Steering dampers: care to share your?

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tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 5 Dec 2020, 9:22pm

I'm looking for a suitable steering damper to fit a conventional frame and fork arrangement.
Did a search on here but only found a few snippets and no photos of any actually fitted to a bike.

Any recommendations? Care to share a photo or two?

Cheers
TC

PT1029
Posts: 976
Joined: 16 Apr 2012, 9:20pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby PT1029 » 5 Dec 2020, 9:26pm

Out of interest, what do you want the damper for?
Do you get shimmy/wheel wobble while cycling, or is it just to help the front wheel behave itself while parking/loading panniers etc.

I have seen a few sturdy springs between the down tube and the back of the fork crown on a few Dutch bikes, which I think are to help keep things in order while parking/loading the shopping.

Cheers.

rotavator
Posts: 612
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby rotavator » 5 Dec 2020, 9:41pm

I tried one that SJS sells (i.e. expensive!) but it did not fit my bike so I sent it back for a refund. Then I then I tried a quick and dirty solution, simply connect a bog standard spring from the rear of the fork crown to a conveniently placed eyelet on the downtube*. Bingo, it works perfectly! It will not last for ever but I have a box full of replacements.

*This is intended for a Crudcatcher mudguard and most bikes will not have one but you could bodge a connection with a P clip if necessary.

tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 5 Dec 2020, 11:02pm

PT1029 wrote:Out of interest, what do you want the damper for?
Do you get shimmy/wheel wobble while cycling, or is it just to help the front wheel behave itself while parking/loading panniers etc..

Cheers.


Main reason is to prevent the front rack platform from smacking into the down tube but I'll gladly take both of the above attributes of a damper. I'm expecting a lot of off road with big loads.

tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 5 Dec 2020, 11:09pm

rotavator wrote:I tried one that SJS sells (i.e. expensive!) but it did not fit my bike so I sent it back for a refund. Then I then I tried a quick and dirty solution, simply connect a bog standard spring from the rear of the fork crown to a conveniently placed eyelet on the downtube*. Bingo, it works perfectly! It will not last for ever but I have a box full of replacements.

*This is intended for a Crudcatcher mudguard and most bikes will not have one but you could bodge a connection with a P clip if necessary.


I've looked at this, both the off the peg (I thought £25 was very inexpensive) and a DIY along the same lines as you. This is my fall back if nothing better comes up. I have a neat solution for the fork fitting, and if I can get a 38mm dia U bolt then the down tube fixing should be neat too.

(An aside: why do so few sellers of U bolts list the diameter of the U ? This is the vital stat, not the length of the arms!!)

rotavator
Posts: 612
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby rotavator » 5 Dec 2020, 11:40pm

I would try a P clip with a rubber lining/shim to avoid damaging your downtube's paint. Or does it have a non-circular cross-section that would make this difficult? My spring works fine for me, i.e. no more flopping front end.

tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 6 Dec 2020, 7:12am

rotavator wrote:I would try a P clip with a rubber lining/shim to avoid damaging your downtube's paint. Or does it have a non-circular cross-section that would make this difficult? My spring works fine for me, i.e. no more flopping front end.


Tube is circular but I've never seen a P clip that would do 38mm dia. Am I thinking of the same thing?

Where can I source a suitable sprng? I assume that it would need to be quite strong, long and have a hook on both ends?

9494arnold
Posts: 1111
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 3:13pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby 9494arnold » 6 Dec 2020, 9:13am

I have recently taken on a lightweight trike, that had lowrider panniers on the front.
Whilst refurbing I found that there was a second hand inner tube over the steering column that made it an almost interference fit in the head Tube. Previous owner said it was to ' calm the steering down' . The trike had a drum front brake.
Not entirely sure what he meant by it , and I have done away with the hub brake ( and I have changed the forks too, they weren't the originals and I needed an extended fork crown for the second brake)
So can't really comment on the efficiency of the installation.

If you have standard tubing a clamp on Gear Lever Clip could be used as an anchor point for a spring, I would be slightly worried about the loops on a spring they tend to have a sharp pointed ends .
Last edited by 9494arnold on 6 Dec 2020, 9:18am, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
Posts: 6136
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby Jdsk » 6 Dec 2020, 9:17am

tenbikes wrote:
rotavator wrote:I would try a P clip with a rubber lining/shim to avoid damaging your downtube's paint. Or does it have a non-circular cross-section that would make this difficult? My spring works fine for me, i.e. no more flopping front end.


Tube is circular but I've never seen a P clip that would do 38mm dia. Am I thinking of the same thing?

Where can I source a suitable sprng? I assume that it would need to be quite strong, long and have a hook on both ends?

Rubber lined stainless steel P-clips:
https://www.westfieldfasteners.co.uk/A4_PClip_RbbrLnd.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAn7L-BRBbEiwAl9UtkPlFWX31rxXo7aMpE3QHumYtSq_w-YHOaJ6YxIO-fmnCSvfc8s0rARoCPKoQAvD_BwE

But please could someone add a sketch or photo of what's intended?

Thanks

Jonathan

Brucey
Posts: 43043
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby Brucey » 6 Dec 2020, 9:33am

IMHO the things that folk are describing as 'steering dampers' are misnamed. A spring does not exert a damping effect.

Also the spring is only half of the assembly; the spring alone won't do the entire job. In addition to the spring providing a stronger self-centring force, there is usually a hard stop which prevents the steering from swinging past a certain point. For this to work (especially if the front end is loaded and decides to swing) it needs to be fairly solidly mounted.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 6 Dec 2020, 9:51am

Right, apologies in advance: I can't work out how to link websites when I'm on this device. I can do it on a desk top.

I've found a few options.

The type we have been discussing up thread are

Hebie. ( there is another similar make, forgotten it)
These are cheap at c£20. They do a little more expensive elastomer version, same principle.

Cane Creek do a top headset replacement which uses really sticky grease (!).....? Something around viscosity in the name.

The bees knees seems to be a Hopey steering damper. American, expensive and apparently bloody brilliant, but the customer service stinks. ?£300 to get one in the UK?

Just found on ebay in Germany: TDL Inside steering damper which looks promising. Just over the £100, very neat, but no idea how good. Marketed for e bikes. Looks very easy to fit.

If I can get to a desk top I'll put up links, unless some kind soul beats me to it.

Cheers
TC

Cyckelgalen
Posts: 119
Joined: 21 Sep 2018, 11:29am

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby Cyckelgalen » 6 Dec 2020, 9:55am

I have seen only one of those steering dampers in the flesh and it didn't prevent the steering from swinging all the way with fully loaded front panniers.
This commercially available steering locking device looks like a good solution, at a ridiculous price though:

https://steerstopper.com/

Otherwise, an additional kickstand than can be mounted on many Tubus low rider front racks is a much cheaper option,

https://www.rosebikes.es/tubus-side-kic ... ers-555502

iandusud
Posts: 721
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby iandusud » 6 Dec 2020, 10:11am

When I built my cargo bike I had a steering wobble at speed which I tracked down to some give in the steering linkage. A bit of reinforcing sorted it out. But whilst thinking about addressing the issue I did consider a steering damper and considered fitting an adjustable damper such as this:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-CNC-Al ... %3A2334524
Of course you would need to knock up some bracketry.

Ian

mikeymo
Posts: 2100
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Dec 2020, 10:48am

Cyckelgalen wrote:I have seen only one of those steering dampers in the flesh and it didn't prevent the steering from swinging all the way with fully loaded front panniers.
This commercially available steering locking device looks like a good solution, at a ridiculous price though:

https://steerstopper.com/


Thanks for bring that to my attention.

I didn't know such things existed until very recently. The first one I saw was on the Tout-terrain Silkroad:

https://tout-terrain.de/en/the-manufactory/news-stories/new-silkroad-ii-expedition-touring-bikes

and I thought - "that looks useful'

The Silkroad one is a lot neater than the steerstopper one, but relies upon a braze-on type fitting.

With the Steerstopper device, if there's not much steerer tube above the frame, there's going to be a lump of not very person friendly metal sticking up. Though as I do have a lot of steerer tube, it might suit me. Looking at it, I'm not sure if it couldn't be mounted 90 degrees round, with the receiving part on the head tube. I haven't put the bike on the car for a while, but when I do I always use roof racks, and when I bought a slightly taller car the wiggly wheel problem made it a real pain. The steerstopper would be great for that.

If there was enough head tube above the top tube, it should be possible to design something like the tout-terrain one, with the bottom part being a clamp. If I had time or skill, I'd design one myself.

philsknees
Posts: 144
Joined: 14 May 2017, 2:29pm
Location: St. Ockport

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby philsknees » 6 Dec 2020, 11:02am

I tried a Dutch-style spring steering damper to cope with a four pannier set up but also found there was insufficient clearance between the down tube and front mudguard to fit it. I got round that by fitting a rearward-facing canti brake hanger ( https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/254- ... ter-black/) high up amongst the headset spacers, which provided a fixing point for the front end of the damper unit (using a nut & bolt in place of the screw adjuster). The rear clip is then mounted on the top tube, paint suitably protected, meaning the whole unit is effectively fitted upside down on top of the top tube.
Not exactly pretty but this worked perfectly for me, the only downsides being:
1) An extra hanger to be tightened after disturbing/adjusting the headset bearings.
2) The constant threatening presence of the spring and fixing should you slide forward along the top tube...... :shock:
I never did get round to devising protective padding but despite a few of those silly minor "offs" and slips that inevitably occur when touring fully loaded, never received an embarrassing injury. In retrospect a cheap, top tube mounted snack bag fitted behind the headset, with the bottom removed, and stuffed with foam padding would probably cover the whole thing up safely and very neatly.