Trying to get around but sick of doing the same thing as everyone else by, you know, walking? You just might be in the market for a badass adult tricycle.
What happened to adult tricycles?
For whatever reason, over time, tricycles were relegated to children and the riding of two-wheeled bicycles became a rite of passage. If we had to guess, we’d say they started fading in popularity not too long after regular bikes came out and this big-wheeled monstrosity became the tricycle norm.
Why ride adult tricycles?
While we wholeheartedly agree every human should learn to ride a traditional bicycle, we think there’s room in your life for both.
Of course, you know what a tricycle is, but you might not have thought about the unique benefits of using one.
First, tricycles are fun as hell. Imagine being able to pedal as fast as you can, whenever you want, without worrying about tipping over.
And that’s the second benefit. Adult tricycles, by design, are extremely stable. You would have to be going really fast and turning pretty sharply to actually tip over. Not to mention, some adult tricycles sit low to the ground and use an actual chair-shaped seat, as opposed to a bike seat, which can make them much more comfortable (and fun!).
One other thing adult tricycles have over traditional bikes is storage. Because the design creates a gap of space between the two back wheels, adult tricycles frequently incorporate baskets or additional storage of some kind in that space. That makes lugging groceries or whatever junk you need a heck of a lot easier than trying to do the same thing with a traditional bike.
Perhaps the last benefit has to do with users. Because there’s a lot less balance involved and less risk of falling, adult tricycles can be safer and better for seniors or those with disabilities or limited mobility.
What should I look for when shopping for adult tricycles?
This is the easy part. You want to look for the same basic things you look for in two-wheeled bikes.
- The frame: Make sure it’s a durable metal and big or small enough to suit you.
- Wheels: Not too much to know, just make sure they don’t seem like pieces of junk and that you get bigger wheels if you’re a bigger person.
- Shocks: If you expect to ride over rough or uneven terrain, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got shocks to smooth out the ride.
- Gears: You don’t need gears if you’re on flat terrain, but we wouldn’t recommend tackling hills without gears, especially if you have luggage in tow.
- Brakes: Brakes, you need them, preferably multiple. You can find them on handlebars as well as on the pedals sometimes.
- Points of contact: Do you like handlebars? What about the pedals or seat? Will you be comfortable using them? Is the seat adjustable?
- Assembly: There will be some assembly required. You’re going to have to at least put the wheels and basket on the tricycle and tinker with it to make it work for you.
Sure, you might not be the coolest guy on the block riding around in one of these, but who gives a damn when you’re the most practical and having the most fun?
So, take a page out of your childhood, upgrade your commute and check out our picks of adult tricycles. We bet if you can store and keep one that you’ll find yourself turning to it a lot more often than you think.
1. Slsy 7-Speed Adult Tricycle
For a great, affordable adult tricycle with additional speeds, we recommend the Slsy 7-Speed Adult Tricycle.
You can pick it up with 20-inch, 24-inch or 26-inch wheels depending on your expected distances and usage.
The bike features a steel drop frame so you can get on and off easily. It’s rated to carry riders up to 350 pounds, though we’d bet the steel construction will support more. We can’t forget about the big basket too for all your storage needs. For additional comfort and support, Slsy opted for a padded seat with a backrest.
Beyond the included wheels and frame, this bike ships with all the tools you’ll need for assembly, including the manual, a multifunction screwdriver, a multifunction wrench and a chain rivet extractor, plus a water bottle cage to boot.
The last thing to note is the excellent variety of colorways. The mint green colorway is hyper-cool and modern and definitely our pick, but you can get all the basic colors too or even a patriotic stars and stripes colorway.
Overall, this adult tricycle will get you and your junk where you need to go, whether it’s commuting to work or heading to the park for a picnic.
2. Schwinn Meridian Adult Trike
For a solid, overall great adult tricycle, you’ll want to check the Schwinn Meridian Adult Trike.
It’s designed with 26-inch wheels for a smooth ride and a low aluminum drop frame so shorter people can get on no problem.
This tricycle only offers a single-speed setup, but that helps keep the price reasonable, and you won’t need additional gears if you’re mostly on flat terrain. If you do encounter a hill too steep to ride, it’s easy enough to walk the bike up.
And when you’re headed downhill you can count on the linear brakes on the handlebars to keep you from cruising out of control.
Lastly, this would all be fine and dandy even without a basket, but you can count on the big ol’ basket in the back for whatever you need to transport.
Overall, the Schwinn Meridian Adult Trike makes for a solid daily rider. It’ll get you from A to B smoothly and carry everything you need in style.
If you like the tricycle but are looking for upgrades, you can get the same Meridian style bike with a 3-speed or 7-speed or even an e-bike version.
3. Viribus Adult Tricycle
BEST FOR STORAGE
If you’re looking for extra storage and flexibility among adult tricycles, the Viribus Adult Tricycle has you covered. In addition to the now-familiar trappings of a solid adult tricycle — sturdy steel construction, a low step-through frame, handlebar brakes, 24-inch wheels, a single speed and an easily adjustable seat — you get one of the largest storage baskets we found. The basket measures 21 x 1″ x 11.5 inches and can hold up to 220 pounds. As long as you’re not shopping for the entire family, that’s more than enough room for a week’s worth of groceries.
But what gives this bike extra flexibility is the inclusion of a child seat on top of the basket. The collapsible basket lid can fold down to cover the basket or fold up to act as the back of a seat.
That makes this bike perfect for a ride through the park with one of the kids in tow. Overall, the Viribus Adult Tricycle offers all the basics you need in an adult tricycle as well as sizable storage.
4. Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle
Traditional adult tricycles work great, but what about something a little different? If you’re looking for a more radical, and more fun, take on the adult tricycle, check out the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle.
Rather than a traditional bike frame, this tricycle has a recumbent steel frame with a padded back and seat rest. Of course, given this design, rather than traditional handlebars, you’ll be using dual joysticks for steering and maneuvering, and the right joystick features a handbrake to help keep you from spinning out of control.
This different design also delivers one other benefit uncommon to bikes: There’s no chain because the pedals are attached directly to the front wheel. That’s one less potential problem or breakage you’ll never have to worry about.
The bike also covers a wide range of heights thanks to the adjustable length, though it won’t be comfortable for adults pushing far beyond 6 feet.
Of course, there’s pretty much no way you’ll be able to take this thing up a hill, but you’ll feel like you’re flying on pavement, especially being so close to the ground.
5. Mobo Shift Recumbent Bicycle
For a different take from Mobo on the recumbent tricycle, you’ll want to take a look at the Mobo Shift Recumbent Bicycle. Two features really set this tricycle apart from other adult tricycles.
The first is the addition of the ability to bike in reverse. These low-to-the-ground adult tricycles don’t always have the best turning radiuses, so being able to pedal backward can be really helpful if you find yourself stuck.
For another useful change, Mobo made the recumbent seat adjustable. If you adjust the length of the bike and the seat, you can practically lie down while riding in this thing. Now that would be unsafe of course, but being able to change the angle of the seat really helps optimize comfort.
Overall, because this trike has an adjustable, recumbent-style seat, we think it’s among the most comfortable adult tricycles.
6. Razor DXT Drift Trike
We’re calling this a throwback pick for everyone out there who had a drift tricycle as a kid, but if you’ve never tried a drift tricycle before, the Razor DXT Drift Trike is a great place to start.
To be honest, this would be a terrible tricycle for anything except what it’s made for. It won’t help with groceries and it’s fairly compact, so though it is suitable for adults, it’s not suitable for larger riders, with a max capacity of 198 pounds.
But if you’re looking for fun, this tricycle will help you drift and fly along the streets like no other, courtesy of the Super Slider POM rear wheels. With those behind you, you’ll be able to power slide and do 180s no problem for an exhilarating first experience or a throwback to those days when you were young and attempting donuts in your driveway.