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What Size Tire Do You Need for a Tricycle or E Trike? | The Mystery of Adult Tricycle Tire Sizes

Hey everyone, I'm Dustin. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the bike and e-bike industry, and today I'm going to answer the question, what size tire do you need on your electric tricycle or tricycle? Stick around.

All right, so today we're going to talk about what size tire is going to be best for you on your tricycle or electric tricycle. But before I do, hit subscribe. Stay in touch with us here at Sixthreezero. Be the first to know about all the new content we're putting out, giveaways we do, and of course new product releases. All right, so right here I have two of the Sixthreezero electric tricycles: our EVRYjourney 250-watt and our Easy Transit folding 750-watt. We've got a 12-inch tire right here and a 26-inch tire right here. And there are other tires on the market as well. I've seen 24-inch fat tires and four-inch tires, and I've seen 24-inch, 2.125-inch tires. I've seen 16-inch tires and 22-inch tires. So what tire size is going to be right for you? Well, it comes down to what your riding habits are going to be and where you're going to ride.

Let me first address these 12-inch tires. So the beauty of a 12-inch tire, like on our easy transit, and this could apply to a 16-inch tire as well and even some 20-inch tires, but really not the 20-inch fat tire, because once you start putting these four-inch fat tire tires onto bikes, it raises the bike up so much. The point in which I like the 12-inch tires or 16-inch or 20-inch is it keeps the bike very low to the ground, has a low center of gravity, and it's going to add a couple of things. One, easier to get on and off, right? Because we have a lower, lower seat height, lower center of gravity, and then usually a lower step through. If you put these monster four-inch tires on, it eliminates that because it raises the entire bike or trike up and it's going to make the step-over height quite a bit higher.

So in exchange for, let's say a 20-inch, 20-inch fat tire is more or less going to be the equivalent of a 24-inch regular tire or two-inch tire, 1.75-inch tire. So these 12-inch tires are great for a couple of things and one, as I said, is very easy on and off. It's going to keep your tricycle very low to the ground, and it's going to make this into a personal mobility device. Right? And in the case of having an electric on here, you do have pedals, but you don't even need to use the pedals if you don't so choose. This has a throttle on it and it also has a pedal assist.

Now the downside to a 12-inch tire is if you're planning to ride this without the electric or use a very low-grade pedal assist level, you're going to have to make more rotations on the pedal to get the bike moving because you have much smaller wheels. So you could argue in that sense if you're going to be riding longer distances, this may not be ideal for you. But the short range, the 12- inch is a lot of fun. This is super easy to ride. As I said, it's easy to get on and off.

I'm seeing these become more and more popular. The other huge benefit folds up easily, can be brought with you in a car more easily, stored with you more easily. Again, just look at the size difference and the height difference between these two bikes, between the tire size. This is a 26-inch, it's a 12-inch more than double the size. So if storage is an issue, things like that, the 12-inch is great. And not to say you can't pedal, I just wouldn't recommend it if you want to use very low pedal assist or plan to even not use the electric at all. 12-inch may not be your best bet.

But a lot of great purposes for this 12-inch, especially on the Easy Transit. Once you put it onto level two or three and you start pedaling, this thing really zips around. And if you want to see more of this electric trike, you can check out the videos on our YouTube. Done a couple of videos. I've taken it uphill. I'm 215 pounds. It handles me, no problem. I really, really love this trike. It is a lot of fun. Now, the fat tire ones, some people like those because of the look of them. I don't have the fat tire example here. In some regards, I feel like it's unnecessary, but if you plan to do hard-packed riding or you like a four-inch tire because of the stability it gives you, now I can't argue with having a wider tire and more rubber on the road, we'll add some level of stability.

In exchange for that though, it's going to create more resistance. So if you have an electric, that's good because it will assist you and help you turn the wheels. The bad part is if you ever plan to pedal it without the electric, it's going to be more difficult to pedal. In addition, on an electric bike, it's going to drain the battery faster with the fatter tire always contacting the pavement. There's just going to be more resistance, more battery drain comes with the territory.

The other benefit though is the fat tire is the shock absorption. Those big wide tires are going to absorb the bumps in the bruises of the road, and you won't feel it in your body. It's very, very cushiony and bouncy really. Those tires are very bouncy. You're going to have a very low PSI you put in it so it's not a very stiff tire. It's very cushiony. It's going to sink into the road a little bit more and absorb the vibration. So it's just going to mean less efficiency, harder to pedal, but also good if you want to do hard-pack trails or a little bit of off-road riding as well. And you can get those fat tires in 20-inch, 24-inch, and 26-inch. Totally up to you.

The one thing I will say about fat tires as well, they're a little bit more challenging to steer in some situations. They're going to feel different than steering a sort of normal-width tire. I'd classify a normal-width tire anywhere from one and a half inches up to two and a half inches. And I'm talking about hybrid tires. Road tires are going to get much thinner. But when we're talking about tricycle tires, you're looking at usually no smaller than 2.125-inch tires, which is on this one right here. That's the most common tire size that I see on tricycles, and I would see say anywhere up to 2.5 inches. Anywhere above that, now you're getting into sort of that fat tire range.

So now moving into this one, which is a 26-inch, 2.125-inch tire. I find this tire size to be the most ideal if you plan to pedal. And the reason I say that is because you have a tire that's going to be a normal rotation, right? With a 12-inch, it's smaller. It's going to require more pedals. So this is going to be a little more efficient in terms of how you pedal and the rotation you get and the distance you're going to cover with each pedal stroke. It's going to be easy to get moving and rolling, and when you get your momentum going, it's going to be nice for cruising. And you still have the 2.125-inch width, so that's going to be really good.

Now if you have an electric motor, not to say that these ... These tires are fine with the electric as well. We've obviously made an electric bike. But what I'm saying is if you plan to do a lot of pedaling, I like this tire size because you can easily ride it without having the motor on. It's most efficient when you pedal without the motor on. Of all the tires I have seen in e-bikes, this tire size in my opinion is going to be the most efficient if you're using a low-level pedal assist or you're pedaling without a motor, and it's going to do the best on that pavement riding. And it's going to roll simply and easily. And you still have the 2.125-inch width, which is going to absorb a lot of the vibrations and shocks. I mean, these aren't narrow tires by any stretch. They're just not four inches.

Now, one thing I've also heard or a lot of people talk about is bigger tires, you have more risk of tipping. Now I will say I just made a video about tipping, and I actually demonstrated this and I've done lots of other videos on both of these e-trikes on our channel. So if you want to go there and check it out, you can find tons of videos. Tipping on an electric tricycle, no matter the tire size is going to be some level of risk, but there's a level of risk in riding a two-wheel bike as well. I've ridden a tricycle for lots of hours and I've been selling trikes and e-trikes now for over eight years. Never had a customer report to us tipping. The key to any size tire on a tricycle or electric tricycle is to ride it appropriately. Slow down into the turns, lean into the turns, but shift your body weight out. And again, you can check out my other videos on how to ride a trike.

We have tutorials on what to do and how to appropriately turn and things like that. But it doesn't mean that the taller the wheel, the more risk of tipping necessarily. It just means you may have to ride it differently, shift your weight differently, and appropriately take turns. As I said. There are also other things that are involved as well, like the wheelbase, and the width of the wheels. These are about the same wheelbase, but that's another factor to consider. So just when you're looking for tire size, I would say when you get your tricycle, there's a learning curve. You have to understand how to turn, watch some videos, and get comfortable, but it doesn't mean the larger the tire size you go, the more inherent risk there is for flipping. It's just making sure you choose the appropriate size tire for your riding habits that will be best for you in the conditions that you will be riding in.

And if you need any other answers or help to select the right tire size, you can comment below or email us at or you can call us, at 310-982-2877. You can find both of these trikes on our website right now, under our electric tricycles. And if you're in the market, you don't know what's right for you, take the proprietary body fit quiz on our website, answer a few questions about your body and your life, and we'll recommend the perfect e-trike or trike, or bike for you. And you got 30 days to send it back. No money out of your pocket. Test-ride it. If you don't love it, send it back. We'll cover all the expenses just to make sure you love your new e-bike, e-trike, or bike.

And lastly, join our community Facebook Pedalers group or download our app. Great place to connect with existing riders before you purchase. Ask them questions, and see how they like their e-bike or e-trike, or bikes before they purchase. Once you have it, download the app, track your rides, compete on the leaderboard, and make new friends in the Pedalers group. It's a lot of fun. So thank you for sticking around and don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.


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