Tricycles are vehicles with 3 wheels and usually abbreviated as Trike. These vehicles are either powered by a human or electric motor or engine. The tricycles are used for various purposes such as public transport, goods carrier and for personal use. Tricycles are the best choice for people preferring low impact workout and people facing balance issues. Adult tricycle is a trike or tricycle made specifically for adults. These are designed sturdy and stable. Usually, the tricycles are preferred by men as well as women. Basically, it is just a vehicle with wheels, the third wheel adds stability and better control.
Based on wheel configuration and type of applications the trikes are categorized as
- Recumbent Trikes
- Upright Trikes
- Tricycle Rickshaw
- Freight Trikes
- Drift Trikes
- Hand and foot Trikes
Recumbent trikes are the trikes that allow complete back support for a rider. It allows the rider to sit in laid back position with legs in the front position. This capability provides complete support to the neck, shoulder, back, and buttock. These types of trikes are very popular for comfort and style.
Image 1: Catrike Dumont model of Recumbent Tadpole Trike
Image 2: Hase Bikes Kettwiesel model of Recumbent Delta Trike
Upright trikes are the tricycles that allow the rider to sit in a straight position as we used to sit on bikes. These trikes provide better visibility to the rider and have saddle-style seats. The center of gravity is less and need to ride carefully at the corners. The pedals are down and the main advantage of these trikes is that we can pedal with our self-weight also. The seating arrangement is straight above the pedals.
Image 3: Upright tricycle
Tricycle rickshaws are the small-scale means of local transport. These are the tricycles with space for two or more persons. Either these are human-powered, motor-powered or engine powered. The number of seating for people is less and speed depends on the mode of power used. These trikes or rickshaws come with various designs and seating capacity. In some cities, human-powered rickshaws local transport systems for a huge population, hence contributing to green solutions.
Image 4: Human-Powered Tricycle (rickshaw) in Hanoi
Image 5: Electric Tricycle e-Rickshaw for Passenger (3 Wheel Electric Motorized Bicycle Taxi)
Freight Trikes are also called as Cargo Tricycles, Carrier Tricycles, Cycle Tracks, and Box Bikes. These types of trikes are usually designed to carry the load and deliver it from one location to another location. The freight trikes are designed with an open box carrier or closed box carrier in which the things can be carried. These trikes have some disadvantages like limited load capacity and relatively limited operating speed.
Image 6: Traditional Dutch cargo tricycle or "bakfiets"
Drift trikes are the tricycles with low traction rear wheels. These trikes are purposely designed for drifting, intentionally losing traction to the rear wheel and counter-steering to deal with corners. The rear wheels are coated with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Polyethylene (PE) to provide proper traction loss, hence killing the grip. These types of trikes are usually ridden on plain roads with a steep downhill grade and corners.
Image 7: Drift trike Photo by Jon Paterson
Hand and foot Trikes
There are some people who are not able to pedal the trike only with legs, so there are the trikes available with the hand pedal system. Hand powered pedal system allows users to power the pedal with hands. Seating options and accessories are provided to meet the individual requirements for postural support and assistance with maintaining the rider’s hands on the pedals.
Image 8: John's hand and foot cycle