Traditional two-wheeled bikes, though, aren’t always as easy for seniors to ride as it was when they were kids. Enter the three-wheeled bike: a comfortable, relaxed way to enjoy cycling for people of all ages. Check out our list of the best 3 wheel bikes for seniors, and learn more about the best brands and features now!
What is a 3-Wheel Bike for Adults?
If you’re concerned that these bikes look like children’s tricycles, there is no need to worry. These bikes have a lot more in common with traditional bicycles than they do the classic kid’s trike. The main difference between a bicycle and a tricycle for adults is that third wheel; everything else is the same.
Why buy a tricycle for adults? First of all, you are given an incredible amount of balance compared to two-wheel bikes. That gives seniors more confidence as they ride, especially those with balance issues and medical concerns that make balancing difficult.
Three-wheeled bikes are sturdy and easy to pedal, which makes them perfect for having extra storage. Most three-wheeled bikes have a storage basket on the rear, right between the back wheels. This makes three-wheeled bikes ideal for seniors who need to carry extra water, medicine, a purse, etc as they ride. These bikes are also great for leisurely rides, fun shopping trips, and can even work as commuter bikes in areas with favorable weather!
Pros and Cons of Riding a Tricycle for Seniors
Having that third wheel makes nearly everything about bike riding easier. You don’t have to worry at all about balancing the bike, or, consequently, what will happen if you fall off the bike. Balance issues plague millions of seniors, and these bikes take that worry out of the equation. If you have balance issues or simply want to be able to ride without as much caution, get a three-wheeled bike!
Bicycles are many things, but storage-friendly they are not. If you want to bring your things along with you while cycling, you usually need to wear some sort of backpack. The problem with that is that wearing a backpack puts additional strain on your back and hips and can even make accidents worse.
Because the majority of tricycles for seniors do include a large storage basket, they’re incredibly convenient. Whether you’re heading to a farmer’s market for some fresh produce, visiting local specialty shops, or simply taking a nice morning cruise, that storage will always come in handy.
- 3Peace of Mind
This is a benefit related to the ease of use that makes three-wheeled bikes unique. Crashing on a bicycle is not something any senior should be flippant about; in fact, seniors have the highest likelihood of experiencing a fatal bicycle crash of any age group. Riding a three-wheeled bike, which is slower and much more sturdy than a traditional bike, lowers your overall risk considerably.
When you’re enjoying a ride on a tricycle for seniors, you don’t have to think about what could go wrong if you suddenly lose your balance or fret that you’re riding too fast. You simply ride along, pedaling at a nice and relaxing pace, and enjoy the way the sun feels on your skin!
Crashing in a three-wheeled bike is still a possibility, so you cannot discount the chances completely. It’s just that it’s far less likely on these bikes because they’re engineered for safety and low-medium speeds.
Just like turning on any three-wheeled vehicle, trying to round corners on a tricycle isn’t always easy. You have to take turns slowly to avoid throwing off the bike’s center of gravity. You cannot lean the bike into the turn like you can with a two-wheeled model, which means that caution is key.
If you’re riding too fast and approach a sharp turn, you need to slow down quickly or otherwise risk a crash. This is one of the few situations where crashing is more likely than not on a trike for adults; make sure you take caution!
The added wheel adds a lot of metal to the frame of the bike. This means that three-wheeled bikes will almost always be heavier than traditional bicycles. They usually try to make for this by using lighter materials and efficient gears, but, unfortunately, three-wheeled bikes aren’t as efficient to pedal as bicycles. You won’t notice it on rides that last less than an hour, but over time the added weight of a tricycle will make you more tired.
When it comes to narrow sidewalks, biking paths, or streets, a two-wheeled bike is much better for maneuvering through crowds and obstacles. The same is true for bumpy ground and hills. If you live in an area with more crowds than open spaces and more hills than flat ground, a traditional bicycle might be better for you. Three-wheeled bikes are great, but they struggle going uphill and take up lots of space on sidewalks and bike paths.
Bicycle or Tricycle for Seniors - Which is Better?
Bicycle: Better for Exercise
By “exercise”, we mean moderate to intense exercise. Three-wheeled bikes are perfectly fine for light-moderate exercise, but they won’t hold up to two-wheeled bikes when you start to talk about longer, faster rides with more intensity. If you’re in tip-top shape, you might find a tricycle to be a bit slow and boring.
Two-wheeled bikes are perfect for seniors who want to ride for fitness and aren’t concerned about balance issues. You can ride faster, farther, and experience a more up-tempo workout. As you get older, though, you will likely find two-wheeled bikes to be increasingly uncomfortable and cumbersome. When you no longer enjoy the physical aspects of your two-wheeled bike, it might be time to switch to a tricycle for adults.
Bicycles are also better for rougher terrain, such as dirt, gravel, and mountain biking. Three-wheeled bikes simply aren’t designed to handle much other than semi-flat pavement; if you are interested in mountain biking or need to ride up and down hills, get yourself a true mountain or road bike!
Tricycle: Better for Leisure and Safety
Bicycles are a lot of fun, but they can also be dangerous. Riding too fast without proper handling and balance skills is a great way to wind up in a hospital. If you are concerned about your balance or ability to respond to sudden obstacles on your bike, you should opt instead for a three-wheeled bike.
These bikes are, almost without variation, safer than two-wheeled bikes and just as enjoyable to ride. The stability and simplicity of these bikes will always be welcome; you can ride to your heart’s content without having to constantly worry about your speed or dangerous obstacles.
Because you are riding a bit slower and on more open paths, three-wheeled bikes keep you away from the crowded roads and rocky trails that contribute to accidents and crashes. This indirectly makes three-wheeled bikes safer, because you simply can’t take them to the places that can get you in trouble! Two-wheeled bikes, it should be mentioned, are still safe for seniors- it’s just that they aren’t quite as safe as their three-wheeled counterparts.
Safety aside, three-wheeled bikes have a lot to offer seniors. You can still get a wonderful exercise session with them, and they’re every bit as good as bicycles for taking leisurely rides. If you think that the slightly increased risks of riding a traditional bike aren’t quite worth it, do not doubt that a tricycle for adults is ideal for you.
Best Brands of Tricycles for Seniors
With a 100-year-plus history of making fine bicycles, Schwinn has earned their place near the top of the cycling world. They’re known for making durable, comfortable bikes for people of all ages and sizes.
This specialty bicycle maker produces many bikes that, while not the cheapest on the market, are worth every penny in terms of comfort and performance. If you’re looking for a bike that you can push faster and farther than others without waking up sore the next morning, go with a three-wheeled bike from SixThreeZero.
While Lightfoot may not be a brand in themselves, they carry a large selection of bikes and trikes that are very hard to find elsewhere. If you’re looking for a trike that has unique safety or performance features, you’re likely to find it at Lightfoot Cycles. Lightfoot also has optional upgrades for nearly all of the trikes they carry- from safety upgrades to extended battery packs, if it fits your trike, they carry it!
The Best 3-Wheel Bikes for Seniors in 2021
1. Best 3-Wheel Bike for Seniors (Overall): Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle
The Meridian is, quite possibly, the most popular model of 3-wheeled bike for seniors on the market. It’s stylish, comfortable, and simple- it gives you everything you need for leisure, light exercise, and shopping trips, but nothing more.
If you’re looking for a bike that rides smoothly, has ample storage space, and a premium cushioned seat, the Schwinn Meridian is right for you. It’s perfect for joyrides, shopping trips, and light-moderate exercise. It’s also very affordable, especially considering that Schwinn bikes are known to last many years.
2. Best Electric Trike for Seniors: AddMotor M-350-P7 Electric Tricycle
AddMotor makes some of the most rugged, versatile electric bikes on the market, and their line of electric trikes for adults is quite noteworthy. This trike still has pedals you can use alongside the motors for up to 55 miles of riding on a single battery charge!
The M-350-P7 has a 450-pound weight capacity, fat all-terrain tires, and two different cargo baskets! It’s rugged and ready for anything, perfect for seniors who want to leave the pavement behind once in a while. The seat on this trike is also worth mentioning- it looks more like the seat on an electric scooter than a bicycle seat; it even comes with a backrest! This bike is perfect for any senior’s needs, from the most casual cruises to long-distance exercise rides.
3. Best Recumbent Trike for Seniors: Mobo Triton Pro
Sure, you can order a custom-made recumbent road bike that is loaded with features. However, you’ll have to spend more than $2,000 on it. The Mobo Triton Pro is functional, affordable, and comes without all the excess that is typical of other recumbent road bikes. Unless you’re trying to win a race on your recumbent, you don’t need anything more than this comfortable, stable recumbent bike from Mobo!
The bike uses wide, knobby tires to provide stability and traction on even the most unstable ground; you can safely ride on sand and light snow if you use a bit of caution. The recumbent position also prevents you from having to balance yourself on the bike; you can just lean into the backrest and pedal away. If you’re looking for a casual way to get great exercise, the Mobo Triton Pro is what you need!
4. Lightweight 3-Wheel Bike for Seniors: SixThreeZero EvryJourney Trike for Adults
SixThreeZero’s flagship tricycle, the EvryJourney, lives up to its name. It’s fit for just about any type of riding scenario you can think of (provided you’re not thinking of mountain biking). Despite weighing just 45 pounds, the EvryJourney has six different speeds, a solid frame, and a very comfortable seat.
The average weight for a three-wheeled bike is about 70 pounds, and few include as much functionality as this one. It even includes a Shimano drivetrain system, something almost no three-wheeled bike can boast. It’s great for exercise, grocery shopping, and fun weekend rides. The tires are made to stay on pavement, but outside of that, there is very little to complain about on the EvryJourney!
2-Passenger 3-Wheel Bikes for Seniors: Worksman Side-by-Side Team Dual Trike
Without a doubt, this is the most unique tricycle on our list. Rather than a tandem bicycle design, this bike puts both riders right next to each other, resembling something like a motorcycle and sidecar. Both passengers share the responsibilities of pedaling, braking, and steering, meaning teamwork is a must!
This bike might not prove the most useful for exercise, but it sure is a lot of fun to ride! You can even add electric assist to the bike for an extra fee. It’s comfortable, easy to get in/out of, and certain to be a head-turner. If you and your spouse, partner, or friend want to enjoy some time together, this bike is a wonderful way to do just that.
5. Best Tricycle for Seniors with Disabilities: Trailmate Joyrider Adult Tricycle
While you should consult with your doctor before buying a tricycle for seniors with disabilities, the Trailmate Joyride is a safe, yet low-key option for disabled seniors. It has an easy, low entry that most people should find comfortable and safe; the frame is open on one side, allowing the user to enter and sit just as they would a chair.
The bike itself has a low center of gravity, making wrecks incredibly unlikely. It may not be able to accommodate every medical issue, hence the need to speak with your doctor first. However, for most people with disabilities, the Trailmate Joyrider provides all the safety and ease of use necessary.
The bike can also be upgraded with an electric kit to transform it into an electric bike. Other optional upgrades are a harness and heel support straps, features that improve the trike’s safety and performance for people with disabilities.
6. Electric Folding Tricycles for the Elderly: The Liberty Trike
The Liberty Trike might not be a household name, but it does have a loyal following of satisfied customers who make the most of each weekend on their trikes. This electric folding tricycle has everything seniors are looking for, from comfort to performance. You can ride, pedaling as the motors assist you, up to 20 miles on a single charge.
The 750W motors are strong enough to propel you up a hill that is 18 degrees steep without exhausting you or straining your legs. You can ride up to 12MPH using the motors, and faster if you pedal along with it. The tires are short but wide and knobby; this makes the Liberty Trike great for grass and dirt as well as pavement.
When you’re done riding, the Liberty Trike folds up into a package hardly larger than a carry-on suitcase. You can put it in the trunk of your car or even tuck it into a coat closet when you aren’t using it. It isn’t cheap, but the portability, comfort, and performance of this electric three-wheel bike are hard to beat!
7. Electric Small Trike for Seniors: Worksman Port-O-Trike Lightning
This trike has a 20-inch wheelbase, small enough for seniors as short as 4’8”. It comes from Worksman Cycles, a small brand that makes unique and useful bikes that you can’t find from major brands. If you’re a smaller senior who needs an electric trike that actually fits their body, this is the one for you.
The Worksman Port-O-Trike is safe to ride just about anywhere, though it’s not wise to ride it on thick mud or sand. For any short senior looking for a way to enjoy the sunshine, get some exercise, visit nearby friends, or go grocery shopping without a car, this is a great, compact option.
8. Cheap Foldable Tricycle for Seniors: Tri-Rad Adult Unisex Folding Tricycle
Convenient though adult tricycles are, they aren’t exactly the easiest to transport. They’re too big to fit into cars and they won’t fit on your bike rack, either. That’s why the Tri-Rad is so valuable to seniors: it’s completely foldable, allowing you to store it just about anywhere you like.
The Tri-Rad isn’t just a novelty item, though; it’s available in single and six-speed configurations, and it’s got a very comfortable seat. This is a great bike, for exercise or for leisure riding, for any senior who needs to transport their bike or has a small home without much storage space.
9. Manual Pedal Trike for Elderly: Barbella 7-Speed Adult Tricycle
Pedaling a bike on a road or path that is less than perfectly flat can be difficult if your bike only has one gear. This bike from Barbella has 7 different gears that you can shift into; if you’re heading uphill, shift down so that you can still pedal easily. If you’re riding downhill, you can shift into a higher gear to take advantage of the momentum and pedal faster.
This bike might be the best for exercise on our list. The tires are thinner and lighter which makes them ideal for riding on pavement for exercise. The ability to shift between gears lets you exercise more efficiently without getting exhausted on hills, too. If you’re trying to get in shape by bike riding, this is the best three-wheeled bike for that purpose!
FAQs: 3-Wheeled Bikes
Used 3-Wheel Bikes for Seniors -Where to Buy
The best place to find a used three-wheel bike is on an online marketplace such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. These marketplaces are hit-or-miss; you may not find a trike at all, but if you do, you’re highly likely to get a great price for it.
The truth is, used 3-wheel bikes can be hard to find; the sites above are your best bet, but there are no guarantees. Fortunately, most trikes for adults are pretty affordable, which means a new model shouldn’t be out of reach for most people’s budgets!
Senior Trike Clubs - How to Find Them in Your Area
The best way to keep yourself accountable for fitness goals is to share them with others. Finding a cycling group near you has the added benefit of social interaction, something that seniors need to have in their lives.
The best place to find these groups is by checking out local senior centers, fitness clubs, and physical therapy offices. Many have bulletin boards where group meetings and contact info are posted; if there is no posting, you can ask a staff member if they can refer you to a group!
Safety tips for Riding a Tricycle for Seniors
Buying Guide: How to Choose a 3-Wheel Bike
Will Medicare Cover a Trike for the Elderly?
Medicare is happy to cover products that they consider medically necessary, but, unfortunately, trikes for the elderly are not one of those. Medicare Part B covers Durable Medical Equipment- products that would be a severe risk to go without.
While Medicare does cover many transportation-related products such as wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters, three-wheeled bikes are designed for leisure and not medical purposes.
If you cannot afford a three-wheeled bike and need something safe for transportation, we recommend you check out a different mobility aid that is covered by Medicare: rollators, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters are all perfect for you!
What to Look for in a 3-Wheel Bike for Seniors
Wrapping Up: Three-Wheeled Bikes for Seniors
Riding a three-wheeled bike is a wonderful way for seniors to stay in shape, enjoy the outdoors, and keep from getting too bored at home. Which model of 3-wheeled bike do you think is best for you? Have any questions for us? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!