On Camber Sensitivity

When I’ve got my KH26, I changed the stock Crux tire into a Maxxis Hookworm 26x2.5 tire for road riding. Some nice folks warned me about the camber sensitivity of that tire but as I was much a beginner who places most weight on the legs rather than on the hip, I really did not understand what it actually means.

But recently as I got my skills improved, learnt to relief my legs and put my weight on the seat, I find myself frequently leaning towards my left hand side. My left sit bone is almost going off the seat. At first I thought it might be the way I pedal, but as I got my Oracle 36 recently, I no more have this kind of offset issue. However it comes back as soon as I mount my KH26. As I most of the time ride on the right of the road which naturally cambers, I suspect camber sensitivity is the culprit. Any ideas?

I’ll say a little bit of everything.
First check the seat to make sure it’s straight.

The tire choice along with different pressures (with the same tire) will have an effect.

Do you ride with one hand on your bar or two… if one, then try riding with the other hand and see what that does.

A cheat to handle road camber is to apply a twist to the handlebars.
If the road slopes to the right then rotate (apply the force) the handlebar in a clockwise rotation.
One handed you will grab at the very front to have even rotating force.
Two handed you will pull up with the right side and push with the left.

Try it.



Yes, I believe it’s straight.

I keep the tire at 60psi as rated. Should I try to lower the pressure?

I can ride with two (I have two hands on the bar on my 36er most of the time), but due to the insecure feeling on the KH26, I ride with my left hand on the bar. My right hand is the dominating one, I need to extend it to help balancing, which sometimes makes it very stressful. I’ll see if the twist cheat works for me.

It will be worse on lower pressure. The Hookworm is just a terrible tyre on the road because it has no give in the sidewalls.

Get a Maxxis DTH. There are models at 2.15 and 2.3 with wire or foldable bead.

Half the weight of Hookworm, lower rolling resistance, superior ride and grip.

Thanks buddy, I should have listened to you. Based on my descriptions in the main post, do you think it was due to high camber sensitivity?

I’ve had no camber issues with the hookworm, I have it on a nimbus muni and have run it at 50-60 psi with me at 97kg. I also find it rolls lovely so it’s strange how different we find it.

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The camber effect is affected by the surface being ridden on as well as the sideways slope of the surface. The more the friction, as on a paved dry surface is worse for camber and a surface like wet pavement, gravel or dirt has little camber affect.

Hi Jim T

I am aware of what camber is but I found no issues with the hookworm over other tyres which was why I suggested it as a good option.

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That’s not a problem, thanks for your suggestion all the same. I guess it’s just everyone’s mileage varies.

Anyways since I’ve got the Oracle 36 for the road, I’m thinking of changing the tire on the KH26 back to the Crux and make it a dedicated muni.

More tire pressure, less tire pressure, square tire crosssection, round tire crossection, stronger sidewalls, weaker sidewalls. I’ve seen everyone of these tire characteristics mentioned as both the cause and the solution to camber sensitivity at some point or another, which leaves me with: “We don’t know much about camber sensitivity” as the only conclusion I’m confident with making.

While some tires may require it more than others, I think it’s partially just a skill that can be learned. Unless the road is VERY crowned and VERY grippy, the forces “steering” your tire shouldn’t be all that big in the grand scheme and you can learn to keep it straight with not too much energy expended. Yes, it will feel like you are going around a very slight corner the whole time, but not too extreme.


Totally agree.
I can’t help but think there is some nonsense spoken on here about this.

Prepares to get shot down for saying that…


Jim Didn’t you do a short video on camber sensitivity several years ago? If so could you repost it?

Well said! I’m complaining only because, 1) exactly like you said, it’s like driving a car which auto-steers a little bit, which surly can be corrected by counter-steering but is simply too annoying and we always prefer to get it fixed; and 2) as I’m riding longer and longer in a single trip, correcting it is putting much stress on my legs that my knees start to ache.

Yes. Here.


Oh what a great video! I find myself riding exactly the way you did on the low-pressure NightRider. I have to twist my body and have one hand extended to keep the balance.

You forgot wider rims! Or wait… narrow rims might help, too.
Seriously: With a given tyre width, the width of the rim has an influence on the cross section (fair enough: of which we already don’t know which is better).

Great video And nice to watch again. As with all of your posts incredibly helpful. Just a quick question, did you ride the night rider in-between the 35 psi and the 65 psi if so is there a point that you find a happy medium between squirlyness and camber? I have never liked riding at high pressure.

I normally ride at about 60 psi. On my 36er with a foss tube that leaks off a little over time I start notice it about 50.
Like most things there are advantaged and disadvantaged to changes in tire pressure. The higher pressure has less rolling resistance and less camber effect but ride rougher on rough surfaces. If I’m riding on gravel sometimes I’ll reduce the pressure to about 50. I never intentionally run as low as 35 to 45.

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I have a 29*2.4 tire which supposedly needs 35-65psi.
I normally inflate it to about 35psi and it seems OK, especially on gravel.

Recently I got a Nimbus Shadow handle and have been getting used to it, on dirt.
Then after a few days lapse, I rode on a familiar paved cycle track which follows a river, and which has a fair amount of camber - weirdly I found it annoyingly difficult.
Later I noticed the pressure was less than 20psi (must have a slow leak).

Aha! a “blind” test of camber sensitivity - pumped it to 45psi and no problem at all!

I have noticed this many times, so I am amazed that apparently some have experienced the opposite - high pressure causing camber issues, presumably fixed by lowering the pressure.

I wonder whether this HIGH-pressure camber steer is just with some particular tire/rim combination, or whether it is not so much CAMBER steer but general twitchiness at very high pressures?

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