Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Witterings
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Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Witterings » 23 Jul 2019, 2:00pm

Does it make any difference if there's a slight weight imbalance on a bike, I've just bought one water bottle that's taller than my others and won't fit within my frame but do have the option of a bottle mount on the forks but for some reason don't really like the idea of the weight being just one side.

Interested to hear others opinions and if it'll make no difference what so ever.

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RickH
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby RickH » 23 Jul 2019, 2:08pm

Witterings wrote:Does it make any difference if there's a slight weight imbalance on a bike, I've just bought one water bottle that's taller than my others and won't fit within my frame but do have the option of a bottle mount on the forks but for some reason don't really like the idea of the weight being just one side.

Interested to hear others opinions and if it'll make no difference what so ever.

I thought it might until circumstance meant one time I needed to carry a single weighty item in a front pannier. It didn't affect theride of the bike in the slightest.

Also, a couple of months ago I crossed tracks with a family out riding on the bridleway I was walking along - the dad was sporting a single lowrider on the front of his bike & he didn't show any obvious signs of handling problems.

whoof
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby whoof » 23 Jul 2019, 2:09pm

Please see post regarding riding with a single pannier. Most one rear occasionally front. I certainly don't notice anything handling difficulties with a single rear.

viewtopic.php?t=10054

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/55 ... nnier.html

https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topi ... e-pannier/

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mjr
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby mjr » 23 Jul 2019, 2:17pm

I would be more concerned with ensuring that the bottle could not rotate around the fork into the spokes and cause a total catastrophic jam stop similar to a collapsing mudguard lacking safety releases.
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RickH
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby RickH » 23 Jul 2019, 2:22pm

mjr wrote:I would be more concerned with ensuring that the bottle could not rotate around the fork into the spokes and cause a total catastrophic jam stop similar to a collapsing mudguard lacking safety releases.

Should be OK assuming (as I did) that the OP means he has double (or even triple) braze ons to fix the bottle cages to. That setup is quite common on adventure/gravel type bikes.

alexnharvey
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby alexnharvey » 23 Jul 2019, 3:59pm

I quite regularly carry a 5kg bag of porridge on my low rider front pannier, with only a few bits and bobs on the other side. In advance I was concerned about how this would affect the handling and balance, in practice it is quite easy on the nice, barely noticeable, although n it is obviously more noticeable when taking off and at very slow speeds.

Witterings
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Witterings » 23 Jul 2019, 4:09pm

RickH wrote:
mjr wrote:I would be more concerned with ensuring that the bottle could not rotate around the fork into the spokes and cause a total catastrophic jam stop similar to a collapsing mudguard lacking safety releases.

Should be OK assuming (as I did) that the OP means he has double (or even triple) braze ons to fix the bottle cages to. That setup is quite common on adventure/gravel type bikes.


Yes it is / has ....it's a gravel bike.

Guess the more obvious is to put one on the other fork as well and take equal sips from both bottles :-)

Was thinking I wouldn't mind getting some of those bags that fix there as well ... does anyone happen to know if they have a specific name, I did try a quick google and din't find anything .... think I may just be using the "wrong" wording.

Brucey
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Brucey » 23 Jul 2019, 4:22pm

in general off centre loads are to be avoided. In this case I don't think it will be a big deal but you would be better off putting the bottle somewhere else if you can do, especially if you are travelling 'naked' i.e. without panniers etc.

FWIW if you have an off-centre load it does several things

1) affects how the bike tracks; in extremis it won't be travelling in a straight line any more
2) affects the aerodynamics of the bike; again you may not be travelling in a straight line quite when the wind resistance is strong.
3) affects what happens to the bike when you go over bumps.

The last of these can be really horrible and can prematurely break framesets, but it usually takes a single heavy rear pannier to break a frameset.

Quite a lot of bikes don't ride in a straight line anyway (if you ride no hands, are you looking down the head tube exactly, one eye each side...?) and the deviation caused by small loads to one side may be small in relation to this anyway. So you might not notice a big difference and (if the weight is hung off the correct side) it is even possible that the bike can steer better with such a load than without one, if it wasn't quite right to start with.

If you ride in a group, take a look at other people's bikes by (carefully) riding behind them; you may be surprised to see how many don't track in a perfectly straight line.

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Mick F » 23 Jul 2019, 4:41pm

Brucey wrote:Quite a lot of bikes don't ride in a straight line anyway (if you ride no hands, are you looking down the head tube exactly, one eye each side...?)
No.
Some of us - probably a small majority of us? - aren't symmetrically weighted, and some of us have a dominant eye.

I find that looking down at the front wheel, my eye-line is off to the right.
I'm heavier, stronger and eyesight on the right, and I'm very much right-handed too. Maybe I'd be better having a bias-weigth on the left.

I can ride No Hands but I have to concentrate to the left ............ and there's nothing wrong or out of line of my bikes. Always been the same.
Mick F. Cornwall

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RickH
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby RickH » 23 Jul 2019, 5:04pm

Witterings wrote:Was thinking I wouldn't mind getting some of those bags that fix there as well ... does anyone happen to know if they have a specific name, I did try a quick google and din't find anything .... think I may just be using the "wrong" wording.

Fork bags perhaps? these from Planet X seem reasonable value & cheaper than most (note they are sold singly).
Image
I've got a Podsacs handlebar barrel bag (although I paid considerably less than the current price) & that seems well made.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby The utility cyclist » 23 Jul 2019, 9:11pm

Brucey wrote:in general off centre loads are to be avoided. In this case I don't think it will be a big deal but you would be better off putting the bottle somewhere else if you can do, especially if you are travelling 'naked' i.e. without panniers etc.

FWIW if you have an off-centre load it does several things

1) affects how the bike tracks; in extremis it won't be travelling in a straight line any more
2) affects the aerodynamics of the bike; again you may not be travelling in a straight line quite when the wind resistance is strong.
3) affects what happens to the bike when you go over bumps.

The last of these can be really horrible and can prematurely break framesets, but it usually takes a single heavy rear pannier to break a frameset.

Quite a lot of bikes don't ride in a straight line anyway (if you ride no hands, are you looking down the head tube exactly, one eye each side...?) and the deviation caused by small loads to one side may be small in relation to this anyway. So you might not notice a big difference and (if the weight is hung off the correct side) it is even possible that the bike can steer better with such a load than without one, if it wasn't quite right to start with.

If you ride in a group, take a look at other people's bikes by (carefully) riding behind them; you may be surprised to see how many don't track in a perfectly straight line.

cheers

In your opinion they are to be avoided, funny how millions of cyclists have been lopside loading for a century and more and never the worse for wear.
Sorry but I couldn't disagree with your summation more, it has so little bearing on any of the things you've mentioned, even small children can easily cope with a weight on one side.
You're massively over-egging a non problem, you've even suggested one sided pannier use breaks frames based on one example of a broken frame. This is clearly not evidence of anything.

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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby irc » 23 Jul 2019, 10:45pm

The only time the handling on my Long Haul Trucker was ever less than perfect was when I got a trace of wobble/vibration in the handlebars. Cause turned out to be a half full fuel bottle in front lowrider pannier. Moved to rear and problem solved. For that reason I wouldn't use a fork mounted bottle cage. Seemed to be the fuel sloshing rather than the weight as I used front panniers for thousands of miles with no other issues, even carrying a 1l bottle in each side.
Last edited by irc on 23 Jul 2019, 10:48pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Brucey » 23 Jul 2019, 10:47pm

|I've seen lots of broken racks and several broken frames from lopsided loading. I've also seen lots of bike that didn't steer in a straight line because they were bent or loaded unevenly. In the former case the riders were unaware that such things could happen, and in the latter case they were usually unaware that it was happening. Blissful ignorance all round.... :roll:

YMMV
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Mike_Ayling
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Mike_Ayling » 24 Jul 2019, 12:10am

Brucey wrote:3) affects what happens to the bike when you go over bumps.

The last of these can be really horrible and can prematurely break framesets, but it usually takes a single heavy rear pannier to break a frameset.


cheers


How heavy would the pannier need to be?

I ride Thorn bikes with Tubus racks - am I at risk?

Mike

Brucey
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Re: Weight Imbalance .... Bottles on Forks?

Postby Brucey » 24 Jul 2019, 9:39am

Mike_Ayling wrote:
Brucey wrote:3) affects what happens to the bike when you go over bumps.

The last of these can be really horrible and can prematurely break framesets, but it usually takes a single heavy rear pannier to break a frameset.


cheers


How heavy would the pannier need to be?

I ride Thorn bikes with Tubus racks - am I at risk?

Mike


it depends on a lot of things. It normally takes some persistent (ab-) use to cause breakages. Needless to say if you want to be sure that you are not going to have the problem, the solution is simple; avoid lopsided loading.

Getting a straight story about loads and mileages after a breakage has happened isn't always possible but in once case that I know of it took a year's commuting with a single pannier that weighed around 15lbs (most days) to break the frameset. The way the lateral loads were transferred into the seatstays would have varied with the stiffness of the rear rack (amongst other things).

cheers
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