Steering dampers: care to share your?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
tenbikes
Posts: 130
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 7 Dec 2020, 9:53am

I have been experimenting with bars, and no longer use standard (?!) Mtb bars. Those shown above are 45° and wide. They are the best I've found so far. Much better for my wrists but not sure about the shoulders. I think these bars are god for my shoulders, but would quite like to try bars at perhaps 35°. But of course there aren't any?
I need width for off road control. When on tarmac i often use the loop extension and go narrow, just to ring the changes a bit.
I should add that the cargo bike above has never been ridden yet, but the front end geometry matches my other fat bike which i ride as much as life will allow.

Thanks for all your input, it is very much appreciated.

StephenW
Posts: 158
Joined: 22 Sep 2010, 11:33am

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby StephenW » 7 Dec 2020, 10:59am

Hi Tenbikes

I have one of the steering springs. For me, it is a compromise between having the spring tight enough that it has some effect when the bike is parked, but loose enough that it doesn't affect the feel of the steering when you are riding. I don't like the feeling of the spring interfering with the steering when riding.

I don't have any experience of a true damper (like the motorcycle one in Brucey's picture). I think they are useful on bikes prone to shimmy, such as certain cargo bikes or recumbents (with certain riders, this doesn't necessarily affect everyone equally).

I think you are wanting to make the steering light and easy to turn, yes? In that case, I think the best thing to do is carry none of your luggage on the forks or handlebars (unless it is really light stuff). Adding weight here inevitably adds intertia to the steering, requiring more force to make sudden changes of angle. If you really want to carry anything at all heavy at the front of the bike, there are racks which attach to the frame and don't turn with the steering. These will not make the steering feel heavy, although the height of what you can carry on them will depend on the height of your handlebars.

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

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 7 Dec 2020, 1:05pm

Thanks for that.
Actually I'm wanting make the steering heavy, not light, rather like an over tightened headset.

The Hopey, alluded to up thread, does this on the turn, but not on the return, which sounds ideal. But the likelihood of finding one in the UK seems slim.

Brucey
Posts: 42986
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby Brucey » 7 Dec 2020, 8:33pm

tenbikes wrote:Thanks for that.
Actually I'm wanting make the steering heavy, not light, rather like an over tightened headset.

The Hopey, alluded to up thread, does this on the turn, but not on the return, which sounds ideal. But the likelihood of finding one in the UK seems slim.


that action does sound different (and more expensive...) than a typical motorcycle steering damper.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby PT1029 » 8 Dec 2020, 8:26pm

Upthread Girvin Flestems were mentioned, these date from the 1990's, apparently if the elstomer goes hard, a quick spell in a microway brings them back, the chap that told me this is long gone, so I have no more details.
If it is of help, a modern version is here : https://redshiftsports.com/products/sho ... nsion-stem
There are a few in our club who use these to help with wrist issues (carpel tunnel syndrome being one). Whether these help you or not I don't know - I suspect not. Stil available, a friend ordered one, it came in 2 days last week.

Have you considered different steering geometries? I am currently looking into this. My Argos ATB/camping tourer with from panniers (low riders) tends to have a bit of slow speed steering flop.
The bike I used to go camping on is interesting. Originally 72deg head angle, 2" fork rake, 27" tyres. Unladen I hated it on bends, the steering felt somehow unsafe (it didn't wobble, I felt as though I needed to hold the handlebars in position to avoid disaster). However, my hack bike felt wonderful, the only diference between the 2 was the fork rake. So I had a replacement set of forks made as per my hack bike (old Holdworth Mistral frame) and went to 700c at well.
So, 72 deg head angle, 2.5" for rake, 700 X 32 c tyres, rode well enough unladen, but what struck me was with front (low riders) and rear panniers, on bends it really stuck to the road like glue, absolutely solid handling.
At some point I'll put low riders back on the 700c bike to recheck the handling (need a refresher, it has been 20 years since the 700c bike had front panniers on.

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

Re: Steering dampers: care to share your?

Postby tenbikes » 9 Dec 2020, 12:42pm

This forum thread on mtbr , fat bike section, is a mine of information for headset dampers.

https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/dampi ... 28021.html


The OP is the equivalent of our own Brucey :)....very knowledgeable, very helpful and a techno geek :)

Early on in the thread there are links to some of the main contenders, though down thread there is more discussion on geometry and its effect.

Well worth a read.

TC