Trikes For Adults

Adult Tricycle

adult tricycle
Written by Mad Triker

Looking for an adult tricycle? Well, you’ve come to the right place, in this article we will show you our picks for the top 10 best adult tricycles on the market today. We’ve scoured the web to bring to you the best adult tricycles available. With an adult tricycle, you can enjoy the freedom and joy of cycling without having to learn how to balance on a bicycle. Choosing an adult tricycle will be fun and easy with our in-depth reviews and all-inclusive buyer’s guide.

Riding an adult tricycle takes a little bit of getting used to. Before reading on, we’ve found this great video from PFIFF that describes how to acclimate to riding an adult tricycle:

Most people will have a number of questions before choosing the right adult tricycle. We have put together a comprehensive toolkit of resources to help you learn about some important topics in the world of adult trikes:


adult tricycle

Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks | Flickr

Tricycles can be liberating for may people that just want to get out into the fresh air and have an enjoyable ride. There’s nothing like heading out on a nice pathway with the wind blowing through your hair. All this while riding at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Before selecting your favorite trike, make sure you read through our ultimate adult tricycle buying guide so you know what to look for. In this post we will be laying out our top 10 picks of adult tricycles on the market today. We will go over the pros and cons of each and show you some important details about each adult tricycle in this post.

Below you will find our top 10 picks for the best adult tricycle this year:

1. Schwinn Meridian Adult 26-Inch 3-Wheel Bike

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adult tricycleThe Schwinn Meridian adult tricycle is the perfect all around good quality tricycle for people that want to get into riding a trike. This trike comes at an unbeatable price and is reviewed very well. The trike is a single speed which is perfect for the entry level triker to hop and and get started without worrying about changing gears. The trike is built from a lightweight aluminum keeping the trike at a manageable 70 lbs.

Easily roll this in and out of your garage without hesitation! For braking, this trike has a rear brake and also a front brake so you can be sure that you can reliably stop the tricycle. There is a storage compartment in the rear of the trike so you can transport groceries or cargo with east. Lastly, the trike comes with a very comfortable saddle seat so you can be sure that you’ll be riding smooth!

  • Reliable brand
  • Great entry level adult trike
  • Low price point
  • Generous storage compartment
  • Only single speed but perfect for the beginner

2. Raleigh Bikes Tristar Tricycle

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adult tricycleIntroducing the Tristar Tricycle from Raleigh Bikes. This adult tricycle is newer to the market but immediately stands out from the competition. This trike was designed for a number of different things but mainly for stability and utility. The first thing I noticed about this trike is the nice rear metal basket that will hold your groceries, supplies or even pets if you want to drive around with them.

The frame is made out of durable steel so you know that you’ll have this trike in your arsenal for a long time to come. The brakes lock up so you can securely park the trike when you’re done riding. Furthermore, the seat is spring loaded for shock absorbing comfort! If you happen to be riding through a puddle, well don’t worry because there’s a front fender to help stop water from spraying in your face. The rear tires are wide Kendal 20 x 2.125 so this adds for extra stability.

There aren’t many reviews for this one yet but I think it will be breaking through into the market as the first reviews coming in are very positive. This one comes in at 65 lbs which is slightly lower than the Schwinn model. This is also a single speed adult tricycle.

  • Durable steel construction
  • Spring loaded seat
  • Direct linear pull V-brakes
  • Front fender
  • Warranty
  • Single speed but for most people this is ok

3. Komodo Cycling 24″, 6-speed Adult Tricycle

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adult tricycleThe Komodo Cycling 24″ 6-speed adult tricycle comes in at number 3 on our list of top adult tricycles. One of the first things I notice about the Komodo is that it has a low clearance step through design which is great for seniors or people with bad knees or leg issues. This way you don’t have to bend too much to get on and off the cycle and pedaling will be easier on the joints. It includes a large wire basket so traveling with your items or bringing things from place to place won’t be an problem.

This one is actually a 6 speed trike so it will be more versatile on the terrain you’re driving on that a 1 speed trike. For example, you can stay in a low gear if you’re going up a slope so you don’t have to pedal as much. If you’re looking for a little adventure, then you can gain some speed by going into a higher gear which will be easier to pedal at a faster speed.

The weight capacity is 240 lbs so this isn’t a trike that is suitable for heavy set indivduals. In that case, you would need a heavy duty tricycle. This is a great trike if you want to explore the neighborhood with the ability to change speeds and cruise a more versatile set of terrain. Finally, this one comes with a whopping 1 year warranty. Many trikes will only give you 30 or 60 days, but Komodo stepped it up with a full 1 year.

  • 1 year warranty
  • 6 speeds for riding more versatile terrains
  • Large comfortable saddle seat
  • low step through design (great for seniors)
  • Assembly required (as would most trikes)

4. Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle

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adult tricycleThe Mantis Tri-Rad adult tricycle is a great choice for people that want to be on the go, independent and be able to tuck away their trike in a nice compact place. This trike is completely foldable so storage won’t be an issue with the Mantis Tri-Rad. It comes with many of the great features that your standard trike would come with such as a storage basket and good braking system.

Besides the fact that it’s foldable, this trike has some other notable features that make it stand out from the competition. The frame is made from steel so it will definitely be durable. Furthermore, it comes with a front fender, chain guard, and they even included a bell for you. The only downside about this adult tricycle is that it is only a single speed but that is more than enough for most people.

Mantis actually does also sell a 6 speed version of this trike. Lastly, to keep your comfort in mind, the Mantis trike comes with a comfortable saddle seat.

  • Foldable
  • Only weighs 45 lbs
  • Durable steel frame construction
  • Worry free ride
  • Smaller tires than similar competitors

5. Kent Westport Folding Adult Tricycle

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Want to revisit your youth but you’re too afraid to try a bike? Don’t fret, this trike is made for you! Being on 3 wheels this will ensure your stability and you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying the fresh air and open nature for your enjoyment. This trike is made from a strong durable steel frame so it will last you a long time if you take care of it properly. This trike is also foldable like the Mantis which is another bonus.

Additionally, the Kent Westport adult tricycle includes a nice storage basket in the rear of the trike for you to take your groceries or supplies from place to place. How about a picnic in the park? No problem, put everything in the basket, hop on your trike and away you go. Furthermore, this adult tricycle has a nice suspension fork on the front wheel to help with any bumps or potholes and absorb the shock. Lastly, the seat is extra wide and comfortable so you can be sure to be feeling good when riding in the great outdoors. Handles and seat are fully adjustable as well.

  • Foldable
  • Front suspension fork to absorb shock over bumps
  • Extra wide seat
  • Nice sized cargo basket
  • Assembly required (as with most trikes)

6. Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle 24″ Wheels

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adult tricycleSchwinn is a brand that has been around for a long time so you know it’s a name you can trust. We reviewed the 26″ wheel version of this adult tricycle up above. But, we also want to add the 24″ wheel version of the Schwinn adult tricycle. The nice thing about this trike is that it has fenders both on the front wheel and on the rear wheels. If you happen to get caught in a little rain then don’t fret. Or, have to drive through some wet pavement you don’t have to worry about getting splash back which is a nice bonus on any trike.

The stand is very low to the ground which means it’s ideal for seniors. Or, people with knee and leg issues for smooth pedaling. The seat comes with a quick release adjustment. This way, you don’t have to break out all the tools in the shed to start making minor adjustments to your trike. Furthermore, the braking style on this one is mechanical rim. Having 24″ wheels this can be used by an adult or even a child in the 9-12 age range. Lastly, the rear basket is quite large and can be folded down to give yourself a little extra space.

  • Low stand for easy access
  • Smaller design suitable for adults and older children
  • Large cruise seat with quick release adjustment
  • Fold down rear basket
  • Aluminum frame is less durable than steel frame competitors

7. Belize Capri 24″ 6 Speed Adult Tricycle With Sloping Frame

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best adult tricycleBelize Bicycle presents us with the Capri 24″ 6 speed adult tricycle. This trike is perfect for the traditional trike enthusiast that wants to get back to riding in the open air like the good old days. First off, the Capri adult tricycle comes with a number of notable features. In terms of comfort, the saddle seat is extra plush to make sure your rear end is extra comfortable for your entire ride. The tire size of this one comes in at 24″. Secondly, a nice bonus about this trike is that it comes with 6 speeds.

The shifters are Shimano brand which is a great, reputable brand of gear shifts for bikes and trikes that goes back decades. There is a rear band brake and front V-brake on this model. They included 3 fenders for ultimate splash back protection! Nobody wants to go out and get sprayed by wet road conditions. Finally, coming in at only 55 lbs this trike is one of the lighter ones on the market. I would recommend taking a good look at this trike.

  • 6 Speed Shimano gear system
  • Reflector kit included
  • Large rear basket
  • Solid and durable steel construction
  • Full assembly required

8. Mission BMX MX Trike – 6 Speed 24″

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best adult tricycleI’m including this one in our top list of adult trikes for the more adventurous types! This one may be more suited for a teenager, but there’s nothing stopping an adventurous adult from hopping on the BMX MX Trike by Mission Cycles. This trike was designed to basically bring give an overhaul to the look of the traditional trike and bring it some modern appeal. Looking for a little bit of cool factor? Well this trike is definitely for you.

Mountain bike features have been added to this trike. These features include BMX wheels and ridgid tires ideal for rougher terrain. The standard is 20″ wheels on this one but you will likely want to upgrade to the 24″ if you’re an adult. Furthermore this trike comes with a front suspension fork to help you have a smoother ride. And nothing says cool like a nice matte black paint finish. Ride in style with this uber-cool teen/adult tricycle.

  • ‘Cool’ factor
  • Many options with pedals and backrests
  • Coil saddle seat
  • BMX Features such as handlebar and hubs
  • Assembly required (preferably by a trained cycle mechanic)

9. Pfiff 24″ 7 Speed Comfort Low Step Adult Tricycle

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best adult tricyclePFIFF, coming directly from Germany, brings us the 24″ 7 speed comfort low step adult tricycle. This trike is a little pricier than the other trikes mentioned in this post, but I wanted to include it to give you an idea of a nice range of options in our picks of the top 10 traditional adult tricycles. Did I mention German engineering? You know you’re going to get quality from a company like PFIFF. PFIFF decided they would design a single tricycle with the most desirable features and jam pack them into one super trike.

If you’re willing to spend a little more money, then this trike is for you. The seat has been designed to be very flexible and very comfortable for a great steering position. Comfort is key in this design and a style is also an added bonus. Furthermore, this trike comes with a 7 speed gear system with SRAM twist shifter. Lots of grips and comfort added to this trike. If you want to lean back and rest your spine then no problem because there is a backrest built right in. Ride in style with this german engineered gem of a trike.

  • Heavy Duty Steel frame
  • Coated with anti-corrosive paint
  • 7 speed gear system
  • Capacity of 300 lbs
  • Heavier than some at 70.5 lbs

10. Trailmate Desoto 20″ Classic Adult Tricycle

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best adult tricycleTrailmate brings us the DeSoto 20″ adult tricycle. This is Trailmate’s most popular adult tricycle. Being in the business for over 40 years, Trailmate knows their trikes and bikes so this is a brand name you can trust. This is a bonus right off the bat. Secondly, this is an American made adult tricycle which is definitely a bonus for some. The low step design makes it a perfect choice for seniors and adults that don’t want to bend their knees too much to get on and off a trike.

This trike comes with safety flags and a complete reflector set. Safety is something that should never be compromised! Additionally, the rear basket is rust resistant, so you know in a few years you won’t be holding on to a rusty basket. If you haven’t experienced cycling before and want to get into riding then this is the trike for you. Finally, the Trailmate DeSoto comes with 3 speed options so you can choose which one suits you best.

  • American made adult tricycle
  • Lots of configuration options
  • Western saddle seat for added comfort
  • Low step design great for seniors
  • Weight capacity is maximum 250 lbs

The Adult Tricycle Ultimate Buying Guide

adult tricycle

Photo courtesy of Eric Fischer on Flickr Creative Commons

So you’re looking for an adult tricycle? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This is the definitive guide to choosing and selecting the right adult tricycle. Being an adult trike enthusiast myself, I want to share with you what I know and think about the best adult tricycles. In this post I hope to outline many of the most frequently asked questions. Furthermore, concerns about picking the right trike. At the very least, if you’re not into triking, maybe I can convince you to go out and try a trike to see if you like it. Let’s get started by asking, why would you want a trike vs. a bike?

Note: Always wear appropriate safety gear when riding a tricycle or bicycle.

Why Choose A Tricycle?

Tricycles Are Comfortable

Of course, depending on the type of trike you’re looking at buying, trikes can be more comfortable than bikes! Specifically, talking about recumbent trikes, your body remains in a very neutral, relaxed position.

NASA actually performed a study that this position aka. the relaxed ‘weightless’ position, was quite neutral.

Great news for trike lovers, because the way your body is positioned in a recumbent trike is very similar to this relaxed / weightless pose. This has numerous benefits for your posture, spine and general comfort. Furthermore, trikes tend to have pretty comfortable seats. There are many trikes out there with seats at an average of 17 +/- inches wide. That’s definitely good news for your rear end if you’re planning a longer ride.

Tricycles Are Safer

This one may come down to some personal opinion but I do truly believe that tricycles are safer than bicycles. Of course, this depends on the rider, the terrain and the situation but I will give you some of my points of view and you can judge for yourself.

They're biggerBalanceFeet In FrontLow Center Of Gravity
This is kind of a no-brainer but trikes are typically bigger than bikes. So, the first point i’m going to make is that they’re more visible to motorists. Obviously good reflective clothing, flags, reflectors and lights can make the difference. But, if we’re just talking about the size, I believe that a trike would be a little more visible on the open road.
Definitely another obvious one. Whether, you’re experienced or completely in-experienced, balancing on 3 wheels is easier than balancing on 2-wheels. This is a bonus to the beginner cyclists out there. Maybe you haven’t been on a bike before but want to enjoy all that cycling has to offer. An adult tricycle may be right for you.
This has to do more with recumbent trikes. Mostly, your feet will be in front of you instead of under you. In the unfortunate event of an accident, a recumbent triker would be more likely to stick their feet out and touch the ground. They would skid or slide vs. being thrown out of a bicycle head first.
With recumbent tricycles, your center of gravity would be much lower than a regular bicycle. Again, if an undesirable situation arises such as an accident, the triker would tend to slide and skid. This would be more likely than they would in a bike.

  • Good Performance

    Depending on the type of trike you choose, under certain conditions, they may even perform better than bikes. Take a low riding recumbent trike and you will definitely see more aerodynamic benefits when compared to regular bikes. Cycling up a hill with a headwind coming at you, any regular biker would agree that a challenge will ensue. Being lower to the ground, headwinds affect trikes less than bikes. Again, this applies more to recumbent tricycles.

  • Storage & Carrying Capacity

    If you will be buying a new trike and plan on doing groceries or carrying things with you, then this is an important consideration. Trikes will be way easier to bring ‘stuff’ from point A to point B. You’re already balanced on 3 wheels, you’ll likely also have a bigger basket installed on the trike. This is another no-brainer. Be it groceries, supplies, a case of heavy drinks, business deliveries or even pets, a tricycle will always beat a bike in storage and carrying capacity.

  • Stability

    Trikes come with built in stability. They’re on 3 wheels! You can cruise down the road, path or trail and not worry about losing your balance on a trike. Although, some trikers find that non-tilting tricycles are more difficult to ride because of something called the counter-steering effect (leaning into a turn on a bike). This is more of a matter of just getting used to a new form of transportation. You can count on a trike being stable any day of the week, especially if you’re a beginner.

  • Special Needs

    Adults and children with special needs may benefit from certain types of trikes. What better way to help adults and children with special needs to get out into the open air than giving them an opportunity to ride a tricycle. Freedom, strength and confidence can all be gained by people with special needs. Many of these tricycles not only come with foot pedals but also synced up hand pedals. Super beneficial if there are any difficulties with coordination. Trikes are a great way to provide people with special needs a way to get exercise too.

  • Trikes Are Exciting

    Let’s face it, trikes are pretty exciting! There are so many varieties out there to choose from that there is a trike for everyone. Tricycles aren’t just for kids. Adults can enjoy the freedom of the open road with the peace of mind of knowing they are stable, balanced and safe in a tricycle. If you’re more on the adventurous side of the spectrum, well there are trikes for you too. You can hit some pretty high speeds on riding a tricycle.

Types Of Adult Tricycles

adult tricycle

Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks on Flickr Creative Commons

You will be surprised at the varieties of trikes you can buy these days. Let’s go over some of the different types of trikes available to you. There are trikes available for all people of all sizes. Age doesn’t matter either. Whether you are 20 years old or 80 years old there are plenty of choices. Additionally, you can try all the different types of trikes to test which one you like best. So, let’s get to the different types of trikes and if they’re right for you.

Delta Trikes / Tadpole Trikes

adult tricycle delta trike

Image courtesy Duncan Watson | Flickr

All trikes will usually fit into one of these two categories – Delta Trikes or Tadpole Trikes. The main difference being where the wheels are positioned. A Delta tricycle has two wheels in the back, while a Tadpole tricycle has two wheels in the front. Is one better than the other? This is hard to say. Ultimately it would be a user preference. There have been studies done, and I won’t go in too much depth in this guide but basically there are some differences. The center of gravity in a tadpole is more towards the front whereas the delta is more to the back. So let’s say you were going really really fast and had to brake very suddenly. Well, you would be more likely to tip forward in a tadpole than a delta.

Traditional Trikes / Upright Trikes

adult tricycle

Photo courtesy of Richard Masoner | Flickr

These are trikes that most resemble riding a bike. Upright tricycles will usually have an open frame and be either delta or tadpole configuration. A disadvantage to traditional tricycles vs. recumbent tricycles is that the center of gravity is much higher. From a safety standpoint this may not be a concern.  Your stability is ensured just being on 3 wheels vs. 2 wheels on a bike. In terms of comfort, it would be similar to a traditional bicycle. This is because most of the design is essentially similar with the exception of having the third wheel.

These trikes usually come with large storage baskets. They are designed for the leisurely triker that wants to get from point A to point B. I wouldn’t recommend these for any sort of intensive sports use. I believe recumbent bikes are more suited for that. If your goal is to get out into the fresh air and ride around town this is your trike. If you want to be able to bring stuff from point A to point B then these trikes are definitely for you. Even without biking experience, the learning curve will not be too steep. This is because your balance and stability is already taken care of!

Tandem Trikes & Sidecar Trikes

tandem trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Michael Pereckas | Flickr

These trikes come in a lot of varieties but we’ll try to cover them all in this post. When we say tandem, we mean tricycles that can accommodate 2 people. This sub-category actually crosses over to almost every other category because it seems like you can get a tandem trike in most of these configurations. First off, we have a tandem front-to-back upright trike. So this is like a standard upright trike that we talked about above and the riders are one behind the other. Second, we have tandem side-by-side upright trikes.

These trikes are just like a regular upright/traditional tricycle but the riders would be sitting beside each other. Those are the two main categories for tandem trikes and they can be found in the recumbent trike, electric trike, folding trike and adaptive trike categories as well. Finally, there are also sidecar tricycles. Although not commonly found and they don’t seem to be too popular in the manual tricycle category. There are some out there that would be used to transport somebody around — like a passenger.

Recumbent Trikes

recumbent trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Larry & Teddy Page | Flickr

Recument tricycles are trikes that you sit in a laid-back position. Kind of like sitting on a recliner with wheels. In my opinion, these are the best kinds of trikes. I’m a big fan of recumbent tricyles (and bikes too!) for a variety of reasons. First, for posture and spinal care, I believe the recumbent position to be the best. Having bulging disc and sciatica issues myself, I find that the reclined position is more of a neutral pose.

It does not put as much pressure on the spine. Being hunched over on a regular bicycle does pose some issues for myself. This causes numbness in my leg after long rides. I don’t find that to be the case with recumbent trikes. If you can sit in a recliner and play video games then nothing is stopping you from sitting in a reclined recumbent trike. So, head out and consider going for a ride!

The World of Recumbent Trikes

recumbent trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Duncan Watson | Flickr

The world of recumbent trike enthusiasts is a big one one, and as such, you’ll find a whole bunch of types of recumbent trikes. Going back to the first section of this topic they breakdown basically into delta (2 rear wheels) or tadpole trikes (2 front wheels). I’ll stick to showing you some variations of these as they’re the most popular. Although, there are some other popular varieties such as the Velomobile. This is popular for racing in europe, but somewhat outside of the scope of this article. Hand powered recumbent trikes are also very popular. These are powered with your hands instead of your feet, which would be a completely different kind of workout.

Folding Trikes

folding trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Folding tricyles come in a few varieties but this category of trike is pretty self explanatory. If you want to be able to throw your trike into your car or easily store the trike for the winter, a folding trike may be right for you. The benefits of folding trikes are the space saving opportunities that allow you to bring your trike wherever you go too. Consider a folding trike if you don’t have much space to store it.

Electric Trikes

electric trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Sam Placette | Flickr

Electric tricycles do have an electric motor but many are hybrids that come with both pedals and an electric motor. These tricycles are great for people that need that extra boost going up a steep incline or maybe just want to take a break but still want to get to their destination! Electric trikes also provide people with special needs a reliable form of transportation. This can be a life saver for some people that may or may not be able to obtain a driver’s license for whatever reason. Certain electric trikes do not require a license or insurance as long as they cannot travel faster than a specified speed. Usually they can’t exceed a certain amount of wattage / horse power as well. To ensure what you are legally allowed to drive, check your local regulations.

Special Needs Trikes / Adaptive Trikes

adaptive trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Justice Ender | Flickr

There are so many people out there that have special needs that can benefit from riding a trike. Many people with special needs may not be able to drive a vehicle, or may not be able to ride a bicycle. Providing people with special needs the freedom to get out into the fresh air and ride a trike on their own could be a liberating and joyful experience. Not only do trikes provide people with special needs freedom but they can help build up their confidence. It can help them get exercise to build up strength and stamina as well. There are many benefits in providing an adaptive tricycle to a person with special needs.

Drift Trikes

drift trikes adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Jimmy Racer | Flickr

Now on to the more adventurous spectrum of the trike world, I present to you: drift trikes! Drift trikes do come in motorized and non-motorized variations, but for the scope of this article we’ll stick to talking about the non-motorized drift trikes. Drift trikes are basically regular tricycles (think of big wheels when you were a kid) that have slick rear wheels. These rear wheels that are usually made of some sort of a plastic material are intentionally designed to ‘drift’ and slide around. This is a growing sport around the world and gaining popularity. These trikes are preferred to be drive on smooth, slick roads which prevent the wear & tear of the wheels. Having these slick rear wheels, trike drifters can do some pretty neat tricks and spins while gaining speeds of anywhere between 25-50mph! Some drifters would be taken to a certain speed while holding a rope attached to a vehicle, then they would let go of the rope and ‘drift’ down a winding, sloped road.

Heavy Duty Trikes / Industrial Trikes

heavy duty adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Bytemarks | Flickr

Heavy duty, or ‘industrial’ trikes are essentially trikes that can either handle more weight. Or, have increased carrying capability, or both. These trikes are best suited for people that weigh more. Also, for people that want to ensure that they will be on a stable tricycle. This is without worrying that the maximum capacity weight will be surpassed with the added cargo. For example, if you have a trike with a 300 lb capacity, but you weighh around 280 lbs, that only leaves you with about 20 lbs of extra cargo capacity. You may want to consider a trike that has a higher capacity. Some trikes have weight capacities of up to 600 lbs!

Off-Road Trikes

off road adult tricycleOff road trikes are essentially trikes that are smaller in size. They have thicker, more heavy duty wheels and tires. This is so they can accommodate the harsher terrains of not being on the road. Off road triking is mainly a motorized activity. But, off road pedal triking is gaining some steam. Some of these trikes were designed for Antarctic record setting and are now getting popular in the adventure sport market. Some other off road trikes resemble regular bicycles. Picture a bike with two wheels on the front. Designed to be used in the ice, snow, drive over curbs and be driven off road. These trikes can get you to where you want to go. Even if there aren’t any roads!

Hand Crank Trikes

hand crank trike adult tricycle

Photo courtesy Milwaukee VA Medical Center | Flickr

Hand crank trikes or handcycles can come in a variety of shapes and styles. These adult tricycles can definitely cross over to many of the sub categories listed above. These are trikes that are powered with your hands instead of your feet. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried a hand crank trike, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! These trikes would be a completely different workout and I imagine the dynamic would be quite different. Hand crank trikes are popular amongst people that are paralyzed in the legs. Without the need for pedaling with your feet, people with paralysis can enjoy the great outdoors and hit the road with a hand crank tricycle. Moreover, hand crank tricycles come in numerous styles. Mountain, Tandem and even front-flying hand crank trikes (where you’re lying forward on the trike so picture your chest facing the road).

Picking The Right Adult Tricycle

adult tricycle

Photo courtesy of Gary J. Wood on Flickr Creative Commons

When choosing the right tricycle for your needs, make sure to go over some of these important points about picking the right adult tricycle.


First and foremost, let’s talk about budget. How much do you want to spend? If you’re just getting into triking an entry level trike would probably be good for you. You can find many well rated tricycles for under $500. If you’re budget is higher than that consider getting something better. If you’ve already been riding a trike and are looking for an upgrade, you may consider a trike between $500 – $1000. For the best quality and performance, most of the top of the line trikes are at least $1000. It goes up from there. To keep budget in mind, those are the prices you will generally be looking at.

What Are You Using It For

Next obvious question is what will you be using your trike for? Perhaps you are an beginner and have never been on a bike and want to try a trike for leisure. Do you need to get from point A to point B? How often will you be using the trike? Are you planning on riding long distances or will you be going short distances? Do you want to travel at a slow, steady pace or are you more adventurous and want speed and action? Do you want to have a good workout? Or, do you want to just get out in the open air and let the trike do all the work? These and other factors are things that should definitely be considered when picking the trike that’s right for you.

Who Is Using The Trike? (special needs, sports, children etc)

Another question I would ask is who the trike is for? I would generally recommend to buy a trike for yourself as a properly determined trike for the main person using it would be the most beneficial. If the person using the trike is very light and short, then it’s important to check the specs of the trike to make sure that the person can properly fit on it. Perhaps the person is much heavier and needs a higher weight capacity trike. This is also an important consideration. If the trike is for a senior citizen, then a trike with a low pedal and point of entry might be easier on a seniors knees and legs. If the trike you’re looking for is for a child, then you are reading the wrong article!


Design is important because it can affect the triker in numerous ways. I would consider design to be a much more important factor for the intermediate to advanced triker as they would have different considerations. Particularly with recumbent trikes, design becomes a much more important factor. You would want to consider things like aerodynamics, center of gravity, turning vectors, braking vectors, and tilting amongst other things. All of these design items will affect the performance and handling of the trike. Whether your goal is speed, distance or maybe you just want the safest ride out there, design considerations are important.

Materials & Construction

Check the materials and construction of the trike to ensure that it’s constructed from a durable material. You get what you pay for so understand that that a cheap adult tricycle may look good but may not be constructed from the best quality materials. Cheap trikes may or may not be good but you have to sift through some of the reviews to make sure you’re not getting a dud. Ensure that the trike you are buying is a weight that you will be comfortable handling because before and after riding a trike, you still have to park it somewhere and store it and easily be able to access it.


The next important consideration would be the features of the trike. What do you need the trike to do? Are you looking for a trike with a large storage basket to hold your groceries? Check the handle bar position and span and check the quality and make-up of the seat to ensure your comfort. Check what features are adjustable because we come in all shapes and sizes so you want to make sure that you can adjust the seat, handles or any other items on the trike to make you more comfortable.


Trikes come with various gears aka ‘speeds’ that you should consider before buying a trike. If it’s your first time on a trike or even a bike, then a single speed trike may be the most cost effective and practical solution for you. The benefits of speeds are that if you are pedaling up slopes or down slopes then you can adjust your gears. Going up a hill can be challenging in a high gear, so you will want to put it in one of the lowest gears (some people call high gears low but for the sake of this article i’m calling the lowest number gear the lowest). If you want to gain speed without exerting as much energy, then you will want to put your trike in a higher gear. So determine whether gears and speeds are important to you before choosing a trike.


I’m not talking about storage on the trike, but i’m talking about storing your trike! Make sure you have room to store the trike for the winter or off-season or whenever you won’t be using it. The one downside about trikes is that they do take up a bit more space than your average bike so find some room that you can tuck your trike away when you’re not using it. If you’re tight on space, consider getting a folding trike that you could easily store in a more compact environment.

Riding a Trike vs. Bike


Riding an adult tricycle is a lot like riding a bike but it does have some fundamental differences. Getting used to riding a trike is difficult for people that ride bikes. There is something called counter-steering.This is basically what regular bikers would do to initiate a turn to the left or the right. What’s second nature to many people, they don’t realize that on a bike you actually torque your handles to the other side, slightly turn your wheel the other way, but then LEAN into the direction that you are turning. There is no such effect with an upright tricycle so this is one of the biggest differences. This effect may not apply to many recumbent trikes as it mainly has to do with traditional trikes.


adult tricycle camber

Camber means the tilt of the road that you are riding on. This is another difficulty some regular cyclists have expressed when trying tricycles. If you haven’t tried a tricycle before, then this is nothing to be concerned about. This is more about regular cyclists that switched to tricycles and how they felt about it.


Riding a trike is different from a bike. In the fact that some can come in a rear wheel drive setup and a front wheel drive setup. Some see that the rear wheel drive in a tricycle requires a longer chain. This then may require a longer frame which means that the frame may be more flexible. In the end, this translates into a loss of some power. Tricycle enthusiasts may have differing opinions. But, to adjust for the lost power, some believe that the front wheel drive is the superior setup. This is a riding consideration that can be a personal taste. This is best if you can actually try both to see which you prefer.


Zero Scrub Radius refers to a term regarding braking. This refers to an axis that intersects with the ground but that is in front of the tire contact area. This essentially helps to stop effects of braking on one side. This basically helps novices from spinning out of control or flipping. Many tricycles come with different braking setups. The one most commonly found is that each hand operates one side of the front brake. Normally you wouldn’t use a front brake on a bike as much as the rear because you could flip forward and fly off your bike.

Tadpole trikes tend to have a center of gravity much closer to the front of the bike. So, brakes on the front wouldn’t have that much of an impact. Additionally, in the delta setup, the rear of the bike would be much heavier than a regular bike. This would be much less likely to flip.

Disadvantages of Tricycles

Generally speaking, tricycles will weigh more than bicycles. This isn’t a trike vs. bike article but I figured I would put this point in here. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a huge disadvantage because the extra weight definitely contributes to the overall stability. If handling the trike is of any concern, then look out at the total weight before you go out and buyone.
Terrain / Riding / Learning Curve? (Counter Steering)
Some cyclists have described a little bit of a learning curve when trying a trike. If you haven’t been on either then you won’t notice a difference, but if you’re an avid cyclist and you’re trying triking for the first time then you may need a little time to adjust. This shouldn’t be any reason for you not to consider buying a trike though.
With extra wheels and some extra parts, tricycles will require a little more assembly than your standard bicycle. It’s all relative though. Depends which trike and from which manufacturer and which pieces already come pre-assembled. Some dealers may even offer assembly for you.
I think storage would be the biggest disadvantage of owning a trike. Storing the trike could become a challenge if you don’t have the space for it. In this case, folding trikes would probably be your best bet. There are all kinds of sizes of trikes. So, be sure to pick one that you know you will be able to store and access easily. Better yet, it would be best to prepare your garage with some hooks and such to be able to just hang your trike on the wall or on the ceiling. I hang mine on the ceiling as I have plenty of vertical space in my garage. Only in the winter though.

Conclusion about the best adult tricycles

This brings us to the end of our in depth buyer’s guide about adult tricycles. I hope you had as much fun reading this article as I had writing it. I hope that you have, at the very least, learned something new about adult tricycles. Tricycles are an excellent, safe, reliable form of transportation and enjoyment. Whether you’re a new triker or intermediate/advanced triker hopefully you will find something useful in this post. Don’t forget to like us on facebook and share this post if you can!

That brings our article about the best adult tricycles to an end. Whether you’re new to cycling and want to get out and ride or if you want to try something different then we highly recommend trying a tricycle. There’s a trike out there for everyone. Get out there and start enjoying the fresh air and give a tricycle a try. Tricycles are safe, practical and most importantly super fun to ride! Feel free to share this article with your friends we would really appreciate it.


About the author

Mad Triker