Adult Tricycle vs Bicycle: Which is better for Adults?

We tend to see many adults cycling around using a bicycle while some use a tricycle, but why do they do that? What makes people choose a tricycle over a bicycle or vice versa?

Nevertheless, you will see adults who are physically challenged or have some complex issues use a trike, while on the other hand, the more fitness-oriented adults can be seen using a bicycle. The question here is Adult Tricycle vs Bicycle: Which is Better and Safer for Adults?

What do people consider when they choose between a adult trike or a bicycle? However, this critical question depends from person to person, but which is a better option and for whom? Below, we have jotted down some features that can help you make the right decision and determine the best option for you. 

Adult Tricycle Vs Bicycle – Critical Comparison

Adult Tricycle vs Bicycle
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Are tricycles safer than bicycles? There are many pros and cons of both a bicycle and a tricycle which will be helpful in evaluating which one is better and safer for adults. It is a fact that a tricycle has three wheels making it more stable and easy to ride, and it is less likely that it may go off balance.

However, a bicycle with two wheels is faster, and the rider can ride it more carefreely if he wishes to pedal faster. It is also used as part of a therapy program for the disabled.

Factors to determine Tricycle or Bicycle for Adults

More specific elements can affect the choice between a bicycle and a tricycle, including Capacity, Usage, Popularity, Safety, Cost, Speed, Accessibility, Balance and Weight. These certain factors can help determine which bike is better and safer.

Factors to determine Tricycle or Bicycle for Adults

1. Capacity of Tricycle vs Bicycle

The first variable is Capacity, and a tricycle is considered to be better than a bicycle in this case. For a bike to have a high capacity is possible, but it may get imbalanced and fall often. A tricycle is more balanced due to its three wheels and can carry more weight than a bicycle without getting disbalanced.

Also, to get a bicycle that can carry more weight, there needs to be an addition of a pannier or a basket. In general, a bicycle carries almost 300 pounds of weight, but it can be custom designed to carry 400 pounds, while a tricycle can carry 400 pounds without any customization. Hence tricycles can clearly be seen winning this race.

2. Bike vs Trike Usage

The second variable is usage which will be seen in terms of easiness, and a tricycle is easier to use. At times adults do not know how to ride a bicycle and may slip often and fall over easily, which is why it is vital to learn balance; hence comparatively, a bicycle is not easy to use. Tricycle, on the other hand, has three wheels and hence is easier to use because there is no need to learn balance, but it comes from the third wheel’s support.

To ride a bicycle, you need to master a few things like core strength, coordination of pegs to move the pedals, spatial awareness, and being conscious of how your body is positioned. In the case of a tricycle, core strength is not needed. Most people have stated that tricycles are more comfortable and relaxing in terms of the ride experience, which is why the tricycle is leading in this category.

3. Popularity of Bike vs Trike

In terms of popularity, bikes take the lead because often, it is popularly seen that bikes are more visible on the streets in comparison to tricycles. Taking a look at the US sales data, it will be seen that bicycles are highly valued, and there is an estimate of almost $6 billion present in the bicycle industry with 15-20 million in sales. 

Tricycles are still considered a niche market but are recently gaining popularity as three of the top forty companies are selling brands. It is still, however, a small market compared to the US bicycle market; hence, even if it is growing, bicycles will still win.

4. Safety

When we think of safety, the first thing that will ring in our mind is that tricycles are safer than a bicycle. The answer is YES and NO as well. Tricycles are stable and do not tip over easily. On the contrary, its structure being lower to the ground may cause difficulty for cars and other vehicles to see them easily. However, bicycles, with their more oversized frame, offer ease to other vehicles in terms of visibility.

Tricycles and Bicycles are likely to get imbalanced based on the person who is biking, but again tricycles are visibly safer and easy to ride. In contrast, adults of any age can ride, whether someone in their early 30s or 60s can conveniently use them for their needs.

5. Cost of Adults Tricycle vs Bicycle

The bike will take the lead in terms of cost or the price of both bicycles and tricycles, as it is less costly than a trike. It was mentioned before that a trike has lower sales than a bicycle, is less popular, and technically sells in a niche market, which is why it is likely to cost higher. Observing a few prices in the US market of both tricycles and bicycles, it will be seen that

Mountain bikes cost almost $1000 (USD) while beginner road bikes start from $350 (USD). A recumbent bike will cost around $1000 – 2000 (USD), while E-Bikes are the most expensive, costing almost $1500 (USD). Also read a comparison of recumbent bike vs trike.

Trikes start from $500, and an adult electric trike will start from almost $1,800 and go to $6,000. So for $500, a good quality road bike can be purchased while only a beginner or a basic trike will be bought for $500; hence the bicycle is the clear winner in this case.

6. Speed of Tricycle vs Bicycle

In terms of speed, the bicycle wins again because it has two wheels, making it more flexible and easier to bike around. Bicycles also occupy less space, making them speedy and faster to pedal, but this makes a trike safer because it is more visible and stable and goes at a regular speed; hence it makes the trike safer. Also, in the case of speed, an electric tricycle is the best, but again it is highly expensive.

Also, an electric tricycle will still be slower than a manual bicycle which can take you at a speed of 10-15 miles an hour, while a professional biker can go up to 45 miles an hour. Since bicycles can be taken at high speeds where riders can achieve 30 miles per hour without an electric motor, they will win in this category.

7. Trike vs Bike Riding Accessibility for Adults

Bicycles are more likely to be difficult, especially for people with disabilities or adults who cannot ride a bicycle because of stability-related issues. The bicycle requires riders to have good balance, core strength, and muscle strength for perfect balance and a smooth ride, while adults who prefer comfort and safety may not receive that from riding a bicycle. As mentioned, tricycles are even used for therapy by the disabled.

Recumbent tricycles provide comfort as a rider can easily lie down, which takes the pressure off of the backbone, and arms can also be used to pedal tricycles instead of legs. Tricycles also have a seat belt and three wheels, making them easy to balance, safe and stable, and hence more accessible. Tricycles can have additional padding, with custom-made seats for extra back support. Hence tricycles win in this case.

8. Balance

Tricycles may have an excellent balance due to three wheels, but it can be disadvantageous when it comes downhill or bumpy roads, so are tricycles safer than bicycles? They sure are, but Bicycles are made in such a way they are more flexible and lighter in weight. Hence they can easily cross downhill and bumpy tracks.

Mountain bikes are specially designed for bumpy tracks and have lightweight bodies that can help bike on off-road tracks. Bicycles can jump quickly, avoiding boulders and rocky areas due to the cycles having more robust frames, mighty tread, and light bodies, which gives the bicycle an advantage in this area. However, if you are planning for off road rides on trike, I have recommended some off road tricycle for adults.

9. Weight of Bicycle vs Tricycle

A bicycle’s weight will be much lighter than a tricycle. As mentioned before, a road bike has a lighter body and robust frames, which helps in smoothness and is lightweight and hence becomes easy to carry.

At the same time, a tricycle weighs a lot due to its enormous body and three wheels and can be inflexible. The lowest weight of a tricycle would be almost 40-50 pounds, but in the case of an electric tricycle, it would be almost 77 pounds.

While a road bicycle is almost 18 pounds which is the lightest weight a bicycle would have, so there is almost a difference of 22-32 pounds. So the lightest tricycle would still be 22-32 pounds heavier than a bicycle; hence in terms of weight the bicycle is much better. If you’re a fat person, have a look at best tricycle for heavy adults.

Concluding Bicycle vs Trike Comparison

Concluding the above discussion, which was based on Adult Tricycles vs Bicycles: Which is Better and Safer for Adults. A bicycle is better for fully able adults who want a fun ride. Whereas tricycle is considered to be safer and more stable compared to a bicycle and can be helpful for every adult, be it someone who is disabled or someone fully abled.

Hence a tricycle is safer and better than a tricycle. However, it always depends from individual to individual and their preference, as some may prefer to ride safely using a tricycle. In contrast, some may prefer to ride freely using a bicycle, particularly adventure riders.

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