Fighting residual wobblies

Discussion in 'Cruzbike Class (Riding & Refining your Technique)' started by Kit Bradley, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Kit Bradley

    Kit Bradley Member

    Howdy, again! I'm back with new questions that I hope can get answered! Mostly, about wobble on my Sofrider v3.

    I've gotten to the part where I'm having a lot of fun on the bike, able to ride as far as I ever have, and I'm going faster than I ever have on any bike, at that. (Admittedly, I've never owned a truly fast bike.) While I feel safe on the bike, there's a little more wobble than I've had on other bikes, upright or recumbent. For me, the wobble tends to even out when I'm accelerating or climbing when I'm pulling back harder on the handlebars and my cadence has gone down. As my cadence increases above 70 or so, I find that some wobble starts to creep in.

    And, sometimes, the wobble feels. . . nice. Like, the boom gets into a rhythm that doesn't seem to affect forward speed. Is this something I should avoid, or learn to reproduce? Is it good, bad, or neutral?
  2. tiltmaniac

    tiltmaniac Guru

    If you like it, and you're having fun, and you want to have fun, keep it :)
  3. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    V 20 rider caveat. Using the boom of the bike involving the upper body for additional power generation is an advantage of the platform.

    So yes wobble can and does naturally occur . Especially powering on. If you get out of sync in the learning process the wobble can cause consternation with an unintended choice of direction. This is phased out totally with experience so that only a good wobble is left in the choice of direction line.

    I am as agile on the v as compared to my df. And faster.
    super slim likes this.
  4. I tended to weave for months after learning to ride the Q, and it concerned me, like "am I ever really going to get the hang of this." One day I realized that it was no longer a losing-control wobble; it was natural, and no worse than I'd ever done on my uprights. I was able to relax a lot more after that, which of course lessened the weaving.
    Roger Underhill and super slim like this.
  5. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    My hypothesis: wobbles are part of biking in general. However, because the typical riding position differences between recumbent and DF, any 'wobble' feels significantly different. Recovery from tiny wobbles on a DF is primarily a shift in balance, displacing shoulders and hips for small corrections. Mostly because we started young (on DFs), it became 2nd nature to do these things and we forget that we're doing it.

    On a recumbent, almost all wobble recovery is a function of steering, as our body position is generally fixed. This is exacerbated as seatback angles get more shallow. For adult 're-learners' it takes much longer for us to divert repetitive conscious actions off to sub-conscious 'muscle memory'...we simply have to keep at it until most of it is engrained. I think there will always be some 'oops!' moments but as you continue to ride, they become less significant.

    I had to go back to riding my DF (years ago) to prove to myself that my recumbent wobbles were not significant. I have a good stretch of flat, straight pavement on the MUT that is about 1/10 mile from my house...and it has a painted line (to the separate walk/run lane from bike lane). I rode both, trying to hold as close to that line as possible. Turned out to be same/same for me, so I quit worrying about it.
    Tuloose and tiltmaniac like this.
  6. hurri47

    hurri47 Well-Known Member

    Ride any bike through a puddle and look at the trail it leaves. Bikes wobble. My Cruzbike enjoyment increased dramatically when I quit holding myself to an impossible standard of stability.

    Suz, Tuloose and Emeljay like this.
  7. telephd

    telephd Well-Known Member

    In the beginning I had a high speed wobble that used to catch me off guard. IME the wobble subsided with a more efficient peddling technique. I found that my right leg was dominant and that induced a swerve/wobble to the left periodically. When I worked on smoothing out my peddling the wobble seemed to disappear. By far my worst experience was coming off of a roll over and pouring on the my attention in a big hurry.

    Have fun learning to pedal circles ;-)
  8. Kit Bradley

    Kit Bradley Member

    Thanks, everyone! I'll factor in that I might be overanalyzing it. I mean, the Sofrider is both my first short wheelbase recumbent and my first Cruzbike, and I felt like I wobbled on my LWB for a while. (Though how long, I no longer remember! After some point, it just became something I didn't notice.) And, of course, all bikes wobble. So, because it's a new kind of bike for me, I'm likely overanalyzing it.

    Otherwise, relax, and learn to use the wobble to my advantage! That's mostly what I wanted to hear.

    FWIW, I think that I am also right-leg dominate. When coasting, I find that my right leg is more upright in the pedals than my left, and when I try to replicate it with my left leg that I do wobble unacceptably. I know my legs are of equal physical strength - I also lift weights, and years of lunges have sorted that out - so it's not that. I've been working on coasting with both legs in any position, but I can also work on pedaling technique. A few hundred thousand more pedal strokes are likely to get that fixed. ;)
    jond and tiltmaniac like this.
  9. McWheels

    McWheels Well-Known Member

    Yes, the wobble comes to us all. Even after 300 miles I would find I needed a periodic 'balance correction' every 100 metres or so. It's slowly got less and less and most of the time all those micro-corrections just happen. I also sold the DF to help pay for my V2k [softrider] so I had no option but to square it away through persistence.
  10. Rod Butler

    Rod Butler Member

    Is it too radical to suggest that for some of us, the left and right crank length may have to be slightly different, the bike is symmetrical, we are not.
  11. I've seen this discussed on BROL several times. The consensus seems to be that it's better to shim the shoe and/or cleat for slight differences in leg length.
  12. Doug Burton

    Doug Burton Zen MBB Master

    Wobbles... This may help you or it may not.

    Folks who have been around here a looong time may remember I built a conversion kit bike on a discarded Softride MTB frame with a pretty reclined hardshell seat. The "Redbike" taught me an awful lot about the dynamics of MBB bikes.

    I remember taking the bike to the Outer Banks for vacation, and to ease getting it in the van, I lowered the handlebar height and rotated the bars such that the grips were closer toward the seat. Not much, maybe 3 inches.

    I took the bike out on a ride on the NC12 bike lane (a wonderful piece of infrastructure) and suddenly found that I had a lot of trouble keeping the bike on a straight line - it wobbled. It cornered fine, but it seemed like regardless of how much I relaxed my shoulders, when I pedaled the bike wanted to move off of straight ahead.

    Now I was a pretty experienced rider at that point, so this phenomenon really intrigued me.

    I restored the handlebars to their original configuration, and instantly the bike was back to its former obedient self.

    After moving the bars to various positions to explore this, I discovered that if the grips were 3 or more inches behind the axis of the fork steerer tube and the Cruzbike steering column, the wobble would always come back.

    Perhaps if you look at this on your Sofrider, you may find some insight. I realize the Vendetta and Silvio designs violate this "3 inch rule" and folks have little trouble riding them (although, interestingly, i have more trouble keeping my Silvio 2.0 out of the wobbles than my Silvio 1.0 or Sofrider or Quest.)

    I also find that if my arms are more stretched out, it's easier to keep a straight line when pedaling.

    Presented for your consideration. Best of luck in any case.

  13. bladderhead

    bladderhead Zen MBB Master

    I thought my Silvio was better behaved after I truncated it.
  14. Vicki C.

    Vicki C. T50 Trailblazer

    I need to read all posts about the learning curve. I have come to believe that it can be steeper for those with previous recumbent experience. I had fun trying out a Quest on loan from a friend but returned it after several mishaps that included broken bones and a shoe stuck on a cleat and not being able to reach the shoe to remove my foot.

    Having said all that, I now proudly own a T50. I wish I had known before the simple tricks about not moving one's body on the seat and that simply removing one's feet from the pedals can stop the wild front end swing. I still have fear but am trying to overcome it. I ride a Tour Easy and must continue to ride it, as the T50 is not currently set up for me to ride hills. Maybe one day. But I do want to master riding the T50 and for now use it as a fun trail bike and commuter, at least until such time as I can change the components to be able to climb 6-12% grades without difficulty.

    I look forward to continuing to learn from the community.
    super slim likes this.
  15. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    I think the experts recommend not riding other style recumbents while learning the mbb. But if u gotta ride?
    super slim and Vicki C. like this.
  16. Vicki C.

    Vicki C. T50 Trailblazer

    Yeah, they say that, and maybe in the winter that's fine, but not when I have centuries upcoming with hills. No way that is happening with the T50. So I can just not ride it at all, or ride both. This was my dilemma before and it caused me to get really behind in training. I am remembering how to ride the FWD/MBB around the neighborhood and enjoying it. I don't really see buying a Silvio in my future. If tricking the T50 out at some point so that I can do the same level of riding, or better, than I am doing now, I would be tickled pink.
  17. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    You gotta ride. I have a rans stratus xp and it's ridiculously comfortable and easy to ride. I think your tour easy is similar if I could ever get that feeling on my vendetta......
    Vicki C. likes this.
  18. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    I always thought that frame would make a great kit bike. Yours looks fantastic. I have two of those frames. Too bad the kits are extinct
  19. DavidCH

    DavidCH In thought; expanding the paradigm of traversity

    I wobble less with circular chainrings
  20. McWheels

    McWheels Well-Known Member

    If you're going to analyse it, then when does it happen? Note this is different to what causes it. What you notice may be the outcome, not the initial input.

    Having said that I have no real idea why I got a periodic wobble, I just got better at stopping it being big enough to notice.

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