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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past six years I've been riding a mountain bike and prior to that, a few steel bikes. When I decided to buy a road bike again, I did the usual info gathering and brief testing and finally decided on an Orbea Onix. I've now put in about 800 miles and still find the handling twitchy, so much so. I can hardly ride it with one hand on the bar. I've not heard anyone complain about the Onix's handling, which has the same geometery as the Orca and Opal. I had it checked out at the bike store I bought it from and the owner took it for a ride. He said the handling is "quick" but not unlike other Orbeas.

Do I just have to get used to riding a carbon fiber bike by putting in more miles? I'm sitting with a $2,800 bike I'm not enjoying. :(
 

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limit screwed
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If you're not happy with it, and there isn't anything wrong with the bars, stem, fork, headset, wheels, tires, etc...well, then it isn't going to get any better. To change the handling characteristics, you'd need a different fork.

Sorry to hear you're having trouble with it.


One note, I don't know if you were implying this or not, but the fact that it's a carbon bike doesn't have anything to do with the "twitchiness"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Maestro,
No, I wasn't implying that carbon fiber bikes are neccesarily difficult to handle. What I meant to convey is that perhaps after riding a bunch of steel road bikes and an aluminum mountain bike, a light weight bike of this caliber may take time to adjust to.

I've been thinking of trying a new fork with a lesser offset than the Onix's 43mm. Finding a fork with an offset less than 40mm is difficult and I'm not sure 40 mm would make enough difference.
 

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now, i may have this backwards, but decreasing the fork offset will make the bike handle even "quicker." regardless, changing the offset may help a bit. but as i recall, the orbea geometry is set up for quick handling (for racing). the weight should have very little to do with that aspect of the ride. it may just take a bit more time to get comfortable with the responsiveness of the geometry.

on a related note, i was cleaning up the gf's mountain bike and hopped on it to check the shifting. i felt like i could barely turn the thing. felt like i'd run into a tree for sure if given the opportunity. opposite ends of the spectrum my friend. in any event, i hope it works out for you. keep plugging away.
 

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Old Fart,
If you have an 05 frame the bike has a carbon steer tube with a compression plug. If you have an 06 I understand that fork has an aluminum steer tube. In either case the twitchiness may be caused by a loose headset. Loosen the pinch bolts on the side of the stem then tighten down the bolt on the top of the stem to 10 newton meters. Now re-tighten your pinch bolts and that could fix the problem. I've had three Orbeas and had this problem once and only once. If you take off the top cap, you'll notice that there is a small space between the bearing and the cup (of the headtube). When the headset is properly torqued the bearings will not move and fit snuggly, but if the headset has worked itself loose through ride vibration or something the bearings can move within the cups and cause a weird vibration, shake or "twitchy" feel. I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Dude,
Thanks for your insiteful reply. I bought my Onix in Nov '05, so I guess it's a '05 model. I'll check out the headset as you suggest.......I hope that is the problem.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Dude,
I checked out the headset and yes, it was somewhat loose. I tightened it and the handling is MUCH beter. Thanks again for the tip!
 

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old fart,
getting in late on this thread, but given your screen name and the fact that your going from a mountain bike to a road frame, I would venture a guess that your probably not acustomed to your weight being more forward and the bar position. Before investing anymore cash, I would fiddle with the saddle,stem , and bars. If the reach is too long or low, riders stiffen their bodies, thus making the bike even more twitchy. I would say: raise your bars (either add more spacers,if possible, or flip the stem), maybe borrow a shorter stem from the shop you bought the bike. Also, try lowering your saddle a small amount (5mm). If these don't work, you can simply switch back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
F's Barber - you probably had more work than if you'd been Pantani's barber! :)

Thanks for your kind advice. In fact, this passed weekend I did flip the stem around which raised the handlebar and also dropped the saddle a bit - this had also been suggested by the guy at my LBS - and it has made a difference to the handling, as you had written. The saddle is now only about an inch higher than the bars, like bike setups of days gone by. I'm thinking that for leg comfort I will probably need to raise the saddle again up to it's original height and raise the stem even more. I need to mess with it a little more which is a better deal than forking (excuse the pun) out a few hundred $'s on a new carbon fork. By the way, I understand Orbea does make a fork with a 40mm offset - the AC Aero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks once again!

I just want to thank you guys again for your imput. You've saved me the cost of a new carbon fork!

I did a 30 mile ride today with a new Fizik Arione saddle (that replaced the pain-in-the-butt Selle Italia Filante the Onix came with) and was having such a terrific ride I did 10 miles more than I had planned. Lowering the saddle a bit, I think had the biggest impact on improving the stability of the bike - now I can even get a bottle out of the cage. Before, with the perceived twitchiness I couldn't ride without both hands on the bars.

By the way, I know saddles are VERY personal but I found the Arione saddle very comfortable. I may change my story after 75 miles but should that happen I'll let you guys know!

Happy rides!
 

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About Arione saddle...today I did my first ride on that saddle, and it was an 160 km ride. The saddle was perfect and I didn't notice it for a second which is strange because I didn't ride for a whole week because of saddle sores that I got from my old Selle Italia SLR.
It looks like Arione fits my bottom great :)
BTW...I'm not lightweight...190 cm, 100 kg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Ante,
WOW 160 Km using a new saddle.......you've got guts! *smile* I'm pleased it worked out good for you. Also being a heavy rider, I REALLY like the Arione saddle, works well for me also!
 
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