Best Adult Tricycles of 2018
Hello and Welcome fellow Trike Riders! We at BestAdultTricycle.com are here to help and guide you through making sure you purchase the absolute best Tricycle for your specific needs. All of of our reviews are 100% Non-Biased, Concise, and Thorough. We have tested and ridden each of the bikes on our top 10 list as we are completely invested in the Trike community. As a Trike rider for the past 18 years, I have grown fond of these bikes and believe that 3 wheel bikes are an absolute staple of bike riding. The point of these reviews it to educate you in a succinct manner - not to inundate you with details upon details. I did the hard work for you, so you can look around, find your Tricycle, and enjoy!
The Schwinn Meridian Tricycle ranks atop of our list of Tricycles as well as others due to its impeccable design and durability. Simply put, this bike will not let you down. This bike is incredible for the value that you get for it. This was my 3rd Trike as an avid collector and I've had it for ~2-3 years now. The wheels are 24 inches and made of alloy. There are multiple versions of this 3 wheel bike but the 24″ version is great for shorter riders, or older riders who would like to avoid needing to step up to get on their trike. This is huge for fellow trikers, as it allows it to be perfect for any driver.
The neat aspect of this 3 wheeler is that the handlebars are designed in a swept back style often called cruiser handle bars or north road/ upright handle bars. The style helps riders sit upright while riding and decreases the need to hunch over while driving. They are also adjustable.
Does it have a basket? You bet your bottom dollar it does. It comes with a black basket which has the ability to fold up when it's not in use. It can hold up to 50 lbs! Other accessories include the ability to purchase a second basket to put on the front of the 3 wheeler. The weight limit on the bike is approx. 300 lbs.
The bike features hand brakes on both sides, each controlling one side of the wheel. The shipping weight of the Trike is approx. 70 lbs, and the dimensions of the bike from front to back is 69 inches
Schwinn provides excellent and clear assembly instructions. The value of this cannot be overstated. I have put together (and made my own) 100s of trikes and it can get frustrating dealing with unclear instructions. My grandfather was able to assemble the trike quickly as well and he is a 75 year old man with little to no experience of putting together bikes. There's a certain sense of empowerment and accomplishment putting together a trike like this.
Now let's get to the ride. The comfort of this bike while riding it is second to none. The upright handlebars and seating arrangement makes this a very comfortable ride. My only complaints is that I would not recommend this Schwinn for tall people instead I recommend the 26″ model that you can read about more below.
This is not the cheapest trike available, but it is still a relatively cheap tricycle. The trike is available for under $300.
Bottom Line: The customer ratings for this trike are exceptionally positive as per Amazon. It is consistently among the top sellers and for a reason - It has a Relatively low price point for a beginner or intermediate looking to get into the hobby, it has upright handle bars, basket for transportation, excellent customer service. Overall, we give this Trike 5 stars relative to the others on this list.
Another fan favorite, the Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Trike is a top scoring Tricycle among consumers. It has considerably worse instructions than the Schwinn Trike above however with that aside it rides smooth and comes in 16 inch and 20 inch sizes. When folded up, it can fit in a car as small as a Nissan Leaf with the back seats folded down. The handlebars can as well come off when needed to fit in small places as it has a quick-release mechanism to do so ( the seat can also be easily taken off).
In regards to the specifics, the wheels on the Mantis Tri-Rad 3 Wheeler are unique to it and really make this Tricycle stand out. Unlike previous models which we have reviewed this 3 wheeler is unique in that all it's wheels are the same sized as opposed to other that have shorter wheels on the back. This is bike fits well for shorter riders like my self.
The seat on this bad boy is comfortable, adjustable and customization. Excellent seat in my opinion. Important to mention about this trike is that it only has one gear and is a big source of complaints from those who like to bike uphill otherwise it's just fine.
The basket on this one is in the rear and again big enough to hold your daily items. The max weight supported on this bike is 275 lbs making it a sturdy bike.
The trike features a basket in the rear. This basket is really convenient for going to the grocery store or laundromat in the city. It is worth noting that riders would not recommend putting children in the basket. It is not that sturdy. The brakes on this are hydraulic rim brakes which are controlled by the left hand side.
One plus from this bike is that it is only 57 lbs making it one of the lighter bikes.
Reviews for this model are generally positive, with most of the negative complaints coming from the fact that it has unclear instructions.
This is an entry-level trike, and not a bad choice at the price point. Click below to check out the current exact price for today.
The Komodo Tricycle has a couple of unique features that I want to point out that make it stand out and worth mentioning among the other trikes I have listed below.
For starters it has a low clearance step design. What does that mean? Well, it means that the tricycle is designed in a manner in which the step you take to get on the Trike is low enough that it will be easier to get on and off the bike.
Another point worth mentioning is that it comes in a variety of colors. Besides the classic Maroon color, it comes in Yellow, Green/Black, and Army Green.
The best thing about this bike is the high quality shifter. It is manufactured by a Company called Shimano which is a leading industry titan in Bike Shifters. I love this bike for that main reason alone. High quality parts is what makes the Trike even more enjoyable and long-lasting.
The Bike also has reflectors that are adjustable in the front and back of the bike. The trike comes with one of the longest warranties of 1 year! Amazing honestly as no other Trike offers that kind of warranty.
The tricycle contains a BMX styled steel handlebar and a steel stem. It also features brakes with separate brakes on front and back wheels. The front brakes are of alloy, and the back brakes are of steel. All the three wheels are made up of alloys with stainless steel spokes in them. The dimensions of each wheel are 24in x 1.75 x 28H. The wheels have a firm grip on the road and provide a smooth riding experience.
The Raleigh Tristar Trike is an exceptionally made Tricycle.
It has 24" front wheels and 20" alloy wheels in the rear side. It can hold a maximum of 300 lbs! It is perfect for people of all ages due to 16" frame which holds it together rather durably.
Other aspects of this Tricycle which make it well-made is that it comes equipped with locking brake levers for a safer halt, front lever, full-length chain guard, and Pro Palm handlebar grip, you get one good well-made tricycle. It is definitely better for people who are not satisfied with just a single speed. The 3-speed gearing is a change from the Mantis which is a single gear trike as I had talked about.
Overall this Trike can reach impressive speeds thanks to it's 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears and twist shifter. It is smaller than other models also making it more portable and easier to squeeze through narrow streets. It is easy to assemble with clear instructions. Overall, an excellent right with even more impressive customer service.
The Kent Westport is special due to two big factors. The first is it's folding latch and the second is it's suspension system.
The folding latch allows it to be easily storaged away when not using it. It isn't a big folding bike like the Dahon and it's one of the lighter trikes on our list.
The susepnsioon is extremely forgiving and exceptionally well on rough surfaes.
The seat/saddle is very comfortable on this one as some of the other trikes on our list which we have talked about. The front Shock front fork helps smooth out the ride a bit. The color of this one is nicely done as it seems to have an extra glow as compared to the other trikes on this list.
The biggest downside of this trike is that it extremely hard to find replacement parts for it as there aren't that many dealers of this bike.
The Schwinn 20" Folding bike is the 3 wheeler we mentioned in the first review of this page. This is the one that is made for larger individuals due to it's frame and size being larger than the Schwinn 16" one.
This trike has similar quality and characteristics as that Schwinn model so I will direct everyone to read that first and keep in mind that if you are a larger individual go with this one if you like the Schwinn setup.
The reason why it is #6 on our list is due to the repetitive nature of having both Schwinns on the top of our list.
The Nuvo Tricycle company was started by 2 brothers Mike and Chris. They teamed up with I believe Kent Bikes to come up with the Nuvo.
Enough about the history right? Let's get to the bike.
The front wheel on this one is 20" making it relatively smaller than the other Trikes on our list. It is the shortest one on our list too so I would reserve this for individuals with a smaller build.
The handle bars are wide as well as the seating which helps make it more comfortable. The seat is also quite adjustable.
There is only 1 speed and no gears! So watch out if you are looking for one with multiple gears. I would not recommend this one if you are looking to drive on hills or uneven terrain which might require gear shifting.
There is a basket on this one which is on the rear aspect of the bike. It is 21" x 15" x 8". Some of the reviews had mentioned that the basket came defective so just look out for that.
The bike it self can support up to 250 Lbs and weighs 57 lbs. There are no accessories that are specifically made by this brand. From my research, this seems to be a relatively new brand and this model seems to be their only offering.
There are not many reviews about this Trike as the brand is not that well-known yet however I believe that it will one day become a top seller if it continues to put out solid Tricycles in the higher end range.
Overall, This is a relatively cheap entry-level vehicle. It falls into the “under $300” range.
The Pfiff Tricycles is made by a company from Germany. As many of you know, German engineering is usually 2nd to none. It is a 7 speed bike with 24" wheels.
This 3 wheeler is on the pricier side of trikes however it is exceptionally made quality wise. It is extremely comfortable and has great stearing. It has a 7 gear system as I mentioned with a SRAM twist shifter. It comes with a huge variety of grips. It is easy on the spine as there is a backrest built in.
Because of it's price I put this on the lower side of the list especially as it does not compare to others in regards to "bang for the buck".
The Worksman Port-o-Trike is popular bike that can be found on the search of Google instantly. The company is well known and reputable.
It is assembled and painted in the USA. It is among the best Trikes that is made in the USA. It has a single speed freewheel, single speed with coaster brake, three speed coaster brake.
It is also available in a electric style as well. The seat is wide enough for the larger build person but it lacks springs which does not make it the most comfortable. Things we don't like about it is that the bearing in the rear axle is not sealed which requires more maintence. It is also slightly more heavier than other Trikes. We are also not fans of the frame and paint colors in terms of selection and variety as compared to the others we have listed here.
The Kent Alameda is another popular tricycle on Amazon and other websites. It has 26" wheels and is an ideal beginners 3 wheel bike. It has a forward pedal design and overall exhibits high durability with its steel frame that holds superior strength.
The front and rear drum brakes are well made and stop on a dime. It has a great variety of selections in terms of pain color choices. The handle bars are wide as the other Trikes mentioned in this review. It has a semi-comfortable seating - not the best seating in terms of comfortability. It also has weakly made wheels in our opinion as some have claimed to have punctured their tires easily while riding on flat surfaces.
What is An Adult Tricycle?
Ah, so you know you've heard about the Adult Tricycle craze and want to know what it's all about? Well, an Adult Tricycle is not exactly what you think of when you think of a tricycle as a child. Why? Because these bikes are modernized, fast, stylish, and overall ride amazingly smooth. An adult tricycle is composed of three wheels which can be either be in the format of 2 wheels in the front or back. There are many different types of Adult Tricycles as well which you can read about below.
Why Choose An Adult Tricycle?
Many people ask me this question and I often tend to give them same response that I have written below. If your like me, you have probably debated endlessly about whether or not you want to go down the Trike or Bike route. Look, either way you go about it, your making an investment to a better health and fit lifestyle so I can not fault you for what you choose. However, I am going to lay out some important details, facts, and inject obviously my own opinion into why I believe a Trike is a better option than a Bike. Ready? Let's go.
1. Research Proves Tricycles Can Be Less Taxing On Your Body
NASA performed a study that the position of one riding in the recumbent position which you can see in our recumbent bike section, puts your body in a neutral posture. Why is that important? Well, you don't want something that will do more harm than good to your body if you're going to be continuously riding something and subjecting yourself to that position.
In addition, Trikes tend to have more comfortable seating than most of the Bikes I have ridden. Yes, you can customize your seats etc. but if we are looking at it in the perspective of buying "out of the box" then trikes typically come with more comfortable seating as you are spending slightly more money. Dimension wise, there are many trikes with seats at an average of 17 +/- inches wide. That’s definitely good news for your posture if you’re planning to go on long distance rides.
As I said in the introduction, I will be injecting my personal advice and thoughts. This one is one of those personal opinions which comes from experience. Safety is based upon many different factors which include YOU, the driver, and among other factors such as terrain, weather conditions, etc. However, I have found that typically the more wheels the safer the vehicle. Tricycles provide you with the traction of 3 tires as opposed to 2 in a bike. But other than that here are some more reasons as to why I give Trikes the edge in Safety.
- They're bigger with 3 wheels.
- More Balanced.
- Feet In Front giving you more control.
- Low Center Of Gravity.
Remember as I said, Safety is based on multiple factors. Read below on How to drive a 3 wheel bike safely.
Again, this is dependent on multiple factors. However, depending on the type of trike and under what conditions you choose to drive it - they perform better than some of the higher end bikes I have had the pleasure of owning in the past. Why? Because 3 wheel bikes like Tricycles have the ability to provide more aerodynamic benefits in the recumbent position that regular bikes simply can not provide. You are essentially negating that headwind coming at you by flying lower to the ground. It's like a plane essentially where you are diverting that headwind as the recumbent tricycles are aerodynamically made.
4. Storage & Carrying Capacity
Trikes aren't just for riding silly! They can be used to carry your groceries, gear, etc. The baskets installed on trikes tend to be bigger and able to carry a larger load than a bike as bikes aren't typically built with baskets. Storage wise - I want to direct your attention to the folding trikes, these tricycles can fit literally anywhere when they fold up. Extremely convenient!
Trikes come with built in stability. What does that mean? Well, being 3 wheel bikes, the extra wheel provides that crucial stability that is lacking in bikes. Stability is something you do NOT have to worry about with Tricycles when speeding down a hill or a sharp curve. While it is true that some Trike riders find that stearing certain trikes are more difficult because of the counter-steering effect, this is often something that is gotten used to as you get more experienced with riding a trike.
6. Special Needs
Adults and children with special needs will most certainly benefit more from a Trike than a Bike. As I mentioned, Trikes offer stability which is something of utmost importance to those with special needs. The extra stability of 3 wheels will help ensure less falls and accidents for those who are less coordinated. Tricycles can help instill confidence to those with special needs even if their end goal is to ride a bike. 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.
Personally speaking, Trikes are way more enjoyable and exciting than a bike - and I say this as originally a bike lover! There are so many types of Trikes that it truly is made for everyone. Adults can enjoy the luxury of driving down an open road with the comfort of knowing they are stable, balanced and more secure in a tricycle. However, if you're more like me where you love the adventure and thrill of riding - Trikes are there for you in that aspect as well. You can hit fast speeds in a trike too ! Don't believe me - see for yourself!
Types of Adult Tricycles
Trikes come in various types, sizes and shapes. It's truly amazing to see the progress that Trikes have made in terms of customization, speed, and precision. Let's dive into the different types of trikes available for purchase to help you pick the right one for your specific need.
1. Delta / Tadpole Trikes
All trikes will typically be subdivided into one of these two main categories : a Delta or Tadpole Trike. What's the difference? A Delta Trike has it's 2 wheels in the back while a Tadpole has it's 2 wheels in the front. Does it make a difference? Well, this goes to personal preference however I will say that Tadpole Trikes are typically harder in my opinion to stear than a Delta especially if you are transitioning from a Bike because you are so used to the front wheel being 1 wheel. I believe that there is more control with the Tadpole bikes however overall I tend to prefer the Delta due to ease and comfort.
2. Upright Trikes
These are trikes that most closely remind you of riding a regular bike. The upright trikes again usually are divided into a delta or tadpole configuration. . A disadvantage between traditional upright trikes and recumbent tricycles is the aerodynamic advantage that recumbent trikes have being so low to the ground which aids in having a lower center of gravity.
Important to note that the Upright tricycles are more likely to have larger storage baskets or even one at all as opposed to recumbent trikes. The upright trikes are more for leisure as opposed to the recumbent one which is reserved for adventure seakers and sport enthusiasts. So if you are just trying to have a trike for a nice stroll around the neighborhood - these are for you!
3. Tandem Trikes & Sidecar Trikes
Tandem Trikes are usually used to refer to Trikes that accommodate more than one person. There are two subdivisions of tandem trikes which are used to describe the orientation of the riders. The Front To Back tandem trike is used to describe drivers who are positioned one in the front and one directly behind. The side to side tandem bike is as it sounds - having drivers who are side to side.
Again these trikes are just like regular upright tricycles Lastly, there is the sidecar trike which are trikes that have a sidecar component to transport another passenger or heavy load.
4. Recumbent Trikes
Recumbent tricycles are trikes that you sit lying down almost. Imagine sitting in a recliner almost. These trikes are really for the adventure seakers - they are fast, comfortable, did I mention they are fast? They are also ideal for those with posture issues and can not sit in the traditional bike format. These bikes are perfect for those with sciatica, or chronic back pain.
Picking The Right Adult Tricycle
Let's go over all the factors in choosing the right Adult Tricycle.
Show me the money! Let's talk about budget. So the first question I typically ask those who ask me what's the best tricycle for me is - How much are you willing to spend? If you're a novice and just looking to get your feet wet for the first time, I recommend a budget of less than 500$. While 500$ is still quiet a lot, it is significantly less than those looking for advanced and more lavish trikes. If your budget is higher than that, I recommend upgrading to Trikes less than 800$. And if you're looking for above that there are obviously bikes in the 1000+$ range.
Next question I ask is what is your intention with your trike? Do you want to race till the wind slaps you across the face, or are you just looking to casually stroll through the neighborhood? Do you want to take your trike on terrain that is usually rugged or nicely paved roads? These are are all factors that help narrow down which Trike is best for you.
Who Is Using The Trike?
Are you going to be using it? Or is this for an adult with special needs? Or perhaps a young adult or even a child? This question is imperative as it helps again help make the right decision. Finding out who is going to using the Trike also is a matter of picking the right trike for their Size, Weight, and Height. For example I would not recommend a recumbent trike for those who are on the heavier size in terms of built. For a Senior, I would recommend a Trike that is easier to pedal with and easy to access.
Design is important not just for the appearance of a Trike but it has much more of an impact on the drive. For example in recumbent trikes, the design helps with speed especially with turns. Some things to consider in regards to design would be the center of gravity, the aerodynamic design of the trike, braking vector, turning vectors, etc. The size and height of the actual trike also plays an important role in the speed and versatility of the trike.
Materials & Construction
As with anything you purchase, checking the materials of the actual tricycle are crucial. Remember, you get what you pay for and that is why most of the expensive Trikes are upwards of 1000$, it's because the material they use which include titanium etc. The materials help with long lasting durability of the Trike. Cheap trikes may, and I say this lightly, perform the same as expensive ones however they are no where as durable. The materials used also play a role into the weight of the trike which furthermore affects multiple factors in driving the Trike such as speed, stability, traction, etc.
An underrated aspect that many Novice trikers don't look at is the extra features. When I say features, I am referring to storage baskets, different types of handle bar positions, handle grips, padded seats, etc. There is an endless amount of customization available for trikes - the sky is the limit truly!
Do you have the need for speed? Well if so, pay attention to the gears that your trike offers. The benefit of a high speed trike is endless from pedaling uphill, to racing down hills. You want to check how many gears your trike offers.
This is in reference to actually storing your trike when you are not using it. Pay attention to whether or not your trike is fold-able. If it isn't , just make sure you keep into account the dimensions of it so you don't have to worry about not having space to store it in the winter time or off-season. This is the one downside of Trikes as they are generally bigger than bikes and harder to store.
Trike vs. Bike - What's The Difference?
Let's get into the nitty gritty. What really makes a Trike different from a Bike interns of the drive. There are a couple of factors that we will be looking into in regards to the technical aspect of driving, although there are many.
Believe it or not, some people have a hard time in adjusting to a Trike even though it has that extra wheel for stability. There is something called counter-steering.Why is it difficult for some to drive a Trike than a bike? This is due to the science behind counter-steering. Counter-steering is the way bikes torque their handles to the opposite side when making turns. This is what is the biggest different from Bikes and in fact there is no such effect on upright trikes.
Camber is defined as the tilt of the road that you are riding on. This is something that novice Trikers need to get used to when first riding their trike. Cambers are described as either Negative, Zero (neutral) or positive. Negative Camber is when the top of the tire is leaned in closer to the center of the car. Positive camber is the opposite of that. This is nothing to be overly concerned about as it just a matter of getting used to the Trike.
Front Wheel Drive vs Rear Wheel Drive
Just like a car - trikes also come with either FWD or RWD. RWD require a longer chain than a FWD. Which essentially translates to a loss of power due to the fact that a longer chain takes a longer time to move the wheel. 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. In the end this is a personal preference. Try both to see which you prefer better.
Brakes are as important as anything when it comes to Trikes. This basically helps noivce riders from spinning out of control or flipping over. Many tricycles come with different braking setup however the most common setup is with each hand controlling one side of the front brake