Fixing Common Trike Problems
Flat tires… who doesn’t know this issue. Fortunately, it is a bit less common for trikes. Reason is that trikes naturally require better road conditions. Plus: Wheels and tires got much better during the last years.
Still, it can happen nevertheless. To fix a flat tire, first, remove the wheel from the trike. Depending on the trike type, this can be a thing of several seconds or 15 minutes. Then, use a tire lever to pry off one side of the tire and remove the inner tube. Check the tire and tube for punctures or embedded debris. If necessary, patch the tube or replace it with a new one. Reinstall the tube and tire, ensuring the tire beads are properly seated, and inflate to the recommended pressure.
Chain problems can range from a slipping chain to a completely broken one. If the chain slips or jumps, it may be due to incorrect tension or a worn-out cassette or chainring. Adjusting the derailleur or tensioner can solve this issue. If the chain is broken, you’ll need a chain tool to remove the broken link and replace it or the entire chain if it’s extensively worn. The issue with trikes is twofold. Tadpole trikes often have adjustable chains in order to allow quick access for riders of different length. Plus, all type of trikes are much heavier than normal bikes but still often rely on the same chains that are under more pressure as a result. Cargo trikes often have reinforced chains or even belts.
To properly lubricate a chain, first clean it with a chain cleaner tool or a rag and degreaser. Then, apply a suitable chain lubricant to each link while turning the cranks backward. Wipe off any excess lubricant to prevent attracting dirt.
E-bike batteries should be charged regularly to maintain their longevity. Connect the charger to the battery and plug it into a power outlet. Allow the battery to fully charge, then disconnect it. Never leave the battery to charge overnight or unattended for long periods. Also never charge while the battery is exposed to direct sunshine, especially during summer seek a covered space.
Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep the battery at a moderate charge level (around 40-60%) if storing it for an extended period. Best practice is to keep the battery in a storage bag that is fire-safe.
Electric motor maintenance mainly involves keeping it clean and dry. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the motor housing. Avoid using high-pressure water jets, and never immerse the motor in water. Check for loose connections and ensure the motor is securely mounted.
Check the brakes regularly for effective stopping. If the brake levers feel soft or the trike takes longer to stop, you might need to adjust or replace the brake pads. Also, ensure the brake cables or hydraulic lines are in good condition and securely connected.
For trikes with internal gear hubs or hydraulic brakes, you may need to change the oil periodically. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended interval and procedure. Generally, this involves draining the old oil, cleaning the components, and then refilling with the recommended type and amount of oil.
Maintaining correct tire pressure is crucial for ride comfort and tire longevity. Check the pressure regularly with a tire gauge and inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. This information is usually embossed on the tire sidewall. Remember, tire pressure can fluctuate with temperature changes, so check it more often during weather transitions.
Pimp up my Trike!
For the pimping up of a trike, have a look at the gear section to find additional inspiration!