Recommended toe-in ?

edited June 2017 in General Discussions
I did a search and could not find any discussion here about toe in. On my previous trike (Catrike) setting the proper toe-in amount was considered to be very important. For those unfamiliar with the concept, generally the fronts of the tires are slightly closer together than the backs of the tires. This slightly increases stability.
So, on a Rambler All Terrain what is the recommended toe-in amount. Zero inches? 0.125 inch? 0.25 inch?
Thanks, Gordon_O


  • Recommended is none.

    Click the Contact button up top and call TerraTrike.

    ¬ ITL
  • edited June 2017
    I've read on other forums (and I think actually here a few times too for that matter...) 1/16th inch to 1/8th inch inside toe is the correct setting. When you sit down on the trike after setting this, it generally results in a 0 toe-in (or minimal at the very least.)

    Each frame has different levels of flex, and the flex in the frame is going to be where setting toe-in gets difficult. The idea is to get the fronts running as close to parallel as possible to reduce tire "scrubbing" or the tires kind of sliding sideways instead of tracking correctly. Again, this comes down to frame style, material that makes the frame, etc. But it will also come down to the weight of the rider, too.

    I'm once was 285#, so my toe-in at that weight was almost 3/8". This got me to a 0 toe in while sitting. Now, at 225# or so my toe-in is not as great as I needed before. (now I set for 1/8" and get a 0 when sitting.) The ideal is 0" or 1/16" or less when sitting on the trike, for minimal tire wear while riding. (At least in my own experience.)
  • I thought you set at 0 and then by getting on, it creates a small toe-in.
  • Mine gave a toe-out.... (At 285# it gave almost 3/8" toe-out... Tire were gone in under 100 miles.) So that was why I went with toe-in...
  • @Gordon_O, What trike do you currently own, and what Catrike did you formally own, and finally, why did you change trikes?
  • @Elrique64 are you saying that when you sit in the trike, the toe-in changes outwards? I seriously thought it was the reverse. Perhaps that's why I'm showing tire wear after only 400 miles
  • good article

    The toe angle identifies the exact direction the tires are pointed compared to the centerline of the vehicle when viewed from directly above. Toe is expressed in either degrees or fractions-of-an-inch, and an axle is said to have positive toe-in when imaginary lines running through the centerlines of the tires intersect in front of the vehicle and have negative toe-out when they diverge. The toe setting is typically used to help compensate for the suspension bushings compliance to enhance tire wear. Toe can also be used to adjust vehicle handling . . .

    . . . Additionally the vehicle's toe is one of the most critical alignment settings relative to tire wear. A toe setting that is just a little off its appropriate setting can make a huge difference in their wear. Consider that if the toe setting is just 1/16-inch off of its appropriate setting, each tire on that axle will scrub almost seven feet sideways every mile! Extend it out and you'll discover that rather than running parallel to each other, the front tires will scrub over 1/4-mile sideways during every 100 miles of driving! Incorrect toe will rob you of tire life.
  • Mine is best with zero toe in or out. Not sure what happens with the aluminum frame when seated. My track width is narrower than everyone's also, 27".
  • edited June 2017
    Might be worth while getting an Alignment Adjustment Tool (or something similar). Adjust the wheels to 0. Saddle up & measure the difference again between rims. Adjust as need-be.

    ¬ ITL
  • Yes, my toe-in would move out when seated. (As do most frames I've heard about, BTW.) So I had to have a slight toe-in when on the bench and then checked when seated to get a zero or even a slight in. (Tracks better when slightly in, steering isn't nearly as squirrelly at any speed over 8-10mph, too...)

    But that's my frame, with all of the junk I have hanging on it. And my seat moved back a ways, too. YMMV depending on load, CoG and weight distribution. Keep in mind, I have 8lbs of motor mounted under my tailbone and another 10lbs or so of battery mounted under my thighs. (Changing this to in one of the saddlebags, though.) This moves some of the weight further back, which could also have an impact on toe-in/out...

    My point in the original reply was that toe-in/out as individual to the trike/rider as boom length and seat position, and should be adjusted for the primary rider. (Which should hold pretty well for any short term riders, as long as distances and speeds aren't extreme...)

    One thing you could do to make yourself a stick to check this, is a 3.8"-1/2" chunk of PVC pipe, two end caps, one drilled out with a 1/4" whole. Put in a bolt with 2 nuts, one on each side of the cap and the inside one glued in place. Adjust the length of bolt to the desired measurement and tighten the outside nut into place. Gives you a quick and dirty measuring tool for under $5-$10 I would think. Could drill the second cap and put another bolt into it as well, so the measuring point is consistent. Glue the second one in place, so it doesn't move, then paint that cap a different color so you don't go reefing on the glued bolt...

    Or you can buy the tool in TT's store or from CatTrike's store. They both do the same type of thing...
  • I'm laying 340+ pounds into my Rover, so the weight is probably comparable to yours with your batteries, etc.
  • edited June 2017
    To answer TrikeBirder's questions: I had a Catrike Road for 12 years, obviously one of the early models. In the first few years I put 4000 miles on it. Then I bought a RANS Stratus XP bike and gradually stopped riding the Catrike. I much prefer having the bottom bracket several inches below the seat. This year I started admiring Terratrike models because their seat and bottom bracket geometry is similar to my XP. So I sold the Catrike and when the new Rambler All Terrain showed up at my dealer, I bought it. I really like the 24-inch wheels. On the less than perfect roads around here, they nicely absorb the bumps. I don't plan to do much off road riding.
    By the way, the official word from tech support is zero toe-in on this model.
  • Thanks for the response. It makes a lot more sense now. I have been told that it is better to pedal with a bottom bracket (aka the pedals for the newbie's), but I can't figure out why since my doctor tells me it is most beneficial for people spend as much time as possible each day with ones feet elevated above ones heart. Anyone have any insights here?
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