Blog Archives

IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT

am sure most of us have heard that saying before. I am a firm believer in it along with some other well known sayings such as “Design should follow function rather than trend” … “A place for everything and everything in it’s place” … “A clean shop is an efficient shop”, and on and on the list could go. When it comes to our trikes I definitely don’t believe it is wise to mess with stuff when everything is working okay. It doesn’t take much to totally mess up some things such as derailleur adjustment. One thing for sure … if we are going to mess with something it is best that we know what we are doing. Otherwise we will likely mess it up … and probably not be able to fix it.

Even professional mechanics sometimes mess stuff up and aren’t even aware of it. I once took my trike in to a local bike shop (LBS) to have the rear shifting cable changed. I usually do this myself, but I decided to hire it done that time as I just didn’t feel like messing with it. Upon getting my trike back from them and back home I took off for a ride on it the next morning. I rode it about an eighth of a mile and while pedaling along I noticed something which didn’t seem right. I had some noise and some resistance as I pedaled. It felt like the chain was rubbing on something. I stopped and got off to take a look to see if I could discover the problem. At first glance I did not spot the problem so I decided to take a closer look. I tipped the trike over on it’s side and it didn’t take long to see what was going on. The chain had been “broken” (taken apart) and when it was put back on the return portion of it was routed on the top side of the idler pulley instead of on the bottom side so the idler pulley wasn’t doing anything … wasn’t even being used. DUH!!! I could not believe a professional mechanic could possibly do something so dumb. The chain had been rubbing on the bottom side of my frame and cut into it a ways. I rerouted the chain placing it where it belonged so I could ride on. When I got back home later I emailed the LBS about this letting them know what they did and the damage it had done to my frame. I was not a happy camper. They denied that they even had the chain apart and messed with it, but when I pointed out that there is no way for the chain to change to that position without someone taking either the chain apart or the idler pulley assembly they said that I should bring my trike back and they would do whatever is needed to satisfy me. (They never did admit to being at fault however. They continued to deny that they had done this.) They filed/ground the frame where the chain had rubbed and cut in to smooth everything back out and repainted the area. It looked very good when I got it back. I could barely tell anything had happened. I could have pushed for a new frame and to tell you the truth, in hindsight, I wish I would have since this little incident did weaken the frame somewhat. I would have been within my rights to do so, but I was trying to work with them and let them off easy. Now, I told this story to you because it ties into what I am addressing … if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. There was no reason for them to have taken my chain apart which caused this to happen. I had my trike in there for replacing the rear shifting cable … nothing else. Yeppur, I am a firm believer in …

it it ain't broke

as that helps us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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CATRIKE MAINTENANCE & REPAIR TIPS

While looking up something else I came across a webpage which I thought I would share here. It is entitled “Index to Catrike Maintenance Posts” and has numerous links to articles about various subjects concerning performing maintenance and repair on Catrikes. Here are the various topics listed:

Basic Setup and Maintenance

Catrike Performance Trike Official 2004 Manual

Catrike Performance Trike Official 2005 Manual

Catrike Performance Trike Official 2006 Manual

Catrike Performance Trike Official 2007 Manual

Catrike Performance Trike Official 2009 Manual
Catrike Performance Trike Official 2010 Manual

removing the master link on the chain, and replacing it (page 18 of the above manual).
checklist of initial setup items
removing a front wheel
replacing front wheel bearings
replacing rear wheel bearings
adjusting rear derailer (link to Sheldon Brown’s instructions)
adjusting disk brakes (link to Park Tool page)
replacing disk brake pads (link to Park page)
Bruce’s advice on adjusting Avid BB7 brakes on Catrikes
installing front fenders
fixing a flat tire in front, rear wheels
installing teflon bushings in front headsets

Catrike headset adjustment, servicing bearings

cleaning a chain, and lubrication

Troubleshooting section:

rear wheel squeak: lube rubber weather seal
Bottom bracket not horizontal when trike is on flat surface: loosen boom clamp, reorients boom, or file guide tooth
after removing a front wheel, my brake pad rubs: adjust brakes, per this link:
shimmy in steering: purchase teflon bushings from catrike, install
chain routing
brake cable routing
shifter cable routing
setting toe on front wheels of a trike

Upgrades:

Facing the bottom bracket edges

Discussion of After market items and FAQs:

Jerry’s flags
Locking brake levers. These are great!
What is Schlump and other drives?
what would Schlump or Roloff give me over the stock gearing?
Terracyle idlers discussion
Super bright (240 lumens) flashlight for use as headlight, tail light
what size bearings does my (year) (model) Catrike use in the front, rear wheel?where does one get replacement steel or ceramic bearings (link, or part number)
ceramic bearing installations in front hubs
options for mounting both a light and a speedometer
list of all tools needed
chain guards, bash guards: Purely Custom, with Catrike Logo available, and many colors, Trice (Utah Trikes) Chain Guard Ring
– Cables: how to order replacements, how to cut to length, how to install end pieces on housing and cable, what tools are needed
– Chains: how to order (how many chains needed/length), brand, types
– Articles on component upgrades (brakes, shifters, derailleurs, etc)
– Common accessories: what has worked well (lights, racks, bags, pedals, mirrors, etc)

– Arizona Whip lighted flagpole

– Tactical Flashlights for lighting system

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As you can see there is quite a lot there. So check it out. You just might find something useful in performing maintenance and repair on your Catrike. And if you have some other brand of tadpole trike you still might find something helpful and equally applicable for the trike you have. With proper maintenance and repairs we can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’