What is a Trike and Types of Adult Tricycles

There are many different ways in which we can go from one place to another. Although, for most citizens, bicycles and motorized cars are the most common vehicles on the street, which we usually see every day.

Therefore, the tricycle is also used as a means of transport, going to work or nearby places. Nevertheless, a tricycle is also used for cycling, which tends to improve cardiovascular health. However, it is also used for weight loss, improved coordination and increased muscle mass.

Most of the people believe that tricycles are only for children, but this is not true at all. Besides, everyone is using these tricycles nowadays, whether they are children, adults or seniors. In this article, I will discuss what is a trike and types of tricycles, while in the end, I also mentioned answers of the most frequently asked questions related to trike bikes.

What is a Trike or Tricycle?

What is a Trike or Tricycle?
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A bicycle with three wheels is referred to as a trike bike. Besides, with an additional wheel in a tricycle, it provides more ease to the riders. Trikes sit lower to the ground than bicycles, providing riders with a more comfortable position than other traditional bicycle riders.

A different types of trikes provides a rider with different seated positions, which give stability and support to the user. These are indeed impressive vehicles that offer relaxation and excitement, which you expect from a motorbike.

Reasons for Choosing a Tricycle

Following are some of the reasons for choosing a tricycle for adults. You can also read my detailed comparison of tricycle vs bicycle.

What is a Tricycle and Reasons for Choosing a Trike

1. Tricycles Provide Comfort

The tricycles are designed in such a unique way that gives a comfortable riding experience to a rider. Moreover, the extra wheel in a trike leads to a more ergonomic design. Hence, they require less strength to control as well as less effort. Individuals suffering from back and knee pain can easily enjoy long rides.

2. More Safety

Well, it is impossible to escape from all the risks associated with tricycle riding, but we can mitigate the road risks. There is no problem with balancing, so it is obvious you cannot fall from a tricycle. However, these models are large enough that other motorists on the road can easily see them.

Therefore, it decreases the chances of an accident because other vehicles will not cut your lane and can easily see you while they make a turn. Also, due to their designs, these models provide more stability on windy days.

3. Ample storage of Trikes

The storage capacity of a tricycle is much more than other bikes. The tricycles have an extra room where you can easily keep your food, snacks, extra clothing and other things which are part of a comfortable trip.

Most of the trikes have an actual trunk which is very similar to other vehicles. It means they are much more suitable for longer and strenuous journeys compared to a two-wheeled counterparts.

For instance, if you stop by the shop to buy some groceries. The spacious storage is quite enough to keep your groceries and other household items. Hence, trikes provide more storage than other bicycles. Also, read a detailed guide on how to convert manual tricycle to electric.

Purpose for Using a Trike

Trikes are generally used as a first bike by children. However, many senior people also use trikes for cycling and for more comfortable transport, which is far better than a two-wheeled bicycle. Trikes are mostly used for personal transport in the same way as we use bicycles. However, drifting trikes have also become popular with the passage of time. Read a detailed comparison of tadpole vs delta trike.

These trikes are not a good source of transporting goods and are mainly used in drift triking. Therefore, drift tricycles are designed differently than other types of trikes. They have specialized wheels which make them drift and slide without difficulty. Due to the rise in popularity, people are buying drift bikes for adventure and fun.

What is an Adult Tricycle?

Adult tricycles are also known as three-wheeled bikes, adult trikes and adaptive bike, which are the best option for those adults who have balance issues or fear falling down. Meanwhile, adult tricycles have an upright sitting position with three large wheels, two at the back and one in the front.

Types of Adult Tricycles

Types of Adult Tricycles

Tricycles are vehicles that have three wheels, and they are referred to as trikes. These vehicles are either powered by an engine, human or electric motor. Tricycles are built in such a way that they provide stability and better control to riders. Generally, they are preferred by men, women and senior people.

Following are the different types of adult tricycles that I have discussed in this article.

1. Recumbent Tricycles

2. Upright Tricycles

3. Drift Tricycles

4. Hand and foot Tricycles

5. Tandem Tricycles

6. Folding Tricycles

7. Freight Tricycles      

1. Recumbent Tricycles

Recumbent Tricycles

Recumbent tricycles are those tricycles that give complete back support to a rider. They allow the rider to sit in a laid back position and legs in the front position. It not only provides complete back support but also supports the shoulder and neck.

However, these tricycles have become very popular due to their style and comfort. Recumbent tricycles are considered to be more expensive than any other average tricycle because it has an increased number of complex components and many are made by hand.

Recumbent tricycles are of two designs, a tadpole and a delta tricycle. In this article, I have discussed both of them below. You can also read a detailed comparison of recumbent trike vs bike.

Tadpole and Delta Recumbent Trikes

1.1. Tadpole Recumbent Tricycles

Tadpole Recumbent Tricycles

In Tadpole tricycles, two wheels are at the front that steer. These two wheels help better cornering at a speed that gives more stability. Although, in tadpole tricycles, the weight distribution is more which provides better control over braking and steering.

They are proved to be excellent for speed because they are near the steering axis and have a lower center of gravity. These tricycles are lighter in weight and considered to be much faster. The tadpole tricycle is the best choice due to braking, stability and speed over maneuverability.

1.2. Delta Recumbent Tricycles

Delta Recumbent Tricycles

Delta tricycles are those tricycles that have a single wheel at the front that steers. However, the front wheel design allows the delta tricycle to take sharp turns, which is almost equal to 90 degrees. It gives a very light turn with a radius that is approximately equal to its length. Therefore, delta tricycles are not good for steering and stability because the center of gravity is high.

The Delta tricycle allows you to ride on uneven terrain as well as provides better visibility. Some people prefer delta tricycles because they have high seats, which allow riders to sit easily on the seat and off the seat.

Although, there is no overall best design when considering Tadpole vs Delta tricycle. However, it depends upon the intended use, abilities and needs of the people when they buy tadpole or delta bikes.

2. Upright Tricycles

Upright Tricycles

The rider can sit in a straight position in an upright tricycle, like the way we sit on other bikes. Meanwhile, these tricycles have saddle-style seats and provide improved visibility to the rider. However, these tricycles have less center of gravity, and the rider needs to ride the tricycle carefully.

In addition, in these bikes, we can pedal along with our self-weight and also the seating arrangement is also straight that is above the pedals. These tricycles are perfect for leisure riding and running errands. However, these tricycles are not ideal for prolonged sporting activity.

3. Drift Tricycles

Drift Tricycles

Drift tricycles have low-traction rear wheels that are purposely designed for counter-steering to deal with corners and for drifting. However, the rear wheels are coated with PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) or PE (Polyethylene) in order to provide traction loss.

These types of tricycles are ideal for corners and straight roads. The operating speed of drift tricycles ranges between 25-50 mph.

4. Hand and Foot Tricycle

Hand And Foot Tricycle

Hand and foot tricycles are for those people who cannot pedal the tricycle properly with their legs. So, with these tricycles, people can use the pedal system with ease. However, the rider can pedal with their hands and also the seating options are designed in such a way that they provide complete grip on the pedals.

In the same way, the rider can achieve balanced physical development and both hands and feet are used to generate propelling force. It is considered to be perfect for riding a long distance.

5. Tandem Tricycle

Tandem Tricycle

A tandem tricycle is a tricycle in which there are three wheels for two people. However, in a tandem tricycle, you do not need to pedal alone because your co-driver will pedal with you. Tandem tricycles are also known as “Daisy Bells”.

Meanwhile, Tandem tricycles are a perfect option for families, friends and couples who love to go cycling together. They are efficient, fun to ride and best for touring.

6. Folding Tricycles

Folding Tricycles

Folding tricycles are the best option for those people who especially live in apartments and don’t have much space to store their tricycles or a bike. Therefore, a folding tricycle has a holding frame that helps it to make it smaller or can be put anywhere easily. It is ideal for those people who love adventure and travel a lot, and can easily bring a folding tricycle with them.

7. Freight Tricycle

Freight Tricycle

Freight tricycles have many names, like box bikes, carrier tricycles, cargo tricycles and cycle tricycles. These types of tricycles are designed to carry goods and to transfer load from one place to another.

Although, they have an open box carrier in which things can be loaded. Indeed, these tricycles have advantages but also have some disadvantages, like limited carrying capacity along with limited speed.

History of Tricycles

The history of tricycle is much older, even when the first bicycle was discovered. The origin of the tricycle was based on standard carriages that not only enhanced the mechanisms but also became easier to drive. In the second half of the 17th century, the first historical records of tricycles came. The first tricycle was invented for Stephan Farffler, who was paraplegic and could not walk properly.

James Starley, in 1876, invented the Coventry Lever Tricycle. This tricycle had two wheels on the right side that both steered instantaneously. In comparison, the large drive wheel was on the left side. Tricycles became popular with both men and women. However, men preferred bicycles such as safety bicycles and penny- farthings. On the other hand, women preferred tricycles because they were confined in long dresses.

Although tricycles came in many other forms in the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the tricycles were introduced with upright seats. However, tricycles became so popular in Britain that they form official day rides, yearly races and organized tours.

If you own a tricycle then you should also read a detailed guide on how to clean your tricycle

FAQs about Trikes

What Accessories are Recommended When Using a Trike?

Following are the most common accessories which trike owners choose to maintain safety, such as

  • Water bottle holders
  • Mirrors
  • GPS units
  • Rear lights
  • Reflective flags

What to wear when we ride on a Trike?

You don’t need to wear anything special for riding a tricycle unless you are not riding a drifting tricycle. The riders need to wear gloves, long trousers and shoe pads when riding on a drifting tricycle. It is also recommended to use UV protection glasses which will not only protect you from dust particles but also from direct sunlight.

Which tricycle is easier to ride uphill?

Multi-speed adult tricycles are considered to be the best option when riding on rough terrains and uphill. Therefore, it becomes easier to peddle with multi-speed adult tricycles because they have more than one gear. Those people who live in a hilly area or want to ride uphill. So, a multi-speed tricycle is the perfect choice. Secondly, people can also use an electric trike to get the ease while climbing uphill.

Concluding Tricycles Guide

A trike is a three-wheeled vehicle that has many uses. However, it depends upon people which type of tricycle people are searching for their needs. Although, tricycles provide complete support and stability to the rider as they can also be used on gravel. The trend of using tricycles is common nowadays, and everyone is using them, whether they are children or adults.

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