How to properly care for and maintain your tricycle
6th August, 2021
As with cars, trikes also need an MOT, so to speak, to avoid any potential hiccups and help it to run smoothly. At Jorvik, we make sure all our trikes have been designed to the best possible standard to reduce the need for servicing, and so you can cycle with ease.
How often should you do a routine check-up?
Properly storing your trike over the winter months plays a huge role in protecting it, so that when the frost thaws and the rain stops, you can get back out on the open road much easier. Before you store your trike away or look to take it out, it’s important to do a routine check-up.
We recommend you service your trike once a year. Whether you store your trike away for the winter, or you’re brave enough to cycle through the cold, the harsher conditions can hinder the performance of your trike. Read on to find out how to do an at-home check-up on your trike.
Things to look out for and how to fix them
Low type pressure – regularly pump your tyres to avoid deflating (very common after being in storage for a couple of months) and prepare them for the endless adventures you’re going to have.
Squeaky brakes – There’s nothing worse and more annoying than squeaky brakes. Luckily, it’s a quick fix. The first method is to thoroughly clean and dry both brakes. If that doesn’t work, they might need adjusting.
Weak brake pads – Old and worn brake pads reduce braking efficiency. If your brakes aren’t working as well as they should be, please get a qualified bike mechanic to repair or replace them as this is a vital part of road safety.
Support your tyres – Leaving your trike to stand on flat, deflated tyres can cost you money. Like how it would a car tyre, your trike tyre can begin to perish and split. To avoid this, ensure your tyres are fully pumped, and check them roughly once a month to do a top-up if it’s needed.
Humidity, dry air, water, and frost – You might not think it, but storing your trike in the garage isn’t enough. It’s still exposed to the elements which is why we suggest storing it in a weather bag to keep your tricycle in tip-top condition. The elasticated bottom of the cover will make sure your trike is wrapped up and snug.
Chain – Regularly applying lubricant to your chain increases the efficiency, performance and prolongs the life of your trike. Use it sparingly on any parts of your trike where metal touches metal. Don’t oil your chain unless you’ve cleaned it properly first, as this will create an abrasive paste that will grind away at the chain. Too much will create a paste to attract dirt and grime, and too little won’t make a difference.
Different types of lubricant
Friction and resistance from the chain can impact how your trike rides, and how your pedalling power is used. Not using a lubricant can result in a high-pitched squeak, and the potential for your chain to rust and snap mid adventure.
Pros: best for dry environments or in warmer months. It dries down quickly and doesn’t hold onto dust, dirt, and grit, making it a firm favourite of many.
Cons: if your bike chain gets wet, the lubricant will wash off and needs reapplying making it more high maintenance than others.
Pros: more durable and lower maintenance than a dry lubricant. The viscosity allows the lubricant to hold onto the chain in wet, muddy conditions.
Cons: it does dry down, but it takes a while so you can’t set off straight away after reapplying.
Never use motor-lubricant as it contains ingredients that will compromise the integrity of your chain and can reduce its lifespan. WD40 can be used to clean the chain but should not be used as an alternative to bike lubricant as it strips the chain. Make sure to always reapply your lubricant of choice.
How to clean the frame of your trike
Especially on a wet day cycling down a muddy path, your trike is going to become, well, filthy. Cleaning your trike frame couldn’t be easier. Simply scrub it with some soapy water, rinse well with clean water and thoroughly dry it.
Being dirty is a sign of being well-used and well-loved, but there’s nothing that can beat a squeaky clean and fresh trike that’s ready to hit the road.