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Help - Neutral Steering

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Hi guys,


I attended the school, level 1-3, several years ago. I tried to ask the question during the class but I was unable to phrase the question well enough to get an answer. Allow me to try asking it here.


When setting up suspension, I tend to "slightly" adjust front or rear preload within the safe range in order to get the best balance. As a result, I am able to adjust the bike to a perfectly neutral steering, slightly over-steering, or slightly under-steering.


When I said "slightly," I mean something like 10-15 degrees on the front preload. Yes, 10-15 degrees, not 10-15mm. WIth only 10-15 degrees changes from dead neutral, the change in turning characteristics is noticeable (especially in very tight, slow turns.)


My trouble is, I found dead neutral gives me the least confidence. The bike steers the most easily and I don't have to wait for front or real wheel before cracking the throttle open. However, if I enter a turn too quickly I don't have a good way to adjust its line.


By instinct, slightly over-steering seems to be safer. If I enter too fast, I can accelerate harder to spin the rear wheel out, or just wait a bit for the front to crush into the corner.


Nevertheless, slightly under-steering actually gives me the most confidence. Though I have to constantly put some force on the bars, I feel it's easier to put body weight on the rear wheel. It's also much easier to lean/stand the bike with counter-steering, giving me more freedom during corner entry.


Is it OK to adjust the bike so it's slightly under-steering? Or it will lead to disaster?


BTW, I haven't been on the track for quite some time. I only do fast canyon riding lately so I couldn't test the different steering tendency on the track.

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I setup just like you due to using a much taller front wheel + fatter rear (+13/+7MM over stock height)


works great for me ~



Tried uniform front rear race tires ( DOT road legal ones) ,


same situation, neutral / slight over steer = don't have a good way to adjust my line.

its on rails !!! nasty for open road conditions when you need to quick flick to avoid stuff.

Definitly not confidence inspiring when you have no/less buffer against surprises~



I do canyon riding most of the time too.


a zero elevation understeer setup is actually very good for downhills for me due to the fact that less weight transfer to the already light rear wheel when going downhill.




havnt been to a track too so cant answer your last part~

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  • 3 weeks later...

I later found out that fuel weight and tire pressure will all affect the "neutral" handling, so I guess there is no "neutral handling" bike at all....


I also found from a book: "Most riders prefer slight understeering setup."


So I decided to install preload adjusters so I can quickly change setting for different road conditions. :-P

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