Servicing a tricycle

Tricycle Pre-Ride Checklist

When you first buy an adult trike, all you want is to spend time outdoors. But before you go, it’s not just a matter of jumping on the tricycle and steering it into action. A tricycle pre-ride checklist is a must if you wish to ride safely and keep your trike in good working condition.

Here, we go through the crucial items you need to perform maintenance on, before leaving the house.

Brakes
Do the brakes give enough pressure to stop the wheels? Give them a generous squeeze and check to see that there are no loose cables. If you spot a frayed cable, then it’s only right that you oil it at that moment you find out. You don’t want it to get eaten up when you are only 200 yards out of the house. A rule of thumb is that the brakes should spring back after pulling.

See that the rubber pads grip the rims when you squeeze the brakes. The pads should not be gripping on the tires as it causes constant rubbing and fast wear of the rubber tires. Always eyeball the brakes when you exert the pressure. The levers should pull halfway to the bars.

If you are dealing with levers that pull all the way, there are simple adjustments which you can perform without tools. Just turn the barrel adjusters from the caliper arm or lever body anticlockwise. This should bring back the correct tension level.

Another thing on the brake pads is their durability. Can they sustain the tricycle for the journey ahead? If not, you’ll need to change them. Some trikes come with wear indicators. They’ll prove useful as you’ll know how much life is left on the brake pads in the tricycle pre-ride checklist.

Wheels and Tires
Look at the tread wear. The tires should maintain a rounded tread as opposed to a square one. The tread should not reveal the tube if you wish to keep great traction.

Perform a visual check to see that there are no places which are susceptible to cracking. Inspect the tires when inflated to see if there are bulges, or any lodged items like broken glass, and other small pieces which may work their way into the tires as you ride considering the tricycle pre-ride checklist.

Steering System
Next, check the handlebars and stem. They should be appropriately tightened facing the forward direction. Feel that the handlebars can allow smooth steering without wobbling or losing your course when you grip them. Handlebars give you control of the direction. As such, you should not underestimate how they feel in your hands. Tighten the binder bolt some more if you still feel the grip is not stable.

Steering the tricycle also calls for a stable sitting position. The saddle should be at the correct height. You must be able to hold the handlebars with arms at a 90-degree angle with feet lying flat on the pedals.

Always wear a helmet!

Do not be fooled into thinking that the extra stability a tricycle gives means no helmet is needed, anything can happen while out cycling.

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