The three wheel bicycle, more commonly known as a trike, is quickly becoming a popular option for riders searching for an alternative to a bicycle. A tricycle offers more comfort to riders of all sizes, greater stability, and the ability to transport more goods than a bicycle. Older tricycles were simply redesigned bicycles built on three wheels; however, modern tricycles are designed for high-performance and are modern looking. Below, we’ll break down the advantages of purchasing a tricycle, its features, benefits, cons and cost of ownership.
Why Purchase a Tricycle over a Bicycle?
Trikes are ideally suited for riders with special needs. They are a great solution for seniors who may have balance issues. Riders with balance problems often find a tricycle easier to steer and stabilize because of the additional third wheel. Seniors whose strength is not what it used to be will find trikes a good choice as they are typically geared much lower that two wheeled bikes, making them easier to pedal. Riders with physical disabilities often find a trike easier to ride and able to accommodate their specific condition. For example, a paraplegic can modify a tricycle for use by installing hand pedals. and again, the additional wheel keeps the tricycle steady at all times and prevents the user from having to maintain a balance.
Additionally, trikes are considered more comfortable than a bicycle because the rider is in a recumbent or reclining position. Consequently, riders with back problems can use a tricycle pain-free. Tricycle seats are wider and contain more padding than the hard and uncomfortable seats of a two-wheeled bike.
Many people make the incorrect assumption that pedaling a tricycle requires more effort than a two-wheeled bicycle, especially when going uphill. However, a traditional bike requires the rider to maintain a high speed and additional power to climb a hill while keeping the bike balanced. Whereas with a tricycle, the rider can shift to a lower gear that allows the person to easily climb a hill. A trike will take longer to reach the top of the hill; however, the rider does not have to pedal with great intensity or power.
Adult Tricycle Features
A main feature of a tricycle is that it is considered safer to operate than a traditional bike. Due to the additional wheel, the tricycle maintains its balance without any rider assistance. Therefore, the tricycle is a common purchase by older riders searching for a great source of exercise and freedom without the physical toll of a two-wheeled bike. Unlike a bicycle, elderly riders do not have to worry about falling. Tricycles offer the power of a bicycle with the additional control of using your feet to aid in stopping.
Most tricycles are available with adjustable handlebars that make finding the perfect hand position easy. Additionally, some models include a rear step that makes climbing onto the bike much easier and simpler. Many tricycles include a large basket on the rear that can be used to carry groceries, spare parts or anything else. Consequently, tricycles are often used as an alternative to a car for running errands in the local area.
Adult Tricycle Benefits
- Comfort: The recumbent seating position and larger seat are ideal for riders with back or hip problems
- Stability: The third wheel prevents the tricycle from tipping over and eliminates the need for balance
- Special Purposes: Easy to accessorize and outfit for riders with physical disabilities
- Climbing: Unlike a bike that requires the rider to maintain power for balance while climbing a hill, a tricycle can be ridden uphill at a steady rate without any additional physical exertion
Though there are many benefits to owning a trike, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration before purchasing. Trikes are much heavier than bicycles and can be difficult to store. It is very unlikely that a bicycle rack on a vehicle could accommodate a tricycle. Therefore, a trike can only be ridden in a defined area. Additionally, the low riding position means that visibility in traffic may be more difficult than when riding a traditional bicycle. Many riders add an orange safety flag or wear safety colored clothing to help them be more visible to motorists.
Main Brands and Costs of Ownership
Many of the brands that produce the most popular bicycles are now selling a tricycles. Look for: Worksman, Mobo, Schwinn, Meridian and Trek. The cost of the tricycle is largely dependent on the brand and features chosen; however, prices range from $150 to $850. If additional accessories are required or if the tricycle needs to be outfitted for a special need the cost can increase.
Adult tricycles are quickly becoming a popular alternative to a traditional two-wheeled bicycle. A tricycle appeals to a wide range of users from those with special needs to the elderly. The three wheel bicycle offers a more natural seating position, the stability of three wheels and the fun of a two wheeled bike. Those interested in purchasing a tricycle are encouraged to visit a local bike shop and ride each different model to determine the best bike for their needs.
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