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rydabent 07-30-19 06:52 AM

Where trike mfg are going wrong
It seems that most new models of trikes have gone to direct steering. It makes them more twitchy at higher speeds. Indirect steering is a little like having power steering, and is more stable.

Moe Zhoost 07-30-19 07:46 AM

I've not ridden a trike with direct steering, but they are reported to "feel" more stable at higher speeds. My ICE Sprint has indirect steering and I would say that it feels ok at higher speeds, though I know that it takes an easy touch to avoid drama. I fear that I would be all over the place with any more sensitive steering. Then again, one learns and adjusts.

I'd guess the trend is related to cost reduction.

BlazingPedals 07-30-19 08:31 AM

I suppose any sort of indirect steering can incorporate 'gearing' to slow down steering responses, which some people would like and others... would not.

Leisesturm 07-30-19 09:31 AM

Direct steering has long been seen as the 'performance' option in much the same way as rack and pinion steering on sports cars was seen as superior to ... ... whatever kind of steering was the status quo before rack and pinion came to dominate across all vehicle platforms. And its cheaper as an earlier poster noted. Not often you get that kind of win-win so, yes, trike manufacturers are going to be all over direct steering going forward. But indirect steering will always be around, it will just be harder to find.

ronrich 07-30-19 02:48 PM

Yes, indirect
I am a fan of indirect steering. The great advantage of the indirect approach is, yes, you can set the 'gearing' for your steering.
But more importantly you can have several different 'gain ratios' that you can use as the need arises. Usually selected just by
a series of connecting holes, as is the case with my fairly ancient Linear folder.

So if you will be doing some relatively high speed riding you might want less sensitive steering. But for around town use, more sensitive
steering might make more sense. Just undo a nut, move the bolt and you can have it whichever way you want it.


Trsnrtr 07-30-19 03:55 PM

I prefer indirect steering but direct steering has been around on Catrikes for a long, long time and I don't see their sales hurting any. Regardless, they aren't headed there, they've been there fully since at least 2005, 14 years ago.

Juan Foote 07-30-19 03:59 PM

I would think that "twitchiness" is more directly related to the geometry in respect to direct steering. I had two Catrike Roads and they both were fine in the steering dept. after the bushing update to the headsets.

MikeyMK 07-31-19 05:35 AM

I can't change the gearing on my indirect steering without modification. The wheels turn further than the bars by a large margin, which can make it a handful at speed.
To stabilise it I've weighed-up the steering with some resistance.

Darth Lefty 07-31-19 04:04 PM

You may as well argue for rack and pinion steering. It would also work just fine, if you can arrange it so your knees don't hit the wheel. I don't see how the steering would have made a difference to stability. I've controlled enough different vehicles in my life to adapt to different steering forces (including learning to drive on a Chevy Caprice with casually overpowered steering, and R/C planes and cars which have no force feedback at all) and that's not the same as stability.

The steering geometry is way more important. Like the location and height of the CG, caster, etc. I really felt the Terra Trike didn't have enough tendency to return to center. It was really neutral, I felt too neutral.

I'm also sure it would have felt a lot more stable with full suspension.

Leisesturm 08-02-19 01:15 PM

There are a number of recumbent bikes and trikes known to be 'twitchy' or 'a handful'. The Windcheetah Hypersport is one such beast. There are others. Highracers and Lowracers are no ones idea of a 'docile' or 'easy' bicycle. And velomobiles? How many of those rare and expensive beasts have been lost to ... pilot error? And we just take it on the chin when we 'screw up' and strive to do better. If the first attempt didn't leave a lasting injury precluding further explorations. Nutz to that. Within weeks of building my Highracer, I fashioned a steering damper for it AND a powerful 'return to center' force moment that allowed me, at 60, to ̶r̶i̶d̶e̶ control the thing like someone half my age, by the end of the first riding season.

I have been roundly criticized for doing this on other recumbent specific forums. Its seen as cheating. It's seen as unnecessary. Maybe. But there is the evidence of those broken bikes (and their riders) and trikes and cracked open velomobiles. What about that? Just yesterday I had occasion to say that I believe trikes and velomobiles should all come with powerful 'return to center' spring mechanisms from the factory. Why from the factory? Because then it wouldn't seem like such a cheat to install one.

BlazingPedals 08-02-19 02:07 PM

Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21056934)
Within weeks of building my Highracer, I fashioned a steering damper for it AND a powerful 'return to center' force moment that allowed me, at 60, to ̶r̶i̶d̶e̶ control the thing like someone half my age, by the end of the first riding season.

A fully faired and socked TourEasy has a return-to-center spring provided by the lycra sock centering the handlebars. I don't think that's cheating. Not everyone likes the effect, though.

rydabent 08-11-19 10:25 AM

On a group trike ride yesterday I observed a direct steer trike and its reaction to bumps. When a bump was hit, the two front wheel would wobble wildly. It looked almost dangerous to me. After seeing that I have even less use for a direct steer bike.

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