Rover Steering Arm Pinch Bolt Failure

Greetings TerraTrikers,

Recently, I've had two failures of the threading inside the pinch bolt of the left steering arm.  The first failure came with no adjustment/fiddling by me - just natural steering and cycling on well maintained trails.  The arm started to get loose such that it slipped around the steering bolt (king pin?).  When I went to re-tighten the pinch bolt, I noticed it wouldn't cinch up and saw metal shavings coming out of the bolt hole.  LBS replaced it with a brand-new-from-box steering arm and sent me off.

Second failure was when I went to adjust the arm after noticing that left and right were assymetrically positioned, and I wanted to re-position the left arm to match the right.  Given the failure of the first arm, I consulted the manual on the adjustment before I worked on it.  Loosened the cap bolt, loosened the pinch bolt, repositioned, lightly tightened the cap bolt, and went to tighten the pinch bolt down and it stripped again.  I was only using hand-tight pressure with a hex key, and the manual didn't specify a specific torque number nor to tighten 'delicately', or 'lightly' as with the cap bolt.

My LBS took care of me and installed a new-from-box arm again (and the pressure he used was no greater than mine), but now I'm leery of making any adjustments to steering, lest I break it again.  Has anybody else experienced this?  Design flaw?  Am I doing somethign to cause this in my riding, transporting, or maintaining?

Anything helps, as I would like to maintain my bike myself, but that particular part seems fragile?
-Devin

Comments

  • Was the same pinch bolt used on both arms that failed?
  • I loosen and tighten mine every time I take a ride.  It's the only way I can get the trike through my front door.

    The only problem I have had is ruining the head of the bolt.  It's hard to see that hex bolt because of the way it faces. My lbl had to hunt to find a replacement.  I went to Lowe's and found that they stock them so I keep extra around.

    I bought the wide handlebars so have had two sets since I bought the trike in 2014.  However, I have not seen any degradation of the handlebar material on either set.  

    Did you buy this trike new?
  • @Michael: The same pinch bolt was not used.  The bolt and the steering arm with the threaded hole were both box new.

    @Florida_bound - While the bike was the display model, it was new, and both the initial and (now 2) replacement steering arms/bolts were new as well!

    -Devin
  • I plan to combine both sets to produce a higher handlebar.  I need to find a shop that will do the welding.  Then I can keep the handles turned in farther and still be able to make turns.  Even the wide handlebars bend so low when you turn them in, they hit my hips.  I am not larger than a muscular man.  I don't know how this isn't a problem for many people.
  •   Guess I'm the only one who's imagined ape-like handle bars on their Rover?
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