archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Triker needs suggestions!

Triker Bill has a trike that pulls to the right, and asks for assistance in tracking down potential issues that might be causing this. Here is his question, which is now opened for review and helpful answers:

I have been biking for 55 years, and maintaining my own bike for most of that time. But now I’m the owner of a delta trike, and need a little insight into its care and feeding. For instance, what do I adjust when I get a pull to the right. The first day I owned my new Cat expedition, it ran perfectly, but 100 potholes later and the second day out in public, the steering wants to go right. It’s not the brakes, and the steering rods all feel snug, and the back wheel has been reseated in its dropouts, so where do I look next. Is there a book that covers stuff like how to make your trike run perfectly? Or is there such a thing as a perfectly tuned trike? Thanks, Bill


10 responses

  1. You initially indicated you are the owner of a delta trike, although you may have meant tadpole trike if you are asking about the Catrike Expedition. So, I suspect the question centers on a tadpole. The best advice for this would be to contact Catrike directly, for they are the designer and manufacturer. This can be done by sending an email to: There may also be some Trike Asylum readers who are cycling mechanics and could provide some answers. I do not hold myself out to be an exceptional mechanic, marginal perhaps, but probably not up to attempting to diagnose an issue without having the trike right in front of me, so I shall defer to others who probably can say: “Oh yeah, I know what the problem is!” I don’t want to steer you wrong ( ha ha ). Okay readers – what does Bill need to look at next?

    June 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

  2. This will sound funny, but make sure your front tires have the same air pressure. The lower will have more rolling resistance and will cause a slight pull.
    Also remember that a tadpole trike has to have a wheel alignment like a car, although this will usually not cause pulling. It will increase tire wear and make high speed handling interesting.
    Keep looking for something causing drag, tires, bearings, brakes.

    June 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  3. Sounds like an alignment problem but could also be one brake or hub is dragging, Check that both wheels are spinning freely & that all nuts & bolts are tight. End play on one side can cause you to pull also. For adjusting your alignment these videos should prove helpful although not specific to a catrike.

    June 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

  4. Mark Filteau

    There are instructions available for download as PDF files on the catrike company site. Expeditions are very sensitive to front end toe-in adjustment. Even a 16th of an inch off will mess up handling and wear out your tires. That said, a pronounced pull to one side is probably the result of a break dragging (ever so slightly) or a problem with a wheel bearing. I bought mine used and it had a dragging break on one side. It was also way out of alinement. Together these issues caused my expedition to pull to the left. Once I fixed both issues handling was fine. If the trike is used, it’s also possible that the frame is bent. Aside from taking it to a dealer, all I can suggest is that you carefully measure the distance from the end of your boom (and/or rear fork) to the top center of the left and right front wheel spindle. If there is a difference between the left and right sides, then you’ve got a bent frame.

    June 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm

  5. dameon

    first a cat exp. is a tadpole, 2ed an ice vid for a direct steer cat ? , right track but wrong vid – try utube for catrike wheel adjustments and yes low or high tube press. can make a difference. ice 26x, tt tour II 26, homemade lwb , vision r44 a Bike-e ( my first bent ) and a couple or more df’s
    best of riding – Dameon

    June 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm

  6. Jerry Forster

    How is the tire wear? If your tires seem to be wearing pre-maturely it could be a toe-in problem which will also make the trike pull. It sounds strange, but as little as an 1/8th of an inch will create a problem. Good luck and happy riding.

    June 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

  7. As the owner of a catrike road I have found that my bike pulls to the right too. Unfortunately after annoying my local mechanic for years I found that you can’t ride no hands on a trike. It’s not that bad though. I think the trike responds to a subtle slope in the road or possibly the wheels fall off the small rocks that make up the road surface.

    June 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

  8. My initial thinking was along this same line, the road curvature thing, and if the hands are off the bars, the trike will pull towards the gutter. Then, I got to thinking that whatever Bill is doing now when riding and steering, he was probably doing before this issue, and if so, then the road curvature dynamic would not be a factor.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

  9. Tim

    Just out of curiosity, as Triker Bill asks, ” Is there a book that covers stuff like how to make your trike run perfectly?” Or should I resort to my 1971 vintage “Everybody’s Bike Book” and search YouTube? I just got a Greenspeed Magnum.

    June 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  10. There is as yet no such book. I refer to a huge bicycle manual if I don’t understand something, which addresses many things, but of course, would not speak to a tricycle that does not track straight. Yes, with the internet, many answers can be quickly found about many topics, yet recumbent trikes are still in a stage of infancy, thus information remains scant.

    The best solution currently is to develop a favorable association with your trike’s manufacturer, and get your questions answered through them – after all, they are the experts on your trike because they designed and built it! If you have a Greenspeed Magnum (a great trike, by the way) get to know Ian Sims, founder and owner of Greenspeed in Australia, as an answer source. The major trike manufacturers are owned by down-to-Earth normal cycling guys, and they love to talk this stuff! Introduce yourself – go right to the source for your answers – don’t rely on third party information from hobos like me!

    June 11, 2014 at 7:55 am