Bikes have made a comeback in recent years — but some of us have enough trouble keeping our balance without also dealing with angry pedestrians and angry drivers trying to zoom past us while we calculate how much space we have between our bike and that parked car on the side of the street. Enter the adult tricycle.
Over time, tricycles were relegated to children and boardwalks, while two-wheeled bicycles became a rite of passage for suburbanites and urban commuters alike. We can’t blame them — when “adult tricycle” conjures up this monstrosity, who would even contemplate shopping for one?
While we wholeheartedly agree every human should learn to ride a traditional bicycle, we think there’s room in your life for both. Just imagine the freedom that comes from pedaling as fast as you can without worrying about tipping over?
Adult tricycles, by design, are extremely stable. Not to mention that many adult tricycles sit low to the ground and use an actual chair-shaped seat, as opposed to a bike saddle, which can make them much more comfortable.
There’s also the matter of storage, and adult tricycles have bicycles beat. Because the design creates a gap between the two rear wheels, adult tricycles frequently incorporate baskets in that space, which makes lugging groceries or supplies a lot easier than with a traditional bike.
Perhaps the last benefit has to do with users. Because there’s a lot less balancing involved (and thus less risk of falling), adult tricycles can be safer and better for seniors or those with limited mobility.
What to Look for When Shopping for Adult Tricycles
If you’re having trouble selecting the best adult tricycle for your needs, then we recommend comparing the options below based on the following criteria:
Brand reputation: You can find some great deals on sites like Amazon for adult tricycles by lesser-known brands, and if you’re on a budget, this can be a good option. However, we recommend sticking with trusted cycling companies like Schwinn and Kent as much as possible.
The frame: Make sure it’s a durable metal and big or small enough to suit you.
Wheels: Ensure they don’t seem like pieces of junk and that you get bigger wheels if you’re a bigger person. You don’t want to learn how to change a bike tire on your tricycle. Trust us.
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: 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.
Take a page out of your childhood and upgrade your commute with one of our picks of adult tricycles. We bet you’ll find yourself turning to it a lot more 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. 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.
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 with 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.
Maybe you simply don’t have the room to store an adult trike. If that’s the case, check out the Kent 26-Inch Alameda Folding Adult Trike. Not only does this bike store easily, but it can support up to 275 pounds and hold a number of goodies in the back basket. Make that weekly trip to Trader Joe’s just a little more fun.
Not only does the Viribus 24-inch adult tricycle come with a front and a rear basket but the rear basket is wheeled and detaches, which means you get both a trike and a cart for the price of one. With a weight capacity of 110 pounds, the rear basket can hold whatever you need to bring back home — or take for a day in the park or at the beach.
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. Rather than traditional handlebars, you use dual joysticks for steering, maneuvering and braking. 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.
Two features really set the Mobo Shift Recumbent Bicycle apart. 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. And because this trike has an adjustable, recumbent-style seat, we think it’s among the most comfortable adult tricycles.
Looking to go on a hike? Transport everything you need in this adult tricycle designed for rougher terrains. The fold-down rear basket holds up to 60 pounds, and the three wheels provide riders with ample control even over the most uneven roads and trails. And because the granular tire boats stronger friction, you can even take this adult tricycle out in the snow.
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.
This sturdy-as-hell, 7-speed adult trike is perfect for those who like to show off in style. Because it’s a 7-speed, it’s perfect for riding and shifting for a grand ole time out and about. It’s constructed with a high-quality tensile steel TIG welded frame to provide support to those even up to 350-lbs, which is one of the strongest-holding trikes we’ve come across.
It’s electric! Splurge on this electric tricycle from sixthreezero and get the extra push you need when your legs get tired from pedaling. Glide down the streets smoothly and safely with 1.95″ tires ready to take on the streets. There’s a clear and uncomplicated display screen on the left handlebar that tells you how fast you’re going and which level of assisted help you’re using. On the right side, you’ll find a throttle you can push down to expect helpful motorized power.
This tricycle comes with seven variable speeds that allow you to shift easily as needed. It has front and rear brakes, three large wheels and an adjustable cushioned seat for comfortable riding. Great for days at the park or runs to the store, this bicycle comes with a foldable front basket and a large rear basket for convenient carrying of all of your important items.
This tricycle comes with a large backseat so you can transport other adults and children around town. It features 20-inch wheels, an anti-rust steel frame, and a comfortable, adjustable biker’s seat and handlebars. The rear and front brakes and reflector provide an additional layer of safety while the front basket helps you transport important items.