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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying a 3 Wheel Electric Bike

On any sunny day, you can probably look down the street and see one – an adult riding a bike with three wheels. It’s also possible that this adult trike is more than meets the eye.

Consumers are looking for a better way to travel to work, school, and even on vacation. That is leading to an increase in electric bikes and trikes.

Statista reports that the electric bike industry is expected to see an annual growth rate of 12.27 between 2022 and 2027. People are becoming environmentally conscious and worrying about their health. Owning an electric bike is the best of both worlds. They can help the planet by driving gas-powered cars less and getting more exercise at the same time.

A three-wheel electric bike offers an elegant solution to those not comfortable or interested in riding a traditional two-wheel. It’s all the fun of bike riding but with less risk. You need to know some things before you buy your electric three-wheel bike, though.

What Is a Tricycle?

If you are considering a three-wheel electric bike, you should know more about why they are fantastic. An adult e-trike is similar to the three-wheeler you might have ridden as a child, just bigger. It is the same size as a traditional bike but has two wheels in the back instead of one.

The goal of an adult three-wheel bike isn’t that different than the tiny ones, either. It’s all about balance. To ride a two-wheel bike, you must be able to balance it while you climb on, pedal, stop and get off. That is a big ask for some people; others just don’t want the hassle.

A three-wheel bike is a perfect solution because it removes balance from the equation. You don’t have to tilt the bike to get on it or jump off the seat when you stop at a light. The three-wheel design ensures it stays balanced and stable without your help.

Why Get An Electric Three-Wheel Bike?

I think the better question is, why not get an electric one? If you are going to invest in a new adult trike, why not get the one that offers you the most? The motor and battery pack that comes with an electric bike means you have a little assistance when you:

  • Climb hills
  • Ride against the wind
  • Get tired

It means you can ride your adult trike further and not worry about whether you have the stamina to get home. Electric bikes typically comes with two distinct modes: pedal-assist and full motor or throttle.

The pedal-assist mode is precisely what it sounds like – the motor kicks on as you pedal to give you extra support. You can control when the motor helps and when it doesn’t. Some people use the motor throughout their ride. They still get the physical benefits of bike riding, but it is more comfortable.

Full throttle means you can ride the e-trike without pedaling. It works similarly to a moped. It is good to have when the ride is a little harder than expected. The electric three-wheel electric will get you back home safe and sound if you are too tired to do it yourself.

Purchasing an electric three-wheel bike is a considerable investment. It’s not something you want to do on impulse. Take your time and find the right e-trike for your needs. There are some things you should know before you start shopping.

How Electric Three-Wheel Bikes Work

An electric three-wheel bike utilizes two unique sensors: torque and speed. When you pedal, a sensor signals the motor when you reach the right pace. Then, it will kick on and power the pedals as you move them.

The torque sensor matches your pedal speed. If you pedal faster, the motor picks up to match your effort. The engine controls the torque based on the pedal-assist mode setting. A low setting means it offers less assistance. A high setting means you get more. If you turn the throttle, you don’t have to pedal on some trikes.

Motor Location

You don’t see the motor on an electric trike like you would a lawnmower, for instance. Generally, it is located in one of three places:

  • Rear-hub
  • Mid-drive, which sits near the pedals
  • Front-hub

A hub is the center of the wheel where it connects with the bike. The location of the motor isn’t as important as where the battery sits.

Getting Power

Electric bikes and trikes come with a rechargeable battery. The battery can be removable or integrated into the frame. For three-wheel bikes, you’ll likely find the battery near the seat. It may be located under it, attached behind or in front of the bar.

The motor draws power from this rechargeable battery. You recharge it the same way you do most batteries. Then, you plug it into a charging station connected to an electric outlet. Some batteries are solar-powered, too, although those are less common.

Six Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Three-Wheel Electric Bike

Finding the right three-wheel electric bike takes a little research. However, here are some things you should consider as you shop.

1. Two-wheel E-Bike vs.Three-Wheel E-Trike

It is easy to mentally lump these two designs into one category because they are both electric. The fact is the different frame styles mean they are not the same. A three-wheel bike will feel very different as your ride. Everything from mounting and dismounting to turning will feel different for you.

Turns are an excellent example. If you are riding a two-wheel bike, you simply adjust the handlebars and ride through the turn. A three-wheeler will feel different during that turn because it has a unique center of gravity. You need momentum to turn, like a two-wheel bike, but it’s different. The momentum of a classic two-wheeler comes from speed. On an e-trike, the momentum is you leaning into the turn.

You also have to adjust to the weight of the three-wheel bike, which is why it is smart to shop for an electric model. The trike will accelerate slower because you are pushing more weight. The weight can also make going downhill tricky if you fail to manage the forward momentum.

The point is there will be a learning curve when riding an electric three-wheel bike. This is true in general, but maybe more so if you are used to a two-wheeler.

2. Battery Size

It is normal to give the size of the motor more attention than the battery. The engine controls how fast you can go in each mode. The battery is critical because it determines how far you can go on a single charge.

Battery power is typically measured in watt-hours or Wh. The larger the Wh number, the longer the bike will go between charges. You might want a larger battery to ride long distances or plan to commute with your new e-trike. If you are going to ride recreationally, then a smaller one is likely okay.

Also, consider the type of battery. Is it removable or integrated? A removable battery is the best option, especially for e-trikes that are heavier than a two-wheeler. If the battery is integrated, you must park the bike near a recharging station, like in the garage. If it is removable, you can store the e-trike and take the battery inside to charge it.

A removable battery also gives you some security. Most of these batteries are locked into the frame. You need a key to remove them, but that doesn’t mean someone determined to steal yours won’t figure out a way.

3. Motor Efficiency

You also want to consider the motor size, especially if you plan on carrying cargo around, like grandchildren or pets. A bigger motor is a better choice for heavy loads.

The battery and motor work together, too. So, it’s not a good idea to match a large motor with a small battery. The larger the motor, the more energy it uses and the faster it will drain the battery. If you anticipate using the motor a lot, look for an engine that matches battery size. Some electric bikes accommodate a backup batter, as well. Look at that option if you think you’ll go through battery power quickly. For the average rider, that won’t be necessary, though.

You might want to consider where the motor is located, too. The location of the motor determines how it works. A mid-drive motor turns the crank on the pedals instead of one of the wheels. That makes it more powerful.

A front hub motor pulls the e-trike forward by turning the front wheel. A rear hub motor pushes the frame forward by powering the chain and gears in the back. For some, a rear hub motor feels more natural. The front hub can slip, especially if carrying a lot of weight.

4. Modes

Some models of electric three-wheel bikes offer pedal-assist modes only. They may have several pedal-assist levels, but the trike will not run on motor power only. Think carefully about whether this makes sense for you.

It is a judgment call, but the more you can get from your e-trike, the better. Even if you don’t think you would use the throttle-only mode, you might wish you had it. There is no going back if you only buy a model with pedal assist.

The other consideration is how many modes you need. The different levels of pedal assist give you options for the support you want. If you are just getting back into exercise and bike riding, you might start with the higher pedal-assist mode. Then, as you get stronger, you can go for lower methods and use the motor when needed.

That doesn’t mean you need seven or eight pedal-assist modes, though. Modes are a little like speeds on a traditional bike. You might use two or three and never touch the rest. You don’t necessarily need a lot of pedal-assist modes unless you plan on riding in rugged terrain. Three is likely enough for most riders.

5. Tires

Speaking of terrain, that brings up another critical consideration – tires. Fat tires are perfect for rough terrain or heavy weights. For instance, if you are looking at an e-trike with a passenger seat, you want fat tires to hold the extra cargo. Fat tires are essential if you plan on riding off-road, too. A smaller tire diameter is fine if you want to do commuting or recreational riding.

6. Features

What is on the e-trike is almost as important as the model bike. Features provide enhanced safety and comfort. They make your ride more efficient and practical, so choose them wisely.

Storage Space

Storage space is an excellent place to start when deciding what features you need and which ones are unnecessary. Of course, many buyers will automatically look for that large cargo basket in the back. Dig deeper, though.

For example, how much weight can the basket hold? What about the size? Is it large enough to carry what you like to travel with? Will it hold a backpack? How about a lunch basket? Run through all the scenarios of the things you might want to put in the basket to ensure it fits your needs.

Maybe a basket doesn’t quite work for you in the back. If so, there are other options. Some e-trikes are rickshaw models. That means they have a passenger seat in the back. The seats might fit an adult and a child or several children. They could be big enough for a pet kennel. Again, consider what you might use the seat for and decide if it works.

Finally, how many baskets are too many? Only you know for sure. Some e-trikes have multiple baskets. Usually, that means a large one in the back and a small one in the front.


The technology that drives the e-trike is important, too. These bikes come with everything from the most basic display to something that connects to the internet. A basic display would show you what pedal-assist mode you are using, and that’s about it.

LCDs may go further and show metrics like bike speed and battery power. Advanced displays may have Bluetooth capacity, connecting to an app on your phone. That allows you to record how far you ride and map your route using GPS.

The display type is a matter of choice. If you like the high-tech options, you can expect to pay more. Many riders find a happy medium that has an LCD display that measures speed and battery power. If you are not worried about tech, then the most basic display will be enough for you.


The right saddle or seat makes a huge difference in comfort. Ideally, you want a wide saddle that comes with lots of cushioning.

Honorable Mentions

If you focus on these six things, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what you want from your e-trike. Other things matter, too, though, such as cost. Figure out what your budget is for your new e-bikes and stick to it. It is easy to get lulled by all the bells and whistles of some trikes, but they add to the overall cost, and chances are you don’t need some of them.

Weight is another thing to keep in mind. By definition, three-wheel bikes are heavier than classic two-wheel, with or without the motor. That can be a significant factor. Also, a heavier bike is harder to ride and store unless you can roll it into a garage or shed. If you are going upstairs, though, weight is essential.

Finally, make the brand a priority. If all you look at is the price and features, you might buy an electric three-wheel bike from a company with a bad reputation. Most manufacturers offer enough models of electric tricycles that you can find one that fits your needs and know you got it from a reputable brand.

The brand also comes into play on more expensive three-wheelers. However, just because a manufacturer tacks a high price tag on the trike doesn’t mean it isn’t made cheap. If you are someone who equates quality with high prices, it’s time to break that habit.

Do your research on brands first. Look at customer reviews of their bikes and see what kind of customer service they offer. For example, if you are ordering online, how hard are their bikes to assemble, and what assistance do they offer?

Once you find a brand that makes sense, look at the model electric three-wheel bikes they offer. For example, sixthreezero is one of the top bike manufacturers on the market right now. We have three models of electric bikes, each unique.

Our EVRYjourney 250W electric tricycle is our flagship model. It will take you up to 50 miles of cruising at 16 MPH. We built this trike for comfort. It has an ergonomic step-through frame for stability during mounting and dismounting.

We are excited to offer our EVRYjouney three-wheel electric bike as a rickshaw design. It has many of the same features as the EVRYjourney 250W, but we replaced the cargo basket with a passenger seat.

We also have the Easy Transit 750W folding electric bike if weight and storage are critical factors. All the full in a smaller, compact size perfect for the commuter or apartment dweller.

Our customers rave about the customer support we offer before and after you buy. So, if you are in the market for a three-wheel electric bike, put the brand first and check out the sixthreezero website today!


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