See Our Best Adult Tricycle Picks Here
These aren’t your grandchildren tricycles. Cycling enthusiasts have taken the good old-fashioned tricycle to a whole new level. Thinking of getting one? We’ll share our top five best adult tricycle picks here.
Best Adult Tricycle – Our Winning Pick:
Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed TrikeCHECK PRICING
But first we’ll also answer some other common questions like:
- What is an adult tricycle?
- How does tricycling differ from bicycling?
- How is an adult tricycle different from a child’s tricycle?
- But first, a few words about cycling in general.
- Why Cycling?
Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise available for several reasons:
- It can be done by just about everyone beginning at a very young age. Children as young as 18 months can learn to cycle. Once learned, these skills can be transferred to any other type of cycle. These skills also last a lifetime. People have cycled well into their nineties and some even beyond.
- Physical disabilities don’t even have to be a barrier to the sport and leisure of cycling. Bicycles and tricycles can be modified in a variety of ways to accommodate disabilities of all types. Everyone can participate and benefit.
- It’s good for your heart. Cycling boosts your cardiovascular health and fitness. Good heart health improves overall quality of life and increases your lifespan potential.
- It improves your muscle strength, flexibility, mobility and joint health.
- It helps improve posture.
- It’s good for your mental health, too. Science says that cycling is a mood-booster and helps to decrease stress.
- It’s a great family activity. It can be hard to find activities that are suitable for a group of people (like a family) that varies in age, maturity and skill level. Cycling is one of those very few bonding activities that groups of all ages can enjoy together.
- Cycling is both leisure activity and practical transportation all in one. You can cycle just for fun AND as a way to get from one place to another.
What is an Adult Tricycle?
As far as design goes, adult tricycles aren’t all that different from the kind you probably rode as a kid. It consists of a lightweight frame with three wheels, just like a child’s trike.
There is one wheel in front and two in the back. The three wheels may be all the same size, or the front wheel may be a different size from the rear wheels. It all depends on the style of the trike.
How Does Tricycling Differ From Bicycling?
Bicycling requires specific muscle coordination to maintain balance on only two wheels. Tricycling eliminates this need for balance, although upper body stability is still required.
Young children take a long time to develop the correct muscle strength and coordination necessary for balancing on a bicycle. This is why children start off on a tricycle or a bicycle with training wheels.
However, this doesn’t mean that tricycling is just for kids. In recent years, adult tricycling has become a popular leisure activity. It’s part nostalgia and part novelty
Tricycling just feels different from biking. This is, of course, because of the different muscle use and body movement involved in tricycling. It has a more casual, leisurely vibe to it.
It also has to do with the fact that tricycles cannot go as fast as bikes. They’re generally not designed for racing, although there are exceptions to this generality. (However, you’ll find that some trikes are faster than others.)
It is this sense of nostalgia, novelty and leisure that is appealing to a whole new generation of adults. Additionally, it is making it possible for older adults who have balance issues to continue cycling well into their senior years.
That’s NOT to say that adult tricycles are the same as those made for children. Adult tricycles are WAY classier and far more sophisticated than kids trikes.
How is an Adult Tricycle Different from a Child’s Tricycle?
Although they look the same design-wise, adult tricycles employ features that are much more like those of bicycles. Many have gears just like bikes. You can shift up or down, depending on the terrain and grade you are traveling.
They also have braking systems like bikes. Obviously this is an important feature for a tricycle that is designed for riding further than the length of your driveway!
Additionally, you can get many of the same extra features and accessories that are available for bikes. (In fact, many bicycle accessories fit on or can be adapted to adult trikes) This includes storage baskets, reflectors, horns, bells, lights and mirrors.
So, What is the Best Adult Tricycle?
We spent close to 12 hours researching 20 different adult tricycles. We read hundreds of customer reviews, watched consumer videos and read advice from experts in the field. Using this information, we narrowed down our selections to one top pick and four runners-up.
Top Pick: Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike
Colors available: Blue, brown
Speed: Sturmey Archer 3-speed internal geared hub
Wheels size: 20 inch rear wheels and 24 inch front wheel
Brake operation: Front V brake with parking lock; rear coaster brake
Styles and designs: Steel step through frame for easy on/off
Built-in features: Low-profile frame makes mount and dismount easier; rear storage basket capable of carrying up to 45 pounds of groceries; rear rack capable of holding up to 45 lbs.
Comfortability: Raleigh Comfort Tractor Saddle offers spring-loaded comfort
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on the frame for as long as the original retail purchaser owns the bicycle
Weight limit: 300 lbs
Assembly is relatively easy, even for those who aren’t mechanically-inclined. Skilled mechanic can be finished and ready to ride in about 30 minutes; may take up to 120 minutes for less experience.
Does not come with rear fender. (Compatible fender can be purchased from Amazon seller Niagara Cycle.)
Raleigh being one of the oldest cycle companies in the world, we weren’t surprised that one of its trikes would make our list. Raleigh has a worldwide reputation for building high-quality, soundly-performing cycles and the Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike lives up to that.
It just so happens that it is the most expensive model on our adult tricycle list. That being said, we believe the Tristar is well worth its hefty price tag.
The Tristar is a solid tricycle with lots of features that enhance both comfort and performance. We also love that it is pretty easy to assemble even if you’re a novice. It also comes with the best warranty of all the trikes on our adult tricycle list.
Perhaps its only drawback is that it doesn’t have a rear fender. However, this can be easily remedied by purchasing and installing an aftermarket fender.
1st Runner Up: Adult Schwinn Tricycle Beach Cruiser
Colors available: Mint, silver, cherry red, blue
Wheel size: 26 by 2 inches
Brake operation: Linear pull
Style and design: Step-through/standover aluminum frame
Built-in features: Shopping basket
Comfortability: Padded saddle with springs
This trike is easy to assemble. It takes about 45 minutes to have it ready to ride for those with basic mechanical skills.
The wheels may be difficult to align when putting this bike together.
The Adult Schwinn Tricycle Beach Cruiser is one of the best adult tricycle options because it is easy to ride. It rides smoothly and has a basket that you can use for some shopping or to carry your essentials when you are out all day. The basket also folds.
The combination of three wheels and a wide upright handlebar ensure that you are stable on this trike. The linear pull brakes make it easy to stop without the trike jerking.
It is easy to mount and exit the bike due to the low step-over frame. The seat is sizable with padding and springs. As one of the best adult tricycle options, this trike has rear and front fenders to protect you against road debris as you ride.
2nd Runner Up: Schwinn Meridian Adult 26-Inch 3-Wheel Bike
Colors available: Black, black cherry, blue, dark blue, dark silver, green, white
Speed: Single speed
Wheels size: 26 inch
Brake operation: Rear hand brake and front linear pull brake provide extra stopping power
Styles and designs: Full wrap fenders are stylish and also help keep rider from getting wet/dirty; alloy rims help keep the ride light and smooth
Built-in features: Lightweight aluminum step-through frame, folding rear basket
Comfortability: Comfortable padded spring cruiser saddle; upright handlebars; large, adjustable springer cruiser seat
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike
Weight limit: 300 lbs.
Perfect trike for beginners and first time buyers; 26 inch wheels provide stability both while riding and stationary; full wrap fender prevents water and dirt from splashing up on rider; aluminum body with alloy rim is both strong and lightweight
Some users reported that the trike requires a lot of maintenance (bolts had to be tightened at once a week, chain centered, oil, etc.)
We were drawn to this trike for its ease-of-use and smooth rideability. If you’re new adult tricycling, the Schwinn Meridian makes an excellent entry product. Its low price makes it even more inviting.
As if that weren’t enough, we were blown away by its features. Unlike the previous trike on our adult tricycle list, the rear fender is included. It also comes in more colors than any other trike on the list. There’s no way you won’t find your favorite!
Just be prepared with the Schwinn Meridian: you may need to keep a wrench and screwdriver nearby. There’s a good chance you’ll need to tighten bolts regularly.
3rd Runner Up: Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle
Colors available: Blue, silver
Speed: Single speed
Wheels size: 24 inches
Brake operation: Front V-brake with parking brake
Styles and designs: Folding steel frame with steel suspension fork; low cut frame and parking brake makes mounting/dismounting easier
Built-in features: Aluminum rim white wall Kenda tires; front fender, rear basket, bell, chainguard
Comfortability: Easy-adjust steel stem; large comfort saddle; seat and handlebars are adjustable
Warranty: Not specified
Weight limit: 330 lbs.
Simply twist and pull quick release lever for quick fold, makes storage easier; lowest price trike on our adult tricycle list
Some users report Mantis Tri-Rad Folding is unstable; may be difficult to buy any replacement parts; only designed for a casual ride.
Want to take up triking but don’t have a lot of storage space? The Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle is the perfect choice. This full-size adult trike folds up for ultra-convenient, efficient, small-space storage.
The Mantis rides like the breeze if you’re a casual Sunday afternoon kind of cycler. The Meridian provides a smooth ride at low speeds.
The aluminum frame makes this trike both lightweight and easy to maneuver. Plus, the seat and handlebars are adjustable.
Best of all, the Mantis is the lowest-priced trike on our adult tricycle list. Just be aware that some users have reported having trouble finding replacement parts for it. However, if you treat it well, the Mantis should last for years.
4th Runner Up: Komodo Cycling 24″, 6-speed Adult Tricycle #7002
Colors available: Blue/white (Falcon), black (Pacer); yellow/black (Komodo)
Speed: 6-speed SHIMANO RS45 shifter and SHIMANO TY-21 derailleur
Wheels size: 24 inches
Brake operation: Alloy front brakes steel rear brakes with steel crank and chain and Chinese wheel chain
Styles and designs: Low clearance step through design to easily get on and off (ultra low 15-3/8 inch step through design)
Built-in features: Fenders, large wire basket and bell included; steering system: steel handlebar and stem
Comfortability: Large, soft comfortable saddle (12.25 x 11.75 inches)
Warranty: 1 year
Weight limit: 240 lbs.
Low clearance step through design helps prevent falling; ideal for senior riders and those with balance/mobility issues; quality shifters and derailleurs provide smooth shifting; comes with front and wheel reflectors; the only trike on our top adult tricycle list with a 6 speed gearbox which gives a speed of 13-15 mph.
Some users find the manual is not easy to follow so might want to spend some money to hire a professional to get it assembled; complicated to assemble; brake and shifting adjustments should be done by a professional; expensive compared to similar models by other brands; may want to purchase another seat as some users report that the seat that comes with it is uncomfortable; only capable of handling up to 240 lbs. (less than the others on our adult tricycle list)
The sporty Komodo is outfitted with an impressive six speeds. This makes it the best trike on our list for navigating varying types of terrain. Plus, going uphill will be easier with this versatile trike.
There are some extra, optional accessories available with the Komodo, which we like. We recommend upgrading to the backrest seat. It will. provide greater comfort, especially for those who suffer from back pain.
You may also want to opt into the rearview mirror accessory. It will be especially useful if you enjoy riding on the street or on high-traffic bike paths.