Lets talk about Head Tube angles

michael whiteman

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I'm a little reluctant to bring this up because unless you're a custom frame builder you probably haven't given this much thought. The free, used MTB frame I started with has a head tube angle that makes turning at slow speed effortless and I find myself really having to pay attention to keep from turning to sharp and laying it over. It would be nice to make a "U" turn without so much effort. I know by raking this angle out, moving the front wheel farther away, the bike will not turn as sharply but will feel more stable. I watched a few videos about this on u-tube and have become even more confused when pondering the different angles of mountain bikes compared to road bikes. I have a real bastardized steering tube on my frame now and I'm considering cutting it off and welding on a better one. So, I'm wondering ........have any of you changed the head tube angle on your bike? and if so how much?
 

DieselTech

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This is from Sheldon Brown, just a short clip of his on headtube angles.
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michael whiteman

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Thanks DieselTech. I have Sheldon's memoirs but never thought to read them. His explanation is more clear than the u-tube guys and is exactly what I thought it should be. So..................has anyone here reduced their head tube angle for a more stable ride ??? I can't believe I'm the only one who has pondered this.
 

DieselTech

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Thanks DieselTech. I have Sheldon's memoirs but never thought to read them. His explanation is more clear than the u-tube guys and is exactly what I thought it should be. So..................has anyone here reduced their head tube angle for a more stable ride ??? I can't believe I'm the only one who has pondered this.
I'm building this bike, I raked the head tube a full 1½" on this old firestone pilot. Its alot nicer to ride, but maybe at the expense of guick handling turns. I can get you head tube angles for you at some point 2mrow.
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michael whiteman

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OK buddy! That's what I'm talkin' about. Don't worry about sending me a measurement because I can copy this angle straight off your picture. Are you happy with this angle? or would it be different if you could do it again? It looks like you just bent the bottom bar and did not reweld it, correct? This is what I'm working with.
 

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DieselTech

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OK buddy! That's what I'm talkin' about. Don't worry about sending me a measurement because I can copy this angle straight off your picture. Are you happy with this angle? or would it be different if you could do it again? It looks like you just bent the bottom bar and did not reweld it, correct? This is what I'm working with.
Yep I left bottom tube alone, I just cold bent it. If you added a little heat to very bottom of bottom tube, it probably would not create a dent in the tubing when raking head tube back.
 

Mossy

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Yep I left bottom tube alone, I just cold bent it. If you added a little heat to very bottom of bottom tube, it probably would not create a dent in the tubing when raking head tube back.
My bottom tube broke and I replaced it with some exaust pipe.. 16ga... And gave it about an inch longer... Over about 6 years it got about 2lbs of wire in it and got strong and heavy... Be easier and cheaper to just build a frame at that point out of roll cage tubing so I'm going that way it looks for the future building... I brake frames with no motor so it's depends on how hard you ride and heavy the power etc...
 

Zak

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Butting in with a question to quench my thirst for knowledge.

The head tube angle:. The more horizontal, the less snappy the turning?
 

Mossy

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Butting in with a question to quench my thirst for knowledge.

The head tube angle:. The more horizontal, the less snappy the turning?
Castor is the term... A strech fork chopper would be difficult to turn a BMX freestyle would turn sharp... It's a preference... It also makes your wheel base longer and shortening the ride height... So do the strech in small increments then try it...
 

Sidewinder Jerry

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The Schwinn Sidewinder with 26" tires is only ment for someone 5'10" tall at the most; I'm 6'2" tall. So since the bike uses a threadless head tube I got extensions, an adjustable angle connection clamp and a deeper drop handlebar. This raised the height of the handlebars by 7", which allowed me to ride in an upright position. Very good for me since I have lower back problems.
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