Recumbent trikes are all the rave these past few years. Want to know why? Well, they are easier to ride, more comfortable, and puts less pressure on the joints than normal bikes. Know more about their benefits and the 5 best 3 wheel recumbent bikes available today with the help of this guide.
Comprehensive Reviews of The Best 3 Wheel Recumbent Bikes
The best 3 wheel recumbent bike should be comfortable, functional, durable, and stylish. Based on these criteria, I have handpicked my five favorite models and listed them down here for your reference. Read on to know more about their features, advantages, and disadvantages:
Best 3 Wheel Recumbent Bikes
Mobo Triton Pedal Go Kart Kids and Youth Cruiser Tricycle
1. Mobo Triton Pro Adult Beach Cruiser Tricycle
First on our list is the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Beach Cruiser Tricycle. This recumbent tricycle is such a fun and easy recreational activity for both men and women. Designed to perform well on both flat paved surfaces and even slopes, this bike lets you enjoy the outdoors.
The cushioned seat provides amazing comfort and support for the back which is great for adults and seniors. Because of the low setting of the bike, your center of gravity is close to the ground, so you won’t need to exert much effort to balance yourself.
With simple hand movements and the dual-joystick steering system, you can turn and maneuver smoothly and easily. This, along with simple operation, makes the unit suitable for people with special needs such as those with cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism, or asperger’s syndrome.
The size is perfect for families with older kids because it can accommodate riders 10 years old and above with heights ranging from 4’2” to 6’3” and weighing up to 250 pounds.
The durable hi-ten steel frame and chainless design requires minimal to no maintenance while the safety flag, caliper brakes, and free-wheel hub also help improve longevity and safety.
- Durable and adjustable frame
- Innovative steering system
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Designed for all user abilities
- Easy to use, control, and maneuver
- Comes with 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
- The rear tires wear down pretty fast
- Front tire does not have enough traction for when you are driving uphill
- Too small for most adults
- Requires assembly and many users complain of missing screws
2. Mobo Mobito Kids Cruiser Tricycle
Coming from the same company as the previous model, this recumbent bike makes exercise fun for kids. Designed to cruise on gently sloping terrains and flat paved surfaces, young people can enjoy the outdoors with almost no effort at all.
The frame is made with hi-ten steel for durability and reliability. Unlike normal bikes, the three-wheel design makes this unit much safer and easier to balance without requiring expert skills.
The dual-joystick steering is simple enough to understand and operate for kids as young as 4 years old. It can even help children with special needs get their exercise and developmental exercise.
The innovative and unique rear-wheel steering system helps improve leg and arm muscle strength and hand-eye coordination of younger kids and youth.
The adjustable frame is convenient and economical for growing children. This tricycle can handle users weighing up to 180 pounds and with a height of 4’8”.
With an ergonomically designed recumbent seat, evenly cushioned backseat, and low setting, this unit provides a much more comfortable and secure ride than a regular upright bicycle.
The Mobo Mobito also features inflatable rubber tires, a 16” front wheel, 12” rear wheels, a low maintenance chainless design, a safety flag, and caliper handbrakes.
- Relatively cheaper than most recumbent trikes
- Easy assembly
- Solid built
- Rides smooth
- Comes in different fun colors
- Simple to use and maneuver
- Great developmental tool for children with special needs and balance problems
- Does not come with instructions on how to put it together
- Tend to get unstable
- A few customers report that the trike flipped over
3. Mobo Shift 3-Wheel Recumbent Trike
The Mobo Shift Recumbent Trike is the world’s first ever reversible adult tricycle. It is great for leisure rides, a quick trip to the market, walking the dog, or as a serious regular exercise equipment.
With its reverse gear function, you can ride in free-wheel or fixed gear which allows you to go forward or backward in a breeze!
Enjoy a comfortable, smooth ride with the ergonomic recumbent seat and padded back support. You can even adjust the angle to six different angle settings. It is also a great, fun way to burn calories through a low-impact cardiovascular workout without putting stress on your knee joints and back.
The adjustable heavy duty Hi-ten steel frame is also durable so you can ride with stability and confidence. Recommended for riders 4” up to 6’3” tall and weighing up to 250 pounds, this is a great family tricycle for those with kids 10 years and above.
- Ergonomically engineered and adjustable back support and seat
- Well-built, fun, and fast
- Easy to assemble
- Extendable frame
- Comes with reverse function
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Great for the whole family, including those with disabilities, special needs, or balance problems
- Worth the price
- May be too small for some adults with average height
- Puts some pressure on the backbone
- Tends to go off in another direction
- Unstable, shakes and rattles as you ride even when the unit is professionally assembled
4. TW-Bents Artifice Adult Recumbent Tricycle
The Artifice Recumbent Tricycle for adults is a foldable, swift tadpole type recumbent trike made with a durable 100% Cro-Moly steel welded together abroad. Optimized for strength, its frame tubings are also pleasant to the eye.
The non-flex hinges also facilitate an easy, smooth operation. The mesh seat features suspension for shock absorption and a comfortable ride. Thanks to intercrossing steering linkages, this trike is very stable even when riding at top speed.
You can easily maneuver and control turns with a low turn resistance which provides a similar feel as automobile steering. This unit is also easy to park thanks to the brake lever with a lock.
Aside from giving the trike a metallic pop of color, the glossy paint job also protects the frame from rust and wear to keep it looking great for months or even years to come.
The TW-Bents Artifice also has a premium SRAM Centera 24 speed shifter set which allows for a superb shifting. The Shimano Sora rear and front derailleur gives it a remarkable drive-train performance.
With the combined function of Tektro brake levers and mechanical disc brakes, you can stop whenever you want or need to without any issues. You can even adjust each brake pad independently for your convenience. A simple push button locks the brake on.
- Lightweight and durable frame
- Long-lasting and attractive paint job
- Comfortable seats
- Absorbs shock
- Adjustable seat angle
- Very expensive
- Works great only with the electrical assist
- Does not fold small for storage or transport
5. Mobo Triton Pedal Go Kart Kids and Youth Cruiser Tricycle
Another entry from Mobo, the Triton Pedal Go Kart Cruiser Tricycle for Kids and Youth comes with quality you can trust and rely on. It is a slightly smaller version of the Mobo Triton Pro.
Although the Mobo Triton Pedal Go Kart is recommended for kids 7 to 12 years old, it can be easily adjusted to accommodate small kids and petite adults with heights of 3’8” up to 5’2” and with a weight of up to 200 pounds.
The operation is stable and smooth because of the dual-joystick. The unit is set low to the ground and requires no balancing skills you’d need when riding regular bicycles.
Made with the same Hi-ten steel frame as the other Mobo trikes, you are guaranteed to get a durable product. It also features the rear-wheel steering system, no-maintenance chainless design, dual-joystick steering, a safety flag, a free-wheel hub, and caliber brakes.
- Adjustable frame is perfect for growing children
- Heavy duty and well-constructed
- Easy to assemble
- More comfortable than the Mobito
- Simple and unique steering mechanism
- Good ride for kids and teens with special needs
- Unstable turns
- Terrible warranty of only 30 days
- May come with missing parts
- Too hard to pedal and drive especially when going uphill
What Are The Benefits Of Recumbent Trikes?
Recumbent tricycles offer a lot of benefits that their upright and two-wheeled counterparts do not have. These benefits are largely attributed by the way the seat is reclined, putting the user in a position that is lower.
Here are some of the most important benefits of recumbent trikes:
1. Reduced Air Resistance
The V-shaped or triangular silhouette and the lower front area make recumbent bikes more aerodynamic. This means that the front cuts through the wind and reduces the drag caused by it.
Because of this, riding a recumbent bike allows you to go faster even during windy conditions. It also requires less effort and energy from the arms and legs in order to overcome air resistance. But of course, this depends on the type and model that you choose.
Because your body is positioned closer to the ground and you get supported by two wheels on the front or on the back, trikes are generally safer than bikes. There is a lower risk of falling off and getting hurt. Even if you do fall, the effect is minimal since you will only fall from a lower height. This stability is also very important especially for the elderly or for people with balance issues.
Moreover, motorists tend to give recumbent tricycle riders more room than those who ride upright bicycles. Because trikes are less common, they also grab people’s attention, making them more careful when driving near you. This decreases your chances of getting involved in an accident.
3. No Skills Required
Recumbent trikes require minimal to no balancing or riding skills. With two wheels for balance and one wheel for directions, a 3-wheel recumbent bike supports the rider. This also makes it perfect for everybody, including people with special needs and disabilities.
You can enjoy a good exercise and hobby at any weight or age, even if you have never ridden a bike in the past.
Unlike an upright bicycle, recumbent tricycles offer support for the neck, back, and buttocks. This makes them ideal for the elderly and people with neck or back issues. In fact, recumbent trikes are often dubbed as recliners on wheels.
The reclining seat position supports the body in such a way that less stress is experienced on the joints of the knees, shoulders, hips, neck, and back. There is also no weight on the wrists and hands unlike when you are riding an upright bike.
Because of the comfort offered by recumbent trikes, you can go for longer distances and enjoy more hours of exercise and exploring without discomfort or pain.
5. A Fun, Easy, Low-Impact Exercise
Riding bikes are a great way to get your blood pumping and shed some pounds. Recumbent trikes are even better because they offer a great cardiovascular aerobic workout that is low-impact and enjoyable.
Depending on the intensity of how you pedal, the terrain on which you drive and how long you spend riding a recumbent trike, it can help you burn tons of calories. You can also get a nice workout while enjoying nature even if you go at a leisurely pace.
When going uphill, you cannot raise your butt off the saddle to produce more force as you would in an upright bike. Instead, you should switch to low gear and use the backrest to support yourself as you pedal harder. This makes for a better, more intense workout.
The reclining position allows for a better leg workout while the comfort lets you ride longer and thus burn more calories. The best part is, riding a trike is so fun you won’t even notice that you are actually exercising!
For exercise ideas, please watch this video:
6. Body Weight Distribution
A standard upright bike or trike forces you to rest your body weight on only a few sitting bones, your feet, and your hands. On a recumbent trike, the reclined seating position distributes your body weight on your butt, legs, feet, and back.
This spreads the weight evenly and the larger seat eliminates saddle soreness which you would likely experience on an upright bike.
7. USS (Underseat Steering) vs OSS (Over Seat Steering)
There are two steering systems used in recumbent trikes: under seat steering (USS) and over seat steering (OSS).
With OSS, no weight is put on your hands which are held in front of your body, as if you are driving a car. With USS, however, the handlebars are connected to cranks under the seat.
Sometimes, the hands are actually positioned beneath the seat or sometimes the handlebars go around the sides of the seat with your hands positioned above your hips, called the side stick steering. This is usually the way most tadpole tricycles steer.
USS can be classified into three types: thumbs in, thumbs forward, and thumbs up, referring to the way your hands are oriented when gripping the handlebars. Thumbs up is the most ergonomic while thumbs in is the least ergonomic but the cheapest and easiest to build.
The Two Main Types Of Recumbent Trikes
Recumbent tricycles come in two main types: the tadpole trike and the delta trikes. Here are short descriptions and a comparison of the two:
1. Tadpole Trikes
Tadpole trikes have one rear wheel and two front wheels for steering. Almost all tadpole trikes have the under seat steering (USS) mechanism with the pedals at the front. This type is often sportier, lighter, smaller, and faster.
Some tadpole trikes are also lower, which makes them go faster but harder to get on and go out of. This makes them a more ideal choice for serious long-distance riders. Most tadpole trikes are also foldable, making them easier to store and transport. However, tadpoles are generally more expensive than the most affordable delta trikes.
2. Delta Trikes
Delta trikes, on the other hand, have two wheels in the back and one in the front, with the cranks at the back. The front wheel does the steering while the rear wheels are for driving. Most delta trikes drive on one rear wheel only, which can cause them to tend to pull to one side or go out of the direction especially when climbing or accelerating.
Deltas are less expensive and often have an over seat steering mechanism (OSS). They also often have higher seats which makes riding and getting off much easier. They are also heavier, which makes them slower. They are also larger in size and cannot be folded, which makes transporting them quite a challenge.
Based on my research and the information I’ve mentioned previously, I think the best 3 wheel recumbent bike is the Mobo Mobito Cruiser for kids and the Mobo Triton Pro for adults. Both come from the same company and almost have the same features but differ in size and the back support.
The Mobito is very comfortable for the back and is the perfect size for kids and teens while the Mobo Triton Pro performs well as long as you can assemble it properly. Both are delta type trikes.
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