The Ultimate Trike Control Lock

Last edited: 11 April 2023, 4:09pm

Words & Images Kev McNally

Over the years, I have come across different versions of control locks for trikes. Most have been bungee cords with a toggle ball, the sort you can buy by the dozen for securing a tarpaulin or similar.

If you are not too fussy, one of them may prove to be adequate. Otherwise, there is only one which can easily be fitted or removed with gloves on. It can be tied loosely (inside the hangar) or tightly, where the control bar will not move at all (for outside). In either case, it can be removed very quickly, if and when required.

First buy one of the bungee cords with a toggle ball attached. Now remove the bungee and discard it – you only need the ball. Next, you will need to buy a metre of 5mm bungee cord, of the type which can stretch to more than 100% of its original length. You may find the bungee type securing your wing battens will satisfy this requirement. Then put the two ends of the bungee together and tie the knot about 100mm from the ends. Lastly, insert the bungee through the toggle
ball. If you have difficulty with this, try using a piece of string or a small cable-tie to pull it through like a needle threader.

To install, follow this procedure – practice without gloves first.

Fig. 1: This is what the finished product should look like.

Fig 1: Finished Product

Fig. 2: Start as shown, by feeding the toggle ball around the compression strut and over the top of the base bar.

Fig 2: Feed toggle around compression strut

Fig. 3: Hook the free end of the bungee around the ball…

Fig 3: Hook free end around ball

Fig. 4: ... and go back around, the way you came.

Fig 4: Go back around

Fig. 5: Then, hook it over the ball. Your wing is now secure, but may still be moved from side to side.

Fig 5: Hook over ball

Fig. 6: To release, simply grasp the tails and pull upwards.

Fig 6: To release pull upwards


To secure the wing tightly: Stretch the bungee when installing then for Fig. 4 read ‘... go back around, the way you came twice’, before hooking over the ball.

Note: If the bungee cord is not stretchy enough, you will only be able to go round once, but this will still secure your wing and enable you to remove the control lock easily, when required.

This article was originally published in SportPilot 80 - April 2018.

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