Velo Vision Forum  : Russian trikes forum
A forum for owners of, and anyone interested in, recumbent trikes made in Russia, including machines from AS Engineering, Berkut, etc. Intended as a place for knowledge exchange, spares and repair support as well as simply swapping notes.  
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Apology & Questions...
Posted by: Peter B. (IP Logged)
Date: August 20, 2010 04:08PM


Once again, my apologies for having 'abandoned' this forum.

It remains a surprise to me, but I have to say I've been somewhat disappointed by my Zenit, and have not been riding it an awful lot.

The principal complaints I would make may all be remediable... but I have been very reluctant to modify the trike in any non-reversible way... and I don't have even a rude shop to work in at present, so can't (even) implement those I would permit.

I think the most troubling aspect of the Zenit for me is the steering 'feel' and if you find time, I'd be curious to know what you recall from riding your S-327... and/or how you might compare your experience to my characterization below.

It may ONLY be a factor of the trike's (very) low mileage, but the steering at low speed tends to feel stiff and 'notchy' to me. There seems to be a good deal of torque steer (which might have been expected) and the trike likes to 'pull' away from the crown of the road when not straddling the crown itself. Overall, I feel like I'm often 'fighting' the steering... and that doesn't seem right.

I wonder how these impressions compare to yours?

My tires are Schwalbe Marathons, and still fairly narrow at 1.75" (?). I wonder if wider tires might be more 'forgiving'?


As may be easily discerned, I'm both something of a perfectionist and a cycling 'dilettante'. I bought the Zenit because of my admiration for the engineering... but it has not (as yet) proven to be the ideal machine for me.

Among the items that _could_ be 'corrected' in time are the seating position and height and a reversal of the original owner's modification to independent front brakes... omitting the rear brake.

But if the steering continues to seem so vexatious to me, I may well sell the trike and move on.

Your impressions and comments would be much appreciated.


Peter B.


Re: Apology & Questions...
Posted by: enak (IP Logged)
Date: August 30, 2010 05:03PM

The steering is one of the quirks of the trike, due to the steering geometry it does tend to suffer from torque steer.

I personally find it quite a thrilling ride.

Currently running 1.35" Schwalbe Marathons.

Re: Apology & Questions...
Posted by: peter (IP Logged)
Date: September 07, 2010 03:07PM

Hi Peter,

Apologies too for not replying to this sooner - did see it posted but must have got carried away with work and forgot to get back to it...

Yes, the steering is certainly 'characterful' - with both torque and bump steer (brake steer too to an extent, especially I suspect with your non-linked front brakes). Don't particularly recall it pulling sideways on cambers but there are few noticeable ones around here. A more modern trike would certainly be more predicatable/well behaved.

How tight/loose is the steering movement without you sitting on the trike? When i first got mine, it was very tight - so much so that I could quite easily ride it no-hands, but small movements were hard to do precisely. I got used to it anyway.

But the first new owner it had found it unacceptable - he (I think) disassembled the kingpins and reamed a small amount from the plastic bushings. This freed it up considerably - now it's smooth and light (albeit with some free play now from wear).

Might also be worth checking the nuts for the kingpin bolts aren't over-tightened.

Mine's now stashed in the loft for the next little while - starting the new Electric Bike mag has eaten up pretty much all of my free time for repairing it :-(



Re: Apology & Questions...
Posted by: Peter B. (IP Logged)
Date: September 11, 2010 08:10PM

enak & Peter:

Thanks much to you both for your characterizations of the steering on your trikes...

I'm wanting to get out and ride the Zenit again, but owing to work being done in the garage here, the trike is stored safely out of harm's way, boxed in for the moment in an adjoining room.

I would actually hate to let go of it, and think I will try again to 'warm up' to the Zenit... when can.

Yes, I would also like to revert the brakes to original... and will post again in the hope of getting some more info on the basic Magura items I'm likely to need - hose, 6mm barbs, olives and... ???

Anyone know if the HD industrial Magura master cylinder was really a necessity (and/or highly desirable) for integrating the two front brakes? And/or whether it is still available?

enak: Are you riding the trike these days?

Sorry I don't have much (any) expertise to offer... perhaps in time that will change.

Hope you're both well.

Peter B.


Re: Apology & Questions...
Posted by: enak (IP Logged)
Date: September 13, 2010 10:48AM

Reverting the brakes should be fairly easy. I'm running Magura HS33 levers which have a dial, great for adjusting the bite point. Although the rear brake has noticably shorter pull the front brakes do work very well when adjusted right.

The braided hose is nice but not a necessity, plastic hose is certainly easier to work with.

The hardest part is bleeding the brakes but to be honest it's not really hard, more messy. Be prepared to get brake fluid everywhere... And don't use DOT brake fluid, you must use mineral brake fluid otherwise you'll wreck the seals.

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