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Safest 3 Wheel Bikes for Adults over 60

Cycling has remained popular for generations as a form of exercise and transportation. After all, biking's fun and provides low-impact exercise for people of almost any fitness level. Just as important, cycling doesn't require expensive gasoline or emit harmful toxins or greenhouse gasses.


At the same time, cycling on two wheels requires some skill, flexibility, and coordination. Sleek, two-wheeled bicycles also don't lend themselves well to carrying a lot of cargo, a pet, or a passenger. Three-wheeled bicycles, sometimes called adult trikes or adaptive bikes, have grown increasingly because various models can offer solutions to these issues.


Consider some of the top reasons for the boom in the popularity of adult trikes: 

  • According to SixThirtyEight polls, about six percent of American adults have never learned to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. Over half of the respondents said they learned to cycle but don't currently ride. Even if they learned to ride on two wheels, they probably feel like they've let their skills grow rusty or find bikes inaccessible for other reasons. 
  • Also, many older adults develop balance, mobility, or coordination issues that could make cycling unsafe. Some examples of the causes of these common problems could include certain medications, vertigo, low blood sugar, arthritis, and migraines. 
  • Plenty of people can zoom around on two wheels very well, provided they don't need to carry much. Some folks would prefer a vehicle better suited to hauling their lunch, a laptop, a pet, or even a human passenger.


A high-quality three-wheeled bike can offer a similar experience to a two-wheeled one. Adult tricycles primarily differ from regular bicycles because three wheels provide more stability than two. The three-wheeled bike can stand up even when it stops. Even more, the space between the two wheels offers extra carrying capacity. Good three-wheeled bike designers use this space to include racks, baskets, and sometimes even seats. Thus, high-quality adult trikes can provide all sorts of riders with a safer and more versatile choice.


Five Safe, High-Quality Three-Wheeled Bikes for Older or Infirm Adults 

Adult tricycles come in several styles. Some look indistinguishable from other fashionable cycles, except they have an extra wheel. Different models have unusual frames because they're created for specific uses or certain types of riders. Just as people buy adult trikes for various reasons, manufacturers develop various models to satisfy customers' needs and preferences.


The additional stability of the third wheel can make an adult tricycle safer than an ordinary bicycle with two wheels. Other features of an adult trike to consider include: 

  • Turning radius: Two-wheeled bikes can usually make sharper turns than adult trikes. Of course, the maneuverability of these vehicles can vary by model and brand. 
  • Overall comfort: People who suffer from joint or mobility issues should consider comfort a safety issue. Look for cushioned seats, padded hand grips, a restful seating position, and shock absorption. 
  • Frame design: People with joint pain or coordination issues won't want to stretch to mount a bicycle with a high top tube. Step-through frames make adult tricycles accessible for almost everybody. 
  • Visibility: The frame design and the seating position can impact visibility for cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. Adult trike riders need to see and be seen to stay safe.
  • Capacity: Check the maximum suggested weight of various models to avoid dangerous frame or tire damage. Typically, adult trikes accommodate a range of heights, but some might not fit the tallest or shortest riders. 

Schwinn Medallion Adult Tricycle: A Good Starter Trike for Adults and Older Kids 

$435 and Up at Amazon


This bicycle comes with a standard step-through frame made from aluminum. Customers can buy a one-speed model for simple handling or upgrade to more gears for extra versatility on hilly streets. 

The Medallion offers a choice of 24- or 26-inch tires. Shorter riders might choose the 24-inch tires for a better fit. This model also has hand brakes, upright handlebars, and a padded seat for comfort and extra stability. 


The name recognition of the brand and relatively modest price make this model popular with folks who want the extra stability of three wheels for casual street riding. It has a spacious rear basket, but it's not suitable for carrying pets or kids. 


Highlights: 

  • Aluminum frame 
  • Large cargo basket 
  • Comfortable design


Mobo Triton Pro: A Stable Recumbent Trike 

$549 at Amazon 


A recumbent bike sits low to the ground, so riders sacrifice visibility, which many consider an essential safety consideration. On the other hand, some people suffer from conditions that make even a low step-through frame too tough to mount or dismount comfortably. Besides, some riders find recumbents fun to ride because they provide an experience similar to a go-cart.


A recumbent bike can make cycling accessible for folks with painful joints or coordination and balance issues. Some recumbent bike riders attach a brightly colored staff and flag to a frame to ensure drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists see them coming and going.


This model offers a low center of gravity to maximize stability. It also features rear-wheel steering with handlebars on each side of the seat instead of a traditional handlebar. The Triton Pro comes with an adjustable steel frame, but it's still lightweight at just 44 pounds.


This bike won't achieve faster speeds or handle various terrain like the SixThreeZero upright bike mentioned above. Still, it's comfortable and safe for riders who can't manage that type of hybrid frame. The cushioned seat with a backrest offers comfort.


Highlights: 

  • Accessible recumbent design 
  • Sturdy steel frame 
  • Unique rear-wheel steering with handles


Dongshan Adult Tricycle: A Safe Adult Trike for Passengers 

$838 at Amazon 


Sometimes, older or infirm people may not be able to pedal or navigate any cycle safely. At the same time, this smart adult trike can comfortably accommodate a cyclist and a passenger. It's also a top choice for parents or grandparents to transport tykes around. The rear seat even comes with a seatbelt, and a large basket rests underneath. 


This adult trike can handle various terrain, like streets, beaches, and modest inclines, but it's tough to pedal up steep hills. A plush seat and front-spoke shock absorber ensure a smooth ride. A low frame makes this cycle easy to mount and dismount, and the durable steel frame even folds up for storage. 


Highlights: 

  • The rear passenger seat can support up to 198 pounds. 
  • Durable steel frame 
  • Foldable for storage 
  • Upright, comfortable seated position with a padded seat and shock absorber 


Sun Bicycles Hand Trike: An Accessible Adult Hand Trike for the Mobility Impaired 

$1,129 at Bike Exchange 


The designers crafted this vehicle to make it easy to transfer a person with mobility issues from a chair or wheelchair to the cycle. This model looks like a cross between a mobility scooter and an adult trike. It has a cushioned seat with a full backrest, footrests, and upright handlebars. Once seated, the user will "pedal" the adult trike with their hands and not their feet. 


Sun did not intend for this adult tricycle to navigate rough terrain or up hills. However, it functions awesomely as a way to let people with impairments of their feet and legs to power the trike with their hands and enjoy exercise and independence. 


The cambered wheels and extra-long wheelbase make this vehicle extremely stable too. The hand trike also features coaster brakes and a parking brake. 


Highlights: 

  • Durable steel frame 
  • Hand pedaling 
  • Easy transfers
  • Accessible cycling for people with foot or leg impairments 

Are Three Wheels Safer Than Two?

So, does this mean three-wheel bikes are safer than two-wheeled models? For people who need extra stability, the answer appears positive. The third wheel stabilizes the bike, so the rider doesn't need to balance it, even when stopped. The third wheel even eliminates the need for a kickstand. 


Naturally, adult trike riders need to be able to navigate and brake, just like traditional cyclists. People with experience on two-wheelers should have no trouble operating an adult trike. 


Still, three-wheelers differ from two-wheelers somewhat. For instance: 

  • Three-wheeled bikes often require a wider turning radius than two-wheeled bikes. Thus, they're not quite as maneuverable. 
  • Three-wheeled bike manufacturers focus on comfort and not speed. People who ride adult trikes generally don't travel faster than a brisk walking speed. 
  • Two-wheeled bikes steer with handlebars and leaning into turns. In contrast, cyclists only steer a three-wheeled bicycle with the handlebars and not by leaning. 


Also, some manufacturers make three-wheeled adaptive bikes for people with special needs, making even a typical adult trike inaccessible. Some examples include hand pedaling or various hand controls that people with a limited range of motion can use. 


For optimal safety, don't forget to wear a helmet certified for biking. Today's quality helmets offer lightweight protection against accidents. Many also protect against weather conditions, like cold wind or heat, and even have visors to guard the cyclist's eyes against road debris and sun. 


Who Should Consider Buying an Adult Tricycle?

According to the Washington Post, major brands have seen 10 to 40 percent increases per year in the number of people choosing adult tricycles instead of traditional two-wheeled bikes. Even better, many three-wheeled cyclists ride longer on three-wheelers than on two-wheeled bikes because the design relieves pain and feels more secure. 


Typical buyers include: 

  • Older adults who don't feel safe balancing on two wheels because of joint, mobility, coordination, or balance issues choose adult tricycles as a safer or more comfortable option. 
  • Some younger adults and teens suffer from impairments that make riding a two-wheeled bike challenging, but adding a third wheel makes cycling accessible and fun. 
  • Other purchasers choose adult trikes because they're better suited for safely carrying cargo or passengers. 
  • Large organizations, like the Pentagon and Ford, buy adult tricycles to help employees travel around their large campuses and buildings. 


Cycling offers excellent benefits as a form of exercise and transportation. A three-wheeled bike trades speed and maneuverability for stability and comfort. Some models can even provide access to cycling for disabled people who cannot ride a two-wheeled bike, and even cyclists who never learned to balance on two wheels can enjoy all of the fun and benefits of cycling.

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