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  1. #1
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    Help! Noisy Sun EZ-3 Trike

    Could someone please assist me? Two weeks ago, my husband and I bought two Sun EZ-3 SX Trikes. When we test drove mine (it was already assembled at the authorized bike dealership), it was as smooth riding and quiet at a dream. They said they had to assemble my husband's and do a final "tune up" on mine before it was ready for pickup. We came back 2 days later and picked up the 2 bikes. Before we left the parking lot, they had to replace my rear right-hand side bearings due to noise. After only 2 miles of use, we returned to have the rear left-hand bearings replaced. The "reason" they gave us was that the tech tightened the bolt too tight, thus damaging the bearing assemblies. We were told by the Manager that some squeaking and clicking is normal for the recumbants, because of the elongated chain and complex rear gear housing. However, here is my new and rather disturbing problem. The very bike that we had issues with from the beginning is now making a knocking sound AND strong vibration (when it knocks)...the sound is coming from the left rear...but it doesn't make the sound or the vibration if you lift the wheel and spin it. It only happens when someone is actually ON the trike...even if you simply move the wheel 1/5th of a rotation. Sadly, this has come up with only 6 rides totally 90 miles on the trike. My husband's trike is a bit noisy (squeaky) but NOTHING compared to mine. You can actually hear me coming or going without 600 yards. Now, please do not laugh Gentleman...this is NOT a "lady thing"...no matter who rides my trike they get this same situation. We're planning on taking the trike back to the dealer this week, but I'd love to get another mechanic's opinion on this. I know there are Lemon Cars...are there Lemon Bikes??? Or did I simply purchase this trike from a dealer with poorly trained techs? Either way, I'm almost afraid to ride it now...and it's extremely frustrating because I love the way it handles...if I could just get rid of the vibration and noise!
    Thanks, in advance, for any assistance I can get on this matter. My husband and I love the bikes...but they aren't doing us any good if one cannot be ridden due to mechanical issues. By-the-way...if I didn't mention it earlier...they are 2005 Sun EZ-3 SX Trikes. We added fenders to them...but the bearing issues arose before the fenders were ever added (they lost the fender order and had to reorder).

    Frustrated Recumbant Triker in Ohio,
    LadyTriker

  2. #2
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I don't know if the those trikes use disc brakes or not. However, in the week that I had rented an old Catrike, I noticed that it was rather tricky to get the disc brakes properly tuned and spaced so that they wouldn't rub while riding. I too noticed that the problem only occurred while I was sitting on the trike; if lifted off the ground the wheel spun freely. So if you do have disc brakes, definitely check to see if they're rubbing. When you adjust them, make sure that someone is sitting on the trike.

  3. #3
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    Geez, I thought I was the only one having this problem....
    Anyone that's been reading these bike forums know that I've been complaining about the very same problems since last year.
    My EZ3 makes a clack, clack, clack noise when I putting the power to the pedals. The dealer has been stumped as to find out what is causing this.
    I let the dealer know that next year I want to get a differant trike, and will need to sell the EZ3. So we need to find the problem. He has called J&B imports and they in turn are asking Easy Racers for a copy of the blueprints on this trike.
    In order to tear down the complete rear end, we need to know what is what and what goes where, etc., etc.
    The bearings in the back wheels, and axles were replaced last year. They all had a rough spot in them, and this was when the bike was brand spanking new, not even 20 miles on it.
    And yes, the disc brake is a dud as well. Every time I make a fast turn, it makes a rubbing noise for awhile, or until I apply the brake lever a couple of times......all in all these are cheaply made trikes, with cheaply made components and put together by Chinese folks that do not have the proper training.
    If we are able to finally come up with an answer to my problem, I will be sure to post the remedy on this and other forums.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  4. #4
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I'd say the easiest solution to the problem is to buy a Catrike instead...

    As for the clacking sound, it sounds like it may be the rear BB, the ratchet-y part that lets you pedal in reverse without turning the wheel (what's the official name???) It works fine when you turn the pedals under no load, but when you're moving 200+ pounds then the innards skip loose and make that noise.

    I had the same thing happen on my ratcheting screwdriver.

  5. #5
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    Oh how I wish I could afford a Cattrike.....but I did ride on one in San Diego a few years ago. Great Trike! However, I'm a big tall guy, and could not get up and out of the Cats seat without help. Seat is way to low for me.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  6. #6
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    How tall? I'm 6'4" and had no trouble, though it takes a bit more technique than getting on a DF bike. I would just squat over the seat, grab the brakes so the trike didn't move, and fall the rest of the way in. Getting out required me to hold the brakes, do a quick situp, let go of the brakes then follow the momentum out.

    SO how tall are you, beatle?

  7. #7
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    Six feet, nine inches, weigh in at 285......have two artificial knees and am 62 years young.....so this is most of the reason that I have troubles getting up and out of anything that is lying on the ground....hee, hee.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatle bailey
    Six feet, nine inches, weigh in at 285......have two artificial knees and am 62 years young.....so this is most of the reason that I have troubles getting up and out of anything that is lying on the ground....hee, hee.
    Wow, big guy indeed. OK, I can understand that it might be hard to get in and out of a Catrike given your stature! I guess it's hard for me to imagine being 40 years older... yikes.

  9. #9
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    Hey LadyTriker....
    Do yourself a favor and take the Lemon Trike back to your dealer and demand a brand, spanking new one.
    I'm reminded every time I ride mine that I was foolish enough to think that the dealer would fix it. Now I'm stuck with it and the expenses of fixing the problem (if the problem can be found) will be all mine.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    I have the same problem, it suchs, thats why I don't ride mine anymore. The only good trike that Sun makes is the EX-3 USX, also I have hear (not not road) good things about the tadpole. Also if you find a sloution PLEASE TELL ME!!!!

    Good Luck,

    GEEK
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    Max Speed: 40 mph

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
    I have the same problem, it suchs, thats why I don't ride mine anymore. The only good trike that Sun makes is the EX-3 USX, also I have hear (not not road) good things about the tadpole. Also if you find a sloution PLEASE TELL ME!!!!

    Good Luck,

    GEEK

    So Geek.....how long have you had your Lemon EZ3.....what year is it? Hopefully more folks who have EZ3's with similar problems will let us know to......
    "Oh Yeah?"

  12. #12
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    To LadyTriker and Geek.......go to www.easyracers.com/vbb/ and post your stories about the EZ3. They are the ones who designed this trike.....make them aware that there some of us out here, who have trikes that we can't get fixed. Plus there may be folks on the other forums that have a Lemon EZ3 that don't know about us.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm just making a SWAG (Scientific Wild-@ssed Guess) here, but is this trike a delta trike with disc brakes on each rear wheel? Because what you're describing sounds sort of like what I ran into when I did some brake work on my bike the other night. The caliper was too low, which caused the top of the caliper to make contact with the edge of the disc rotor. If there's a little play in your wheel bearings, I can see this happening only when a rider is on it. The solution is to shim the brake caliper out further (radially.) I don't have a Sun, so I can't advise how it would be done, but you should be able to test my theory and if that's what it is the bike shop should be able to figure it out from there.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    I'm just making a SWAG (Scientific Wild-@ssed Guess) here, but is this trike a delta trike with disc brakes on each rear wheel? Because what you're describing sounds sort of like what I ran into when I did some brake work on my bike the other night. The caliper was too low, which caused the top of the caliper to make contact with the edge of the disc rotor. If there's a little play in your wheel bearings, I can see this happening only when a rider is on it. The solution is to shim the brake caliper out further (radially.) I don't have a Sun, so I can't advise how it would be done, but you should be able to test my theory and if that's what it is the bike shop should be able to figure it out from there.

    NO this is not a brake problem....my brake makes some rubbing noises that are much higher pitched. I can quiet the brake by gently squeezing the brake lever.
    Our noise is only made when we are applying power to the pedals, and the noise gets louder when we shift up into each gear. It is a loud clack, clack, clack....people can hear me coming for half a block away....it is embarassing.
    If it was the brake it should be noisy all the time while we are in motion....but thank you for your suggestion.
    "Oh Yeah?"

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    You're right, if it only happens under power, vs in motion, then it's a drive train problem. Chain problems would make sort of a buzzing sound. But clacking... is it syncced with your pedaling by chance?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    You're right, if it only happens under power, vs in motion, then it's a drive train problem. Chain problems would make sort of a buzzing sound. But clacking... is it syncced with your pedaling by chance?


    YES....it is synced with the pedaling, but no noise when coasting.....could be the bearings in the rear gear cluster, or the axle bearings, or in the jack shaft assembly.....my LBS is trying to get the blue prints from Easy Racers....if not, then we'll just have to tear the whole rear end down to find the problem (HOPEFULLY).
    "Oh Yeah?"

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    To me, having it in sync with pedaling, and by that I mean the clacks happen at the same point of each pedal stroke, would mean a problem with the bottom bracket or chainrings. But since you say it seems to be coming from the rear, perhaps it's related to the seat? That would also be stressed with each pedal stroke, and the sprint braces would transmit the sound to the rear...

  18. #18
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    My 25 year old classic DF has a "freewheel" (inside the rear cog stack) which screws on to the rear hub. The clearance in the freewheel bearings is set by a stack of shims. My shim stack is about .002 too thick, which makes the bearing races wobble slightly under certain load conditions and in certain gear combinations. This produces an annoying clunk/clank noise in sync with the pedaling (but varies depending on gear) which I can sometimes feel in the drivetrain..

    The noise is particularly loud when cold and/or when I first start off, but it seems to diminish with miles (as it warms up?). I have no idea how a freehub or freewheel on a delta trike axle works, but....

    Hal

  19. #19
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    clicking sound on trikes

    I have recently purchased a sun ez-3 trike and about the second time I rode it I noticed it had a clicking sound coming from what sounded like the left rear wheel area. I have not felt any vibrations, only heard the clicking sounds so far. It seems to do it more under power, but will also do it while coasting. It is not loud but noticable at about 30 feet away. I assumed it to be a wheel bearing but now I am not sure after reading these posts. I am an engineer by trade and a relentles investigator of all that is wrong with a machine. I will find out what is the cause of this clicking, and report it here.
    Leon

  20. #20
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virgilleon1943 View Post
    I have recently purchased a sun ez-3 trike and about the second time I rode it I noticed it had a clicking sound coming from what sounded like the left rear wheel area. I have not felt any vibrations, only heard the clicking sounds so far. It seems to do it more under power, but will also do it while coasting. It is not loud but noticable at about 30 feet away. I assumed it to be a wheel bearing but now I am not sure after reading these posts. I am an engineer by trade and a relentles investigator of all that is wrong with a machine. I will find out what is the cause of this clicking, and report it here.
    Leon
    Leon, that sounds like a Dérailleur trim issue, my wife's EZ did the same thing until I made some minute adjustments to the trim. The Clack being referred to in the thread.....I think it's the seat myself, my wife's does the same thing on occasion and also a squeak, doesn't seem to affect the performance of the trike though. The sound is reflected from the ground and sounds like it's coming from the wheel, but it's coming from the seat rail instead.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  21. #21
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    I had a Sun EZ Sport CX that made a click click sound when I put power into the pedals. It sounded like a BB problem so I tightened it. That did not help, so I removed it, greased it and reinstalled it. That did not help. I finally found out it was the handlebar quill. I pulled it out, greased it thoroughly and reinstalled it. Noise never returned.

    I have a Bacchetta Giro 20 that I had problem with vibration and a clanking noise about every third round of the pedal with power applied. This only occurred in gears 5, 6 and 7 on a 9 gear cassette. If I applied a lot of power to the pedal it would get worse. I changed the cassette from a SRAM 950 to 970 and it fixed the problem. The noise was the chain slipping forward in the sprocket groove until the link would hit the sprocket tooth. It did not skip teeth, only slipped forward within the groove. The cassette was bad I guess.

    With the proper lubrication, my Sun EZ Sport CX was the quietest bike I had ever ridden. My Bacchetta is quiet as well after I changed the cassette and chain. They may be giving you the run around.

    I think they may have damaged something when they overtightened the bearings. I do not know the construction of the trike you are talking about, but if the races are not replaceable, they may be damaged. The noise you hear may be the ball bearings rolling across each dent caused by each bearing when it was overtightened. But that is just a guess. Without seeing it, I really could not tell.

    I will tell you one thing, the noise you described is NOT normal. They need to fix it. The trike may make a little more noise, but not that much more than a regular bike. I don't think a recumbent should be noiser than a DF bike. Think about it. Whether the chain is 3 feet or 11 feet, the amount of chain running across your front chain rings and the rear cassette and derailleur is the same as a regular DF bike.

    You paid a lot of money for that bike whether it was made in China or not. It should ride nicely and quietly for that price. Make the dealer make it right.

  22. #22
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatle bailey View Post
    YES....it is synced with the pedaling, but no noise when coasting.....could be the bearings in the rear gear cluster, or the axle bearings, or in the jack shaft assembly....
    I am not familiar with the delta EZ, but the idlers go crazy on my EZ Tad from speed shifting. It makes horrible clicking and grinding sounds. I found it was the chain rubbing against itself, and easily solve the problem by putting the chain on one side of the idler or the other until pedaling is smooth and quiet. Just trial & error.

    Down side is I had to get rid of a little steel chain holder, but it was not working in the first place!

    countersTrike

  23. #23
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    Noisy EZ3 Trike fixes:

    I have a new EZ3 trike and had several noise problems show up on the first ride. The most distressing noise was coming from the left rear and was the worst when peddling and or on a crowned road with the left side tire on the down slope side. It sounded like a dry bearing - "creeeek - creeek" - like a dry door hinge.

    I removed the rear axle to inspect the bearings and force oil into the sealed ball bearings - noise reduced but not gone. I took the axle apart again and could see dark oil (was clean before the ride - now the oil had supper fine metal dust in it) where the spacer between the left wheel bearing touched the bearing in the left end of the rear frame. While hand spinning the right (driven) wheel, I slowly backed off the axle nylock nut until the left wheel spun both freely and independantly from the right wheel. Bearing noise gone. The spacer should just begin to rattle with finger force to keep it from galling against the bearings each revolution. I now keep the wheel spacer lubed with the chain lube that is wax based and dries to a soap texture in a few minutes. It does't collect dirt as badly as all oil products. The dry lube sprays are too thin to provide much protection. The sealed ball bearings in the rear axle do not tolerate side loads for long. If the nylock axle nuts were over tightend for very long they may have permanent damage. Remember to loosen the nut untill there is just the beginning of play. The inside diameter of the wheel bearings and frame bearings are a loose fit on the axle so that it can be removed easier and this extra clearence will cause the loose parts to rub every revolution. If they are dry when rubbing, it will make noise. Eventually the wheel spacers (only soft steel, brass would have been better) will wear (length will shorten), so expect it.

    I have nearly 300 miles on my bike now and it is silent except for the seat chirping occasionly when pumping hard on the pedals. Tightening the rear most seat bolt until it pinches the metal tangs enough to stop the chirp will fix that.

    The disc brake will chatter or grind when braking if the short chain between the jack shaft and the rear axle is too loose. It should have at about 1 chain width of slop but not enough play to let it jump teeth. Check the alignment of the short chain with the two sprokets while your checking the chain tightness. The bolts that fasten the rear section to the main frame are two different sizes (need to use them to adjust the small chain tension). One set is metric and the other set is 9/16th on my bike. The metric set screw that pinches the rear axle cog to the axle keyway will work loose from the huge load it gets from the brake. (Only on the cheapest EZ-3.) It has the brake on the jack shaft instead of the wheels.

    I found that the chain guide roller ( urethane pulley on a post) was installed backwards. It should have the printing facing the left side so that the pulley can slide far enough to tward the frame tube to properly align the chain.

    I've made many changes to my bike (too many to discuss in this session) and now it is a real pleasure to ride. Almost too comfortable and smooth.

    Hope this helps someone;

    John
    Last edited by grifzila; 12-09-07 at 06:45 PM. Reason: clarity

  24. #24
    bobkat
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    Check the spokes on your wheels for tightness. My LWB bike made a similar noise , and when I checked the spokes, several were loose and snapping together like that under load and made a wierd noise like you are describing. Being a new bike, I'd doubt if bearings would be worn out already, but a loose spoke or two could do it!

  25. #25
    Senior Member wink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pprayers View Post
    jeff-o,

    Your tag says that you are a "Recumbent Evangelist". Are you a recumbent rider who wants to evangelize everybody into riding recumbents or are you a Evangelist who rides a recumbent? Just wanted to know since I am the latter and it would be good to meet other evangelists or ministers who happen to ride recumbents.
    PPrayers I got a feeling there is not to many of you out there.

    Has for the EZ 3 noise I see a few around here and never notice any noise from them.Also a bike shop I go to have bunch's of them I will ask when I am up there if he has had any trouble with them.

    Wink

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