Severe pull to the right

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dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I haven't done anything more with the Columbia with the pull but I trash picked a junk Huffy balloon tire bike the other day. Its a steel frame Walmart bike with similar geometry that's been bent.
The bike is hit in the middle, bent about 2" at the seat tube, so much so that the rear tire was locked against the left chainstay. I re-centered the wheel as best I could, and tried to ride the bike. My intent was to see what affects 'pull' or handling in which way.
This bike is bent inches, not degrees and it rides perfectly straight, The rear wheel is leaning hard to the left in the bent frame, the seat post is bowed in the middle and the head tube is tilted 1/2" versus the seat post yet it don't pull. Both wheels are perfectly true somehow. I intentionally bent the head tube the opposite way putting it almost an inch out of alignment with the seat tube or bb, and still no pull. Doing that made it hard to turn left but it didn't pull or self steer. The rear of the frame is so bent that the rear wheel is all the way back in the right dropout, and all the way forward in the left to get the tires to clear the frame. The seat tube is bowed in the middle so bad the seat is tilted to the right.

I realize that none of this is scientific but the bike was junkyard bound either way so I figured maybe I'd learn something, but no matter how I bent the thing, I couldn't give it a pull like the Columbia has. The frame is bent so bad that the rear tire is outside the fender at the top and almost rubbing the right seat stay.

1388536

1388539

This isn't a classic or anything worth saving but it boggles my mind why a bike like the Columbia which looks and measures straight as an arrow pulls so hard to once side yet this pos that's nearly folded in the middle and leaning to one side rides in a dead straight line.
 

all riders

Finally riding a big boys bike
Have you checked to make sure that your right ass cheek has not somehow become significantly larger than the left?
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I think its the opposite, when I ride most bikes I tend to have to sit a bit off to the right to balance. I can always see the right side of the bike but not the left. I had always just chocked that up to it being the effect of the road crown but that would have the opposite affect.

The Huffy was just an experiment since it was here and already smashed, a neighbor backed into it in her garage with the family van.
I just wanted to see how far out a bike had to be to pull, and what I found really surprised me. I could not make that Huffy pull left or right, which makes the situation with the old Columbia evens stranger because that frame, while not dead perfect, isn't anything like the junk Huffy.

I stripped down the Huffy and saved the wheels, tires, bb and hs parts and the rest went in the scrap pile with about 15 others behind the garage for now.

I suppose its possible for someone to weigh more on one side than the other, never really gave that much thought but I don't think it would or could cause a major pull to one side like that bike has.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Just curious have you tried a different front wheel to see what happens? V/r Shawn
 

BFGforme

riding a'41 BF Goodrich deluxe autocycle deluxe
Are your handle bars straight? Maybe bent or not in fork straight?
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sounds like you got everything in control here dirt, however, I keep noticing the an error U missing, in most every post.

U got two front forks and two handle bars! That'll pulls ya off balance fer sure. :D
 
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dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
One of the first things I tried at the suggestion of a former shop owner is to turn the front wheel around, but that made no difference, then I swapped out both wheels with my '49 and nothing changed, and these wheels on the other bike work fine.

It can't be the position of the bars or stem, that would only make the bars sit off center, it wouldn't make the bike physically pull to the right. It feels like there's a 100lb spring pulling on one side of the handlebars once the bike starts rolling.

I tried something today, I got a lady friend to ride the bike with the pull, and I followed on another bike. What I noticed from behind is that the bike is leaning to the left and she's leaning to the right to maintain balance, which is the feeling I got while riding it. But both wheels are lined up the same, both wheels are leaning the same amount. Its not a lot, but enough to be noticeable.
I didn't put much weight on that because I've noticed that with a few other bikes I've got here and they handle just fine.
With her on that bike, she is having to fight the pull some but apparently not anything like when I ride it. She said its 'uncomfortable' and certainly noticeable but not unrideable. She normally rides an old Ross ladies frame 10 speed that she bought new in the 70's.
With me on the Columbia the pull is severe. It pulls hard enough that I have to almost strain to keep the bike going straight and the faster it goes, the more it pulls. If I'm rolling along at 10 mph or so, and attempt a sweeping U turn on a two lane road, its actually hard to come out of the turn and straighten back up, the further to the right you turn, and the more you lean right, the more it pulls.
In an effort to try and understand what's going on, I tied a string from each bar end to the seat post to hold the bars straight. I then put the front wheel on a bearing plate from a car alignment rack. I then started to ad weight to see if anything changed. I added 400lbs with myself and two 50lb bags of fertilizer. I cut the twine holding the bars and the stay centers as long as I stay level.

I also tried a harder modern tire up front, I stuck a 26x1 3/8" wheel and tire on the front and that redused the pull by about 90% but not completely.
Leaning while riding or turning the bike to the right makes it pull worse, leaning the bike to the left helps fight the pull but its extremely hard to make the bike lean and turn left that way. The bike doesn't seem to want to lean left, at least not any further left than it appears to be riding when seen from behind.
Until I ran into this bike I didn't know a 2 wheel bike could pull.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
After reading all things you tried, I really think the fork is still tweaked.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
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When I first found the bike, the fork blades were off about 1/4" to the right as pictured in here, it took only a pull by hand to fix. The way the bike pulls wasn't affected at all.
This fork is out of a newer bike, but its one that I also tried in the bike but nothing changed. Other than a few differences in the dropout area this fork is pretty much identical to the one on the bike now. It measures up the same as this one does.
This guage measures how true the fork is to the crown and steer tube.


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Park FFG-2 Dropout alignment bars installed.

Other than setting it up with these tools, I don't know what else I can do to verify the fork is straight and aligned properly.
I have just about every frame tool and gauge Park ever made here. Back in the day when I used to work at a bike shop the owner realized I was always fixing bent forks and frames on bikes I found and since he never used the tools anymore for insurance reasons, he told me to take them home and keep them out of the shop. He didn't want customers to see me bending and straightening bikes. My tool set is pretty much the whole Park catalog up to about 1980 or so with a few additions and replacements over the years.
This is why all this really perplexes me, I've not found a bike that I can't get right yet, I've straightened some pretty bad messes in the past and they lived to see another day, but this thing measures out fine yet it pulls so hard you would think there's a garage door spring on one side of the handlebars.

Only issue I can find with the frame is that the left dropout is .028" higher then the right one in the rear.
I had at first thought the rear triangle could be bent upward, but the chainstays are dead level all the way back. Only the dropout and seat stay on the left side rise up a bit. The bike has no obvious signs of crash damage, even the original fenders are dent free.
I did file a bit off the top of the right dropout and a bit off the bottom of the left dropout to improve the situation but its still not quite perfect but when I compare it to other bikes that ride just fine, that minor adjustment shouldn't be a big deal. Where its most noticeable is where the tire passes the chain stays. The right side is 3/16" closer than the left on a properly dished wheel.
As I saw messing with the junk Huffy, that shouldn't affect or cause a pull.
We're not talking inches either.
The bike basically wants to go in circles. If I mis-align a rear wheel full right or left on any bike, I don't get a pull, the bike may dog track but it don't pull.
Someone told me that I should tweak the forks in the direction of the pull, but that didn't help I tried going the other way, and again no change. On the junk Huffy, I bent it so out of shape that the two wheels were leaning in opposite directions and it didn't pull. I pushed the fork blades left, then right, no change, I even bent one blade back and still no pull.
That was all an attempt to understan what can cause a pull, and so far I can't create one on another bike. That makes it even harder to understand.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I get the same idea GT gets, except thinking steerer/ fork tube is bent and having changed the fork then,, sounds like your head post and/in frame is tilting, twisted frame. Either welded wrong or that thing got twisted in the whole forward half of frame. So, say, as example not actual figures but, if there's as mush as 1/8Th " tilt in frame,, at the front tube/head post, at the distance to bottom of tire may be, 1/4" off center, maybe more? . or frame is only 1/6" twist, tire touch may be 1/8" or more, off center. It also possible that your weight vs, lady, is putting more pressure into the twist,, frame is flexing and making top of head post too tire touch on ground distance, tilt more, increases the angle off center in tire touch to say, 5/16-3/8" and pulling U harder than it would the lady,.
 
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