A scrubbing we will go … or … scrub a dub dub … just thoughts which popped into my feeble mind as I pondered writing about this subject. Tire scrub is when the tires are undergoing extreme lateral (sideways) forces … the tires are trying to slide sideways … and in doing so rubber is being removed from the surface of the tire where it is making contact with the pavement. Tire scrub happens on a tadpole trike if you corner fast and hard. Unlike a two wheeled vehicle (bicycle or motorcycle) the tire and wheel do not lean when cornering. When a tire is leaning while cornering very little tire scrub is occurring. On a high speed motorcycle like one which is racing the speed element still causes tire scrub, but at lower speeds not so much. When a tire remains upright like it does on a tadpole trike “scrubbing” occurs … it has to … there is no way for it not to happen. If you do a lot of this kind of riding you can wear out a set of tires on the front pretty quick … at least on regular tires. (More about this later in this article.)
You can actually hear the scrubbing taking place when cornering hard. I kind of envision $ $ $ just coming off when I hear it. 🙂
If your toe in setting is off you can wear out a set of tires really quick. I know about that from personal experience. When I first bought my Catrike Trail the dealer had set the toe in and got it way off … an inch off. As I rode it something didn’t seem right. It didn’t handle as good as it should and it seemed harder to pedal it than it should. In just 30 miles the brand new tires were junk … with holes worn in them much like the picture above. That was a case of extreme tire scrub. You can read more about this important matter of proper toe in setting HERE.
So if you like to “hot dog” be prepared to shell out some money for tires quicker than you would if you rode your trike easy. BTW, since I switched to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires I don’t have nearly as much tire scrubbing occurring as I did with all the other Schwalbe tires I used. They are an amazing tire. I still corner hard and fast, but the tires just last and last. I can’t recommend them enough. I truly don’t understand why everyone doesn’t use them. Not only do they give excellent wear, but they handle well, ride well, and are nearly flat free. You get a lot more tire for the money and they will enable you to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’