How To Choose The Best Adult Tricycle And Everything Else You Need To Know

Did you know that tricycles have a lot of advantages over bicycles, especially for adults? Tricycles are generally easier to use and handle for the elderly who may have certain physical limitations.

Find out all about these advantages and how you can choose the best adult tricycle with the help of these product reviews and buying guide!

Best Adult Tricycle Products Reviews

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I know how hard it is to skim through internet articles looking for the best products. So, I did all the hard work for you and rounded up my top 5 picks of the best adult tricycles.

Read below for a summary of their features, pros, and cons. Hopefully, this will serve as your starting point in finding the best trike for your needs!

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Best Adult Tricycle

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Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (26-inch wheels)

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (26-inch wheels)

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (24-inch wheels)

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (24-inch wheels)

Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle

Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle

Komodo Cycling Adult Tricycle

Komodo Cycling Adult Tricycle

Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike

Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike

1. Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (26-inch wheels)

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (26-inch wheels)

First on our list is a particularly popular choice. The Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle comes from an iconic brand that produces some of the most loved and best-known bicycles of all time! Schwinn aims to develop and produce bicycles to allow people to experience the thrill and other benefits of bike-riding.

The Schwinn Meridian is ideal for adults because of its super low stand-over aluminum frame which lets the user access and get on the trike easily. It even comes with a convenient large, fold-down basket on the rear to help you haul groceries, gear, and everything else you need while you run errands around town, go on an outdoor adventure, or simply get your daily exercise.

This bike model features a classic cruiser style with comfortable swept back handlebars, large quick-release springer seat with height adjustability, and full-wrap fenders. The swept back handlebars allow you to relax in an upright position while you ride. The fenders help keep the rider dry and clean while also giving the trike a stylish appearance.

The upright handlebars are also rendered wide and can be adjusted from a height of 37 to 40 inches. Thanks to the one-speed design that makes this tricycle mechanically simple, it is also super easy to maintain. It is perfect for riders who have difficulty balancing a bike or just need somewhere to store stuff.

The Schwinn Meridian comes with 26-inch alloy wheels and is appropriate for adults up to 5’10” tall. The alloy rims are lightweight and make for a smooth ride.

This model comes ready to be assembled and is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to mount and dismount step-through design
  • Comfortable springer-cruise seat
  • Simple single speed drivetrain for a smooth ride on all roads and terrain
  • Durable and lightweight aluminum steel construction
  • Stable and smooth rides
  • 26” wheels allow you to gain speed and turn corners easily
  • Comes with full-wrap fenders
  • Large foldable rear basket
  • Comes in many colors
  • Easy to assemble
  • Rides smoothly
  • The seat could be more supportive
  • Seat tends not to stay put during rides
  • Interior tire tubes are flimsy and get flat easily
  • The seat has some resistance to it and can be squeaky or uncomfortable when passing bumps
  • Quite heavy to move around

2. Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (24-inch wheels)

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (24-inch wheels)

Although this is the same model as the previous item in this list, the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle with 24-inch wheels have several distinct features from the version with 26-inch wheels that it deserves a discussion of its own.

The Schwinn Meridian 24 features the same durable aluminum frame and low stand-over design for easy on and off as well as the foldable rear basket to hold your stuff. It also has the one-speed drivetrain, full-wrap fenders, adjustable swept back handlebars, and wide springer seat.

Like the 26-inch Schwinn Meridian, the 24-inch trike uses the same metal alloy rim made for speed. The spoke count is also kept the same, which means either version will be sturdy enough to handle heavier riders and load.

However, because of the smaller wheel size, it is better suited for shorter men and women riders. While the maximum speed and stability are a little affected by the smaller wheels, this tricycle generally provides the same smooth, great ride at a significantly lower price.

It is also easier for the 24-inch Schwinn Meridian tricycle to accelerate because of its overall lighter weight and smaller size.

Pros

Cons

  • More affordable than the 26-inch Schwinn Meridian
  • Accelerates faster
  • Great for shorter people
  • Step-through design for easy mounting and dismounting
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Foldable rear basket
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum frame
  • Lighter and smaller than the Schwinn Meridian 26
  • Wrap-around fenders
  • Available in many stylish colors
  • The seat is reclined too far back and can cause discomfort during long or high-intensity rides
  • Because of the smaller wheels, the top speed is slightly slower
  • Less stable turns

3. Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle

Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle

Looking for a comfortable, hassle-free ride? The Mantis Tri-Rad Foldable Adult Tricycle could be your best bet! It features a steel frame and suspension fork that are both durable and good-looking. The frame is also foldable for easy transport and storage.

The folding mechanism is also pretty simple. You just have to twist and pull the quick release lever and the frame efficiently folds in half. Even the handlebars are collapsible for an even more compact design if not in use. The whole trike can be folded to a size of 35” by 30” by 31”.

Suitable for riders aged 12 and up, this adult tricycle has a low cut frame for easy mounting even for the elderly and a parking brake along with the pull brake at the front for a safe and easy dismount.

The single-speed drivetrain with a one-piece crank makes this trike low-maintenance as well. The steel stern is also adjustable and the large spring seat or saddle makes for a comfortable and relaxed ride.

The wheels feature an aluminum rim with 20” by 1.75” white wall Kendra tires for durability, traction, stability, vibration dampening, and a lightweight, smooth ride. The package also includes a chain guard, bell, rear basket for carrying stuff, and a front fender to protect you from dirt, mud, and other debris that might be caught in the tires.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy switching from riding to folding
  • Quick-release handle for easy folding
  • Significantly reduced storage footprint
  • Large padded seat for comfort
  • Single-speed design for easy maintenance
  • 20-inch diameter Kendra tires
  • Collapsible handlebars
  • Low-cut frame
  • Parking brake
  • Possibility of defects out of the box due to Mantis’ poor quality control during assembly and manufacturing
  • Steel is heavy and hampers the speed
  • The folded configuration is still too large to fit most cars

4. Komodo Cycling Adult Tricycle

Komodo Cycling Adult Tricycle

Featuring a versatile 6-speed Shimano RS45 gear shifter and a simple design, the Komodo Cycling Adult tricycle is another hard one to beat. It also has a Shimano TY-21 derailleur to pair with the gear for smooth and seamless transitions between speeds.

Although this trike is not particularly made for high speeds or racing, the ability to shift gears makes it so much easier and safer to use especially around hilly areas.

The ultra low clearance (just 15 ⅜ inch) and step-through design lets riders, large or small, to get on and off the trike in a breeze. Furthermore, since there is just a single chain ring on the tricycle’s front, you won’t have to worry about cross chaining. However, this trike will require effort and time to maintain and clean the shifting system because of the rear derailleur.

The saddle is padded for your comfort and measures a heaping 12.25” by 11.75”. The seat also has a maximum user weight capacity of 240 pounds. The seat also comes with a backrest and a moderately reclined seat post for added support. This is important for people who suffer discomfort or pain on their lower back while riding in an upright position.

This tricycle also comes with front and rear wheel fenders. A large metal basket at the back is where you can our groceries or other stuff while you cruise around town.

The Komodo Cycling Adult Tricycle has a steel handlebar, steering system, and crank and chain. The alloy front brakes and rear steel brake allows you to stop or slow down when needed.

Pros

Cons

  • 6-speed shifting system for riding along hills
  • Supportive and comfortable reclined seat with backrest
  • Brakes on all wheels for safety and maximum control
  • Metal wire basket for carrying gear and stuff
  • Fenders to keep dirt, mud, and other debris off
  • Low clearance and step-through design
  • 240 pounds maximum user weight
  • Requires some maintenance
  • The rear derailleur is between the rear wheels and thus, hard to access
  • Not the most stylish adult tricycle
  • Steel frame is quite heavy
  • No front fork, causing a lot of vibration on the front wheels which leads to pain on the hands when riding on rough roads

5. Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike

Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike

What sets the Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed tricycle apart from other adult tricycles is its low maintenance and easy-to-use Sturmey Archer 3-speed internal gear hub. Thanks to the 24” front wheel and two 20” rear wheels, this trike offers superb stability.

Although the steel frame is not the most lightweight, what it lacks in this area, it makes up for in durability and vibration dampening.

In terms of size, this trike is large enough to offer smooth rides yet small and narrow enough for easy storage, to fit through doors, or ride safely on the sidewalk. The low, step-through frame makes mounting and dismounting very easy even for adults with a little mobility problem.

The front V brake features a parking lock for your trike’s security and safety as well as easier parking while a rear coaster brake lets you stay in control of your every ride. Keep your clothes and yourself dry and clean with the help of the front wheel fender and chain guard. The rear basket or rock also allows you to hold a maximum of 45 pounds of groceries or gear.

This trike is backed with a limited lifetime warranty for the frame and pedals, as long as you are the original retail purchaser. It also ships partially assembled right out of the box.

Pros

Cons

  • Lockable front brake that also serves as a parking brake
  • Durable steel frame
  • Limited lifetime warranty for the frame
  • 3-speed internal gear hub
  • Amazing stability especially when turning thanks to the difference in size between the front wheel and two rear wheels
  • Front fender
  • Rear basket with a maximum weight capacity of 45 pounds
  • The steel frame is heavy
  • Pricey
  • Gear requires some maintenance
  • Package does not include rear wheel fenders which you will have to buy separately

Why Choose A Tricycle?

Best Adult Tricycle

If you are not yet sure about purchasing an adult tricycle instead of a bike, let me convince you with the following benefits and advantages of trikes:

1. They Are More Comfortable

Although this can depend on the type of trike that you purchase, trikes, especially the recumbent trikes, are generally more comfortable to ride than regular bikes. With the reclined seat and lower height of tricycles, your body stays in a relaxed and neutral riding position.

Not only does this position allow you to ride longer without pain or discomfort but it also has many benefits for your spine and posture.

Trikes also have more comfortable and wider seats with an average width of 17 inches. This reduces pain or numbness on the buttocks when you ride over long distances.

2. They Are Much Safer

Personally, I think that tricycles are a lot safer than tricycles. Of course, safety depends on certain situations, the rider, and the terrain but here are some of the reasons why trikes are safer to ride:

Their Larger Size

Obviously, trikes are generally bigger than bikes, making them more visible to oncoming motorists on open roads. Of course, bikes can be made more visible with reflectors, lights, flags, and reflective clothing but if I am driving, I will certainly notice a tricycle more than a bike.

They Are Easier To Balance

This is probably a no-brainer but is a very important difference between bikes and trikes. Balancing on three wheels is a lot easier than balancing on two. This gives the rider a reduced risk of getting injuries or thrown off your ride. Having three wheels also makes it harder to cause a tricycle to topple over. If you are a beginner or if you haven’t ridden in a long time, this also allows you to enjoy the thrill of cycling with less risks than biking.

Feet On Your Front

Although this is only true for recumbent bikes and a few other types of tricycles, having your feet in front of you while riding instead of under also helps ensure your safety. For example, in the case of an accident, someone who is riding a recumbent trike can simply put their feet out to touch the ground. Sure, they will slide and skid and worst case scenario may injure their feet or legs but I would take that over being thrown head-first off a bicycle any day.

They Are Closer To The Ground

Most tricycles are lower than a regular bike. Because of this, the rider’s center of gravity will also be closer to the ground while riding. Again, in the event of an accident where the rider is thrown off his or her ride, there is less risk of getting injured or hurt badly since you will fall from a lower height.

3. They Perform Great

Depending on specific conditions and the type of tricycle, there are instances that trikes beat bikes in terms of performance. For example, low-riding recumbent bikes and delta tricycles offer more aerodynamic benefits than bikes. When cycling up a hill against strong winds, a trike which is set lower to the ground will be less challenging to ride than a bike.

4. They Come With Storage And Carrying Capacity

Thanks to the balancing benefit of having three wheels, trikes are better suited for hauling stuff from place to place. They can also handle heavier weights than bikes without affecting the quality of the ride as much. Most trikes even come with rear or front baskets where you can put picnic baskets, supplies, groceries, sports gear, or even pets.

5. They Are More Stable

Because they have three wheels, trikes come with unbeatable stability. Unlike when riding bikes, you don’t have to worry about losing your balance on a trike, the two wheels on either the front or rear will do this for you!

Trikes are also more resistant to tilting, although those who are used to riding bikes find that this can be a disadvantage due to the counter-steering effect (you’ll know more about this later) you get when you lean into a turn. However, as you get used to a tricycle, you will find that this stability helps you achieve an easy, worry-free ride, especially if you are a novice cycler.

6. They Are Great For People With Special Needs

Tricycles offer a lots of benefits for children and adults with special needs. For one, riding a tricycle encourages them to go outside to breathe fresh air while also getting their exercise. Many of them may also not be able to drive a car or a regular bicycle.

Also, they can be allowed to ride a tricycle with minimal assistance and guidance, giving them a sense of strength, confidence, and freedom. Riding trikes with foot pedals that come with hand pedals can also help those who have problems with coordination and stamina.

Types Of Tricycles For Adults

women tricycle

Aside from brands and models, there are also many varieties and types of trikes that you can buy these days. Let us go over some of them:

Delta Or Tadpole Trike

There are two main types of tricycles depending on how the wheels are positioned: delta trikes and tadpole trikes.

Delta Trikes

Delta trikes have one wheel at the front and two wheels at the back. This means that the center of gravity is nearer the rider and towards the back. Delta trikes are also sometimes called rear load tricycles or traditional tricycles. This type is more common among adults especially the elderly since it utilizes the standard bicycle steering mechanism and is more stable at slow, steady speeds.

Tadpole Trikes

Tadpole trikes or front load tricycles come with two front wheels and a single rear wheel. Therefore, the center of gravity is nearer to the front, which means when you suddenly brake while going at a high speed, you are more likely to tip forward. This type is ideal for drivers that want or need to keep an eye or have quick and easy access to their load or cargo without necessarily having to get off the tricycle. This is great for pedicab drivers who require frequent interaction with their customers or as a means for food vendors to go around.

Recumbent Or Upright

Like bikes, trikes can also either be upright or recumbent. Upright trikes allow you to ride them as you would a bicycle, with the pedals underneath the body while recumbent bikes have reclined seats so the pedals are in front of you.

Upright Trikes

​An upright trike will easily hold a cargo basket at the back and will put both your arms and legs to work for an effective lower and upper body workout. They are also easier to balance. However, an upright trike puts your center of gravity at a higher position, which can be a concern in terms of safety and comfort. Upright trikes are best for leisure or simply bringing stuff from place to place.

Recumbent Trikes

A recumbent trike, on the other hand, usually comes with a longer frame and is built lower to the ground. You seat in a reclined position and pedal with your legs stretched out in front of you. This riding posture is great for working your core and hamstring muscles. Recumbent trikes are also more aerodynamic and easier on the hips and back than upright trikes since they do not put as much pressure on the spine. They are better suited for long rides and for sports use.

To know how to safely use recumbent trikes, please watch this video:

Tandem Trikes And Sidecar Trikes

Tandem Trikes

Tandem trikes are those that can accommodate two people. Tandem trikes can either have a front-to-back or side-by-side configuration and are often of the upright variety. These trikes are similar to a traditional trike except that the riders will be sitting next to each other. Great for a fun and leisurely activity with family members, tandem trikes also require less maintenance and cover less space than two separate tricycle units.

Sidecar Trikes

​Sidecar tricycles are often used to transport someone else around like a passenger. These are like regular bicycles with an added sidecar and wheel on one side. The third wheel is parallel to the other two but a little off the centerline. They are not very popular in the US but are quite common in Asian countries.

Folding Tricycles

These are great for those who frequently travel or have limited storage space in their home. Folding trikes are usually designed to be lightweight for easily carrying them around.

Electric Tricycles

Electric trikes or e-trikes feature a rechargeable electric motor with some hybrids also having pedals. They are ideal for long rides when you can simply switch on the electric motor and let the trike work once you get tired and want a break from pedaling. They are also great for power or speed boosts on steep inclines.

Electric trikes provide a reliable and safe mode of transportation for people with special needs. They can also be a good option for those who are not able to obtain a driver’s license since certain e-trikes do not need insurance or a license. This is because they cannot exceed a specific wattage and speed. However, be sure to check your local laws and regulations if you plan to get a trike for this purpose.

Picking The Best Adult Tricycle

Now that you know the benefits and different types of adult tricycles, let’s get to the hard part: choosing one that is best suited for your needs and preferences. Given that there are so many types, models, brands, and features to choose from, this can be overwhelming.

However, if you know what and where to look, everything will be easier. To help you along, here are what I think are important points you should consider when picking the right tricycle:

1. Your Budget

First of all, you need to consider your budget. I know this seems like a relatively unimportant thing but knowing how much you can and are willing to spend will significantly narrow down your options.

Also, a tricycle is not cheap and therefore is an investment. So, you would want to get the most value out of your money. If you are just a beginner or looking for an entry level trike, you can find many great models for under $500, just like the ones listed in this article. These bikes have all the basic features you’ll need with a few or so weak points.

If you are more serious about cycling and have a higher budget, feel free to look for an upgrade tricycle that cost between $500 to $1000. These ones often have premium features and are made with the best quality materials for durability. Most top-of-the line trikes that offer the best performance and are generally $1000 and up.

​2. Purpose

After deciding on the budget, the next thing you should ask yourself is this: what will I be using my tricycle for?

Maybe you are a beginner who have never been on a bike and are just planning to use your trike for leisure. Or maybe you need it for your daily commute or exercise. Consider also if you plan to ride long or short distances. Do you plan to use your trike daily or every once in a while?

Different tricycles have different top speeds so think about whether you want to ride at a slow and steady pace or if you are more on the adventurous side and are looking for fast action? Do you need a trike that will get you a good workout or do you want an easy trike that does all the work for you?

Answering these questions and considering these factors will be a great starting point that will lead to the best adult tricycle for you.

3. Who Will Be Using The Strike ?

This is another important question to ask. Are you or the intended user a sports cycler, beginner, or someone with special needs? Generally, I recommend buying a trike for yourself because this will allow you to get a proper bike based on your needs and taste.

For short and light adults, you should pay attention to the specific measurements of the trike to make sure you can fit on it. For heavier and taller people, look for trikes with adjustable heights and a higher weight capacity. For senior citizens, a recumbent trike featuring a low point of entry and pedals will be easier on the legs, back, and knees.

4. Tricycle Design

Design is crucial because this will affect the rider in many ways. While design seems to be more important for intermediate and advanced trikers, everyone who has particular preferences should look at the design.

This is not just about the appearance or looks but also about things like how low is the center of gravity, number of speeds, brakes, aerodynamics, turning vectors, and such. Design considerations are important whether you want speed or you want to go long distances or simply want a chill, safe ride.

​5. Materials And Construction

Being an investment, you should always look for a trike that is solidly built and constructed with the finest durable materials. Generally speaking, you do get what you pay for. Cheap adult trikes may seem okay but may not last as long as you want them to or may come with annoying defects that will prevent you from enjoying your ride.

Make sure that the materials of your trike are lightweight enough for you to be able to handle it comfortably for storage and parking. You also want something that is easy to access, maintain, and clean.

6. Specific Features

Depending on what you need your trike to do or to be, look for features that will make your every ride more convenient and enjoyable for you. Do you need a trike that will allow you to hold your stuff? There are trikes that come with large baskets.

You should also check the size and position of the handlebars to make sure it will be right for your height. Make sure the seat is of good quality and size and that it has good padding for your comfort.

I often suggest looking for adjustability and versatility since we all come in different shapes and sizes. Being able to adjust the seat height or the handles or the recline of your trike will allow you to customize it for your comfort.

​7. Speed

Another thing you should consider is the number of speeds or gears of a trike. For first timers and beginners, a single-speed trike is probably the most practical and economic way to go. However, being able to shift between at least three to six gears will be beneficial for riding up and down slopes.

It can be difficult to go up a hill when in high gear so you have to shift to the lowest gear (note that some people refer to high gears as low in term of the number but for the sake of understandability, I am referring to the lowest number when I say lowest gear). Higher gears are for when you want to gain speed without exerting too much effort and energy.

​8. Storage

This is not about the storage capacity of your trike but how you will be storing the tricycle itself. Make sure that you have enough space to properly store your trike whenever you will not be using it. One drawback of trikes is that they have a much larger footprint than bikes. Meaning, they take up more storage space.

If you have limited space in your home or garage, you might want to consider a smaller tricycle or the folding type which are more compact choices.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the best adult tricycle is the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle with 26-inch wheels. It features an accessible and durable frame, a nice style, adjustable height, a foldable cargo basket, and other awesome features. If it is too expensive, you can just go for its smaller version, the Schwinn Meridian 24, which offers basically the same features and ride quality for a cheaper price.

So, did you like this article? If so, please check out this section for more buying guides and product reviews like this!

Author

  • Kelly Clanton

    Hi there! I'm Kelly Clanton. I am an educated fitness coach with a master degree in Sports Education, and more than ​9 years of working in fitness industry. I love doing and teaching fitness because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health back into their own hands. I'm a Mom,Wife, Fitness Instructor at Fitness Instructor.

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