Tuning up my Rambler

When I first got my Rambler(first trike) it was ok, not great but ok. The front tires wore very quickly about 1700 miles. I took it to the dealer where in they suggested a bigger tire (Hookworm Maxxi) because I thought it was to hard to ride. After the work was complete I went for a ride, it was like riding in peanut butter. Absolutely the worst experience I have ever had on anything with wheels. I checked the alignment against factory specs it was ok, but not all that close. I increased the tire pressure to 110 which helped but it still didn't feel right. So I called the factory explained my problem. The tech suggested 1.5 Schwalbe marathons, which I purchased. Made a huge difference, but still didn't feel right. I went through the line up procedure based on Terra trike instructions and found it to be impossible to align using the dimensions they provided for the Rambler. So I remeasured the tubes and found an eighth of an inch total error. sixteenth on a side. This caused the alignment to be wider in the front than the back. (ride in mud feeling) after all this I aligned my trike based on my numbers added just under a sixteenth tow in and what do you know a new bike. Picked up an easy 4 miles an hour and run in higher gears. Has any one else had this experience?
Car guy


  • Thanks for the comments and suggestion I will followup on them. I am going to make a precission alignment fixture to remove the variables. Note: most people probably don't think of this but wheels set is a paralell alignmen configuration splay out in the frontwhen startting forward motion, also weight will influence the alignment even on a ridged frame.
  • Well I did some more fine tunning to my rambler. Tightened the steering/king pins. I did this based on some information I read on another forum. I wanted to know more about steering erregularities. Most of the articles were written by people exceeding 25 miles an hour. The characteristics I experienceed were simular. I messed withe the alignment some more just a tweek or two. In the process I found a very simple way to do the alignment. I clamp the front at the boom clamp of the Trike to my bench simulating a riders weight. I then use my new numbers includeding an allowance for about an eighth of an inch total tow-in. Now all I need to do is make a precission gauge that attaches to center the frame with the new demensions now applied to each side of the Jig, adjust the tie-rod and away I go.
    When I reviewed the process Terra Trike provided it seemed over complicated to me. Thus began the journey. It is unbelievable the difference in my Rambler, so much fun I don't want to get off of it.
  • I changed over to Shimano clipless peddles and sandles the other day. I never thought that any thing like these could make such a huge difference. I don't need to reposition my feet every time I hit a bump, what aconcept. Highly recomend these regardles of brand.
  • I made a stand to work on my Rambler and for alignment I remove the front tires. spin the rims to make sure of now wobbles, Then measure to make sure I have the rim centered to the frame the set my toe-in to about 1/32. Then mount the tires back on. I have some areas I can maintain a 17 mph pace for two miles on railroad paved trails. About 14 mph on crushed rock trails. Putting on the Marathon's picked up about 3 mph with the same effort.
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