If for some reason you can no longer ride a traditional bicycle, it’s not yet the end of the road for you. Adult tricycles are fun, practical, and comfortable cycles that give you the same workout and pleasure as their two-wheeled counterparts. Learn more below!
Tricycles offer the freedom of cycling with an added bonus of stability, comfort, and extra cargo space. No matter if bicycles are not a viable choice for you anymore because of old age, lack of stability, injury, or disability, you should consider the three-wheeled option—the adult tricycle.
For most people out there, tricycles are a bit of a mystery. Most only consider them to be a kids’ toy, a solution to haul cargo, or carry passengers. But they’re a lot more than that.
In the rest of the article below, we’ll provide you with a quick trike buying guide and recommend a few of our favorite models that you can’t go wrong with.
What is a tricycle?
A tricycle is a pedal-propelled vehicle that resembles a bicycle but instead of two comes with three wheels. Tricycles usually have two wheels in the rear and one in the front, but there are models with two wheels in the front as well.
Adult tricycles work on the same principle as bicycles, but they come with a few differences. They are bulkier, heavier, and slower than bikes. However, they are more stable, more comfortable, and offer more storage solutions.
Who should consider riding a tricycle?
Adult tricycles can be a good solution for anyone who feels that traditional bicycles don’t fully meet their requirements. They are mostly aimed towards people with injuries or disabilities, as well as for the elderly and those with impaired balance.
However, you can consider getting a tricycle even if you don’t fit the image above and you are a young and healthy individual. Trikes usually come with large baskets fitted between the two wheels that can carry lots of items, which makes them great for hauling cargo.
Tricycles are a popular cycling vehicle in some European countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, or Sweden, where people use them to move around the city and take their necessities along.
What is the best tricycle for adults?
Choosing only one adult tricycle to recommend is hard, which is why we are showing you five instead. You can take a look at the list below to see which ones and learn more about each.
We chose these brands and models because, in our opinion, they offer the best bang for the buck. They’re high-quality cycles built to last, with attention to detail that makes them comfortable and practical for the majority of potential users.
- Sixthreezero Evryjourney Tricycle
- Schwinn Meridian
- Knus Adult Tricycle
- Raleigh Tristar IE (Electric)
- EvryJourney (Electric)
Spare a few minutes of your time to find out more about each model below!
Best for hilly areas
Weight: 72 lbs.
Key features: Multi-speed drivetrain, a big rear basket, front and rear fenders, dual-spring saddle, comfortable riding position…
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney is one of our favorite adult tricycles because it costs little but offers a lot to anyone who needs some extra balance.
The bike is available in four exciting colors and comes with color-matching fenders, and eco-leather seat and grips. The 59x 48.5cm rear basket is huge and has enough room for anything that you want to take along with you.
The EVRYjourney tricycle features a durable steel step-through frame that makes it incredibly easy to get on and off the bike, even if you have some injuries that prevent you from lifting your leg high.
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney is our top pick for hills because it comes with a 7-speed drivetrain paired up with a Shimano Tourney derailleur. This setup provides you a wide enough gear range to cross over moderate hills without having to dismount.
This cheap tricycle for adults is also great for your knees because of the Flat Foot technology that puts the pedals in front of the saddle. This gives you a forward-pedaling motion and lets you touch the ground with your feet even when sitting on the saddle.
Of course, this trike comes with front and rear brakes, so you can stop on a dime anytime.
- 7 gears
- Multiple colors
- A large basket
- Step-through frame
- Flat foot technology
- A bit heavy due to the steel frame
Best for short riders
Gears: 1-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed
Weight: 77 lbs.
Key features: Multiple colors, several gearing options, adjustable handlebar, fenders, brakes, large basket, chainguard
Schwinn is one of the oldest and most popular manufacturers of leisure bicycles in the world, but they make tricycles as well.
Schwinn Meridian is a sturdy steel trike that can handle a lot of abuse. The frame has a step-through design, so it’s easy to get on the saddle. Once you’re on, you can find the right fit by changing the position of the adjustable handlebar and bringing it closer or further away from you.
Schwinn Meridian offers several gearing options for different types of terrain, which makes it a good choice for different rider profiles.
Depending on where you live, gears may or may not play an important role for you. If you live in a flat area, consider saving and buying the single-speed model, but if you live somewhere hilly, it’s good to know that this Schwinn adult tricycle comes with 3 and 7 gears as well.
Meridian is also equipped with strong front and rear brakes, as well as with front and rear fenders. The basket behind the rear wheels is huge enough to carry a pet with you or haul all of your weekly groceries.
Finally, Schwinn Meridian is available in multiple colors and fits riders between 5’4″ and 6’2″, so get it if you want a versatile trike that looks good and doesn’t cost much.
- Sturdy step-through frame
- Huge basket
- Front and rear brakes and fenders
- Multiple gearing options
- Wide 26″ wheels
- Some riders report a clicking noise in the drivetrain
Best for heavy riders
Weight: 69.4 lbs.
Key features: 24″ wheels, steel frame, spacious basket, versatile tires, dual-spring saddle, 330 lbs weight limit
The Knus adult tricycle is one of the cheapest models on this list, but that does not mean that you sacrifice anything if you get it.
Same as the two previous models, the Knus trike is also built around a super-strong steel frame. In fact, it is so strong that it can carry 330 lbs. of weight (rider and cargo combined).
If you weight more than you should and you want to get rid of a few extra pounds, the Knus adult tricycle is the right choice.
Knus is equipped with a 7-speed drivetrain that’s operated by a thumb shifter located on the handlebar. By shifting gears up or down, fighting a headwind or a hill will be much more bearable.
As expected, this is another adult tricycle with a basket large enough to fit a backpack and a few bags, a pet, or groceries. Its dimensions are 22″ L x 18″ W x 12″ H, so storage space is huge.
You can get the Knus trike in one of five bright colors, with matching fenders that make this cycle look attractive. Our favorite is the red model.
We recommend it to heavy riders, but the reality is that anyone will enjoy it for this price.
- High rider+cargo weight limit
- Step-through frame
- Five colors available
- Decently sized basket
- 7 speeds
- 24″ tires roll a bit slower than 26″ ones
Best for riders with a knee injury
Weight: 85 lbs.
Key features: Aluminum frame, steel fork, 4 levels of pedal assist, 12 mph max speed, 24″ (f) and 20″ (r) tires…
What’s better than a tricycle for people who struggle with injuries or balance? An electric tricycle, of course. Raleigh Tristar IE not only comes with three wheels that make pedaling easy, it also has an electric motor and battery that will help you go faster with less effort.
This electric tricycle for adults is made with an aluminum frame and steel fork, so its weight is not much higher compared to a traditional trike.
The drivetrain provides you with three gears that you can use to pedal more easily, but that should never be a problem thanks to the 350W TranzX M16 motor with 4 levels of assist with a 12 mph maximum assisted speed. The battery has a 417 Wh capacity and provides you with a 16-30mi estimated range.
For better maneuverability and more stability, Raleigh Tristar IE has a 24″ wheel in the front and 20″ wheels in the back. Also, you get a mechanical disc brake on the rear and a V-brake on the front.
The spacious rear basket, fenders, and a chainguard are there as well.
All in all, this is a good-looking electric tricycle made with quality and durable parts, offering pedaling assistance to anyone who needs it.
- 4 levels of pedal assistance
- Aluminum frame
- Rear disc brake
- Decent range
- 3-speed drivetrain
- The saddle could provide a bit more support
Best for hauling weight and hilly rides
Weight: ~70 lbs.
Key features: Step-through frame, wide tires, large rear basket, 250W motor, 20 mph max speed
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney electric tricycle is all you really need if you want to get back on the street and start pedaling again.
This fun three-wheeled machine is powered by a 250W front hub motor that will assist you up to 20 mph. The 36V, 10.4Ah battery is not the biggest out there, but it will provide you with a 15-30mi range, according to sixthreezero.
If you run out of battery or you want to pedal on your own a bit, you can tackle flats and hills thanks to a 7-speed drivetrain with a Shimano rear derailleur.
The battery is conveniently set behind the seat tube, so you can easily get on the bike’s step-through frame. This electric tricycle also comes with a massive rear basket that you can use to carry whatever comes to your mind.
We also like and recommend the sixthreezero EVRYjourney electric trike because it has a convenient LCD screen, color-matching fenders, fancy saddle and grips, and decent brakes.
In short, this electric tricycle for adults is all you really need to pedal around town, get a good exercise, finish errands, and do groceries.
- Beautiful design and colors
- Large basket
- Great maximum speed
- 7-speed Shimano derailleur
- Comfy dual-spring saddle
- The range could be a bit better
Things to keep in mind
Adult tricycles have a lot in common with traditional bicycles. They have wheels, brakes, a chain, cogs, sprockets, handlebar, saddle… you get the point.
However, since the frame and the overall design are a bit different, some might be confused when it comes to choosing the best model that fits their budget and their needs.
Here is a rundown of the most important parts on an adult tricycle that you should pay attention to when making the purchase.
- Brakes – The majority of budget adult tricycles come with a V-brake/drum brake combination. The front wheel usually has a V-brake, whereas a drum-brake stops the rear wheels. However, some more expensive models may have mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes instead. In our opinion, any option is good enough for standard everyday use.
- Shifter – Shifters are used to operate derailleurs and change gears, making it easier for you to keep pedaling when going uphill or against a headwind. Most inexpensive adult trikes have entry-level Shimano parts that get the job done without any issues.
- Drivetrain – The drivetrain is one of the most important parts of your trike. It includes the pedals, front sprockets, rear cogs, and the chain. Make sure that they are high quality because the drivetrain handles a lot of strain, especially if you are a heavy rider or you ride up a lot of hills.
- Gearing – Most cheap tricycles for adults have between 1 and 7 gears. If you live in a flat area, 1 or 3 gears should be enough for you. However, if you live somewhere with hills or strong headwinds, you should consider getting a 7-speed model, or even an electric model.
- Handlebar – The handlebar on most tricycles is height and reach adjustable. This is important because it allows you to fine-tune your position on the trike and enjoy long rides without any pains or aches. Still, even if your tricycle comes with handlebars that don’t suit you, you can easily change them for a few bucks.
- Basket – All tricycles come with a basket fitted on the side that has two wheels. If you plan to ride with a dog or carry a lot of groceries or other types of cargo, make sure that the basket is sufficiently large for your needs.
- Frame – The frame on adult tricycles is usually made from steel, but some models come with aluminum frames as well. Steel is an excellent material for trikes because it is strong, durable, and easy to repair. A certain percentage of people buying trikes are overweight, which makes this type of cycle ideal for them because it can handle the extra weight.
- Accessories – Apart from the basket, your trike may or may not come with a few other accessories. The most common ones include fenders, a kickstand, chainguard, water bottle cages, reflectors, and lights. Usually, the more accessories there are, the more expensive the trike will be. So think about which ones will make a difference for you before you start shopping.
- Maintenance – Keep in mind that you need to maintain your tricycle the same way you need to maintain a bicycle if you want it to keep running smoothly for a long time. This includes washing it when it gets dirty, cleaning and lubricating the drivetrain, re-greasing hubs and bearings, adding air to the tires, and re-tightening nuts and bolts. You can do most of these things by yourself, but if you’re not mechanically inclined, take your adult tricycle to a local bike shop and let the professionals do it for you.
- Storage – Unfortunately, storage is one factor that you need to consider when purchasing a tricycle. You need a lot more room to store it compared to a bicycle, which is a dealbreaker for some people. It’s best if you live in a house and have a garage, a shed, or a backyard since a tricycle would take too much room in an apartment.
What is a tricycle?
A tricycle is a type of pedal-propelled vehicle that resembles a bicycle but has three wheels instead. Tricycles are usually ridden by elderly people who struggle with maintaining balance on two wheels, people with injuries, or overweight people.
How many wheels does a tricycle have?
Tricycles have three wheels, as their name implies. They usually have two wheels in the back and one in the front, but there are models with two wheels in the front as well.
Are tricycles easy to ride?
Yes, tricycles are super-easy to ride. They are more stable than bicycles at low speeds, they’re easy to handle, and you can ride them without knowing how to maintain balance on two wheels.
Are tricycles dangerous?
No, tricycles are no more dangerous than bicycles, quite the contrary. At low speeds, they are very stable and there is no risk of tipping over. However, when going very fast, they might tip over if you try to corner without reducing your speed beforehand.
How to install a motor on a tricycle?
To install a motor on a tricycle, you can either refer to numerous online tutorials or you can go to your local bike shop and find some specialists who can do it for you. The best course of action, however, is to purchase an electric adult tricycle straight away.
Who invented the tricycle?
Tricycles were invented by a British inventor called Denis Johnson, back in 1818.
What age can a child ride a tricycle?
Children can start riding tricycles basically from the moment they start walking. More specifically, the right minimum age would be 12-18 months. However, we advise purchasing a balance bike for your child as it is much more efficient at teaching them how to ride a bike and also more fun.
What’s the best tricycle for kids?
The best tricycle for kids is a balance bike. Seriously! Tricycles are so 90s… The most popular tricycle for kids was a Radio Flyer, but they are a thing of the past now. If you want your child to learn how to ride a bike with ease, get them a balance bike—it’s more efficient and a lot more fun.