edited November 2012 in Rambler
Hey, just to let you know about the one place I didn't find any grease, in the hub mounts where the handle bars connect.
The booklet that comes with it says to grease all the bolts, my bolts didn't have any, nor did the hub mounts.

I thought that the steering was a little hard so I wanted to loosen up the steering slightly. I watched the Video, read the booklet and tried to adjust the steering. I did, or so I thought.

The next day, my wife and I, her sister and her husband went for a 12 mile ride and the first nine miles the steering seemed to be fine, then I noticed it stiffening up. By the time I got home, I was having to push on one bar and pull on the other bar to make it turn and also received a squeal from both sides at the hub mounts during a turn. I have about 200 miles on the trike.

I greased the hub shafts and greased the bolts the next day. WOW!!!!!! it steers like a dream. Hasn't loosened up in 24 miles.

Have any of you Rambler riders have had this problem? I hope mine is just an overlooked item when assembled.


  • Sounds like you got it right.
    The manual is not very explicit in exactly where to grease and where not to grease.
    I usually grease lightly the axles, both sides of the large silver washers which go on the Kingpins, the kingpins themselves, with the exception of the top portion where the handlebars will clamp.
    Also the inner surfaces of the Headtube, and the bearing surfaces upon which the big silver washers will sit.
    Sometimes I get lazy and just grease the whole kingpin, then clean the upper part with isopropyl alcohol before attaching the handlebar.
    Velo Verde Recumbent, Cargo and Electric Bikes
    TerraTrike Premier Dealer
    6791 Sebastopol Ave
    Sebastopol, CA 95472
  • Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your thread and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your thread.

    cooking grease handling equipment
  • Hmm, looks like I may have the same problem.  I have a Tour II, wife has a 2013 Rambler (< 100 miles).  When putting hers away, noticed the steering seemed very stiff.  I don't normally ride hers, but pretty sure it wasn't like that before.  Took linkage off, left is somewhat stiff, right very stiff.  Took off the cap, handlebar, top washer on the right, is still stiff,  Thought virtical shaft (king pin?) would drop out, but seems stuck; I don't see anything else that would hold it in.  Do I just need to hammer it down to get it out?  Tried this with 1 whack (with wood over it, and the frame raised on wood), but nothing budged.  Afraid of damaging something without info.  Does it just need to be forced apart and greased?  Very disapointed in either dealer or factory for not greasing this.
  • Update:  OK, found the Rambler assembly video in the manuals section of the web site, showing an axle assy getting greased and easily inserted into the bushings with just 2 washers, no other fasteners.  So, emboldened, I hit my wife's with some WD40 and hammered the vertical shaft out of the bushings (with a pine 2x4 on top); came out a bit with each hit.

    Found that there was not a speck of lubricant in there.  Also found vertical gashes in the inside of the upper bushing, probably when it was assembled forcably.  You would think an experienced and/or knowledgeable factory or dealer assembler would have taken that as a clue that something wasn't right.  Took both right-side bushings out and found that outside of the frame, they slipped fairly easily over the shaft, so the frame seems to be compressing them.  Also was a bit surprized to find that the bushings seem be be made of some kind of plastic (expected metal).

    So I lubed it up with some on-hand lithium grease (cleaned off the WD40 first), reassembled.  Still had to hammer the shaft into the bushings in the frame.  It pivots much better, though there is some resistance.  Think I should call TT to see how to best handle this from here.  Probably should have new bushings, and either they or the frame reamed.

    Also noticed that the vertical shafts are scored concentrically, presumably from milling.  Would have expected a polished surface as a friction surface.

    Went after the left side next, was also dry, but not as stiff.  This one came apart/reassembled without hammering, although was snug.

    Back together, it's not as free as it ought to be, but at least can be operated without a steering jam for now.

  • Did you get that thing from an individual, dealer, or TT??
  • Dealer.  TT responded saying dealers assemble the hub mounts to the frame.  I plan to arrange to get with the dealer, hoping they can/will replace the bushings and ream appropriately, but want to know from TT how this should be done (ream frame, bushing, or both?).  After this experience, I don't trust the dealer for the best answer.  Note that frame is painted on the inside surface where the bushings fit, so likely significantly affect the inside diameter.  Don't know if reaming that would feather the paint safely, or chip it.  I'd consider doing it myself, but don't have reamers and a quick look on-line did not turn up a 20mm as described in the assy video.
  • I considered this issue while driving long distance today.  There is a better answer than what you are getting!
    Now I am only a potential fence straddling customer, not yet having made the decision on which purchase I will make; I would dearly love to have a "pedal car" Catrike Quad 4 Custom from Utah Trikes and at the same time want to save a pocketful of cash with a trike purchase from TT.  If I had a position of authority at TT at the very first knowledge of your issue I would have offered for you to send the machine back to the manufacturer for repair/remanufacture rather than allow an inexperienced new customer to stumble along trying to accomplish what others should have provided to you for a price, then stuff the box with a few nice accessories to be certain you would be nothing but delighted and return the machine to you all at no cost to you!  Then, knowing there is a broken link in the QC chain, if they were in my employ, head(s) would roll.  Hard to believe a machine would be shipped to a dealer un lubed but if that is the agreement with the dealer and they failed on such a scale and did not offer to do what I just offered then post haste the TT brand name and all products would be terminated at that dealership!  There are plenty of other folks eager to do the job right and no excuse for such a PR problem.  What I have described is known as (excellent) customer service.

    I'm "all in" for success and expansion at TT and this forum is a beautiful thing for all concerned;  whether it's good or bad, ugly or pretty, it gets a transparent post,
    unlike Utah Trikes with posts sent to a MODERATOR equaling CENSORSHIP to erase any NEGATIVE PR.  I'll opt for a very good product from a company with INTEGRITY rather than an excellent product from an organization that is not transparent.  

    One person's perspective.       Regards.
  • Yes, was hoping for a little better response, but we are not finished yet; customer service is running questions by others internally.  It is easy to criticise and complain, but I will be patient for now and see how this unfolds.  I do have 2 functional trikes, and daughter wants to partner a ride this holiday weekend.
  • Looks to me like the Dealer Assembly manual has not been revised since 12/2007.
    Don't know if there is mention for grease in the HB hub mounts - not that I could find.
  • Response from TT cust. svc:

    "The steerer tubes (the metal part of the frame into which the bushings are
    pressed) do not need to be reamed. As the bushing are pressed into place
    (it is a designed "interference" fit which holds them securely in place)
    inside diameter of the bushing is reduced due to compression.  After
    installation, the bushings need to be reamed out to a 20mm diameter.
    Moving forward, we have requested that our assembly house in Taiwan do
    so this becomes a non-issue for dealers, our assembly guys as well as

    We have also passed this on to Larry at Mt. Airy, and he said that he will
    start putting this into practice where needed. You are welcome to contact
    Mt. Airy and they will be happy to do the repairs.

    Will contact dealer, hopefully will have/get replacement bushings and reamer ahead of visit, and figure when I can get it there (is >=1hr away).

  • edited August 2017
    This is the exact problem I ran into this week replacing the steering bushings in my 7 year old Rover.I found that when the bushings are inserted in the frame they are compressed which then makes the fit too tight, result stiff steering. They need to be reamed after they are inserted to 20 mm
  • Who the heck keeps a 20mm reaming tool on hand? This needs to be fixable with normal household tools!
  • Jrobiso2 wrote: »
    Who the heck keeps a 20mm reaming tool on hand? This needs to be fixable with normal household tools!

    I found one on Amazon for around $25, and also Walmart has one for about the same price. You need a straight shank hand reamer.
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