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Steering on cargo trike

Posted: 13 Aug 2019, 5:31pm
by belgiangoth
Finished repairing the christiana trike* and took it for its first run up/down the road. Steering is very skittish, some brake steer and it rolls right down the camber to the side of the road. I hope it runs better with a load.

Anyone have any relevant experience/suggestions?

*: “features” remain, such as the nexus hub not being held on properly, so using a zip tie.

Re: Steering on cargo trike

Posted: 13 Aug 2019, 7:03pm
by Tigerbiten
I only have a recumbent trike but ...........

The skittish steering sound like a headset bearing issue.
I've never had over twitchy steering on my ICE trike even with the headsets a fraction loose.
But if I overtighten my headsets then the steering feels notched and it starts to hunt for a line on corners.

How are the front brakes set up ??
When I ran twin cable disks off a single lever, I found it very fiddly to get them both working at the same stopping power over the full lever pull.
I found it best if it pulled slightly under light brakes but straight under heavy braking.

As for steering into the ditch off a camber, that's just classic trike behaviour ..... :D
If your arms aren't relaxed then when you lean right to counteract the camber, your hands move slightly.
Also on a trike if you lean right then the trike will naturally try to go left.
Both these effects together starts to steer you into the ditch.
The more you go towards the ditch, the more you tense up and it just gets worse.
If you stiffen your left arm and relax your right it will both hold you up against the camber while keeping the trike straight.
On a trike you first steer then lean.

Luck ............ :D

Re: Steering on cargo trike

Posted: 14 Aug 2019, 11:25am
by belgiangoth
Maybe I should try riding one handed?

Re: Steering on cargo trike

Posted: 15 Aug 2019, 8:51am
by pjclinch
belgiangoth wrote:Maybe I should try riding one handed?

Worth a try.

I have an "adjustment period" every time I'm on a trike because I try to unconsciously steer by body position like I do on a bike: as Tigerbiten says, it's a classic problem for trikes, or at least it is where the rider is used to bikes. Just remember that, especially at low (typical Christiana type speeds, I'd guess) almost all the steering work comes from the handlebars.

First time I rode a Kettwiesel I spent the first 10 minutes riding in to the left kerb. Last time on a trike (a local charity's has e-trikes for loan, I was riding shotgun for them and had a go during a break) much the same happened, though being more aware of the issues up-front I adjusted much more quickly.


Re: Steering on cargo trike

Posted: 18 Aug 2019, 2:05pm
by belgiangoth
As suspected, my wife has adapted quicker to the trike. She likes the even-more-upright position (qv. her sit up and beg bike) and has ridden less last year than I would in a fortnight. Bonus for her is that the min saddle height is the right position for her (not 15 cm lower as on her bike) so she has noticed that her knees hurt less...