Re: [CR]Riding no-handed

(Example: Events)

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Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 13:02:50 -0800
To: John Betmanis <>, "Classic Rendezvous" <>
From: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Riding no-handed

At 11:12 AM -0500 2/2/08, John Betmanis wrote:
>At 08:18 AM 02/02/2008 -0500, Barb & Dan Artley wrote:
>>Peter Weigle once told me that needle bearing headsets (which I love)
>>sometimes compromise that ability. Once changed over to a ball bearing
>>headset, the perfect no hands tracking came back.
>Could that be because these needle bearing headsets have more friction than
>ball bearing ones and act like they're "tight"? I just had a good look at a
>Stronglight A9 headset I have and the needles look cylindtical, not conical
>like the rollers in a true taper roller bearing. With a taper roller
>bearing the surfaces of the cups and cones and the axes of the rollers all
>converge at a single point. The surfaces of these needle roller headsets
>are all parallel and the needles only roll at one point on their surface
>and skid on the rest. I bet it's this extra friction that delays the front
>wheel from immediately steering in the direction the bike wants to tip.

The friction in a Stronglight headset is very small. I have ridden many bikes with them, and no problems riding no-hands. I have ridden similar frames with Stronglight and standard BB headsets, and could not detect a difference in no-hands riding.

Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly
140 Lakeside Ave #C
Seattle WA 98122