"Sticky" steering

Phrodos

Member
Lately I've been experiencing that steering the bike is getting more difficult on some rides. It kind of "sticks" to one direction and I have to use more force to steer. It's like the tires are sticking to the ground. If I stop and try it, no such stickiness happens. Any ideas of what this is? And do you understand what I mean?
 

walawn

Active Member
Or a combination of both. Try to run 15 to 20 psi at least. Mine are at 25 now for maximum range and minimum rolling resistance, but it doesn't absorb bumps as well anymore. If the increased pressure fixes it then you're good. If not, then I would check the steering head assembly. Lift the front wheel off the ground and move it back and forth. There should be no resistance. If there is I would take it in to your LBS for diagnosis and repair.
 

Adrian

Active Member
Wow. You are running 25psi on fat tires? That's approaching the max rating of many. Must be like riding solid tires.

And, you don't necessarily gain by higher pressures -you can have too much of a good thing; https://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/science-and-bicycles-1-tires-and-pressure/

If you have the average 4" fat tire, run them at 12 - 14 psi and they will be fine and you'll not risk your tail bone. Reduce that further for 4.8 tires.

I currently run my 4" tires around 12psi as I pull a kiddy trailer though in the winter that's down to 8 or 10psi. Never had "sticky steering" as described. Have occasional self-steer on my summer tires but that's a given.

I'm betting on headset issues.
 

walawn

Active Member
@Adrian They ride like bricks, but I managed to get 28 miles of range from my battery on my ride today with a little to spare by the time I got back home, and I hit 24 mph on flat ground pedaling all out on assist 5 (with an almost dead battery/reduced voltage). I've run them at 15 psi before and been fine with it. I have a shock absorbing seat post so it's not like all the impacts are going through the hardtail into my spine. I rode with @opimax today and he has the Thudbuster which I might give a try once I save up some money. My new cassette (11-32 Nickel Plated, 7-speed) and tires go on Tuesday (Maxxis Hookworms, 26 x 2.5, 65 psi max pressure) so I will have to experiment to see which pressures work best for my area/riding style.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I think your speedometer may be off a little, i believe you wee going a little faster. We were at least 2mph difference when i looked at yours while riding
 

walawn

Active Member
@opimax I agree. The new tires go on tomorrow, so hopefully I can get the LCD dialed in so to speak. I'm a perfectionist so I strive for accuracy. I'll check it with the GPS tomorrow evening when I pick up the bike from our LBS.
 
Last edited:

Phrodos

Member
Yes, it seems to be the steering head. The whole thing was in fact loose (had to tighten it) , and it was a bit crooked. It must have been like this for a while. Thankfully I haven't been riding the bike too much lately. Pretty dumb of me to not check this, I feel now. Tried to bend it back a little and took a little test ride, and it was a smoother steering. Will try to fix it a little bit better later on.
 

Phrodos

Member
That star nut should be in the steering tube stub about 3/4" to 1". Glad you found the problem.

Court J.
Thanks! But what do you mean, exactly? As english isn't my first language, it's not always easy to understand everything a 100%.