The 10 Best Adult Tricycles
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Even adults can appreciate the extra stability of a third wheel on these adult tricycles, whether exercise, a leisurely ride, or daily errands are on the docket. Our selections include options with recumbent designs, multiple gears, and roomy storage baskets that make it easy to transport groceries home. Some can even be folded, so they take up minimal space in the garage or trunk of your car. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 27, 2020:
A few models from our last ranking, including the Triad Syndicate 3 and the Pfiff Comfort, have sold out or been discontinued since last year, and their producers have yet to introduce newer models to replace them, so we've pulled those from the list. In the case of the latter, we added another solid everyday-riding model from the noteworthy company, the Pfiff 3 Speed, in its stead.
We lost one of the bigger-name tricycles on the list, as the Raleigh Tristar is no longer available, so if you tend to put your trust in well-known companies with a long history of quality, the Schwinn Meridian is still holding on strong in the number one spot.
We also added three cruiser-style models this time around: The sturdy Barbella Three-Wheeled Cruise Bike comes in a wide array of fun colors, and the R.Roaring Trike is great for the leisure rider whose priority is comfort. Finally, the practical, kid-friendly Viribus Cruiser made it almost to the top of the list thanks to its adaptability and safety features.
Unfortunately, the folding Mantis Tri-Rad is no longer available, and we've yet to see a comparable collapsible model of its type as of now.
November 22, 2019:
Some adult tricycles, like the low-slung Triad Syndicate 3 and drift-focused Razor DXT are geared towards exciting and fun rides, although they don't offer a ton of general utility. The Mobo Triton Pro is another low-to-the-ground model that offers the opportunity to exercise without straining joints or risking a fall. The Dirt King can also be entertaining thanks to its extreme level of traction, which makes it suitable for moderate off-road use.
There are quite a few others, though, that are pretty similar to standard bikes, they just have three wheels. The HappyBuy 24-Inch, Raleigh Tristar and Schwinn Meridian all provide a stable ride and useful space for carrying things, and in these cases, you tend to get what you pay for. The very inexpensive ones are decent, but the costlier models, like the Schwinn, are very well made -- the very inexpensive ones are decent, but the costlier models, like the Schwinn, are very well made. And because most of these have a pretty large footprint, the Mantis Tri-Rad is worth considering partially because it folds up for easier storage.
We'd also like to point out the Pfiff Nexus 3 and Pfiff Comfort. These are both incredibly well constructed, and designed with special needs individuals in mind. For additional options geared towards handicapped users and their caretakers, check out our Special Honors section. We can also point you towards a wide selection of electric models if pedaling really hard isn't exactly your thing.
Rifton Adaptive Tricycles The extremely well-engineered Rifton Adaptive Tricycles are intended to make the lives of the disabled and their caretakers considerably easier. They've worked compassionately with care professionals for years to determine what features will help out the most, and the end result is a line of reliable and highly customizable vehicles that can greatly increase safety and quality of life. rifton.com
Worksman Cycles Located right here in America, Worksman makes some of the most durable trikes in existence. They specialize in multi-rider chariots, hand-powered trikes, and tricycles developed specifically for special needs individuals. You can be sure that anything purchased from them will last for quite some time, and you can even work with them to order your own customized cycle. worksmancycles.com
What To Consider Before Purchasing An Adult Tricycle
You may want to confirm the volume of cargo one such basket can accommodate and whether it comes with its own fasteners or a cover.
The first thing any adult needs to consider before purchasing a tricycle is where and when they plan on riding it. If, for example, you plan on riding along dirt terrain (or even sand), you'll need a model with deep-tread tires, preferably made of some type of rubber or poly-plastic. If you plan on riding across bumpy terrain, you'll want an option that features a cushioned seat, and perhaps some shocks or springs around the back.
In addition, you'll want to take into account a tricycle's weight and overall dimensions. Doing so should give you some idea of whether you'll be able to fit it on a rack or in the trunk of your car.
A lot of adult tricycles come with rear baskets, each one bearing its own weight capacity and size. You may want to confirm the volume of cargo one such basket can accommodate and whether it comes with its own fasteners or a cover.
Depending on the local climate, you should confirm that the frame for your tricycle of choice is weather-resistant, and perhaps even rust-proof. Trike frames that are made from steel tubing are almost always a safe investment, but it doesn't hurt to consider a steel-frame option that includes a warranty.
Making The Most Out Of Your 3-Wheeled Transportation
Most people think of an adult tricycle as a convenient way to get from point A to B. While this makes sense, an adult tricycle can also be used as a utility. Its three-wheeled design makes it ideal for hitching a small cart or a wagon to its rear. You can load anything from shopping goods to fresh-picked fruit inside that cart, enabling you to make several stops or to run errands along the way.
If you have a toddler, there are strollers on the market that you can hitch to the back of an adult tricycle.
If you live on an estate or a large piece of land, a tricycle is ideal for picking up mail or simply traveling the grounds. If you're employed at an outdoor work site, a tricycle is perfect for hauling supplies or for traveling to and from the office.
If you have a friend or spouse who enjoys running, you can accompany that person on a tricycle. If your tricycle has a basket, you can even pack food and enjoy a picnic after the run. If you have a toddler, there are strollers on the market that you can hitch to the back of an adult tricycle. If you have a young child, then you can use a tricycle to teach that child how to pedal and steer before moving on to a bike.
If you prefer shade, certain companies make lightweight canopies that can be attached to a tricycle's frame. If you're good with your hands, you can use canvas and a few tubes of PVC to design a canopy of your own. If you're a mechanic, you might be skilled enough to attach a small motor to your tricycle. Believe it or not, this is how the first motorcycles were born.
A Brief History of The Adult Tricycle
The first tricycle was invented by a pair of Frenchmen toward the end of the 18th century. This rudimentary "trike" remained little more than a curiosity until 1818, at which point a British coachmaker named Denis Johnson began to manufacture his own tricycles, which he referred to as pedestrian curricles.
The first tricycle was invented by a pair of Frenchmen toward the end of the 18th century.
In the decades that followed, a host of entrepreneurs took their shots at improving upon Johnson's curricle. One such version was built with all three wheels running parallel, while another was powered by hand levers, which were connected to the front wheel by way of a sprocket. While very few of these hybrids achieved any success, the trial and error eventually led to the world's first handlebar-steering tricycle, introduced by the Leicester Safety Tricycle Company in 1881.
Adult tricycles became a trend throughout England toward the end of the 1800s. British women preferred a trike to a bicycle because its seat ran lower, which was beneficial for riding in a dress. British aristocrats preferred a tricycle because it indicated a certain level of status. If someone saw you riding a tricycle, it was inevitable that they would walk away impressed.
An adult tricycle was largely superseded once the idea of an automobile took hold. Today, more than a century removed, the adult tricycle has evolved into a relaxed mode of transportation for traveling between minor distances. The undying appeal of an adult trike resides in the fact that it does not require any balance. This might explain, to some degree, why adult trikes remain so prevalent along the easygoing promenades, esplanades, and riding paths of America's small towns.