "Death Wobble"
actually, perhaps a death wobble is when the bike wobbles even when you are holding on to the handle bars. this is not the case for me. it does slightly vibrate when i hold the bars, but nothing that i cant control
 
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#14
Lots of info out there if you google front wheel wobble on bicycle. From Quora:
"A front wheel wobble can occur when the front wheel system builds up energy and over corrects. It does this at a rate of something on the order of ten hertz. For bicycles, this is most likely to happen at speed as in a downhill. The normal dampening of the rider’s hands on the handlebars may not be enough to quiet this resonance.
The phenomenon may be worsened by flexibility in the fork and frame but could be caused by wheel imbalance or a wheel that is out of true. If the tread is shifting from side to side because of a less than perfect tire, this can cause an event at the rate of six or seven times a second at thirty miles per hour. If the frame has a resonance near that you could end up in a wobble. Tire imbalance could feed into this as well at the same rate."

I believe your problem lies somewhere with bad front wheel bearings; loose front bearings, an out of true or warped rim or possibly an issue with the tire casing itself. I don't believe this is a Haibike-only flaw, but something any bike can experience.

Eliminate the drive train as being an issue by checking the motor to frame bolts for proper torque.

I have a Full FatSix by Haibike. Last winter, I was motoring along at 20 mph on an asphalt road when a delivery truck attempted to pull out directly in front of me. I jammed hard on the rear brake, skidding on dirt and stones on the roadway's shoulder. Afterwards, my rear tire developed a severe vibration; a pronounced thump-thump-thump as I continued on my way on the 12 miles to homebase. Looking at the back tire, the centerline tread was clearly warped out of position in one particular spot. A photo or two of that tread is enclosed here. I thought that possibly, skidding along, I created a tread separation from the tire carcass in that one spot. In Nascar racing, you'll hear the announcers speak of a driver "flat spotting a tire". This is what happened here. So, I ordered a new Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tire and commenced to remove the affected rear tire. Lo and behold, as soon as I broke the beads of the tire from the rim; that centerline tread pattern suddenly went back to normal. The lesson being that riding a skid out on that one spot had somehow moved the bead just enough to "bunch it up" in that one area of the tire and only by releasing the beads from the rim, did it relax back to it's normal place on the tire tread. Oh, the temps outside were mid 30's and getting colder....

So, check the motor mount bolt torque with a torque wrench rated for inch pounds. Do a visual of the tire rotation on the fork for any visible visible wobble indicating a bent rim. Check for side by side bearing play. Visually inspect your tire for casing defects and/or replace the tire outright with a new tire. Let us know what you find. PS: No hands off riding for me. Lot of bad things would likely happen from beyond 5 mph.
 

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#15
Lots of good info there. Thanks! So, what I did was release the air from the tires and squeeze the tires when soft. It seemed there may have been a kink in the inner tube, or the tires weren’t seated on the rims properly. With air back in, I took it for a lengthy ride, and at all speeds there was no wobbling.
Could it have been that simple??
 
#16
That's great to hear! Glad it worked out for you. With the emergency full breaking I had to do on my Haibike Full FatSix, the loud and very pronounced thumping of that fat tire was apparent right away; and those pictures tell the story that something was deranged from normal at the tire centerline. No properly adjusted bike should have any kind of wobble to it; so something was not right all along on your bike or something caused it along the way.

Maybe considering taking the entire tire off the rim and do a good visual inspection of the tire bead for anything out of the ordinary. The bead should be smooth with no kinks in it, just a nice, round circumference that fits good on the tire rim. Inspect your tube. If a Presta valve, the valve should be centered in the rim hole perpendicular to the rim and the locking nut should be secure onto the rim. Not a bad time to look at the rim tape as well.

Carry and check your air pressures before every ride. Pump no more then what the tire side wall recommends. When reinstalling the tire, make sure the tire rotation is correct as to the rim. The Schwalbe Jumbo Jims has an arrow pointing the proper relation of rotation. Carry a good air pump, guage, patch kind and/or tube with you on your rides. And go enjoy that Haibike, that's one nice looking bike!

Best Regards,
Mike
 
#17
Ah! Spoke too soon. The wobble persists. Moved lock and chains front to back and front again, but to no avail. Will check tire pressure tomorrow.
 
#18
do either of the wheels spin when off the ground? also spin them around slowly and look between the rim and the bike frame to look for a bent/out of true rim and a defective tire, it will travel closer or further from the frame when you spin it. Just get it off the ground, even upside down, and the theory is simple. If something doesn't move as it should (wheel caused by bad bearing, handlebars caused by bad steering head bearing) has more freedom than it should (sloppy bearings, do you hear a click when you jam on the front brakes, does the wheel move perpendicular to axis, etc.) or of something is out of balance (wheel) or if the force on the road is bad (defective tire, flat spots, tire out of true, defective tire even, there can be imperfections in the casing where the tire will be softer on one side in a certain spot leading to a wobble)

Rear wheel problems on a motorcycle can show up in the front. A gentle oscillation of the whole bike will affect the bars.

You can remove your tires and swap them around and see if the problem improves or gets worse. Also check for out of true rims/tires, bad bearings, loose axles, etc.
how is the wobble affected by slighly pulling either brake, or cornering?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
#19
do either of the wheels spin when off the ground? also spin them around slowly and look between the rim and the bike frame to look for a bent/out of true rim and a defective tire, it will travel closer or further from the frame when you spin it. Just get it off the ground, even upside down, and the theory is simple. If something doesn't move as it should (wheel caused by bad bearing, handlebars caused by bad steering head bearing) has more freedom than it should (sloppy bearings, do you hear a click when you jam on the front brakes, does the wheel move perpendicular to axis, etc.) or of something is out of balance (wheel) or if the force on the road is bad (defective tire, flat spots, tire out of true, defective tire even, there can be imperfections in the casing where the tire will be softer on one side in a certain spot leading to a wobble)

Rear wheel problems on a motorcycle can show up in the front. A gentle oscillation of the whole bike will affect the bars.

You can remove your tires and swap them around and see if the problem improves or gets worse. Also check for out of true rims/tires, bad bearings, loose axles, etc.
how is the wobble affected by slighly pulling either brake, or cornering?
Nice idea to switch the tires. I was thinking about just breaking the tire off the bead and rotating it 90 degrees. Sounds like it just takes a subtle change.