Not happy with the steering on my Carrera Subway 2

I haven't been happy with the steering on the Subway 2 since I bought one at the start of lockdown. Coming back to cycling (and bike maintenance!) from too many years ago, I thought that there was play in the front hub. Halfords have checked it out and said its fine but there is definite flex in the wheel/tyre in the range of 7-8mm each way with my fingers and probably more with my 95KGs loading the wheel on corners.

The over sensitive steering is more noticeable going slowly and perhaps I am over thinking it but I have not experienced anything like this on a bike before and put it down to lightness compared with my old mountain bike or the Boris bikes I jump on from time-time.

I also am very disappointed with the grip of the tyres and have had a couple of moments on bends where it has felt like front wheel slip! Not confidence inspiring and actually came-off at the weekend.

A few days later, as the scabs are healing and the bruises starting to be less painful, the bike was gone in my mind but I didn't realise that new bikes are on back order and one that caught my eye on here is pre-ordering for May 2021!

That means I either give up cycling again, get my confidence back with this bike (considering at least a change of tyres) or recommission my old GT bike!
In any event, I would appreciated peoples views on the steering of this bike - it is the XL version which probably has different dimensions to some.

For the tyres, the rim to tyre size ratio seems wrong (approx double tyre width to rim) but I can't fathom out what all the numbers mean...yet!

Thanks for reading and comments appreciated!
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
Was it a new bike? There should be no sideways rock in hub bearings. This isn't the same as flexing, but a definite clunk from side to side. Is that what you have?

A loose headset can be felt by putting a finger over the fork crown/lower race and rocking the bike forwards and backwards with the front brake locked. What type of brakes does it have? Some brakes also have a lot of play in them and you have to ignore that when looking for a loose headset.

Pictures would help a lot.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I’d pay to have a proper LBS give it the once over even if it costs a few quid.
Tyres can be changed easily enough if you don’t like the stock ones (on a cheaper bike like the Subway, the tyres will likely also be cheap, heavy and of a hard compound). The Halfords site doesn’t even specify what the tyres are :scratch:

If the tyres are knobbly and you ride on roads or maintained paths, swap to something slicker like a Schwalbe landcruiser
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Sorry, having this kind of problem and causing you to fall off is enough to put you off cycling.
Halfords level of expertise is very variable and well known on here. This requires a ’hands on’ from an experienced bike mechanic who will be able to diagnose the problem in seconds. Sounds like something to do with wheel bearings. If you have a local bike shop just run it in and ask them to cast an eye even though they might not be able to fix it right now. If that is the problem and you want a quick fix buy a new wheel from somewhere like Halfords or Decathlon who have them on the shelf. You’ll just need a few tools.

BTW :welcome: to the forum
 
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Thanks for the replies everyone. the Tyres are Kenda and supposed to be puncture proof. I proved that wrong in the 1st week
When changing the inner tube (puncture on a seam), I did think that there was a small amount of play in the front hub but Halfords main mechanic told me it was fine. This was After they had it for a couple of days fixing leaking hydraulic breaks and making the gears change properly.

i have deciphered the tyre sizes now and it has 19mm rims and 48mm tyres, which seems a high ratio. i would imagine that this size will be Sensitive to tyre pressures and will check those and try a few different ones this evening.

as suggested, I have checked for play in the handlebar stem and there is a very small amount of movement, plus visible wheel and tyres flex with 95kgs, I am minded that this could be noticeable but has to be normal stuff.

A local bike shop is having a look tomorrow to see if they can spot anything and have a little ride. Air is also going into the tyres of my wife’s and kids bike and I am going to try the Steering on those to see if my mind is playing tricks on me...

update to follow. Thanks everyone.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Kenda are a budget brand and not the best tyres. You might like to swap them out for something a bit more puncture proof, Schwalbe Marathons are a good bet and get recommend many times on here. When picking a tyre size the smaller widths will run faster but with less cushion comfort, a good compromise might be around 35c. You can alter the pressures to find what suits. A good track pump is worthwhile buy.
 
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rogerzilla

Legendary Member
With MTB-style tyres the tyre to rim ratio can be much wider than for a road bike because of the lower pressures. Back in the day, the first 26" MTB racing rims were cut and re-rolled road rims! It was that or use massive steel 26" rims from Schwinn clunkers.
 
Thanks Cycleops. If I change the tyres, I was looking at the Schwalbe Marathons as they came up in a few reviews when researching what all the numbers mean. Interestingly, Schwalbe don't recommend anything close to 35mm let along 48mm on a 19mm rim! https://www.schwalbe.com/en/reifenmasse

I had a good check-out of my old bike tonight and the steering is fine, so I haven't suddenly become a wobbly bloke on a bike... I was surprised how comfy the 32 or 33 year old saddle was compared with the current one as well.

Checking out the new bike and sing a tyre pressure gauge, I was expecting to need to let the tyres down as I remember setting them to 60psi a few weeks ago. Big surprise to find them both in the mid-30s. Putting them up to 50 and the bike seems a lot better at steering, much to the amusement of my neighbours who have watched me doing imaginary slalom up and down the road a few times!

I am still going to get it checked out though.

Also, I appear to have done something to the rear gear change mechanism. It doesn't want to onto the largest ring any more and steps over the gear, so I assume its been bent towards the wheel as the bike when down on that side and the chain came off when I fell off at the weekend.
 
work is getting in the way of plan to get the bike checked out today but I have checked the tyre pressures and I definitely have a puncture on the rear (2nd one!) so have ordered some new tyres from a company called SJS. These ERTRO codes are a bit confusing to a newbie but they helped me over the phone and fulfilled the order via the web.
Roll-on Monday!
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
Interestingly, Schwalbe don't recommend anything close to 35mm let along 48mm on a 19mm rim! https://www.schwalbe.com/en/reifenmasse
I'm sure SJS sorted you with sensible width tyres, for your rim. The Schwalbe matrix seems designed to show the 'optimum' rim for each width of tyre (rather than vice versa). A 35mm tyre would be sweet on a 19mm inner width rim. And a 48mm tyre would be fine too (reason explained by Roger above). And the Schwalbe matrix ETRTO colour shows tyres 22mm (I wouldn't) to 52mm wide would be OK on 19mm rims. Sheldon Brown's rule of thumb was tyres are best chosen to have a width 1.4 to 2.0 times the inner rim width.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I keep seeing the term puncture 'proof' above and it simply shouldn't be used (barring solid tyres) Tyres rightly claim puncture ''resistance' which is of course quite right but people often take that to mean 'proof' which is an entirely wrong thing to think.
Even the Marathons, a well regarded, heavy duty tyre, do puncture, I've had two on mine in less than a year.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
I know saddles are a personal thing but i was the same with my new vanquish, just changed mine for charge spoon and its so much better as i found the memory foam job gave me a saddle sore.
Cant comment on the tyres as i have been using the stock kendra on my vanquish and they seem ok after a few weeks with no issues.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
I keep seeing the term puncture 'proof' above and it simply shouldn't be used (barring solid tyres) Tyres rightly claim puncture ''resistance' which is of course quite right but people often take that to mean 'proof' which is an entirely wrong thing to think.
Even the Marathons, a well regarded, heavy duty tyre, do puncture, I've had two on mine in less than a year.
indeed my summer bike runs lightweight tyres but i hardly ever get a flat, on my commuter i reckon on 5-6 a year but so far i have been lucky and i think i have had 1 .
 

BoldonLad

Veteran
Location
South Tyneside
Thanks Cycleops. If I change the tyres, I was looking at the Schwalbe Marathons as they came up in a few reviews when researching what all the numbers mean. Interestingly, Schwalbe don't recommend anything close to 35mm let along 48mm on a 19mm rim! https://www.schwalbe.com/en/reifenmasse

I had a good check-out of my old bike tonight and the steering is fine, so I haven't suddenly become a wobbly bloke on a bike... I was surprised how comfy the 32 or 33 year old saddle was compared with the current one as well.

Checking out the new bike and sing a tyre pressure gauge, I was expecting to need to let the tyres down as I remember setting them to 60psi a few weeks ago. Big surprise to find them both in the mid-30s. Putting them up to 50 and the bike seems a lot better at steering, much to the amusement of my neighbours who have watched me doing imaginary slalom up and down the road a few times!

I am still going to get it checked out though.

Also, I appear to have done something to the rear gear change mechanism. It doesn't want to onto the largest ring any more and steps over the gear, so I assume its been bent towards the wheel as the bike when down on that side and the chain came off when I fell off at the weekend.
I would not classify myself as an expert, but, for tubed tyres, on what is essentially a hybrid type bicycle, I would say those tyre pressures are low (60), and very low (35).

I run my Giant Escape 1 with Marathon Tyres at 70psi, anything below 60psi makes the steering "vague" IMHO.

I am approximately 80kg (12st 8lb, in old money).
 
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