Importance of wheel alignment

edited March 2013 in Rambler
My front wheels were 5/8" toed out. After 84 miles My tires were so ground down you could see the underlying threads in the tires. Bike shop replaced tires and corrected the misalignment at no charge. Now have a couple of hundred miles on new tires and no noticable wear. Really important to have tires parallel to each other. Also major improvement to coasting ability.

Comments

  • glad you got your issue fixed! tires can get expensive quickly
  • Suggest periodic check with tape measure. Spoke to spoke, middle of front of wheel vs middle of back.
  • Actually, once the toe-set is checked, and no parts are loose, there should be no need to check or adjust the toe-set until such a time that parts get worn, damaged, replaced, etc.

    Alignment *is* critical to both good tire wear, coasting, etc - but unlike cars, once set on your trike, it shouldn't change until something comes loose or is worn/damaged. Out of paranoia, I have rechecked my toe-set multiple times in the 1700+ miles on my Rover, but no adjustment has been needed since I first corrected it after getting my trike.

    No matter where you get your trike (or the brand), checking the toe-set is a very good idea~! Also, using blue lock-tite (never red!) on the tie-rod lock-nuts will help keep them from coming loose on you :)
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • What is the correct toe-in? 2 mm?

    I was thinking of spinning each front wheel, holding a pencil against the tread to mark an exact circumferential line, and measuring to that. Is there a better way?
  • Perhaps someone could post proper spacing between tire centers at back, as TerraTrike specifies?

    And, are all Ramblers the same measurement? Early ones and current ones?

    I've seen two Rambler booklets with different spacings specified, so I'm unsure which is correct.


    Booklets show:

    29 7/8"
    28 1/4"

    Thanks
  • Many people go wheel edge to wheel edge, You must first spin the wheels and see how true they are first.

    SPECs do not work well, as different people true wheels different ways - and this alone could throw that number off. If you have brand new tires, usually you can see the center point of the tire tread.
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    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • I don't want to step on any toes here but Catrike makes a great tool for setting the toe on almost any trike make. Its called "Calibro toe-in tool" and Utah trikes has it as well as Catrike. Maybe Terra trike can copy thier idea and make us one?
  • Use what we use - a tape measure.
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • Here is what I uses:

    trike-mods2011-02-26001.jpg
    trike-mods2011-02-26002.jpg

    Cost bout $8 bucks in parts from Home Depot. "All-Thread", wing-nuts, ends, and a small cheap level - works for me~!

    Both here and on BROL others have written about what they use, curtain rods, car antennas, etc...
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • I just corrected the alignment. Measuring is a big bother. Yes, the rim can be used if the wheels are true. The center of the tire tread can be used if the wheels are true and the tire is mounted centered all the way around the tire...and if the tire is molded with the tread even in the center (don't count on it with the cheap Cheng Shins). I did scribe a line on a spinning tire with a sharp, soft pencil. Hard to see, but I knew it was true.

    Center the steering. Measure from each rim to the boom to get it centered.

    The rider's weight must be on the seat for a correct adjustment. The frame flexes (all do, and ours are no exception), and the flex changes the alignment.

    I also did other adjustments.
    ---The disc brake calipers have adjusters for each pad. Use a 5 mm hex key (Allen® wrench) to adjust the outer pad and a 3 mm hex key for the inner pad...the adjustment is in the middle of the screw that holds the actuating arm on. (By the way, the calipers were binding due to being full of mud & grit. I had to disassemble the caliper to clean it.)

    ---I moved the seat back an inch to put more weight on the rear wheel for better traction. I shortened the boom an inch and removed two inches of chain.

    ---The handlebars have two bolts at their base. The vertical bolt is a friction damper. I set mine at 7 lbs-ft for the feel I like. The horizontal bolt is a clamp holding the bar on the kingpin. I turned the bars to find the angle I preferred.
  • Bev wrote:
    I just corrected the alignment. Measuring is a big bother. Yes, the rim can be used if the wheels are true. The center of the tire tread can be used if the wheels are true and the tire is mounted centered all the way around the tire...and if the tire is molded with the tread even in the center (don't count on it with the cheap Cheng Shins). I did scribe a line on a spinning tire with a sharp, soft pencil. Hard to see, but I knew it was true.

    Center the steering. Measure from each rim to the boom to get it centered.

    The rider's weight must be on the seat for a correct adjustment. The frame flexes (all do, and ours are no exception), and the flex changes the alignment.

    I also did other adjustments.
    ---The disc brake calipers have adjusters for each pad. Use a 5 mm hex key (Allen® wrench) to adjust the outer pad and a 3 mm hex key for the inner pad...the adjustment is in the middle of the screw that holds the actuating arm on. (By the way, the calipers were binding due to being full of mud & grit. I had to disassemble the caliper to clean it.)

    ---I moved the seat back an inch to put more weight on the rear wheel for better traction. I shortened the boom an inch and removed two inches of chain.

    ---The handlebars have two bolts at their base. The vertical bolt is a friction damper. I set mine at 7 lbs-ft for the feel I like. The horizontal bolt is a clamp holding the bar on the kingpin. I turned the bars to find the angle I preferred.


    The alignment video on the Rover on this site, states that there is no frame flex on the Rover, so you do not have to sit on the Rover to align the steering. I use 1/16 inch toe in on my Rover to make the high speed handling less twitchy, which makes it really docile even at 25 MPH.
    Rover alignment starts at 8:10 in this video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... IH60gxGQdw
  • I have a rambler.

    The TerraTrike tech rep said to weight the seat and use zero toe in for accurate adjustment. I understand how slight toe in could be useful.
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