As they age, most seniors start to face mobility challenges, and they may need some little help to make movement easier for them. One of the best ways to help them with these mobility issues is to get them a 3-wheel bike.
3-wheel bikes, also known as trikes or adult tricycles, are non-motorized human-powered or gravity-powered vehicles that run on three wheels. They are more stable on the ground than 2-wheel bikes and require less precision to handle. These make them perfect for senior citizens.
Whether you’re a senior or a carer to one, choosing the right 3-wheel bike for seniors can be quite challenging. And that’s because the market abounds with trikes of various types and by more-than-countable brands.
But we’ve made things much easier for you. Here, we’ll be revealing some important details about 3-wheel bikes that you need to bear in mind before hitting the market. And more importantly, we’ll be reviewing the best five trikes for seniors that we carefully selected following a comparison of several different models.
So, read on to learn more.
- Types of 3-wheel bikes
- Best 3-wheel Bikes for Seniors: Our Top 5 Picks
- 1. Schwinn Meridian Full-Size Adult Tricycle
- Mobo Triton Pro Recumbent Tricycle
- Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle 24-Inch
- Raleigh Torker Bikes Tristar 3 Speed
- Komodo Cycling 6 Speed Adult Tricycle
- Choosing the Right 3-Wheel Bike for Seniors: Things to Consider
- Why Do Seniors Need 3-wheel Bikes?
Types of 3-wheel bikes
There are several different types of 3-wheel bikes that cater to the mobility needs of elderly people.
Recumbent 3-wheel bikes
Recumbent trikes have two wheels in the front and one at the back. They are the sit-back-and-grin kinds of trike suited for people who have very limited muscle strength, suffer from back pain or with disabilities. Recumbent trikes are lightweight and easy to control. To pedal them, you have your feet positioned in front of you instead of directly below you.
Semi-Recumbent 3-wheel bikes
Semi-recumbent trikes also employ the pedal forward concept. They are designed to lower the gravity of your body, providing more stability and balance. And this makes them particularly suitable for most seniors who are not able to ride a bicycle independently. Semi recumbent 3-wheel bikes are great for recreation and exercise.
Upright 3-wheel bikes
These are the most popular 3-wheel bikes among seniors. Upright trikes are designed to have 2 widely spaced wheels (at the back) or two wheels (at the front). They are lightweight, easy to steer, and perfect for shopping.
Upright 3-wheel trikes are best suited for people with injuries or weakness, but with a strong desire to build confidence and obtain their mobility again. CAVEAT: Because of their high gravity design, they frequently tip over.
In this age of tech and smart, electrical trikes are great options to consider. They allow you to decide whether you want to pedal yourself or simply allow the motorized engine to cruise you around with no effort from your end.
Electric trikes are recommended for seniors with limited leg strength. Generally, electric help can be worked into any type of trike.
Other types of 3-wheel bikes include folding trikes that address limited storage issues, industrial or heavy-duty trikes that have been beefed up to handle large loads, and special need trikes that cater to people with special needs.
Best 3-wheel Bikes for Seniors: Our Top 5 Picks
After comparing several models of 3-wheel bikes based on real buyer opinions, brand trust, pricing, customer support, and other important factor, we carefully selected these as our top 5 picks.
1. Schwinn Meridian Full-Size Adult Tricycle
Established over a century ago, the Schwinn brand is a famous and reputable brand. If you need a daily haulier you can depend on, the Schwinn Meridian Trike is your go to 3 wheeler bike.
A perfect combination of retro styling, comfortable riding and convenient storage with added stability, this upright trike is what you need for an outdoor adventure. It comes with a low, step-through access, swept back handlebars, large fold-down rear basket and a large, adjustable springer cruiser seat for comfortable riding.
Enjoy comfortable rides around town, the beach or on a bike trail in this single-speed cargo Schwinn adult 3-wheel bike.
- Single-speed 3-wheeled bike
- Rear handbrake, front pull brake
- Padded springer cruiser saddle
- Smooth tires
- Aluminium step-through frame
- Alloy rims
- Upright handlebars
- Large folding rear basket
- Alloy 26-inch diameter wheels.
One of the best things users are gushing on about the Schwinn Meridian Full-Size Adult Tricycle is its ease of assembling and spacious folding bag. Adult riders up to 5’10” tall can fit in this trike. It comes with large spring cruiser style seat that has quick release height adjustability and swept back handlebars that adjust from 37 to 40-inch height position. The three wheels on the back offer more stability and the single speed design ensure you get a smooth ride.
The brakes are hand operated which may be difficult for elderly with hand weakness. The frame is a bit heavy and would require extra hands during assembly. A lot goes into maintaining this upright trike.
Mobo Triton Pro Recumbent Tricycle
If you’re looking for an excellent way to keep fit while enjoying the outdoors, then the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle is for you. Designed for cruising and moderate exercise on flat paved surfaces and gently sloping terrain, this recumbent three-wheel bike will help you increase your daily calorie burn.
This three-wheeler is for seniors who cannot ride a standard upright bicycle without getting stressed on their knees, back and joints. The seats provide an evenly cushioned support for the comfort. Mobo trikes are stable, durable heavy duty recumbent 3 wheel bikes with adjustable frames that makes for comfortable and easy rides. From 4 feet 2 inches to 6 feet 3 inches, anyone can ride this pedal tricycle.
The Mobo Recumbent Cruiser Tricycle is also suitable for those who have problems with balance. It’s an especially effective special needs tricycle for people with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, or mental challenges.
- No-maintenance chainless design (Hi-ten steel).
- Low centre of gravity
- Innovative Steering (Dual-joystick steering)
- Fun and Easy to Ride
- Adjustable Frame that lasts for years
- Calliper hand brakes
- 20-inch front wheel with a freewheel hub
- 16 inch rear wheels
- Inflatable rubber tires
- Safety flag
The all new and unique rear wheel steering system of this cruiser makes it your best bet to get a cardiovascular workout with minimal stress on your back and knees. You can tone your leg and arm muscles while having a fun and enjoyable ride.
Mobo cruisers are totally comfortable. The comfortable seat and chainless chassis, along with its ergonomic design and quality you can trust. The safety flag makes you visible. It easily adjusts to fit riders from 4’2” to 6’3” and weighing up to 250 lbs.
The best features of Mobo cruisers are the smooth maneuverability with simple hand movements, durable steel frame, low center of gravity and reclined seats
Though gravity balanced, Mobo cruisers are not suited for touring especially on dirt or gravel road. Pedalling on flat, level or pavement and concrete is great but doesn’t climb the hills. The front wheel just spins and will not go on a hilly area no matter how strong your legs are. The turning motion of the back tires causes frequent wear outs. It is made for light duty so it has one speed creating a slow-paced route.
Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle 24-Inch
Designed for smaller rider who cannot fit on the traditional 26 wheels, the Schwinn Meridian 24 Adult Tricycle is one of the favorite contenders for the best three-wheel bicycles. This small-wheeled tricycle offers quick acceleration and easy maneuvering.
Equipped with a super low aluminium frame that allows step through access, the trike features large springer cruising seat, swept back handlebars, large folding basket among others. It is highly recommended for seniors who have bone issues or mobility challenged individuals.
- Super low stand over aluminum frame for easy access.
- 1 Speed
- Cruiser styling has full wrap fenders and swept back handlebars for comfort
- Alloy 24″ wheels
- Large springer cruiser seat with quick release adjustment
- Large fold down rear basket for storage
- Wide, upright handlebars adjust from 37 to 40 inch high
- Heavy-duty aluminum frame
Not only do they come in great colours, but the 24-inch Schwinn trikes also come with easy access, instant braking system and are very sturdy.
Unfortunately, just like its full-size counterpart, the 24-inch tricycle is also a tad too heavy and is not very easy to assemble.
Raleigh Torker Bikes Tristar 3 Speed
The Raleigh Torker Bikes are big on rendering greater stability on the road as it features a cool brake lever which locks in place to block it from moving while you are getting on/off.
A low maintenance and easy to use tricycle, the Raleigh is narrow enough to fit through an exterior door for easy storage. This 3-speed trike comes with a comfort tractor saddle for a smooth and enjoyable ride.
- Designed to fit 5′ – 6′ people
- 3-speed Geared hub
- Brake lever lock
- Ear coaster brake
- Front handbrake
- 45 pounds capacity rear metal basket
- Low, step-through frame
With a comfortable adjusting seat, the 3-speed trike is very well constructed and easy to ride and mount. The brakes on the handlebars and in the pedals always come in handy. You’ll enjoy its low maintenance and 45 lbs rear basket.
The Raleigh Torker Bikes don’t do well in hilly train, they’re not meant for hills, grassy or uneven surfaces. It is a fairly heavy bike, it could take you 30 minutes to get all the parts out of the box.
Komodo Cycling 6 Speed Adult Tricycle
Perfectly suited for seniors with good body control ability and strength, the Komodo Cycling 6-Speed Adult Tricycle is the real deal. It comes with 6 speeds that powerfully rolls over steep climbs when loaded.
As a professional trike made with seniors in mind, it features high quality and high performance. What’s more, it is easy to get on and off as it is designed with a low profile step-through. The fenders, the bell, and the large wire basket are some added bonus.
The 6 different levels of speed of the Komodo trike and its SHIMANO features ensures you an easier and smooth riding experience. The wheels are sturdy and durable — thanks to the collaboration of the steel crank, steel spoke and chain. It is a breath of fresh air that the saddle comes with a backrest that helps relieves back pain to a good extent. With a 240 lbs weight limit, it also comes with a basket on the back for haulage.
- 6-Speed levels
- SHIMANO RS45 shifter
- SHIMANO TY-21 derailleur
- Large wire basket
- Tough brakes (Front alloy brake, rear steel brake)
- Ultra Low 15-3/8″ step-through design
- Steel handlebar and stem steering system.
- Large, soft comfortable saddle
- Steel crank & chain wheel Chinese chain.
- Alloy wheels with stainless steel spokes
- Includes a bell
6-speed has got to be the most unique value proposition for this 3 wheeler. The Komodo tricycle climbs hills without much fuss. It is smooth, easy to ride and the gears are a wonderful addition. It’s perfect. It’s safe and your confidence with soar once again.
With a heavy duty frame, the bike is wider and heavier than a normal bike. Superb quality, excellent balance, easy to get in and out, this trike is what agile seniors need.
It may not be perfect for a speed race or cross-country ride but is absolutely perfect for tooling around town and for a leisure ride. Assembling is not very easy.
You need to be mechanically inclined to assemble this trike. You’ll need metric wrenches, Allen keys and a chain tool for some things that need installing or adjusting in the process of assembly. The trike is heavy, not something you would want to be lifting on and off or transporting anywhere.
Choosing the Right 3-Wheel Bike for Seniors: Things to Consider
- Stability and safety: Unlike recumbent trikes, upright trikes are top-heavy and may tip. A more stable and safer option is the low-gravity lightweight trikes. Look out for an effective braking system when shopping for an adult tricycle.
- Rider comfort: Look out for trikes that offer better back support and have freely adjustable positions. Your physical condition and the doctor’s advice should take front burner when choosing a 3-wheel bike. Recumbent and semi-recumbent trikes are godsends if you suffer from back pain and little upper body strength. Loop handlebars would be a perfect fit for seniors with arthritis or poor muscle strength.
- Ease of mounting: A three-wheel bike that you can easily get in and get out of is the best. The step-through design is the most mount-friendly.
- Ease of assembly: Some three-wheel bikes will test your patience when you’re trying to assemble them. Your best bet is to opt for a model that you can easily assemble even without reading the instructions manual.
- Price: This is an important factor that determines what kind of 3-wheel bike you purchase. While the upright trikes are expensive and harder to find, the electric tricycles are priciest.
- Uphill performance: Many of the recumbent 3-wheel bikes struggle to climb hills. If your tricycle would be used frequently on a hilly terrain, then go for trikes with easier pedals, such as pedal-optional electric trikes.
- Storage space: You’ll find that some of the three-wheel bikes are wide and take up more storage space. Folding tricycles collapse for easy storage. Another option is the slimmer storage friendly 3-wheelers.
- Replacement parts: It is important that you check for the availability of spares when you choose a trike, as you may need to replace a few components over time.
Why Do Seniors Need 3-wheel Bikes?
3-wheel bikes are not fancy toys to be added to a seniors’ collection. They provide a number of important benefits, such as the following:
Compared to bicycles, 3 wheel bikes provide more support and balance. They are a more comfortable choice due to the fact that they cause less strain on joints and have more support on the back.
Being a senior should not be a sentence to a life with no exhilarating outdoor activities. If you love to climb or live in areas of high slopes and topography, you should consider getting a 3 wheel bike. Those with multiple gears are best for climbing hills. Unlike traditional two-wheelers, with three-wheeled bikes, you need not worry about balancing as you pedal away at a comfortable pace to climb the hill without fear of tumbling over.
Comfort and exercise
In addition to mobility, tricycles help your muscles relax, and this makes them perfect tools for exercising. Sitting on a three-wheel bike is very comfy as you have better weight distribution. You would be able to ride longer and burn more calories when you’re comfortable. You can take a break while remaining in your seat when you get tired. Buying a 3 wheel bike should top your list if you desire an enjoyable way to exercise.
Easy load carriage
Trikes often come with a sizeable basket, so they can also help you to conveniently carry your shopping. You can fit substantial cargo packs on racks behind you without losing your balance and stability.
Three-wheel bikes are great for elderly people because they provide not just mobility, but also stability, safety, support, and comfort.
In this post, we hand-picked the best trikes for seniors and reviewed them, providing all the details you need to make a well-informed buying decision.
While you won’t go wrong with any of the five options we’ve recommended here, we strongly advise that you choose based on your specific needs.