Bikes are a fantastic way to stay in shape, cut carbon emissions, and have fun, but their lack of stability can be a daunting proposition for inexperienced riders, and when the bike in question has an electric motor, this lack of stability can be incredibly dangerous.
It’s all too easy for the acceleration, speed, and weight of an electric bike to catch you off guard, potentially leading to some brutal falls or collisions.
As such, many who would like to use electric bikes, don’t. However, there’s a way to get in on the e-bike action sans the danger… electric trikes! With one of these three-wheeled wonders, you can enjoy the convenience of an e-bike without the stability issues, and I’ve compiled a list of the very best you can buy.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
One of the major flaws with adult trikes is their sheer bulk, but the folks over at 3Score have addressed this issue by making their electric trike foldable, so if you’re short on space in your garage or wherever else you store it, you can collapse it down and have some wiggle room to spare.
But the practical design isn’t the only thing that landed this trike the top spot on my list. The 750-watt motor peaks at 30 mph, making this the fastest trike here.
If there are a lot of lengthy straight and spacious routes near your home, you’ll be able to really open this thing up, which, in turn, will open your day up by saving valuable minutes.
What’s more, with a 45+ mile range, you can make some pretty lengthy trips without worrying about the battery letting you down, and even when it does eventually die on you, you can have this bike fully recharged in just 5 hours.
It also blows every other trike out of the water in terms of comfort. Not only is the wide seat cozy enough to fight off the dreaded numb-bum over long rides, the dual suspension and fat tires smooth the path ahead, so you can really enjoy the journey.
- Foldable — Storing this trike isn’t a problem
- 750-watt motor — 30 mph top speed saves tons of travel time
- Dual suspension — Smoothest ride on the list
- Fat tires — Make small work of tough terrain
- Recharge — 5 hours is nothin’!
- Motor orientation — The only way this trike could be improved is with a rear hub motor.
This Addmotor monster can travel 85 miles on a single charge, affording you tons of freedom in terms of mobility, and thanks to the 20” fat tires, it doesn’t matter too much what the terrain is like along the way, as they provide tons of traction, even on loose surfaces such as gravel.Enhanced stability is another boon when it comes to fat tires, as they act as a secondary suspension, which is perfect, as you only get one actual suspension at the front.With a top speed of 22 miles per hour, this thing really goes, so I wouldn’t worry about missing any appointments when traveling by trike, and the wide seat and back support keep you feeling comfortable as you zoom around town.Thanks to the super deep step-through frame, it couldn’t be easier to mount, which was a godsend for me and my achy knees.
The ease of access makes it a great choice for seniors or those who would like to wear skirts or dresses without flashing bystanders with every mount and dismount.
- 750-watt motor — 22 miles an hour is great for such a robust trike
- Step-through frame — Great for seniors as it couldn’t be easier to mount
- 20 Ah lithium battery — 85-mile range opens up a lot of options
- 8–10 hour recharge — Gets you back on the road in record time!
- Cargo capacity — Front basket is a little small, but it’s an easy fix.
- Suspension — No rear suspension
Also available at: Addmoto
The reason this Addmotor trike earns a spot on my prestigious list is the frame design. It’s what you’d call semi-recumbent, meaning the rider is positioned at a relaxed angle rather than upright.
This eases pressure on essential joints along the spine, making it by far the best choice for seniors.It can also support up to 350 lbs without breaking a sweat, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a big or tall rider, especially since the seat is both comfortable and supportive for both back and bum!Featuring 20” fat tires and a front Addshox steel fork suspension, it can traverse some pretty challenging landscapes, from snowy-covered paths to sandy beaches, and with a top speed of 22 mph, it’ll do so remarkably quickly.
- Semi-recumbent — Much easier on sensitive joints
- Fat tires — Great for loose surfaces and adding a bit of bounce over bumps
- 750-watt motor — 22 mph max speed will get you from A to B in record time
- 20 Ah lithium battery — 4-hour battery life gives you some epic range
- Frame design — A lower central frame would make mounting easier for seniors
Also available from Addmotor
Electric trikes are generally very expensive contraptions, but this Viribus offering proves you don’t have to remortgage your home to snag one.
With high quality road tires, it’s a fantastic option for those looking for an easy and enjoyable way of getting around urban areas.
The 250-watt motor is a little on the small side compared to the other trikes on this list, but it’ll still have you flying through town at an impressive 15.5 mph, ensuring you can cram plenty of activities and chores into your day.
Besides, it’s just as well it doesn’t hit warp speed, as it has rim rather than disc brakes.
It still had decent stopping power during my tests, though, so there’s nothing to worry about in the safety department, and being that the 10 Ah battery will ferry you 21.7 miles per charge, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to totally rely on pedal power to reach your destination.
Have costs been cut here and there with the Viribus? Yes, undoubtedly, but in my opinion, they’re all permissible, as the flaws balance one another out.
For instance, the road wheels mean off-road is out of the question, but the motor isn’t powerful enough to handle tough terrain anyway — Basic performance at a budget price point!
- Price — Less than half the price of any other trikes on this list
- Aesthetic — Elegant cruiser-style frame has you riding with style
- 250-watt motor — 15.5 mph will get you where you need to go quick
- 10 Ah lithium battery — 21.7 miles from a charge is great at this price point
- Comfort — No suspension can make for a rocky ride, even on relatively smooth terrain
Also available from Walmart
If you’re looking for an articulate ride, this 7-speed DWmeigi trike is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The multi-tiered Shimano shifter enables you to tackle a huge range of terrain with ease, meaning you can extend battery life by reducing reliance on motorized assistance.However, even if you decide to ride in full electric mode, you’ll still get a solid 45 miles out of a charge, so no need to make pit stops at an outlet mid-journey.
But, you’ll be pleased to know that during my tests, when the time did come for a recharge, it was fully up and running in about 4.5 hours, making it the fastest recharge on the list.The only real flaw (if you can call it that) I found in this trike, is that it tops out at 20 mph, which seems a little low for this price point, but besides that, it’s a top-notch electric vehicle!
- 7-speed shifter — Handles tricky terrain with ease
- 4–5 hour recharge — You’ll be back on the road again in no time
- 18.2 Ah lithium battery — 45-mile full electric mode range
- Fat tires — Provide extra traction on loose and hilly terrain
- Top speed — 20 mph seems low for the 750-watt motor and the price tag
Also available from ebikeoptions
Even when presented with a shortlist, it can be difficult picking out an electric trike, so let’s run through some of the essential considerations.
Motor & Speed
Generally speaking, people interested in purchasing electric trikes aren’t looking to travel at light speed, but it’s still worth your while to choose something with a little bit of zip just in case you need to get somewhere quickly.
If you do have an occasional need for speed, I’d recommend treating 350-watt motors as your baseline. Anything at this power or above will have that extra oomph you need in time sensitive situations. Ideally, your trike should be able to hit 15 miles per hour.
As well as motor power, you need to decide on motor orientation: Should you go for a front hub motor or a rear hub motor?
Both motor types excel in different areas, so you’ll have to assess their pros and cons to establish which is the right choice for you.
Front Hub Motors
Many prefer front hub motors because they’re easier to install and spread the weight of e-components equally along the trike, increasing stability and reducing the chances of flat tires.
Rear Hub Motors
Rear hub motors leave you a little back-heavy, but they more than make up for this by providing impeccable traction and acceleration.
If you plan on tackling any loose or uneven terrain, there’s really no substitute for a quality rear hub motor.
Battery Life & Range
With that extra wheel, trikes can be insanely heavy, so the last thing you want is to be caught out and about with a dead battery, which is why I can’t stress enough how important the battery capacity and range of an electric trike are.
Anything above 20 miles is respectable, but if you know for a fact that you’ve got some serious ground to cover, I’d hold out for something with a capacity closer to 40 miles.
I’d also advise steering clear of anything besides lithium-ion batteries, as they’re the undisputed kings of power storage technology.
We’re all busy people, and no one wants to be kept waiting, so you might want to prioritize an efficient charging process when shopping around for your trike.
I’d consider anything below 10 hours to be pretty snappy, but charge times up to 12 hours are also acceptable.
Bear in mind that if you want a truly beefy battery, you may have to concede a slightly longer charge time. My advice is to look for a balance between battery size and charge duration.
Electric trikes can come with slim, road bike-style tires, fat tires, or a combination of the two. Thinner tires are best for steady terrain, whilst fat tires are essential if you plan on riding off-road or on any loose surfaces.
Trikes are pretty stable, but you’ll still need some form of suspension if you want a comfortable ride, especially if you plan on going off-road!
Size & Weight Bearing Capacity
As you’re looking for an electric trike for an adult, choosing something of an appropriate size is essential, otherwise you’ll end up hunched and cramped, which can cause some serious health problems over time… for you and the trike!
What’s more, if you’re quite small or quite tall, it pays to snag a trike with an adjustable-height seat.
The weight bearing capacity of a trike is perhaps even more important than the dimensions, as it indicates the type of riders it can support. Thankfully, that extra rear wheel increases the weight bearing capacity of trikes — Think 300 lbs+.
To put that into context for you, the average US citizen weighs roughly 177.9 lbs, so any trike capable of hauling beyond 300 lbs is remarkably well designed.
Side Note — You’ll need plenty of headroom for cargo, as one of the best things about trikes is that they often come with sizable baskets.
Seeing as electric trikes can travel so quickly and carry so much weight, it takes some pretty impressive breaks to ensure the safety of riders.
Most e-tricycles you see will have some form of rear disc brake, as rim brakes don’t always cut the mustard on electric vehicles.
These disc brakes will either be mechanical or hydraulic. Of the two formats, hydraulic is best, meaning all the heavier trikes on the market should have them, but a high quality mechanical disc brake will also have some amazing stopping power (and a lower price tag!).
There are a number of different seat types available for e-trikes. Some have a back support, others follow the wide cruiser-style blueprint, and others still have more typical bike seats.
Seats with back supports are best for seniors, differently-abled individuals, or those who subscribe to the notion that comfort is king.
There are two main styles of e-trike, standard and semi-recumbent. Standard bikes facilitate an upright posture, whilst semi-recumbent trikes encourage a more relaxed posture.
The recumbent design is more suited to seniors, as it removes a lot of the pressure from the neck and spine.
Best Electric Trikes For Adults: Frequently Asked Questions
How Fast Can Electric Tricycles Go?
Most quality e-trikes can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, but there are plenty of up-market models that can reach 30 mph and beyond.
Are Tricycles Good For Seniors?
Although tricycles are often seen as a kid’s mode of transport, with easy-mount, step-through frames; an extra wheel for unparalleled stability; and seats with extra support features, tricycles are the perfect mode of transport for seniors.
They allow those with achy bones and joints to get some exercise without putting their bodies under too much pressure, especially if the trike in question is a semi-recumbent model.
Are Electric Trikes Safe?
One of the best things about electric trikes is that they give you an opportunity to experience e-vehicles in total safety.
Not only does the third wheel allow you to travel fast without worrying about falling over, it allows you to travel as slow as you want without losing balance, which is greatly appreciated by a lot of riders who just want to take things nice and slow.
How Do You Pick The Right Size Tricycle For Adults?
The wheel size of a tricycle gives you a pretty good indication of the type of rider it’s built for. For instance, trikes with 24-inch wheels are perfect for anybody between 4’ 8” and 5’ 5”, while trikes with 26-inch wheels are perfect for anybody between 5’ 5” and 6’ 2”.
What Are The Disadvantages Of An Electric Tricycle?
As fantastic as electric tricycles are, there are some inherent disadvantages when choosing one over, say, a standard electric bike, the main being that broad wheelbase at the rear.
Narrow gaps can be hard or impossible to navigate on a trike, and one of your wheels is far more likely to stick out and catch on something or fall into the road.
They’re also generally quite a bit slower than e-bikes as they’re much heavier, and speaking of heavy, the weight in general can make them difficult to manage when the battery runs dead.
Can You Ride An Electric Trike On The Pavement?
If you wish to ride an electric trike, you have to give the pavement up to pedestrians and stick to cycle paths.
While there are a number of electric trikes on the market, these are the best of the best in their relative categories.
Super stable, super fun, and super easy to ride, electric tricycles are the full package, and now you know exactly what to look for, you’ll be riding into the sunset with style and ease in no time.