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XPat9 06-09-19 11:24 PM

My Experience with Performer Cycles - F Trike (folding)
I live in an isolated part of China. I needed a trike to begin training with because I plan on crossing the U.S. with a friend. I needed a folding trike because it’s apartment living here. I don’t have much experience working on bikes/trikes so I also wanted to try to save a little money in case I make mistakes assembling and maintaining the trike.

My best choice seemed to be the F Trike from Performer Cycles, Taiwan.

The first problem I encountered was a welding mistake inside the frame where the boom is inserted. The weld at the crossbar where the front two wheels attach had beaded, the size of a pearl, through inside the frame. The company wanted me hack off a good portion of the boom. I decided to order a very long fine metal file and file it down instead.

The next problem was the tie rods. You have a 50% chance of installing them correctly because the company doesn’t mark them and they only go on one way. The maddening thing is, if you put them on wrong, they appear to be perfect until you tighten them, and then the measurement is ever so slightly off. I was fooled by this for over a week. Finally, I switched them and it worked out better. However, you are not supposed to over-tighten them, so they WILL get loose and go out of whack. I plan on spending a LOT of time adjusting and re-adjusting, etc., etc. The shimmying, the erratic pulls to the left and right was pronounced unless you ride the bike under 10 km/hr.

I also had a problem with the front derailleur. It would go out of alignment when trying to get to the largest gear. Naturally, I thought the bolt holding it onto the frame needed to be tightened. And Performer Cycle couldn’t offer any other remedy. After 13 tries, I eventually stripped that bolt and that’s when Performer Cycle stopped communicating with me.

Yet, another problem was the gear under the seat between front and rear derailleurs that facilitates the long chain travel. After 15 minutes of riding it was covered with metal shavings from the gear teeth. I can’t see that gear lasting very long.

The last straw and the reason for this post is… I ordered an F-Trike. ‘F’ is for ‘folding.’ When at last I went to fold the trike, it wouldn’t fold. There is no information on the internet about why it won’t fold… another welding error? …paint sticking it together? The company won’t communicate with me. The dealer doesn’t know and has to communicate with a company whose customer service and quality control could be improved upon.

XPat9 06-11-19 08:48 PM

In the assembly video on the Performer website, the scene where the mechanic clears the retaining pin before folding the bike is edited - cut - before revealing the secret handshake. Thanks to Performer for corresponding with the dealer - sending him the video revealing the secret. Even then, the dealer had to study the video because it wasn't very clear communicating the action necessary to unlock the hinge. The extra action needed to open it ends with a 'click,' however, hearing that click doesn't necessarily mean the hinge will unlock. The entire action isn’t that easy to do, but maybe it will become easier through repetition.

2_i 06-12-19 11:57 AM

Sounds like complete mess and it is difficult to give advice as company-dealer-customer relations differ with locations. From skimming the web they sell in the US, though, and seem to have a good reputation. I.e. messing up is not their principal mode of operation and there should be a way of resolving your situation. I see that you also posted on the Recumbent forum and started getting practical suggestions there.

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