Giant Revive directional stability problem



W

wobbler

Guest
I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought one
for use as a "errand" bike and to get a bit of exercise. We gave up on
our old "triangle" bikes long ago as age and arthritis crept in. The
bike is super comfortable and we are enjoying it a lot except for one
thing; it does not like to go in a straight line. Every bike we have
ever had simply goes straight ahead until the rider steers/leans to
change direction. The Revive has to be "steered" constantly which
results in slight zigs and zags. This is not a big problem on bike
paths or mostly-empty residential streets, but on main roads with
traffic zipping by it is quite unnerving and makes car drivers nervous
too resulting in comments about "sobering up before riding". Has anyone
else been bothered by this? Is it typical of recumbents (or
semi-recumbents)? My assumption is that it must be something to do with
steering geometry. Your input/suggestions would be appreciated.
 
M

Mark Leuck

Guest
"wobbler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
> here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought one
> for use as a "errand" bike and to get a bit of exercise. We gave up on
> our old "triangle" bikes long ago as age and arthritis crept in. The
> bike is super comfortable and we are enjoying it a lot except for one
> thing; it does not like to go in a straight line. Every bike we have
> ever had simply goes straight ahead until the rider steers/leans to
> change direction. The Revive has to be "steered" constantly which
> results in slight zigs and zags. This is not a big problem on bike
> paths or mostly-empty residential streets, but on main roads with
> traffic zipping by it is quite unnerving and makes car drivers nervous
> too resulting in comments about "sobering up before riding". Has anyone
> else been bothered by this? Is it typical of recumbents (or
> semi-recumbents)? My assumption is that it must be something to do with
> steering geometry. Your input/suggestions would be appreciated.


Might I ask what the age of the riders are? As far as I know the Revive
steers fine
 
J

Jeff Wills

Guest
wobbler wrote:
> I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
> here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought

one
> for use as a "errand" bike and to get a bit of exercise. We gave up

on
> our old "triangle" bikes long ago as age and arthritis crept in. The
> bike is super comfortable and we are enjoying it a lot except for one
> thing; it does not like to go in a straight line.


This is typical of newer recumbent riders switching from upright bikes.
You're trying to push through the pedals by pulling on the handlebar.
On a recumbent/semi-recumbent this is unnecessary.

Try consciously relaxing your arms and shoulders. Some people drape
their fingers over the tops of the brake levers, others rest their
wrists on the handlebars, others ride while making the "OK" sign around
the grips. The point is to *not* steer the bike- it'll go in a straight
line just fine without your input. It'll require pressure to point it
where you want to go- but less than you're used to.

Jeff
 
D

dkd

Guest
I recently bought a Revive for my wife, and she complains of the same
problem. When I ride it (I am far more experienced at riding than
she, and switch between recumbnt and DF bikes often) I have no trouble
going straight. It is a little less stable when starting up, and THAT
is due to the longish wheelbase and the fork rake.

The main thing, which I have told me wife and hasn't sunk in yet, is
to quit pulling on the steering while you pedal and let your legs do
ALL the work. Push your butt into the back support on the seat and
the bike willl steer straight as an arrow.
 
D

DougC

Guest
wobbler wrote:
> I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
> here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought one
> for use as a "errand" bike and to get a bit of exercise. We gave up on
> our old "triangle" bikes long ago as age and arthritis crept in. The
> bike is super comfortable and we are enjoying it a lot except for one
> thing; it does not like to go in a straight line. Every bike we have
> ever had simply goes straight ahead until the rider steers/leans to
> change direction. The Revive has to be "steered" constantly which
> results in slight zigs and zags. This is not a big problem on bike
> paths or mostly-empty residential streets, but on main roads with
> traffic zipping by it is quite unnerving and makes car drivers nervous
> too resulting in comments about "sobering up before riding". Has anyone
> else been bothered by this? Is it typical of recumbents (or
> semi-recumbents)? My assumption is that it must be something to do with
> steering geometry. Your input/suggestions would be appreciated.
>


I have one bent and have test-ridden a few more from three different
companies--I think that little front wheels just aren't that stable.
Some people have told me that some bents are better than others, but I
don't see much big differences in steering geometry, so I really doubt
that. I have not yet found (for instance) a bent that could really be
ridden as easily "hands off", as any typical upright bike can. ....Maybe
try getting a cheaper CLWB and put a big front wheel on it (26"), or try
the Rans crank-forward bikes--not real bents but people who are riding
them say for comfort they are a big improvement over upright bikes.
 
I

Into the living sea of waking dreams

Guest
wobbler wrote:

> I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
> here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought one
> for use as a "errand" bike and to get a bit of exercise. We gave up on
> our old "triangle" bikes long ago as age and arthritis crept in. The
> bike is super comfortable and we are enjoying it a lot except for one
> thing; it does not like to go in a straight line. Every bike we have
> ever had simply goes straight ahead until the rider steers/leans to
> change direction. The Revive has to be "steered" constantly which
> results in slight zigs and zags. This is not a big problem on bike
> paths or mostly-empty residential streets, but on main roads with
> traffic zipping by it is quite unnerving and makes car drivers nervous
> too resulting in comments about "sobering up before riding". Has anyone
> else been bothered by this? Is it typical of recumbents (or
> semi-recumbents)? My assumption is that it must be something to do with
> steering geometry. Your input/suggestions would be appreciated.
>

yes, yes, and you are right.

I have been riding a recumbent for about 10 years.

a long wheel base infinity and now a short wheel base Vision.

I absolutely cannot ride with no hands on a recumbent. I have to keep a
hand on the handlebar at all times.

On the long wheel base, the front end was not loaded, most weight was on
rear wheel, and if going around a curve at any appreciable speed, and
the road was wet, or gravel/sand, the front end would slip, the bike
would tip, and I would be skidding down the road on my butt. Since the
distance was only a foot, not really a major crash.


The Short wheel base, the front wheel is about 8 inches in front of the
seat, so that problem is solved. It is more bouncy though.

I have riden the hotter than hell hundred about 14-15 times, since '96
on a recumbent. It is much, much, more enjoyable, and slightly slower.

The fastest time on a wedgie was 6 hours and 45 min (1994), the fastest
time on a recumbent was 6 hours and 54 min (2004). The short wheel base
is significantly faster than the long wheel base.


Since it is difficult to change the geometry, to increase the rake or
whatever, I have thought about increasing stabilty by increasing the
angular momentum on front wheel. Ie increase the wt of the rotating
elements, put a heavier tire, tube and putting stop leak in the tube
etc. But never did it.

btw, when I got the infinity, it took me about 5 minutes to get out of
the driveway.

j.
 
J

Jon Meinecke

Guest
"Into the living sea of waking dreams" <[email protected]>
> wobbler wrote:
>
> > I have no idea if a Revive is a recumbent but I see a few older posts
> > here from Revive owners so here goes. My wife and I recently bought one
> > [...] The Revive has to be "steered" constantly which
> > results in slight zigs and zags.


Steering stability may improve with rider experience.
A light touch on the handle bars may help.

> I absolutely cannot ride with no hands on a recumbent.
> I have to keep a hand on the handlebar at all times.


Likewise. However, above stall speed, I can hold a
straight line course pretty well on all three of my recumbents
with minimal steering input.

> I have riden the hotter than hell hundred about 14-15 times, since '96
> on a recumbent. It is much, much, more enjoyable, and slightly slower.


You and 8,000 to 10,000 of your closest friends? %^)

I rode the 100K route at HnH on my Tour Easy in '02. Not a
problem. Of course, I'd ridden that same distance and further
on my BikeE! %^P

> btw, when I got the infinity, it took me about 5 minutes
> to get out of the driveway.


I didn't have such difficulty with any of mine, but it did take
some time to get a feel for the steering and the amount of
steering input needed to avoid over correction and hold
a good line. A relaxed grip helped me get over Bobcat
Pass (9700 ft?) in New Mexico last year riding my Tour
Easy loaded for self-supported camping at just above
stall speed.

The CLWB BikeE is the most maneuverable and requires
the "lightest touch" for steering input. It's stall speed is
actually quite low (higher and more upright seating?).
My Volae Sport has taken getting used to, but the
steering hasn't been a problem, even from the first ride.
Stable, if not hands free at fairly low speeds. Heel
strike at low-speed turns, I'm adjusting to.

Jon Meinecke
 
M

MR

Guest
On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 15:22:42 -0500, ramblerdan
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>I too find the Revive distressingly unstable. Would like to be able to
>ride hands off occasionally but cannot. Am 6'5", so the seat is all the
>way back; perhaps that exacerbates the problem. Definitely am not
>pulling on the handlebars.
>
>Could the fork be adapted to make the bike more stable?



After my wife complained about the steering on he bike I tried it
again. What I noticed was that if I kept my hands on the steering
when pedaling hard, I tended to weave around, but if I put one or two
fingers of each hand on the steering, the problem went away and it
tracked straight. Now I can ride it with my hands on the bars and I
can ride straight. It takes some mental adjusting and maybe
optimizing the handle bar position - even if you don't think you're
pulling on the bars, you probably are.

Of course, pulling on the bars SHOULDN'T be a problem. The fork seems
to have a lot of rake which will slow down the steering. It might be
possible to put a fork with less rake in there, but then you might
have toe clearance problems.
 
M

Mike Rice

Guest
On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 23:33:08 -0500, MR <MR> wrote:

>On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 15:22:42 -0500, ramblerdan
><[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>
>>I too find the Revive distressingly unstable. Would like to be able to
>>ride hands off occasionally but cannot. Am 6'5", so the seat is all the
>>way back; perhaps that exacerbates the problem. Definitely am not
>>pulling on the handlebars.
>>
>>Could the fork be adapted to make the bike more stable?

>
>
>After my wife complained about the steering on he bike I tried it
>again. What I noticed was that if I kept my hands on the steering
>when pedaling hard, I tended to weave around, but if I put one or two
>fingers of each hand on the steering, the problem went away and it
>tracked straight. Now I can ride it with my hands on the bars and I
>can ride straight. It takes some mental adjusting and maybe
>optimizing the handle bar position - even if you don't think you're
>pulling on the bars, you probably are.
>
>Of course, pulling on the bars SHOULDN'T be a problem. The fork seems
>to have a lot of rake which will slow down the steering. It might be
>possible to put a fork with less rake in there, but then you might
>have toe clearance problems.


When I started riding my Tour Easy it took a couple of days to realize
what a light touch was required to track nicely.

I can never ride 'hands free', but a tight grip seems to prduce that
wobble you describe.

Relax and all is good. At least on my bike.

Mike
 
B

Bill Patterson

Guest
Into the living sea of waking dreams wrote:
\\\\\\\\

Since it is difficult to change the geometry, to increase the rake or
whatever, I have thought about increasing stability by increasing the
angular momentum on front wheel. Ie increase the wt of the rotating
elements, put a heavier tire, tube and putting stop leak in the tube
etc. But never did it.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

I agree, theory says that heavier wheels make a lot of difference. Hard
to think about going to a steel rim though.

You can also turn the fork around to gain more "feel".

--
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http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/lords.html

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