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Buyer’s Guide: How To choose the Best Adult Tricycle for You

Are you looking for an adult size tricycle that will help you get out and enjoy wholesome recreation outdoors? Whether you want to lose a few pounds or you simply want to keep your body in shape, a tricycle is a great tool. Like a regular bicycle, a tricycle can help you work up a sweat. But unlike a bike, a trike makes it easier for you to maintain your balance. If you’re ready to make the leap and buy your first tricycle, here’s a brief buyer’s guide to help you make the right purchasing decision.

Seat Type

Now that you know the answer to the question “What is a tricycle?” it’s time to learn more.  Tricycles typically have two different seat types: saddle and sling. Saddle-style seats typically well-padded but aren’t particularly wide. They’re usually just wide enough to accommodate the sit bones comfortably. You typically see saddle seats on upright tricycles.

Sling seats, on the other hand, are often seen on recumbent trikes. They are usually contoured and highly padded for the rider’s comfort. They may also feature back supports to help keep the rider from tipping over backwards (which is a valid fear when you’re so stretched out on the trike).

Upright or Recumbent

When it comes to purchasing the best adult tricycle, you need to know the differences between upright and recumbent models. Upright models offer more comfortable seat comfort, hand placement and back comfort. Since they don’t require you to sit hunched over like road bikes do, they cause less pressure on the lower back. Some of the best trikes feature upright designs that allow you to ride in comfort, whether you’re taking a leisurely ride around the block or commuting to work across town.

Recumbent tricycles are designed to position the rider’s body a bit differently than upright trikes. When you ride a recumbent tricycle, your body is more stretched out. The seat is also much closer to the ground. Some people find that recumbent tricycles put more pressure on the lower back and buttocks. Others prefer recumbent trikes because they can be easier on the knees. To decide which type you prefer, it’s wise to ride them both for a period of time and see how your body responds to each type.

Weight Capacity

The weight limit for most tricycles is anywhere between 200 and 350 pounds. However, recumbent trikes are more likely to have higher weight limits. Some can even support up to 400 pounds. If weight is a concern for you, it’s important to select a tricycle that is capable of carrying your weight.

Handlebar Style

You’re probably familiar with traditional curved handlebars, which are the most common type you see on tricycles. Traditional handlebars are especially popular on upright trikes. However, there are other handlebar styles available.

Chopper handlebars look a lot like traditional handlebars, but instead of curving inward from the sides, they come up at a high angle and curve downward. Picture a chopper motorcycle and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what chopper handlebars look like on trikes. They look cool, but don’t provide the highest level of comfort when compared to the other handlebar styles available.

Loop handlebars form a rectangular loop. This unique design allows the rider to easily steer the bike using various hand placements. Loop handlebars are sometimes recommended for seniors who have weak hands or arms and need a little extra support.

Select Your Perfect Bike

If you’re still wondering “What is the best tricycle for adults?” the answer is, “it depends!” You can follow the advice in this guide, but the most important factor in your decision should be how comfortable a trike is. Try several different styles out until you find the one that feels like the best fit for your body.


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