FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


(See below for more questions.)


What should I do to prevent high-speed wobble and shimmy on my bike?

\"Shimmy\" refers to the tendency of the handlebars to oscillate from side to side while riding. It can range from a light, easy to control swaying when riding no handed at medium speeds (10-15 miles per hour) to a fairly violent wobble on high speed descents, which are among the scariest experiences you can have on a bike.

Most oscillations occur when you take your hands of the bars and especially when you sit back and ride no-handed. Oscillations occur more easily on smooth roads rather than bumpy ones.

To stop the frame from a violent shimmy, push your knees together to steady the top tube and then brake to reduce your speed below the threshold that starts the shimmy.

Below are a list of areas to review to eliminate shimmy:

  • Mechanical issues account for the vast bulk of the cause of shimmying.
  • Check for loose parts - headsets, hubs and spokes are the worst offenders. Also check for an out of true wheel.
  • Check for tire installation: overinflated tires make it easier for high-speed oscillations to start. For most people, this is 100 psi or less for 23C tires, and the inflation limit goes down as the tire size increases. Look for improper tire installation (with an \"s-bend\" in the tread) or tire damage. Either wheel can contribute to high-speed wobble.
  • Suspension seatposts contribute to oscillations of every sort because they themselves oscillate and therefore do not allow you to dampen the oscillations like a rigid seatpost can.
  • Riding style and position is the second biggest contributor:
    • Saddle height: Riding with your saddle too high contributes to high-speed wobble (and aggravates lower back stress).
    • Riding technique: Some riders experience control problems only on high-speed (40+ mph) descents. Review your steering technique. You should be riding in the drops, holding your hands just tight enough to support controlled access to the brakes. It\'s better to steer by shifting your weight than by moving your hands. Gripping the bars too hard and trying to steer with your hands makes it hard to properly control the bike at high speeds.
  • Fork alignment: a fork that is out of alignment contributes to shimmy problems.
  • Too light a frame: Having too light a frame for the application - regardless of material - can contribute to high-speed wobble. That\'s one reason Waterford doesn\'t count grams as closely as many builders - especially if you are carrying a load. It\'s one reason we have an excellent track record on high-speed handling.

Your local Waterford dealer can help you with just about all these problems.

Question List

Choosing Your Waterford

Do you want a racing bike, recreational bike or both?
What kind of maintenance does my Waterford need?
How big a tire do you want to fit on your bike?
How do you go about choosing your Waterford?
What if my seatpost slips during rides?
How versatile do you want your bike?
What kind of handling do you want?
What do I need to do to prevent rust and corrosion?
Why do we measure our seat tubes 'center to top'?
What do you want to carry?
How big a load do you want to carry?
If I'm a 180 pound rider, why does it matter whether my load is 15 pounds or 25 pounds?

Geometry and Fit

How does Waterford perform factory fittings?
What is toe-clip overlap and why do we avoid it?
My Fit Kit recommends a 538mm top tube. Nobody offers stock geometries in these sizes. What's my best fit?
Can't you just build a bike based on Fit Kit® measurements?
Why are your seat angles so steep on small frame sizes?
Why is there toe clip overlap on track geometries?
Why does Waterford recommend 650C or 26" wheels on selected sizes?
Why does Waterford sometimes recommend 650C or 26" wheels?
What if I want to change from a steel fork to a carbon fork or vica versa?

Materials & Construction

Retrofitting S&S Couplers?
What makes Waterford's Tubesets so Special?
Why Steel?
How much do color choices affect durability?
Lugs vs. TIG - Which is best?

Paints and Finish

How do I apply touch-up paint?
Why don't we Chrome Plate all Waterfords?
How do color choices affect durability?
Why not internal cable routing?
Wouldn't clearcoat over bare metal work?
Why not clearcoat only?
What's wrong with a matte finish?
Why can't I just give you a paint code to select custom paint?
Choosing a Finish

Upgrading Your Waterford

What kind of composite fork can I install on my Waterford?

General Information

Where do I find my serial number?
What does my serial number mean?
What is the difference between Gunnar and Waterford
What is the difference between 14-, 22- and 33-Series models?

Assembly & Care

What common dimensions are there for Waterfords - threading, bolts etc.?
My head tube is somewhat out of round. What kind of problem is it?
Which clamp diameter should I use to for my front derailleur
Clamp-on or braze-on front derailleurs.
What kind of care do I have to give my Waterford to prevent rust from forming?
How do I prevent my composite (carbon fiber) seatpost from slipping?
How long a seatpost do I need?
How do I get a good fit when installing downtube shift adapters?
How do I apply touch-up paint?
How do I apply replacement decals?
How do I remove my chainstay protector?
Should I use my Waterford on my Windtrainer?
Why did we go from 27.4mm to 27.2mm seatposts?
Why don't we install dropout adjusters on bikes that have adjuster holes?
I have an older model 1400 or 2400 off-road frame. What kind of front deraileur do I need?
What if I want to install a 1" for on a 1 1/8" head tube frame?
Threading: What is it for eyelets, rack mounts and so on?

Repair & Restoration

Why can't I just have Waterford touch up my frame instead of completely repainting it?
Is it worth it to restore my old Paramount, Raleigh or other classic road bike?
Can Waterford spread my dropouts on my old bike?
What does it take to retrofit my bike with S&S Couplers?
Will Waterford put its decals on a Paramount restoration?
Can I change the geometry on my existing frame?
I have a dent in my top tube, should I be concerned?
I have a chrome Paramount with damage to the chrome. Can you re-chrome it for me?

Buying / Selling a Waterford

How can I sell my Waterford?


Can I order a 1 inch steerer disc brake fork?
How can I get a disc brake fork with the ride of my classic steel rim brake fork


Does the Waterford Warranty Extend to Used or EBay Frames and Forks?
What constitutes normal wear and tear for warranty purposes.


What do I do for a stuck seatpost or bottom bracket?
What should I do to prevent high-speed wobble and shimmy on my bike?
What do I do about brake chatter or shudder?
How do I reduce brake squealing?
How do I prevent my rear wheel from pulling under heavy climbing or sprinting?
What if I experience chain suck on my Off-Road frame.

Log in and Using this Web Site

Does my Waterford Login connect me to the Forum?


What's the fork threading on the 1960's Paramounts
What do the markings mean found on the bottom bracket of Paramounts from the 50's to the 70's?