Any so-called expert can state that this or that head-angle is ideal, and may go on to give some prosaic reasoning, but, unless important specific additional information accompanies the claim, it is incomplete, and thus meaningless.
For me to make any meaningful statements about the steering geometry of the Landseer, I have to include quite a lot more information. But that’s not all. No-one in the world fully understands how bicycle steering works. Few agree, and vast numbers think they know everything about it.
Therefore, before anything else, you need to know where I’m coming from, so to speak; there’s no recognised ‘standard work’ on this subject. I’d have to explain my overall understanding of bicycle steering and how it is all done by shifting your centre-of-gravity, starting at the very basics, to distinguish active steering from re-active steering; hence these drawings of castors.
Once you have my perspective on the matter, you will know the basis of my claims, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. You can then relate that knowledge to the Landseer’s steering geometry, or to that of any other bicycle, for that matter.
My understanding of bicycle steering is wide-ranging, although by no means complete. It includes a number of factors generally ignored by experts, particularly how bicycle steering behaves at very slow speeds and on uneven terrain.
Explaining this will involve a helluva lot of work on my part, spread over many posts and requiring a large number of illustrations and diagrams. Before I embark on this considerable venture, I want to know it’s actually going to be read by enough people to make the effort worthwhile. If fifty or more readers promise to read my treatise on bicycle steering, in the comments area below, I promise to produce it.
Just to whet your appetite, below is one of the sketches I did for Mike Burrows to go in his book on bicycle design.
It illustrates that you can maintain the exact same trail dimension, as well as the positional relationship between the handlebar, saddle and bottom bracket axis, yet have differing frame configurations. Clearly, each of the configurations illustrated would also have quite distinct steering characteristics. Yet there are ‘experts’ who claim the trail dimension alone determines steering characteristics. Who do you listen to, who do you believe?
Or you could just take my word for it.
Click here to go to the beginning of the whole story.