Twitchy handling on Tuscany?
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  1. #1
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    Question Twitchy handling on Tuscany?

    I have an '05 Tuscany I'm convinced it has a nervousness on descents that my old bike did not have. At first I thought it was me but I'm getting more and more convinced it is the bike. I remember reading others reported similar problems awhile back. IIRC, they were able to fix it with either a new headset or fork. I cannot remember which. Anyone experience this problem?

  2. #2
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    Hi, Well I also have a 05 Tuscany, and have not had any issues on decents in the first 15 mounths of riding. I have the Real Design HP pro fork and mine is a 53cm I'm 5'11'' tall and 170lbs I'm interested in your mesuerments if you are having trouble getting your bike to feel "right" All that said. IMO the tuscany is a "quick" steering bike but very stable, of course this is subject to a riders opinion, what is your other ride like? Be sure to check the simple.

    1-Make sure the head set has no play but also be sure that its not ("cranked down on") To tight.

    2-Be sure your front quick release is snug.

    3-Be sure you are not running a unfamiluer tire (one you may have to get used to)

    4-Wheels have been known, maybe a temp sub to check.

    Let us know in more detail what it feels like. --- All the best Bill

  3. #3
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    Bill,
    I'm 6'-0", 185lbs and ride a 57cm bike. My old bike was a Giant OCR3. It felt more stable decending but then again it had the worst brakes you would likely encounter. So I never really pushed the limits.

    1) The headset does not have any play, as for being too tight I might look into that.

    2) Quick release if fine.

    3) The tires might very well be the problem. My old bike had budget wire bead Michelins. When I first got the Tuscany I installed Vittoria Rubino Pro's. Recently, I switched over to Vittoria Corsa CX. These tires do ride MUCH different than anything else I have encountered. I get a lot of road feel but yet a supple ride. My first thoughts was the tires, but then I remember reading some complaints on the headset/fork combo on some older Tuscany's and wanted to look into that. One reason I mentioned about waiting until winter to do anything is because I wanted to feel out the tires more. As for the ride of the Rubino's I can't remember, but it did feel most stable with them to the best of my memory. Maybe I'm just not used to having so much feedback and mistaking road feel for losing grip.

    4) Not sure what your asking here. FYI the wheels are Campy Zonda's.


    Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
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    carb850, thanks for the detail, what I was woundering is, dose the bike feel like a shimmy or loose or just really twitchey? Your Giant may be more on the stable side. IMO the head set "problem" is confined to a few instances and in most a very mis-matched rider or a very poor set-up of the bike (mechanicly) I like to think of the Tuscany as very sports car like where it actvates the driver (rider) You are correct I think in that there is a lot of raod feel that comes through. All the best -- Bill

  5. #5
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    I believe ocr has more relaxed handling than giant tcr which has faster, twitchier geometry (designed for racing of course). Many prestigious framebuilders of racing bikes
    have this type of geometry.

    So you might want slightly different (sport road, recreation, fitness) category of bikes which often also have higher head tube for more upright position like trek pilot, canondale sport road, etc.

    I had same problem as you. You have to get used to it or change the bike.

  6. #6
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    "53cm I'm 5'11'' " - Typo, right? - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  7. #7
    What up, dog?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuscanybill
    mine is a 53cm I'm 5'11'' tall and 170lbs
    WOW! I'm 5'11", 185# and ride a 57cm with a 110mm stem. Sheesh! What length of stem do you have on it? Your seat must be JACKED!!

    Not a criticism, but wow...I would have never guessed.


    ***EDIT -- D'oh!! Missed the post right above mine. But still...***
    Last edited by axebiker; 08-01-2006 at 10:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    no Typo at all, everyone is differant shape, my weight distribution is real nice, also I use a 110 stem on the 53cm. I was set up with the Fit Kit system whitch came within 1cm of my other bike. -- Bill

  9. #9
    What up, dog?
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    WOW! I would never have guessed in a million years that someone my size would ride a 53cm. Well, just goes to show...

  10. #10
    Erfahrener Radfahrer
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    This is a cross post of sorts, the bulk of which I have mentioned in a different thread.

    Shimmy", or more correctly "harmonic oscillation", is usually a result of a combination of several factors. These factors include fork rake, fork material, frame flex, torsional stablilty of the frame, and probably most important factors, frame size, road speed, and road surface.. The majority of "shimmy" problems come from larger frames, which inherintly have more flex than their smaller counterparts. However, regardless of fork rake, frame material/design, speed, or other characteristics, it can easily be dealt with by improving riding technique.

    Assuming your bike is in excellent mechanical condition, ie... no cracked frame/fork, the best solution to counter harmonic oscillation, is to brace both knees against either side of the top tube before the problem occurs.

  11. #11

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    Vittoria tires

    I just posted a similar problem in the "frames and forks" forum. I first began to notice this problem after a month or so on my Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires. I was running 135 psi in mine, and I noticed the shimmy was much less pronounced when running 120 psi. The tires seem to be a common factor between our two situations.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_r
    I just posted a similar problem in the "frames and forks" forum. I first began to notice this problem after a month or so on my Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires. I was running 135 psi in mine, and I noticed the shimmy was much less pronounced when running 120 psi. The tires seem to be a common factor between our two situations.
    It's not the tyres, it's the tire pressure. The increased pressure in the tires at135psi transfers a great deal more road vibration to the frame than when the tyres are inflated to 120psi.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_r
    I just posted a similar problem in the "frames and forks" forum. I first began to notice this problem after a month or so on my Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires. I was running 135 psi in mine, and I noticed the shimmy was much less pronounced when running 120 psi. The tires seem to be a common factor between our two situations.

    For what it is worth, I'm running about 110 psi. What tires did you come off of?


    The more I read and ride. The more I think the problem for me is a combination of this new tire having a lot more feedback and my form. I believe I'm getting more confident on my decending and therefore holding more speed. Last night I did not notice any shimmy but I was claming down on the bike to make it as solid as I could. Very firm grip on the bars, knees in, etc.

  14. #14

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    tires

    Yeah, I'm inclined to agree. You always read how great these tires corner. Maybe it's just an issue of use getting used to the extra lateral grip of these tires.

  15. #15
    What up, dog?
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    Excuse my ignorance - I take it these are tubular tires than? 135 psi has me scrtching my head otherwise.

    FWIW, I ride Michelin Carbons (training), and Michelin Pro Race (not training), and generally ride right about 120 psi unless it's early in the year. Then I'll ride about 110 psi or so.

    Firm grip on bars? That could be part of the problem. I tend to find that that amplifies the problem. But that might just be me. I descend relatively loose - I let the bike do its thing. I just keep my weight centered and lean when needed. When I get tight is when I have trouble...
    Last edited by axebiker; 08-03-2006 at 08:18 AM.

  16. #16

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    I have the same '05 Litespeed Tuscany 55cm bike and while I love the ride it is very unstable downhill. I am 175Lb 5'11" and have checked skewer tightness, headset etc. It still wobbles like a weeble going down.
    I bought a new Reynolds fork without checking the compatibility and need to figure out how to fit it to the Cane Creek Integrated.

  17. #17

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    Please update this thread with your results. I'm bracing the bike tighter with both my knees and hands which has helped, but it still don't feel as stable as my old POS bike at high speeds. Since I rarely get to those speeds though it is not a problem. Regardless, if someone knew of a equipment change that would fit it I would love to know.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamonddickie
    I have the same '05 Litespeed Tuscany 55cm bike and while I love the ride it is very unstable downhill. I am 175Lb 5'11" and have checked skewer tightness, headset etc. It still wobbles like a weeble going down.
    I bought a new Reynolds fork without checking the compatibility and need to figure out how to fit it to the Cane Creek Integrated.
    Cane Creek sells the crown race for $7.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbakercad
    Please update this thread with your results. I'm bracing the bike tighter with both my knees and hands which has helped, but it still don't feel as stable as my old POS bike at high speeds. Since I rarely get to those speeds though it is not a problem. Regardless, if someone knew of a equipment change that would fit it I would love to know.
    I have ordered the parts from Cane Creek and will rebuild next weekend and let you know. It's a 43 rake versus the standard 40. The 49-53cm frames have a 45 and the 55cm and higher 45 so I thought what the hey let's have a go. Probably stupid but I'll let you know.

  20. #20
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    Wow, I've had my '05 Tuscany near mph without any hint of instability. I have noticed a little lately -- but only when I take my hands off the bars. I need to check my headset and fork -- both probably need replacing after 20,000 miles under my 245lbs body.

    mbb

  21. #21

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    I replaced the fork with a Reynolds Ouzo Comp 43mm rake fork and it made a fantastic improvment. I don't know if it just me but it decends way better now, 45 mph no problem. The 55cm is the change over size from a 45mm rake to a 40mm rake and the new geometry just works better for me.

  22. #22
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    wobble

    Lately my tuscany wobbles so much above forty the wheel takes on a liquid type apperance. I may try less pressure in the tires, this weekend but at the next race I'm asking the LBS owner to take her down hill. the clamped knees help a little more downward pressure on the bar helps ...lowering my center of gravity helps but at the end of the day that wobble puts me at the back of the pack ... i've had guys pass me looking back and I hear them say " holy sh*!"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpatterson
    Lately my tuscany wobbles so much above forty the wheel takes on a liquid type apperance. I may try less pressure in the tires, this weekend but at the next race I'm asking the LBS owner to take her down hill. the clamped knees help a little more downward pressure on the bar helps ...lowering my center of gravity helps but at the end of the day that wobble puts me at the back of the pack ... i've had guys pass me looking back and I hear them say " holy sh*!"
    I'd check the spokes; maybe your LBS mechanic?

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=128

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