Riding a tricycle can be such a thrilling, invigorating experience for people of all ages and levels of personal mobility. For some of our customers, a trike is a unique & stylish take on cycling which is sure to draw attention on the street. For others who need a mobility aid, a tricycle is a necessity to safely & effectively restore their lost routine of cycling.
Whatever kind of trike you or a loved one needs, this buyer's guide is designed to help you zero in on the most important specifications to you. Here we explore the key questions & compare specifications so that you can make best choice possible.
Do you need an upright or recumbent model?
In contrast, the seat of a recumbent trike is set further back and is lower to the ground. This special design is best suited for anyone who needs extra balance and back support. The comfortable seat backs gentle angle backward, and the rider can pedal as normal. The handlebars are typically positioned up and in front of the rider, although they can sometimes be located lower on either side.
Where will you ride?
The kind of terrain calls for certain specifications. If you want to ride comfortably on a flat road in the neighborhood or on the street, a trike with one or a few gears can work just fine. If you will be riding in a hilly area, having more gears is ideal. If you want to ride on the beach, you will like having a fat tire trike. For the competitive racers out there, a trike with a higher seat helps you get more power!
What are your physical requirements?
For those with special needs or otherwise limited mobility and balance, a recumbent trike is inherently equipped to give better support. Still, there are some models that offer more specific advantages through specialized features. Here are some other items to consider:
• Seat size & style. Larger users might be more comfortable with a wider seat. Some trikes come with bigger seats by default, others can be upgraded to something larger. Additionally, some seats resemble a standard bike seat, while others might be more cushioned or orthopedic.
• Seat support. Similarly, seats can give extra comfort & support with attachments. Fortunately, with recumbent style tricycles, having a seat back is standard (leaning back is part of the experience, of course!). With other trikes, such as the Belize Twin Tandem Tri-Rider, a seat back attachment is optional. Further, with trikes like the Belize Bike Margay Special Needs Trike, lateral support is available.
• User height, leg & arm length. When it comes to finding a comfortable fit for the trike, there are mainly 2 things to consider.
Leg extension. You want to have about a full leg extension when pedaling to avoid strain and discomfort. An incomplete extension can put unnecessary strain on your knees, while a bike that's too big causes users to rock side to side over the saddle, which can cause irritation.
With an upright trike, the seat height can be adjusted to suit the individual user. Recumbent trikes are already low to the ground by design, but the seat position may also be adjusted depending on the model.
Reach to the handlebars. if this distance is too short your knees will bump against the handlebars, and if they're too far it can put stress on your arms.
With these and all other specifications, we strive to give you the key information you need to make sure the ride on your new trike is as comfortable as can be. To a degree, modifications can be made. For example, raising the seat or changing out the stems, can help. That said, if you still have questions about the fit of a trike or any other details, don't hesitate to contact us to be certain.
Upright trikes allow some leeway with the distance from the seat to the pedals, since with most you can adjust the seat height. With a recumbent trike, you usually can't adjust the seat height due to the design, but with the right size of the model you can be just as comfortable.
When buying a kids' trike for someone who will enjoy it for years to come, it's not a bad idea to "size up" somewhat. This way, they can grow into it!
Do you need a manual or electric tricycle?
As you can tell, we offer a lot of specialized powered mobility products here, and trikes can fall into that category as well.
First, it's important to note that while every electric trike can function as a regular trike, not every regular trike made by our manufacturers can work with an electric motor. There are models from the brands Trailmate & Belize Bike that can be upgraded. By default, the trike is sent without the electric motor kit, but, if available, you check an option box to bundle it with the trike.
So would you or someone you know benefit from an electric-assisted tricycle? One great reason to upgrade might be for anyone who might simply need that extra "push" for more difficult parts of the trail. People who live in hilly areas especially will enjoy switching on the motor to go up a hill, and then switch it off when on a flat road again. Of course at any time, a rider need not worry about tiring out and being unable to pedal back home.
The manufacturers each have their own upgrade kits. Depending on your preference, there are a few options in style and power. Belize Bike's E-Ped Motor Kit is available as SLA (sealed lead acid) and lithium. Additionally, there
Trailmate also has an electric kit upgrade for certain models with wheel sizes ranging from 12", 16", 20", 24" to 26". The Trailmate motor kit features a 36V lithium ion battery.
Do you need pre-assembly?
We always recommend for anyone without experience putting a bike together to consider either pre-assembly or shipping their order to a local bike shop.
Now by default, every trike at our store (and anywhere else we've seen so far) ships un-assembled. Currently no trike from Belize Bike has pre-assembly available. However, on the flip side, that does help to minimize shipping costs and risk of damage for some larger models, such as the popular Buddy Trike or Tandem Trike.
For a Trailmate trike, pre-assembly is offered for a flat $190. It may add an extra business day to delivery time, but it's a pretty efficient process, and you can look forward to receiving your new trike ready to go right off the truck!
Do you need a trike for residential or commercial use?
When it comes to commercial application, having the right tricycle can come in handy in certain situations as well! We've had customers representing different kinds of organizations who have some really creative uses for them:
• Rentals. Really, just about anywhere that could rent bike could rent a trike. For example, visitors to parks and campgrounds can really get a kick out of riding a tricycle. It's a very unique addition to the whole experience outdoors. Really, just about anywhere that could rent bike could rent a trike.
• Assisted living facilities. Having a few adult tricycles on the premises of a nursing home or assisted living facility, for example, offers residents a very special, safe means of recreation outside. One of our favorite uses like this reported from one of our customers was getting a Tandem Trike for residents to participate in the "Bike to the Beach" charity event, which raises money to help children with Autism.
• Carrying cargo. There are some heavy-duty trikes that are designed to help routinely transport cargo through parking lots, warehouses, campuses and other locations. An industrial style tricycle can be the perfect, more convenient alternative to using a pickup truck for frequent, smaller loads.
Want a trike for two (or three)?
Riding a tricycle is very fun and refreshing, but the more, the merrier! One of our most popular models right now is the Tri Rider Tandem Trike from Belize Bike. You can comfortably pedal together with a partner. Better still, both the front and rear seats can be upgraded to include seat backs.
Another special model we feature is the Belize Buddy Trike. This trike allows for one or two small passengers in the back. It's a fantastic form of exercise that can also give your children some fresh air and sunshine! Rear passengers can sit comfortably and safely with ample room and a seat belt.
Trike RecommendationsThere's no best trike for everyone; there's the best model for you. However, here are some staff picks that you might consider depending on the style you are looking for.
Best Recumbent Trike
The Trailmate Meteor Recumbent Adult Tricycle is truly a way to ride a trike in style. It's weight capacity of 350 lbs, contoured, ergonomic adjustable seat and adjustable handle stem make the Meteor a favorite trike year after year for a variety of people. Anyone simply looking for extra balance when cycling right through people looking to ride fast will love the Meteor.
Best Upright Trike
This is hard to choose given our broad selection of upright models, but one of the many great trikes is the Belize Fat Tire Trike. With bigger tires, it's easier to take on less stable terrain, such as the beach. It has a built-in rear platform and basket to conveniently take some cargo with you. It can also be upgraded to electric with the addition of the E-Ped hub motor kit.