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05/26/2021
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Three Wheel Bicycles for Adults: What Is It and How to Choose the Right One?

3 wheel bicycles

Three-Wheel Adult Bikes: Breaking the Stereotypes 

Before we start talking about bikes with 3 wheels for adults, we need to answer the question: what is it? Bicycles with a three-wheeled configuration belong to the category of tricycles (this word came from the Greek language and means “Three” and “circle”). Summarize the meaning and we get the conclusion: a tricycle is a vehicle (car, motorcycle, bicycle) with three wheels. 

Think back to your first encounter with a bicycle. It is safe to say that most novice cyclists were introduced to three-wheeled bicycles. After that, you began to master the whole variety of bikes with two-wheels, changing over to mountain, fixie and road models. 

Pros and Cons of Tricycles Bikes

Like any other bike types, the 3-wheel bicycle for adults has both advantages and disadvantages. Very much depends on the configuration of such bikes and the cyclist position, as well as on the conditions of use.

The main pros of using these bicycles is that you do not have to balance to maintain stability even when you decide to stop. For the elderly people or disabled ones, this fact of balancing comfort is crucial when it is about choosing means of transportation. However, such bikes have low stability and tend to fall over when making turns. This characteristic limits the scope of its use and reduces the  speed capability.

This characteristic is especially evident in 3 wheels bicycle with an upright riding position. It is less pronounced on recumbent bikes due to their gravity, which is low centered. There is, however, the solution for this problem: the Ackerman principle in the axles of trikes. This allows the wheels to change their tilt angle when turning. However, such a swivel assembly dramatically increases the cost of the machine and is only found in expensive bicycle 3 wheels.

Another advantage, which is already related to tricycles, is the ability to ride in a comfortable half-lying or fully- lying position. This helps to reduce the load on the back, which is perfect for your health. As well, this allows you to develop higher speeds on these bikes. They are especially in demand and of great popularity among elder cyclists with lower back diseases, which are their professional ailment. Additionally, the low seats are better in terms of getting on the bike. But there is also a downside: the lowered center with low ground clearance makes such a bicycle in three wheels almost invisible to other traffic. This can lead to accidents and use of these bikes on public roads is extremely dangerous.

One more pros of the tricycles is the ability to carry cargo, due to the presence of a two-wheeled axle. However, this ability reduces the versatility and maneuverability. As well, it reduces the speed performance of such a 3-wheel bicycle adult, while a regular bicycle if equipped with a trailer can easily perform the same functions.

Types of 3-Wheel Bicycles

adult three wheel bikes

Adult tricycles (another name of bicycles with three wheels) are very diverse. They differ both in terms of technical characteristics and their appearance. They vary in riding position of the cyclist, in types of gear, layout and  frame configuration and many more other parameters.

Adult three-wheel bikes configuration:

  • deltoids, in which there are two rear wheels and one front wheel. This option is familiar to everyone since childhood, only an adult tricycle has a larger size together with the rear-wheel drive.
  • “tadpole”- the bike with a reverse delta. It has one rear wheel and two wheels in the front of the bike. This type is not very common. You may see them most likely on cycling sport events, but not on the streets.  
  • some models look like motorcycles with an additional sidecar. In such bikes, one of the wheels, most commonly the rear wheel, is connected by an axle to the side. Such 3 wheel bicycles for adults are not widespread, although some bicycle manufacturers continue to experiment with them.

Rider Posture in Bicycle 3 Wheels

Depending on the rider’s body position when riding, three-wheel bicycles for adults are divided into upright and horizontal.

Vertical Riding Position

This riding position is similar to the position on the usual bike. Such a bicycle 3 wheels has a diamond-shaped or open and foldable frame. The cyclist needs to sit on top of it, with his legs hanging down on both sides. Some of them may have a large and wide seat with additional backrest. This helps to reduce strain on the back.

Horizontal Position

A bike that has to be ridden half-lying or lying on its back is called a liegerad or recumbent bike. This also includes a three-wheel adult bike with this riding position. Because of the high aerodynamic properties and low centered gravity, the bike can reach much higher speed if compared to the usual adult 3-wheel bicycle.

Types of Drive

The three-wheel bicycles are driven mainly by the muscular power of the legs, although there are handicapped models in which the pedals are moved by using the hands. Some bikes are equipped with different types of motors powered by electricity. In deltoid tricycles, the drive can be on both rear wheels or just one front wheel. The latter option is better in terms of price and simplicity of production. Such three wheels bicycles  may have several or one fixed gear. There exist some variants of bikes with the motor on the front wheel.

How to Ride a 3-Wheel Adult Bicycle?

These bikes are controlled by a handlebar connected directly to the fork of the front wheel or axle. This device is most common on upright tricycles, both tadpoles and delta. There exist other variants of bicycles, the so-called biles with reverse deltoid configuration. Their control occurs by turning the rear wheel, not a front. This arrangement is considered to be more complicated, as it has a larger turning radius, which reduces the speed.

The three wheel bicycles for adults can also be controlled by handlebars. These halves of the handlebar are usually located next to the seat and with the help of rods  are connected to the axle or wheel.

Top-3 Bicycle Three Wheel Adults

adult 3 wheel bicycle

Before making a list of the most functional tricycles, an analysis of the market of the best models of this variety was made. In the review, buyers will be able to compare the most high-quality bikes, study their main parameters and choose the best vehicle. The top trikes look like this:

  1. Stels Energy III 26 V030- a cargo bicycle three wheels with Shimano planetary gear. The hard-wearing aluminum frame is highly durable. A rigid steel fork absorbs vibration and minimizes the load on the hands. The trunk allows carrying cargo up to 40 kg, the basket – 10 kg of cargo. The model is completed by 26-inch wheels with reliable tires. Transmission is equipped with a 3-speed mode, which allows you to easily cope with any terrain. The rear belt brake duplicates the front rim brake, due to which instant braking is guaranteed. The chain is protected from being pulled in by close by means of a special cover. The bike is suitable for riding on highways and flat roads, for transportation of goods.
  2. Rush Hour Termit- a comfortable city bike with strict design and quality construction. The aluminum frame is distinguished by its high durability. In addition, the adult bike 3 wheels is characterized by high stability. A rigid steel fork will help to cope with road vibration. The vehicle is able to withstand the considerable weight of the cyclist. The seat is comfortable enough, adjustable. The transmission is equipped with a 1-speed mode, which did not affect the maneuverability. The 24-inch wheels provide high maneuverability and guarantee full control over the vehicle. In addition, chain protection and fenders are included.
  3. Eltreco GM Porter – a smart 3-wheel bike adult that is equipped with a 350 W motor and front-wheel drive. The steel frame is capable of supporting a load of 110 kg. A characteristic feature of this model is the presence of a rear swing arm and two-suspension shock absorption. The seat post with  a shock absorber minimizes the load on the back. The 750-watt motor can handle the increased load, and the battery allows it to overcome 40 km without recharging. The bright headlight will help illuminate the way at night. It is suitable for riding on the highway and country roads, for transporting goods.
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