Buying an adult tricycle is something that can be quite a challenging endeavor. There are so many different types of tricycles- or trikes- that it can be difficult to narrow it down and select what is best for you. No matter what, though, it comes down to the individual. The individual person is going to be selecting which tricycle that they need or want, and it will fit into their purpose(s) for it.
Top Adult Tricycle Comparison Chart
As it can get difficult to buy find the perfect tricycle, we are going to help you comb your way through them today with our buying guide. After our buying guide, we are going to review the top ten adult tricycles that are currently out on the market this season!
Adult Tricycle Buying Guide
Why a Tricycle?
The beginning is probably the very best place to answer this question quickly and decisively. A tricycle actually does have real, legitimate uses. It’s not just something that kids ride when they are still too young to have a bicycle! So let’s look at some of the reasons for owning a tricycle.
The first use for a tricycle is for the senior community. Just because you are a senior does not mean that you have run out of all options for exercise! A trike can be a brilliant way to continue to stay healthy as you age, and it will not tax you near as bad as something like running or other forms of hardcore fitness that are out there (those are great, but probably not a bright idea for seniors).
To further this point, trikes are a great option for those that have balance issues. Trikes have two wheels in the back, which means that you have increased balance available to you. So, you do not have to worry near as much about falling over when you start to pedal very slow or as you look to step onto the trike. This is important because no one wants to fall off and hit the ground, especially if you are in the senior community!
Trikes are also great for people that have stamina issues. You can actually build up your cardiovascular system a little by riding your trike, in fact! Trikes aren’t nearly as hard on the body as even bikes are, so you can safely ride them and get a cardiovascular workout even while going relatively slow. This is something that encourages a ton of people to purchase an adult trike. Whether you’re a senior, or you just want some extra exercise, it’s a great option.
While we haven’t covered all uses for trikes, we’ll stop with this final one. Trikes can also be purchased by collectors. The collector community is filled with good people that would totally “pimp” their trike. They do this by adding any number of accessories to them in order to achieve the goal of standing out in a crowd!
Trikes vs Bikes
Did you know that trikes have actually been very popular for centuries? In fact, they’re only seeing an “upturn” in popularity today due to the fact that they had lost their popularity before! So, it’s really a career resurgence instead of a first hit song for trikes! Adult tricycles are different than bicycles in a few key areas.
One of the first things you will notice with adult trikes is that they allow you to place your feet on the ground in a comfortable fashion at any time. This is a massive departure from bikes, where you will have very little opportunity to get your feet to the ground. This is something that is reassuring for a lot of people that you just cannot get with a regular bicycle unless you strain very hard. So, you will have even more increased peace of mind for sure with a trike.
We talked briefly earlier about the fact that trikes are better for people with balance issues than bikes earlier. Here is where we go into more detail. In order to make them more stable, trikes have a lower “step-through” function in them that allow you to easily get onto the trike. So, if the extra two wheels don’t help enough this surely will do so! This allows people to easily get on without straining anything too much, and it also obviously prevents you from falling.
Another thing that you find on trikes is bigger tires. Bigger tires give you even more stability, but they also give you a much smoother ride. When we say bigger tires, we really mean it as well. They are typically five times, if not more, wider than their bicycle counterparts are.
Another obvious distinction when looking at a trike is that the handlebars are raised up higher than those you’d find on a bike. These raised handlebars are much easier to grip and reach, and they are way more comfortable as a result as well. This can help people from having to bend over, which can definitely help save your back more than a bike would ever allow you to do.
The last difference we’ll mention here is that trikes also typically offer oversized seats. Oversized seats are great for added comfortability because they give you more width and/or depth to sit on. The range of types of seats seemingly grow every day, so they can be hard to list out sometimes!
The good thing about trikes is that they aren’t all that different than bikes in the grand scheme of things, though! They are different in these areas because there is a specific need and purpose. But, the great thing is that they still have the same basic frame that bikes have. This is very important to anyone that has parts troubles with their trike. It’s not a completely different machine, so you have a much greater chance at replacing or repairing the trike at a much better price. This makes having a trike to not be nearly as much of a left field type thing as people would have you believe!
Types of Trikes
Here is the section where we are going to look at the different types of trikes. After this, we will just about be ready to look at the top ten and then review them for you!
Upright trikes are the most traditional type of trike that you will see out on the roads or at stores. Upright trikes are great for the purposes of fitness, errand running, or just recreation in the neighborhood. The drawbacks that you may find with this type of trike is that you don’t have many gears on offer as most range from one to three speeds. A possible benefit is the fact that they allow you to have a basket for some rear storage, so you can theoretically go to the store if you like! Prices do vary, so don’t quote us on this, but they typically run up to about $500. So they usually aren’t awful on the wallet!
Tandem trikes are exactly what they sound like. They allow two people to ride the trike at the exact same time. There are two seats on a tandem trike: one at the front and one in the back. Both partners can pedal at the same time, or they can take turns. There are some that will allow you to sit side by side, although, that might be a little too odd for even tricycle riders! These bikes are a little more expensive, as they typically run for between $1000-$2000 because of their added features.
Electric trikes are basically the hybrid of the trike world. These are best for people that need a little bit of helping pedaling from time to time. They are also great for those that are looking to build their stamina. You can pedal as long as you can, and then let the electric take over for you! These aren’t nearly as expensive as you’d think as they generally come in around $1000 or thereabouts. You can be assured of one thing with this type: you’ll never have to worry too much about that hill you used to dread!
Folding trikes are trikes that… fold! These sound like a fun, gimmicky idea that will not last over the test of time, but in reality, they have and they seem to be thriving among a lot of people. These are great for people that love to travel. Imagine riding this to a job interview, and there are no places to park your trike. No problem! Just fold it up and take it inside to someplace safe. They are also great if you have limited storage space at home, so you will never have to worry about those issues ever again. These are also not nearly as unfriendly to your budget as you’d imagine, as they are typically able to be purchased for under $500.
Recumbent trikes are trikes that allow you to have even more comfortability and leisure while riding your trikes. But be warned, these are more expensive. These should really be called reclining trikes because they allow you to sit back and pedal with your feet as if it were a leg press machine! So your legs are straight up, in fact, from you while your hands can remain wherever you choose them to be. These are great for your back, as they require no work at all from the lower back. In fact, it’s very comfortable for you. And they are also much more aerodynamic than a regular trike that you’d see. Depending on the type you get, they can be bought for around $1000 all the way up to $2500 or so.
Now that we know what the default types of trikes are, we need to look at some special things to consider when going to purchase your trike. It’s very important to note some of these things here, as they could affect your specific purchasing decision. For some, they may not matter at all!
the number of gears and “speeds” available may be a concern to you. If so, you’ll likely have to pay a little bit more for some models. This is not as typical in trikes, but some people are still interested in this kind of thing.
some people will need an area for more space than others. Maybe you go to the grocery store with your trike! If so, you’re probably going to be looking at the upright trike, although you can find others that have storage options.
seats are a big deal because they give you the ability to either be more comfortable or not. Some can be raised or adjusted on the fly. Remember to pay close attention to details here!
These are just three of the things that can also make an impact on your ride! So, keep that in mind as you look at buying a new trike!
Best Adult Tricycles
The Mobo Shift is anything but a “normal” trike. We put this as #1 on our list for a host of reasons. In no particular order, here they are: First, unlike virtually any other trike on the market, this one looks as “cool” as it can! It looks FUN! Secondly, the frame is not only adjustable but so much so that it can accommodate riders from as short as 4 feet to well over 6 feet in height! Thirdly, the funky-weird steering bars on either side of your legs are unique in their design, but they support the hand brake units and they are intuitive! Fourthly, not only is there a backrest, but it’s adjustable to 6 different angles! ….and fifthly, the chassis is CHAINLESS! I could go on, but you can see a full set of features by clicking the name of the bike just above this paragraph.
This Mobo features a 20-inch front wheel with 2 16-inch wheels at the back. It’s 62-inches long when fully extended. It weighs 44 pounds, and yes, there is some assembly required once it arrives.
Overall, it’s a super feature-filled bike that receives very good ratings from customers countrywide. We like it more than the rest, so it’s our #1 pick!
- Adjustable frame size and backrest
- Looks cool so when people turn their heads and notice you, it’s not because you’re on a lame tricycle!
- Just a little pricey
- Does take a little bit of assembly
This trike isn’t what you’d normally think of as is being a trike at all! It’s very flashy and is meant for performance as its built to allow you to turn 180s very quickly. This may not suit older riders at all! It is a recumbent trike, though, so you will be very comfortable. While being recumbent, it still doesn’t have the typical seat that you’d see with that as it’s not got much of a backrest. This does come at a very reasonable price, though!
- Great price
- Very flashy look
- Not meant for leisure
- Doesn’t have a backrest
Coming in at a good price as well is the Mobo Triton cruiser. It has four colors available as well, each with a flaming hot design in tow. It is a recumbent bike with a giant backrest that will allow you to ride comfortably. It also has handlebars to the sides to hold and turn with like you’re steering. This makes it a little unique to most, so it could be a detriment or a benefit to you depending on your opinion.
- Giant backrest
- Good price
- Great looks
- Handling is a little different
- Doesn’t have any built-in storage
This American-made bike is an interesting one that makes the list based on its uniqueness. This one has its two back wheels designed to be close to the front wheel. Its handlebars are up high and they are long like some Harley Davidsons that you see. The back tires are huge, which must be for use in conjunction with dirt, as the name applies. It has a shock absorber on the frame, which is clearly seen by anyone looking. This is another lower-priced option, but it’s definitely meant for someone younger and a little “hipper.”
- Looks very different
- Good price
- Good for dirt purposes
- Not great for older riders
- No storage; has little to it
One of the very first companies to pop into mind when discussing bikes or trikes is Schwinn. They come in at #5 on our list with an upright trike that is of the “super low” variety. As if trikes weren’t accessible enough, Schwinn does a great job at making this one even more so. It also has a hefty amount of room for storage in the back for you to easily use. It’s also at a very nice price, and it has a slick silver look to it.
It’s ideal for riders that are as short as 5’4″ and as tall as 6’2″. I think that covers about 85% of the adult population in North America (good call Schwinn!). However, if you’re over 300 pounds in total weight, you’d be best off looking for another option!! The basket is good for up to 50 pounds of cargo and it’s about a half-inch short of being a foot tall (deep) which is awesome! The basket also folds flat when you don’t need it.
The trike comes disassembled (as do most) so you may have to take it to a bike shop or give it a go yourself and bring out the handy-man in all of us!
- Lots of storage
- Very good price
- Sits very low
- Doesn’t have a backrest
- Appears to have some brake issues
Nuvo also has produced a very affordable trike option with this #6 pick. It is a classical upright trike with a bit of a twist. It sticks out easily because it looks a lot like some of the eye-catching ones. It has front-wheel drive as well as having storage, which will differentiate it a little from our “style” type trikes we’ve looked at thus far. It also allows you to easily coast when you like.
- Good price
- Has storage despite it looks
- Front-wheel drive
- Has no backrest
- Hard to assemble
This is another upright trike, but it’s priced a little more steeply. It has a raised handlebars set up, but they aren’t very much higher than your hands would go on a bike. This might be a flaw to be had with it. It has storage in the back and a nice blue design as well as being able to be folded. At most, a rider can only weigh 215 pounds.
- Can be folded
- Has storage
- Nice design
- A little pricey
- Has a weight limit of 215 pounds
- Has only one gear
While not the least expensive model in our portfolio of recommended trikes, Schwinn offers us another good option that (dare I say this?) offers a bit more peace of mind and confidence than a weirdly-named Chinese brand for 50% less. It has a great design to it, and it is upright. It doesn’t have much back support, but the seat is very nice and wide for you to sit on. It also has storage in the back. Here’s a secret: This bike is virtually identical to the Schwinn Meridian we’ve included earlier on this list. They’re made in the same factory on the same line with the same materials, and that’s why the price is nearly the same. This Schwinn is about $10 cheaper for no particular reason.
- Decent price
- Sits Low
- Nice design
- Tough to assemble
- No backrest
This is FAT and SICK (in a good way). I had no choice! I just HAD TO throw this one into the mix because it brings trikes to a new level of COOL! Slap a motor on a trike and add fat wheels and you have something you can be proud of. Now you can make eye contact with people and not feel wimpy or feminine (not that there’s anything wrong with that!!!)
The 750-watt motor gives this trike a good kick. Because of the way this trike looks, it’s a common sight at remote festivals like the Burning Man and Coachella. You know if they’re here, they have some level of “cool” to their design. The heavy-duty construction can support 350 pounds of “junk”! That includes, of course, the rider and gear! The battery can last up to 50 miles using low-level pedal assist. It’s definitely an off-road machine as much as on-road and the tires are designed for beach, trail or snow. The front hub brushless motor is made for “less-than-ideal” locations like sand, rocks, and wilderness.
This beast is awesome for nearly anyone, but we envision a dude somewhere between 20 and 35 years old who’s not quite the HARLEY type, but doesn’t want the potentially wimpy style and geeky-ness that can be associated with tricycles in general, and ADULT tricycles in particular!
There’s a whack-load more information on this bike HERE!
- Electric to give you breaks when needed
- Storage ability
- Very cool, aggressive styling
- Very expensive (like, around $3000 expensive!!)
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The most important thing that you could do is to determine what you will be using your trike for. Whether it’s for showing off, leisure, fitness, or for running errands (or some combination of them), you have various things to look for. Not all trikes are created equal, and you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are getting something that fits your purposes. If you’re looking for something that will take you places with a loved one, you can get a tandem! If you want something that is for fitness, you can stick with the upright. If you’re just looking to save space, a folding trike can be great for even the youngest of adults. If you are looking to ease back pain while getting a little bit of exercise, look no further than the recumbent trike! Or if you want something that will allow you to climb mountains without having to pedal, look electric! No matter what you select, you’re bound to have a fun, safe day as you get some exercise and get things done!