I just came back from my local bike shop looking for the best recumbent trike for the money. To my surprise, I couldn’t really find anything that I would put in the ‘affordable’ range. For me, spending a few thousand dollars on a recumbent tricycle at the moment is not what I had in mind. Although, I would love to be able to purchase one of the best recumbent tricycles available. So, what I’m looking for is the best recumbent tricycle for the money.
Differences Between Entry Level and High End Recumbent Tricycles
I like to think of a difference between low-end and high-end trikes like comparing wines. You’ll definitely see a difference between a $3 bottle of wine and a $12 bottle of wine. Although, your average wine drinker may not see that much of a difference between a $50 and $75 bottle of wine. This, in one way or another, can also apply to people looking for the best recumbent tricycle for the money.
One of the biggest differences between high-end and low-end trikes is the material they are constructed from. Typically, a high-end trike will use some sort of combination of lightweight alloy composites and generally more expensive components. On the other hand, an entry-level recumbent tricycle may be composed of more common materials. This can include regular aluminum or steel and plastic components. Of course, the materials the trike is made from can impact the lifespan, durability and performance.
Before we begin, I also wanted to share Bob Nagy’s review of the Performer JC70 Recumbent Trike. This is an all around great recumbent trike at an unbeatable price:
These are the 5 best recumbent trikes for the money today:
1. Mobo Triton Pro Beach Cruiser Adult Recumbent Tricycle
One of my favorite, best recumbent trikes for the money is the Mobo Triton Pro Recumbent Tricycle. This is an excellent recumbent tricycle and has a number of really great features. If you’re looking for a multi-speed and mid-level recumbent trike, move ahead to our #3, #4, and #5 picks. The Mobo is an entry-level cruiser.
First of all, it’s constructed of a durable steel frame. This means that you can rely on it for many years to come. Even with the steel frame, this recumbent trike comes in at a weight of 44 lbs. So, this will make transport and Storage easy for the regular user.
One interesting feature about this recumbent tricycle is that it is designed with a chainless system. In terms of maintenance, there would be much less to worry about without having to deal with a gear & chain system. Unfortunately, one downside is that there are no gears on this trike. What this means, is that this is a single speed trike.
The Mobo Triton offers a joystick type steering wheel for both hands. This means that handling the trike should be a breeze for most riders.
This trike is designed for flatter roadways, pathways, and Beach sides. If you’re looking for a trike to smoothly ride over gradual slopes and flat surfaces, this casual trike could do you well. If you plan on hitting the road, check out our post about riding a tricycle on the road. Not to mention, the price point is very affordable and is one of the best recumbent trike for the money.
2. Mobo Shift 3-Wheel Recumbent Tricycle
Next up on our list of the best recumbent tricycles for the money is the Mobo Shift Three-Wheel Recumbent Tricycle. Mobo comes up twice on this list simply because they are creating high-quality trikes at a very affordable price point. Whether you’re new to the world of trikes or have a ridden them before the Mobo is worth a whirl.
Although the Shift by Mobo Cruiser is technically a single speed tricycle, it does have one unique feature: The Shift is being branded as the first adult tricycle with a reverse gear. So, in a sense this is a two-speed recumbent tricycle (if you consider reverse a speed). The reverse gear makes reversing and backing up smoother and easier. Instead of trying to make a full 360 turn or manually trying to turn the trike, you can simply shift this recumbent tricycle into reverse and back up out of a tight spot.
The shift is actually quite similar to the Mobo Triton, equipped with the reverse gear. In terms of design and quality this trike is made from an all steel frame and comes in at a weight of 44 lbs. The recumbent trike also includes the maintenance-free chainless design.
A couple of additional interesting features are the extendable frame and adjustable back support. The frame shifts on 10 slots that you can adjust depending on your height. Mobo advertises this trike to fit riders between 4’ ft tall and 6’3”tall. Furthermore, the backrest is adjustable from a reclined to more upright position depending on your level of comfort.
3. Performer JC-20 Recumbent Trike
I’ve added the performer JC 20 recumbent tricycle to this list to show you a slightly more equipped recumbent trike for the money. Although the price point is a little higher than the Mobo Cruiser and Triton, the Performer recumbent trike comes with some additional features and components that could benefit plenty of casual or experienced riders.
More Speeds For Versatility
First off, this is a 9-speed recumbent tricycle. For the more experienced rider looking to get off flat pathways and gently sloping hills, a 9-speed might be more up your alley.
What sets this recumbent tricycle apart is the materials and components. For example, the seat includes a mesh cushion and is designed with a hard-exterior shell. The seat also includes a headrest for additional support.
Additionally, what you may not find in your standard bicycle, are disc brakes. Brakes can give you that extra quality when looking at specific components of a recumbent tricycle. Most of the components on this trike have been assembled from reputable brands such as Shimano, Tektro, Sunrace, and Michelin. This way, you can be assured that you are getting a quality product. The frame is also constructed of light weight aluminum.
If you’re willing to fork out a little bit more for a recumbent trike then the performer JC 20 is a great option for a well rounded best recumbent trike for the money.
4. TW-Bents Trident Adult Recumbent Tricycle
Although the Trident Adult Recumbent Tricycle may not be the most affordable, it could very well be the best recumbent trike for the money. If you are truly looking for the best recumbent tricycle for recreational use, the Trident may fit like a glove.
Superior Construction & Alloy Frame
First off, the frame is built from a chromoly steel grade 4130. This is actually a strong steel alloy that combines chromium and molybdenum. Furthermore, this alloy has approximately 0.3% carbon by weight. What this gives you is a very strong frame and a generally lightweight material. Additionally, the frame is foldable which will come in handy for storage or transport on your vehicle.
What we really liked about the Trident recumbent tricycle is that you do not have to worry about assembly if you are in the Continental USA. Many of the lower-priced trikes on the market will require either you to assemble them, or, have you bring it to your local bike shop for assembly. The price can vary on this but because it comes assembled already, we see this as a bonus for the buyer. Also, this will save you on assembly costs that can vary from shop to shop.
This best recumbent trike for the money has a 24-speed 3×8 gear system. For long-haul or short-haul trips, this recumbent tricycle will give you a smooth and comfortable ride. Whether you’re going uphill or downhill, the high gears in addition to the disc brakes will give you control, safety, and performance for your ride.
The Trident is truly one of the best recumbent tricycles for the money in its class. Comparable trikes can go for a much higher price tag. If you are looking for the best recumbent trike you can get for the money, the Trident is a leader in its category. Otherwise, if you are just looking for the most affordable recumbent trike, give the Mobo a shot.
5. Performer JC70 Recumbent Trike
Last but not least, we bring you the JC70 model from Performer. Perhaps, the best recumbent trike for the money, the JC70 will not disappoint.
Almost identical to the JC20 model, the main difference between the two is the JC70 comes with a larger rear wheel. Sporting a 700cc wheel at the rear, the JC70 is equipped for both comfort and speed. Furthermore, this recumbent trike has an extended wheelbase. An improvement from the JC20, the 70 has a 116cm wheelbase compared with its counterpart at only 97cm. Performer advertises the JC70 as being their most popular model.
High Quality Components
Equipped with an array of reputable branded components, the JC70 from Performer is one of the best recumbent tricycles for the money. Tekro brake levers and a Shimano rear derailleur, you know the trike is built with high quality in mind. Also, sporting 3 Michelin brand tires on Jalco wheels, you’ll know your riding on a well-built machine when pumping the Tektro disc brakes on your eventual slow-down.
Finally, the trike is built from an aluminum 7005 frame material and aluminum 6061 handle bars.
Coming in a 27 or 30 speed model, this recumbent trike can take you across the most versatile treks.
Quality Without The Added Cost
Performer Recumbent Trikes are designed to be good quality. Yet, they remain affordable recumbent trikes for adults. Somewhere halfway between the price of a Mobo and a Trident, the Performer will give you possibly the best recumbent trike for the money.
Final Thoughts About The Best Recumbent Trike For The Money
To summarize, when you are searching for the best recumbent trike for the money, give these three brands some consideration. Mobo is our choice for the most affordable entry level recumbent trike. Likewise, the Performer is also quite affordable but you will get quite a bit more for your money.
Finally, the absolute best recumbent trike for the money goes to the Trident. It’s superior construction, features and components gain all the top marks. Coming pre-assembled from the factory, all you have to do is open the box and start riding. Now go out there and hit the road with the best recumbent tricycle for the money!