How I solved my shimmy

A week ago, I’ve noticed that when I ride without hands, the headstem of the bicycle vibrated violently (like a shake). It was a very strange sight, because I’ve had this bike for many years and I’ve never experienced anything like that. Anyway, I’ve tried my luck on bikeforums.net in which I’m a member, asking for suggestions or clues that might get me in the right direction. Unfortunately, two members of the forum (the only ones who replied) attacked me right away ridiculing me for not providing enough info or for having problems with a “non-maintenanced” bike.

I’ve tried again giving more information, but the two gentlemen persisted stating the obvious : “something is wrong, get it checked” or “go to a bicycle mechanic” or “you should maintain your bikes” etc.

So, after posts with useless accusations and generalized suggestions I gave up and tried to find out myself what caused the problem. It only took some reverse-engineering type of thinking to solve it right away.

Five or so years back, I replaced the original handlebars with new shorter ones. BUT, I added metal extentions (quite heavy) to add extra space for my hands in the case of bike touring. So, although the frame lost some of the original alignment, the heavy extensions added stability, thus I was wobbly-free and didn’t notice any difference in riding.

The previous week, when I removed the extentions, the bike was out of the original alignment once again, but without the stability they provided this time. So I had a wobbly stem.

Even when I provided the breakthrough for future reference, the member of the forum that gave me hard time in the beginning still wasn’t convinced and kept saying that something else was the problem!

Anyway, what’s the moral of the story? Try to find the solution by yourself before you post your problem in bicycle forums.

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