27 August 2009

Low speed stability

I ended up on my wife's bike again after she toppled over on it coming to a stop at a badly placed motorbike obstacle on the cycle path, with N°3 child in the childseat on the way to the beach. After this unfortunate but not too serious accident she asked for a swop to the Yuba and that was it. She finished the 20 Km of the ride with child and beach gear easily.
She rides a hybrid with 700 c wheels which places the centre of gravity high up. That with thin tyres, a child perched up in a child seat over those tall thin wheels makes for a top heavy bike that whips along, but understeers, and is not as stable as a 26 inch bike. It really wants to fall over when loaded anytime you take your rear off the saddle. The frame might be a tad too big for her too, with these big wheels. The Yuba even with a larger child, beach bags, with its smaller wheels and lower centre of gravity makes for a safer ride and a bike that goes round corners... even if slightly slower !
We saw a lot of rabbits and partridges on the way back, but they were too quick to catch on the camera.

We will start looking for a replacement for the hybrid as she uses this bike every day and there are probably better solutions out there.


  1. I've been longing for a road bike with 650c wheels for a while now. I know Terry makes them (http://www.terrybicycles.com/cycling_savvy/valtour) but I'm surprised they aren't more common on smaller bikes. Once I get done with this pregnancy, I'm going to be shopping for a new touring-type bike with small wheels. Let us know what you find!

  2. I spend yesterday morning digging out and then renovating her vintage Peugeot town bike (from our student days)it has 650 c wheels. The wheels are steel, there are 3 gears, and the brakes are not as fantastic as V brakes, but the rust on the cables might have something to do with that. It is still lighter than the modern hybrid bike and might be worth a repaint and the time it takes me to build some modern aluminium wheels, stick some more gears and decent brakes on it. Might be a fun project...