Step through frame - some wobble normal?

AvalancheRun

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Just got back from a multi-city trip where I rode public bikes in each location. First impressions getting back in the saddle of my ‘23 C380: did it always wobble like this?

I typically ride with about 25 lbs of stuff in my trunk bag, and am 170 lbs myself. Size L step through frame. My first trip back was a grocery run. Loaded about 20 lbs and 27 lbs in the left and right sides respectively (hard to exactly balance weight in the moment). The bike wobbled like mad when taking a hand off the grip.

Today I’m riding as normal and can’t help but feel the wobble coming through, but obviously much less. Other impressions getting back in the saddle are very positive. Oh, and I’ve been riding my acoustic bikes (step over frames) exclusively these last few days.

So normal for a step through or is there something that I should tighten or check?
 
Check both of your axles. Lift the wheel and try to move it side to side. Tighten both axle quick releases as needed. You might also want to check the axles for wiggle in the wheel. Lift the front wheel and try to wobble the handle bars and see if it moves in the head tube. Also make sure your handle bar is tight in the stem and on the steering tube.
 
Check if the rear wheel is true, too.

I do not think there is any issue with the frame type. My Vado is ST and no issues. Perhaps your Gazelle is issue free too but the feeling of the lack of stability might just come from your e-bike being overloaded. Just try to ride the e-bike without the cargo.
 
Lock the front wheel brake and try to rock the bike fore and aft to detect if there is any play in the headset bearing. A loose bearing there can cause a wobble. There should be no slack looseness of the fork in the headset at all. It should be snug enough but not so snug as to cause any feeling of friction while turning the handlebar left and right with the wheel off the ground.
Old Harley cycles would wobble if the headset bearing wasn't quite snug.
 
The bike wobbled like mad when taking a hand off the grip.
So normal for a step through or is there something that I should tighten or check?
I have had step throughs since 2006. The current yuba bodaboda pictured in the avatar does not do it. The previous $200 Pacific Quantum did not do it: Kiddie quality bike. I carry up to 60 lb groceries in panniers or previously in steel baskets. My weight decreased from about 213 in 2008 to 155 lb now.
 

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All good advice above and should be the first things to check. I would also suggest you look for small stress cracks in the frame around the bottom bracket. This area is under a lot of strain with a step thru.

It's been my experience with all the step thru bikes I've ridden, that a small amount of frame wobble is to be expected. Depending on the bike, It can vary from barely noticeable to downright annoying. Low or mid step frames are much less susceptible to wobble than true low step thru models. Carrying heavy loads can also amplify the effect. I have no personal experience with the Gazelle though so I can't say if what you are experiencing is normal or not.
 
Thanks everyone for the fantastic suggestions. I couldn’t find any irregularities on my own, so taking it into one of the local shops.
 
Thanks everyone for the fantastic suggestions. I couldn’t find any irregularities on my own, so taking it into one of the local shops.
as the tv detective used to say"one other thing, you are not expecting it to wobble are you?" sometimes our prejudices can amplify a small defect,eg; I have a friend who is sure front drive bikes will be a traction issue most of the time.
 
as the tv detective used to say"one other thing, you are not expecting it to wobble are you?" sometimes our prejudices can amplify a small defect,eg; I have a friend who is sure front drive bikes will be a traction issue most of the time.
Yep, kinda a “once you notice it, you notice it” situation. Though the other day it was pretty intense. Must have overloaded the cargo.

LBS said step through frames often have subtle wobble. No problems found.
 
If you have a front basket, load some weight up front and give it a test ride,
you may have slightly upset the CG = center of gravity, by loading all the weight on the back along with you body weight etc.
 
Just got back from a multi-city trip where I rode public bikes in each location. First impressions getting back in the saddle of my ‘23 C380: did it always wobble like this?

I typically ride with about 25 lbs of stuff in my trunk bag, and am 170 lbs myself. Size L step through frame. My first trip back was a grocery run. Loaded about 20 lbs and 27 lbs in the left and right sides respectively (hard to exactly balance weight in the moment). The bike wobbled like mad when taking a hand off the grip.

Today I’m riding as normal and can’t help but feel the wobble coming through, but obviously much less. Other impressions getting back in the saddle are very positive. Oh, and I’ve been riding my acoustic bikes (step over frames) exclusively these last few days.

So normal for a step through or is there something that I should tighten or check?
I ride a step-thru (Ariel Rider C class), and often carry a load of groceries. I read a lot of comments on the need to balance loads left and right, but I do not find this true at all. I often load everything in the left basket (because that's the side from which I approach the bike), and notice no problems whatsoever. For me, at least, my instinctive balance system (in my head) automatically adjusts my riding position so that everything about the ride feels natural and correct. And I don't notice any frame wobble. Of course, I might change my mind if I were carrying 90 lb. sacks of cement.
 
it also depends so much on the bike and the geometry. Most of my bikes you can feel the load I usually only have one Side loaded and you can tell. it does not make me wobble but you can feel it. being tired makes me wobble sometimes.
 
I ride a step-thru (Ariel Rider C class), and often carry a load of groceries. I read a lot of comments on the need to balance loads left and right, but I do not find this true at all. I often load everything in the left basket (because that's the side from which I approach the bike), and notice no problems whatsoever. For me, at least, my instinctive balance system (in my head) automatically adjusts my riding position so that everything about the ride feels natural and correct. And I don't notice any frame wobble. Of course, I might change my mind if I were carrying 90 lb. sacks of cement.
Forgot to add: I also am able to sleep with a pea under the mattress.
 
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