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What is a Recumbent Trike?

A trike is a cycle with three wheels. It is also known as a tricycle. Either it can be powered by the pedals or pedal-assisted systems. The trikes are excellent means for commuters to reduce fuel usage, avoid pollution, and maintain physical fitness. Recumbent means lying down on the back, with legs in front of your body, so the recumbent trike is a tricycle on which rider sits in a laid back position with legs in front of the body. These trikes are also named as recumbent tricycles or laid back trikes/tricycles.

Image 1: Tadpole recumbent trike

Image 2: Trike Anatomy.

In long-distance traveling, the riders are uncomfortable on traditional bikes. Most of the rider’s time is spent on the bike seats, sitting in an upright position, which leads to neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and other body problems. The aim of designing the recumbent trike was mainly concentrated on comfort and performance. Recumbent trikes are designed ergonomically so that the rider’s weight is distributed over the back and buttocks. These types of trikes have better aerodynamic advantages, greater stability and no balancing is required. Recumbent trikes have lots of advantages for long-distance rides. It is just like a lawn chair on the wheels. The semi-reclined position of the riders with legs in front of them will reduce fatigue and provide support for the neck, back, and shoulders. This allows the rider to ride comfortably for a long time.

There are two types of configurations available in trikes based on wheel position; Tadpole trikes, and Delta trikes. Tadpole trike is a trike with two wheels in the front and one wheel at the back, similarly the delta trike is a trike with one wheel in the front and two wheels at the back.

Delta Trike

Image 3: Delta Trike.

Tadpole Trike

Image 4: Tadpole Trike.

The recumbent trikes also have some disadvantages. Most of the recumbent trikes are very low to the ground due to which the hedges, guard rails, and other obstacles may block the sight. As it is very low to the ground it may make you feel insecure about other vehicles on the road. These are not built for speed and are less stable at a higher speed. We cannot have an advantage of gravity for pedaling the trike as we can have in the traditional bikes, as the rider’s legs are inclined straight in front of them the self-weight cannot be used to force the pedal.

The main disadvantage of trikes is that it is harder to climb over the slope of hills. To avoid such difficulties electric pedal-assist systems can be used. FalcoeMotors is a company that provides the world’s first five-phase motor which can be fitted into the wheel hub. FalcoeMotor’s e-bike system is a very efficient system, well known for its performance and reliability. The e-bike system is a pedal-assist system that assists you to ride on hilly areas and even when you don’t want to pedal. The image below shows the trike equipped with the f7.7 Falco e-bike system.

Trike with Falco eBike system

Image 5: Tadpole Recumbent Trike equipped with Falco f7.7 e-bike system.

References

  1. https://recumbentgourmet.com/cycling-and-bike-tours/what-is-a-recumbent-trike/
  2. https://www.performercycles.com/recumbent-trikes-guide/
  3. https://www.utahtrikes.com/ARTICLE-104.html
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricycle
  6. https://www.rad-innovations.com/blog-our-news/about-recumbent-trikes
  7. https://recumbent.co/recumbent-benefits/
  8. http://users.cecs.anu.edu.au/~felix/iar/Projects/Frankie/buildlog.html