When riding hands free, I am noticing my bike is more oriented towards a particular direction (In my case: left). I tried to check of what my problems might be:

  • I check the handles, if they were of equal lengths on both side
  • I also check, if my saddle was not straight.

I can't find out what is causing them. Please tell me, What are things, steps and techniques needed to balance a bike.

More Info:

  1. The problem started after my last servicing.
  2. I do use multiple bikes, and the orientation is not the same for both of them. So, my personal balance and weight does not affect this case.
  • 4
    Gain weight on one side. Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 4:10
  • @DanielRHicks, I dont know how to do, and I dont think this is my case as well.
    – Starx
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 5:21
  • The simplest causes can be the orientation of the seat and handlebar. They need to be perfectly centered. Beyond that, if a wheel is not properly "dished", that will throw off balance. And, of course, the frame could be bent. And, as Ehryk suggests, if a wheel is simply not mounted right in the dropouts that can upset things (but is usually noticed because the brakes aren't right). (Those are probably the only issues that can affect the bike itself, vs the rider.) Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 11:40

3 Answers 3


Check also that your headset is correctly installed - my bike pulled to one side until I checked the bottom race and saw that it wasn't flush with the head tube.

  • I do not understand this answer. Can someone explain using simpler terms?
    – Starx
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 7:42
  • Have a look at the Park Tool website under the repair heading, headset section - there are pictures there. parktool.com/blog/repair-help. Particularly see the part dealing with the pressing of headset cups. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 9:31

I would suspect your own body's balance first. It's surprising if you stand on one of those Wii balance pads how unstable your balance really is.

Also, this could mean one of two things:

1) When riding straight, the handlebars are oriented left.

2) It takes constant right-leaning to ride straight

For 1 I would check your handlebar alignment, loosen the stem (two bolts on top for a threadless design, one bolt on top under a cover for threaded) and look with one eye down from above, your stem should align perfectly with your wheel.

For 2, I would check your tires to see that they're worn down evenly, and loosen and retighten the skewers to make sure the axle is bottomed out in the stays and so the wheel is centered between the fork and frame tubes. Then I would check to make sure my brakes were not contacting the rims at all, front and rear.

I would expect a given bicycle to lean slightly right due to the added driveline weight.

  • 1
    Also, I'd try riding another bike to see if it's not a shoulder/spine alignment issue, or just your own balance you need to adjust for.
    – Ehryk
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 4:38
  • Your balance is probably the issue. Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 16:38

Check your wheels have been centred when fitted into the frame; when tightening wheel nuts or quick release you will find the wheel can be moved from side-to-side before the final tension is achieved.

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