As we get older, many of us find that our curiosity only gets stronger. There is so much to see, so much to do! Getting out of the house is a joy, and seeing your local area with your own eyes, riding your own bike can be a simple but irreplaceable pleasure.
Many senior people are choosing to do this with a bike. But…
For the over-50s demographic, in particular, a classic bike can be a bit of a struggle. This is because bikes may put pressure on your back, spine and hips. In addition, balancing on a bike may also be difficult for many seniors.
For this reason, an increasing number of older people are choosing to purchase an adult tricycle. Whether it’s for popping to the shops and bringing your food back in the basket or getting fresh air – it’s the perfect solution!
I will give you our recommendations for the best brands and models so that you can decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Further information will help you to choose more wisely.
How to Choose the Best 3 wheel Bike for Seniors?
When you choose to go for a three-wheel bike, you should know that riding an adult tricycle takes a little bit of getting used to. But the advantage when riding a three-wheel bike is that you are in balance all the time. Bikes with a single-speed are perfect for the elderly so they can ride without worrying about changing gears.
Tricycles (also called trikes) with a low stand for easy access serve great for seniors or people with bad knees or leg issues, so they don`t have to bend too much to get on and off the cycle and pedaling is easier on the joints.
Choose between Different Styles
We know two categories of tricycles: Delta trikes or Tadpole trikes. The difference between them is where the wheels are positioned. Delta is the most common version. It is also called a traditional tricycle. It has a frontal wheel in the center and two wheels at the back. Like others, It’s stable and can be used to carry different loads.
Tadpole tricycle has two wheels in the front and the handlebar is behind the front wheels, which support the cargo. For each category, there are various types of models.
Folding trikes would be a good option for seniors who live in apartments and small houses. These are light and only take up a small amount of space.
Seniors who want to give pedals a boost should consider electric three-wheel bikes. An electric trike is a good solution if you want to reduce stress and impact on your knees while cycling.
Another cycling option is tandem trikes and sidecar trikes. These tricycles are built to accommodate two persons. There are tandem front to back tricycles and tandem side by side tricycles.
Sidecar tricycles are not commonly found and they don’t seem to be too popular. Usually are used for transporting people around like passengers.
Choose between Different Position
The important fact when you consider buying a three-wheel ride is positioning. Upright tricycles have an open frame and either delta or tadpole configuration. They are designed for casually cycling and are not recommended for intensive sports use.
Recumbent tricycles allow you to sit in a laid-back position. They are very helpful at posture and spinal care (They don`t put much pressure on the spine).
Choose between Different Seats
There are saddles specific for different types of people: elderly, men, women and oversized people. Some saddle seats are specially made for senior riders, which has a specific tag »for seniors«.
This kind of seats helps to reduce muscle pain for older people and are designed for prolonged cycling. A saddle with a padded backrest reduces your backbone and your sit bone pain. The width of the saddle seat will probably be the best for you if you prefer riding upright.
The second option is so-called sling type. That type of seat provides enhanced balance control and comes with sling nylon parts or padded platform shapes. With that type, you are closer to the surface and the seat enables enough support for your back.
Choose between Different handlebars
When it comes to handlebars, there are three types. Traditional, chopper and loop. The traditional shape is mostly on the upright tricycles and people who ride freely appreciate them.
People with strong torso and strength in hands, arms and shoulders can try chopper type handlebars. Loop shaped handlebars are designed for people with unsteady hands and arms.
Choose between Different weight Capacity
Traditional adult tricycles can usually support from 200 – 300 pounds. This means the weight of the rider, the weight of the tricycle and luggage weight. There are tricycles that are manufactured also for overweight people.
These trikes have more sturdy and heavy-duty body. Recumbent and semi-recumbent tricycles can support load capacities to 450 pounds. Bariatric tricycles can support heavy riders weighing up to 500 pounds.
Best three wheel bikes for adults
Read our top five picks, below, to decide which is best for you. So whichever trike you choose, I hope you ride safely and enjoy the great outdoors! Let’s start with Tri Rad trike.
Tri Rad Folding Tricycle
This tricycle is a great choice for seniors who want that extra comfort of easy mount and dismount. It features a parking brake which is great for just this. Even better, it’s foldable! So seniors-on-the-go can pack it away in their garage whenever it’s not in use, without having to skirt around it all the time.
There is even a phone helpline for any questions or queries you have. Get quick, human help when you need it! Coming in at 48 lbs weight, it’s not the heaviest or the lightest tricycle.
One thing to note, however, is that this trike has been reported as very difficult to assemble alone. So if you have some handy friends and family to work on it together, great! If assembly is not up your street, perhaps look at our other options.
For sturdy trikes, look no further! This is made from high quality iron. With a large foldable basket, this is also perfect for shopping and carrying cargo that you wouldn’t be able to support otherwise.
This trike supports up to 300lbs of weight, and has a soft padded seat for ensuring that your longer journeys, whether for pleasure or errands, are as comfortable as possible
It’s important to bear in mind that this is a good budget bike for first time trike riders, however it has had many reports of coming with no instructions. If you’re good with assembly or know somebody who is, then this could be the right choice for you.
Ridgeyard Tricycle Cycling Cruiser
Again, easy assembly is not a great feature of this bike. Seniors may find themselves heading to their local bike shop with their newly purchased trike, for a professional assembly.
Additionally, it is a good trike, but perhaps for smaller riders, such as women. Overall, this is a medium comfort, medium quality trike. Consider this for light use and first time wear, on a budget.
It does feature adjustable seats and a folding basket, which is great for a senior looking to ride this gently, for example to the store.
Schwinn Meridian Trike
Now, this trike looks like a winner! With reports of easy assembly and good long term quality, this is a popular transport method and brand. Instruction quality is high, with people finding a day in the sun assembling the bike to be a leisurely and pleasant activity.
Joint problems, weight loss, dog walking – the trike has been used for all of this and goes down a treat.
It’s a single-speed cargo bike, so perfect for a senior looking to zip around to the store or for a pleasant ride around their local area. With swept-back handlebars, it’s easy to keep a relaxed, upright position. A little pricier, but well worth it.
Mobo 3 Wheel Recumbent Tricycle
The only recumbent trike on our list, this is great for a reclined ride. It comes equipped with reverse gears so you can back up when required. No balance is needed for this as it sits low to the ground and you’re supported by three wheels.
Fits riders from 4”0 to 6”3 and weighing up to 230lbs, so it’s perfect for seniors looking for a recumbent ride. This may allow you to exercise for longer, because of the cushioned back support it gives you.
Featuring great reviews from seniors who have experienced hip replacements, it’s definitely one for those looking for a low-pressure activity to do.
Studies show that increased mobility at an older age may preserve overall mobility and brain function. With the additional stability, high comfort and enhanced muscle coordination offered by tricycles, they’re the obvious choice.
You may want to do this as a sociable activity with friends, cycling together, or keep it for some alone-time thought and reflection. Either way, it’s a great activity to ensure that you get outdoors on a sunny day.
You get just as much exercise with a tricycle as with a bicycle, and these kinds of bikes are cheaper and better quality than ever. For more, you can read also hybrid bikes for seniors, exercises for seniors, walking treadmills for older adults, Tai Chi DVDs for seniors, resistance bands for the elderly.