archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Trike related mechanical difficulties

Trike Asylum reader Don Lobelle has requested stories any of us might relate about mechanical difficulties experienced while out on the road. So, I am putting up this quick post to see if any of you trike pilots and nomads out there have a good story to tell about something that went wrong with your triangular steed and how you applied appropriate countermeasures to get on your way again. Okay, since comments are now working again, hop in and share your tales of roadside woe with all of us! Thanks!!

DV Steve


4 responses

  1. Brown Daniel

    Trikes are pretty good machines, a lot more sophisticated than a lot of people think. They really hang together quite well. Aside from the unavoidable flat every once in a while the only problem mine had resulted from the chain being slightly longer than it should have been. This made the arm of the derailleur stick in the rear gear cluster, making a strange clicking noise as I rode. Easy

    to repair once you figure out what’s wrong.

    February 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  2. Last summer I was riding downtown to catch a bus for a planned three day ride in Mass.
    I was at the head of the Hudson River Bike Path when my tire went flat. No problem, I’ll just replace the tube. Did that, rode 50-100 feet when the spare went flat. I had run out of patches, tried to ride on the rim but it was a ten mile ride, that idea wasn’t working.
    I gave up hope of making the bus, sat down and called my mom so that she could call the ride leader and tell him I would catch the six pm bus (it was morning at the time). I had done what I could so I sat by the trail and drank my coffee and planned what I would do next.
    I am disabled and don’t walk well and was miles away from the closest bike shop so walking out wasn’t a possibility. Luckily for me a parks dept person drove by, he couldn’t take my bike but said that his supervisor was right behind him and could. So I waited.
    The super. arrived and told me that she couldn’t take my bike. She offered to call the police for (not on) me
    The police arrived but couldn’t fit my bike in their cruiser so they called their supervisor. She arrived and couldn’t fit my bike in her truck so she called for a van. With the arrival of the van I had five cops, three vehicles, one me and one trike. They got my trike, but not me in the van. I got in the cruiser and we drove back to my bike shop in Inwood, NY.
    The bike shop fixed the tire, I thought. Turned out it was a problem with my rim tape. They fixed it and I rode home to waste the day. I rode down to the six pm bus with no incident.
    Next morning in Amherst, MA I planned on a century ride. When I got my bike out of the truck the tire was flat. I took the tire off to find that the electrician’s tape that replaced my rim tape had come loose and bunched up causing a flat. Luckily there was a Specialized bike racing team there who offered to drive to a local bike shop to buy a new tube and new rim tape. Unfortunately by the time the parts arrived the century had left. No problem. I took off on my own and did about forty miles before the rainstorm.
    When I got home the tire blew again. This time it was not the rim tape. I probably rolled over something.
    You said you wanted tales of woe…
    -Adam Payne

    February 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  3. Thanks for the detailed accounting Adam! Now, let’s see if other readers will offer up some of these stories for Don. Okay everyone out there in trike land: Leave a comment and share your story of roadway woe. Think of this as a solicitation for the betterment of our triking community. We can ALL learn from these tales, as I am sure we all learned a lesson from Adam’s story. Thanks everyone!

    February 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

  4. I am embarrassed to admit that in the past, there were occasions where I ignored some “strange sound” or some “odd sensation” coming from “somewhere” on my bike. Maybe it was just laziness; maybe I reasoned that because the bike seemed to be functioning well enough to continue, I would save the time it would take to stop and search for the cause of the anomaly. However, in every instance, that strange sound or odd sensation turned out to be the precursor to a problem that ultimately cost more time to correct than had I only stopped to investigate in the first place. I learned the hard way that my sensory system should be recognized as a kind of an early warning system not to be ignored. Strange sounds, odd sensations coming from the bike, portend trouble ahead. The most important tool we need to use then is not in the tool box; it is riding just under your helmet.

    February 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm