Cycling is fantastic!
It’s a great exercise and so much fun to get out on the road, and it’s a great way to commute to and from work without spending a penny on gas.Table could not be displayed.
But unfortunately, a bicycle isn’t an option for everyone. If you suffer from balance issues, injury or disability, a bike may not work. A good quality adult tricycle bike is an alternative for anyone missing the road.
Adult three-wheeled bicycles are great for a lot of reasons. Like conventional bikes, they are fun, fast and a great source of exercise. Trikes even have some significant advantages over conventional cycling.
This article will take a look at adult tricycle bikes and what makes them tick.
We’ll weigh the advantages and disadvantages and offer some tips on purchasing, riding and storing them. Then we’ll review three great models I’d recommend checking out.
Let’s get started!
The adult-sized tricycle is in demand today because there is a growing need for a middle ground in the cycling industry.
There are a lot of people who find a conventional bicycle is difficult or undesirable for a number of reasons, but still want to enjoy the many benefits of cycling.
Full-sized tricycles for adults aren’t new. They have actually been around since basically the birth of the bicycle around 150 years ago.
For some reason, however, they have been relegated to the background, and today they’re commonly associated with children’s toys, taxi service vehicles and utility cargo carts.
I suggest that we start to think differently, since in many ways trikes are a lot more practical than the two-wheeled variety!
Luckily, today is a great era for those interested in riding adult trikes. Popular bike brand names like Schwinn are coming out with some functional and attractive options, like storage carts.
1) Kent Bayside: A comfortable, versatile full-sized tricycle for adults.
A proper three-wheeled bike with a generous basket
The Kent Bayside is a nice option for anyone who requires some versatility in gearing and a bit more comfort and support than what other models offer.
It’s a fully steel-framed adult tricycle bike with a seven-speed Shimano grip shifter, so if you do run into any hills you’ll be prepared.
The trike is built with an adult rider in mind, and it’s very comfortable and easy to get on and off. You’ll notice the lumbar back support behind the seat, which is nice for when you need to lean back.
There’s a front suspension fork for a softer ride, and a front fender for wet weather or gravel. Finally, it has a large integrated rear basket for groceries, bags or whatever you need to bring along.
This adult-sized tricycle gets great reviews (worth a read), and it’s definitely one of the best three wheeled tricycles for adults available today.
And it’s pretty affordable considering the basket, the gearing options and all the free extras it comes with.
Full-sized wheels increase your top speed
The Schwinn Meridian is getting a lot of positive attention for its great looks, nice features and accessible price tag.
The step-through frame makes it easy to get on and off, and the aluminum construction makes it on the lighter side as adult tricycles go.
It’s a single-speed, so it’s best suited towards flatter areas with few hills. It’s awesome for the beach or the boardwalk.
This is one of my top choices because you would be hard-pressed to find a more affordable option than this.
It’s a lot less expensive than many conventional bicycles, so it’s wonderful for riders wanting a stable, stylish and cargo friendly ride without breaking their bank account.
The padded seat and riding position are really comfortable, and you have a few color choices to pick from. And it comes with a rare inclusion: 26-inch wheels, meaning a higher top-end speed and smoother ride.
Long and lean, it’s got a dragster-like feel to it. If you’re an adult looking for a three-wheeled bike or trike and don’t want to sacrifice fun, give this one a look.
Recumbent means that you sit in a reclined position with your feet in front of you while you cycle. It’s a bit of a strange feeling at first, but ergonomically speaking it’s probably the easiest and most comfortable position to do it from.
It’s a fantastic choice if you suffer from back or knee pain and feel more at ease in a reclined position.
With a single speed hub, a low center of gravity for great stability, direct steering and a high seat, this is comfy and easy to ride. You’ll also get a ton of attention at the park or beach, and everyone will want to see how it works and find out where you got it.
One note, if you opt for a recumbent adult tricycle, I’d make sure to fit it with a flag if you’re going to ride on the road, so vehicles can see you. The Triton Pro sits a bit lower to the ground than most upright trikes do, so buses and trucks might not see you very easily.
- Stability: tricycles are extremely stable in most situations. While they do take a bit of getting used to (they ride differently from a bike, no leaning involved), they are great for all weather and terrain situations that bikes normally face. For anyone with balance worries, an adult tricycle is worth taking a look.
- Cargo Capacity: adult tricycle bikes can actually hold a decent amount of cargo compared with a regular bicycle. Many of them come with rear baskets that are quite large and stable. They are ideal grocery getters, and the ample storage capacity is a real advantage.
- Comfort: Tricycles for adults can be quite a bit more comfortable than a traditional bike. The riding position is relaxed, and there’s no tension involved with the effort to stay balanced. You can ride for a longer period without getting fatigued on one of these things.
Cons and potential detractors
There are a few ways that bicycles are more advantageous than tricycles.
- Weight: Tricycles are obviously much heavier than bicycles. That means that they can be a little harder to control, and you need to be sure your brakes are operating correctly. Re-aligning them or pulling them around can be a challenge.
- Storage & Transportation: Storing your adult tricycle bike can be a pain, because they take up more room than a regular bike. They are still portable compared to a vehicle, but you should make sure you have somewhere to stash it. Likewise, transporting it in a car can be tough unless you opt for a folding variety.
- Mechanically Complex: This is unlikely to be a major detractor, but the best tricycles for adults are usually more mechanically complex than a bicycle. That means they should have regular tune-ups at a bike shop to make sure they’re running correctly.
There are several factors to consider before purchasing the right tricycle for you. When you first hear the word tricycle, your mind will wander to plastic toys meant for toddlers and kids. So, you’ll need to do your research before purchasing one specifically for an adult.
Below we have created a list of features to consider before making your decision on one tricycle for adults.
Tricycles are not designed for mountain trails or endurance courses, so you can focus more on the comfort rather than the specifications. The seat can be more comfortable, the handlebars in a better position, and the wheels allow for better stability.
As you’re going to be travelling slower at a more leisurely pace, comfort is important. When riding a mountain bike down a steep trail, you will be too focused on the thrill of riding to notice how uncomfortable you are.
However, when cycling a tricycle slowly along the way, you’ll be more aware of how your boy feels. For this reason, don’t overlook how comfortable you feel on a tricycle.
Your seat should be firm, supportive, and cushioned for your comfort. You’re going to be sitting on the seat the entire duration of the ride rather than lifting yourself away from it continuously like you might do on a mountain or road bike.
So, the seat needs to be as comfortable as possible. Some find wider seats more comfortable while others find thinner seats better. It all comes down to your personal preference.
Your seat should be adjustable so that your knees are aligned with the ball of your foot and the pedal at a 3 o’clock end.
Having to sit forward too much while riding your tricycle will make you feel much more uncomfortable than having your handlebars at the correct position. Your elbows should be able to have a slight bend in them as you hold onto the bars.
Your head, neck, and back should also be aligned in this position upright so that you’re not slouching forward or leaning back. The grips also need to be comfortable so that you don’t get hand strain during your ride.
Some tricycles come with a better performance than others. The frames can vary in aerodynamics, affecting the speed you can go at. Tricycles that are lower to the ground are not affected by headwinds as much as higher tricycles are, making them easier and more enjoyable to ride.
The performance of the tricycle you opt for will depend on what you’re going to be using it for and your personal preferences.
Tricycles come with three wheels, making the mode of transportation more comfortable and stable. However, being that close to the ground has to feel bumps in the terrain more than an average bicycle.
This is the reason why many tricycles will have a rear suspension which can prevent you from becoming uncomfortable too quickly into your ride. These will cushion most of the impact, although you’ll still feel some bumps from the front wheel.
As you’re closer to the ground, it’s always advised that you opt for a tricycle with some sort of suspension.
Some adult tricycles come with electric motors to help you get up steep hills or to give you an extra push. As the majority of the weight of a tricycle is at the back of the bike, you’ll need some immense leg strength to get yourself up a hill on a tricycle.
An electric motor is not essential, and they don’t come on every tricycle, but beginners might thank their electric motor when they realize how much harder it is to ride a tricycle than they first imagined.
The majority of adult tricycles will come with a basket for you to carry around your groceries or other belongings. The larger the basket, the more you’re able to carry. So, if you’re purchasing a tricycle to use while running errands, you might want a larger basket so that you’re not struggling with an overflowing compartment.
Bear in mind that a larger basket will allow you to carry more items and the weight of this will all add up. For this reason, an electric motor might be ideal for these tricycles. You’ll think that you can carry everything with just your leg power… until you try to cycle all of your groceries home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do adults ride tricycles?
There are many reasons why an adult might choose to ride a tricycle. For starters, they’re more comfortable to ride than bikes and can go slower speeds to leave you with a leisurely pace rather than a quick one.
Tricycles are also safer to ride than bicycles, with a good performance, and you can store things in their baskets. Many bicycles don’t come with baskets anymore, and when they do, they’re considerably smaller than those of tricycles.
They’re more stable to ride and are unique. You won’t take a second thought after seeing someone riding a bike, but seeing a tricycle out will be the talk of the town. Finally, they’re just fun and a new way to get around.
Is riding a tricycle good exercise?
Yes, tricycles can provide an excellent method of exercising. It is similar to that of riding a bike, working primarily your legs. The more weight you put on the back of your tricycle with the help of the basket will make it harder to move and therefore a better workout.
Some people might find the temptation of an electric motor too much to get a good workout; however. So, you’ll need strong willpower to work your legs rather than giving up and using the motor.
Are tricycles dangerous?
As long as they’re ridden correctly, a tricycle should not be dangerous. However, people do have some concerns with tricycles due to how low the rider is to the ground. Drivers might not be able to see the tricycle or rider over their dashboard. However, this can be rectified by adding a flag onto the back of your tricycle.
Some people actually believe that tricycles are safer than riding bicycles. This is because they’re bigger and therefore can be seen easier by motorists further away. Tricycles also offer you better balance so that beginners won’t fall to the side like they might with a bicycle.
As your feet are in front of you rather than underneath you like they would be on a bike, tricycle riders can touch the ground with their feet easily to stop them from skidding. This would allow them to stop easier than being thrown headfirst from the bike.
How fast can a tricycle go?
Tricycles can travel up to 11 miles an hour, which is considerably slower than a bicycle. The average bicycle can travel around 62 miles an hour, which is a much faster mode of transportation than the tricycle.
Is it easy to ride a tricycle?
Yes, tricycles are even easier to ride than a bike. Instead of having to learn how to keep yourself upright with balance, you can simply sit on the trike and pedal to move. This is why many find tricycles one of the most leisurely forms of exercise and transportation.
Learning the correct techniques to ride up hills might take longer to master, and adult tricycles might require some patience to get used to. But overall, riding a tricycle is so simple that people of all ages can do it.