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It turns right just fine but going to the left, whether on a curve or a hard left turn, seems stiff and a bit precarious. Can this be repaired?

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    My first guess would be that you've got the front wheel twisted around a full turn, such that the cables are binding against the front of the bike. You should have a "bicycle aware" friend look at the bike, or take it to a bike shop. Jul 30, 2020 at 22:20
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    Can you give us a photo of your bike? Use edit to add into the question.
    – Criggie
    Jul 30, 2020 at 23:14
  • A spectacular alternative is to pop a wheelie and pedal when the front wheel is in the air - that gives the sharpest turn possible :)
    – Mark
    Aug 23, 2021 at 10:32
  • Is the handlebar properly aligned with the front wheel? Does the handlebar turn smoothly and without play? It could be a loose or damaged headset bearing …
    – Michael
    Aug 23, 2021 at 12:17

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Some trikes drive only one rear wheel, so that when you're turning with that wheel on the inside, it will handle differently than when you're turning with that wheel on the outside. So that might explain it. If so, that's just the nature of the trike. Have someone hold up the back of the trike while you turn the pedals to see whether one wheel turns or both.

This trike looks like it should be driving both rear wheels and letting the outside wheel freewheel through turns. If that's the case, it may be that one of the freewheels is sticky.

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As Adam Rice surmised, your tricycle is designed so that the chain only drives one of the rear wheels. Based on your description, it's probably the left that is being driven.

During a tight right turn, the left wheel travels a long arc while the right wheel travels a very short distance if any. This is easy to accomplish if the chain is driving the left wheel and the right wheel is free to stop turning.

During a tight left turn, however, there is no driving force to push the right wheel around the long arc if the left (driving) wheel is nearly stationary. There are a few ways to deal with this, none of them particularly good.

  1. Set up your left turns very widely so that you can turn make a much shallower turn and keep the left wheel moving throughout the turn

  2. If you must make a tight turn, try to get some momentum before turning so that the momentum carries the right wheel around. But make sure that you do not turn so quickly that you risk tipping over, which is a common problem with tricycles.

  3. Turn left by making a 270 degree right turn, ie overshoot the left turn and then turn right and loop back to the "left" turn, which is now to the right.

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