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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Holden

Something a bit different...

When I started Cycle Sanctuary, I assumed that the majority of my work would be on the run-of-the-mill entry-level hybrids and mountain bikes that you see in most bike shops and whilst fixing those has made up a big part of what I do, there have been quite a few more 'interesting' projects.

A little while back I got a call from a lady whose son had learning difficulties and couldn't ride a traditional bicycle so they'd bought him a trike, which he loved. Unfortunately there wasn't any storage for it where he lived so it had been left out in the rain and as is the way, it was a little rusty in places.

She'd called a few places to service it but no one was willing so turned to Cycle Sanctuary. I admitted when I spoke to her that I had never worked on a trike before but I'd happily take a look and do what I could... how different could it be? Turns out, quite a bit different.

So, the front end is pretty much the same... calliper brakes, grip shift gears, threaded headset etc... it's at the back where things needed a bit of head-scratching. Mainly around this bit:

In case you're wondering, trikes are one wheel drive... or at least this one was. I'm sure there are some, more expensive, versions out there with a differential but not this one, the pedals spin a chain connected to the right-hand wheel. Why not both wheels I hear you ask? If you think about for a moment that would lead to some pretty sketchy cornering as both wheels are trying to spin at the same speed while you're turning. In addition, the rear drum brake, as seen above only stops the left wheel. Definitely done for simplicity rather than for effective stopping but given that this isn't really designed for alpine descents I'm not sure it's a problem!

Fortunately, once I'd figured all that out it was a simple(ish) process of disassembling the bits that needed to come apart and clean them all up. A little tip for you for rust removal - scrunched up aluminium foil and water... does as good a job as anything, particularly on rust-mottled chrome components. The bars in particular came up quite nicely.

Once everything was cleaned up and the scratches on the frame had been touched up, it was just a question of re-assembling it, recabling the brakes and recabling and reindexing the gears. I replaced the missing reflectors, replaced the basket and delivered back to the owner.

Hopefully it now has a home somewhere little drier!

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