If you love the feeling of being in control while you’re out on your bike, then an electric trike might be the answer for you. These three-wheeled machines are designed to let cyclists feel like they’re driving their steed—and they do it incredibly well!
Although riding a trike can seem like an activity for experienced riders, these vehicles aren’t difficult to master. If you’re ready to leap two wheels into the world of electric trikes, this guide will help you along the way.
What is an Electric Trike?
An electric trike is a three-wheeled vehicle that’s powered by an electric motor. The electric motor is the central driving component of an electric trike, and it’s connected to the wheels through a chain-drive system. These chain-drive systems are what enable an electric trike to move; they’re not the same as a bicycle chain. Once you get used to them, chain-drive systems in electric vehicles are easy to use.
Is an Electric Trike Right for You?
If you’re a serious cyclist who’s ready to take the next step up in terms of power and control, an electric trike might be for you. These vehicles are designed to mimic a bicycle’s feel and movement—which means you’ll get a better workout from them than you would from a traditional bike.
Electric trikes can also be great for urban commuters who don’t have easy access to a bike path or trail. These vehicles are also good for anyone who’s looking to get out of the car and do some biking. If you see electric trikes for sale you will want to snatch them up!
What makes a good trike?
Three-wheel trikes are by far the most common type of electric trike. Most trikes have three wheels, though some have four wheels instead of three. Choosing a three-wheel model might help you get the most out of your electric trike experience, as it allows you to experience more of the vehicle’s movement.
You might think that a trike with a lower center of gravity, such as a four-wheeler or a two-wheeler, would be the best choice for a beginner. However, a trike’s center of gravity is quite important to beginners and experts alike. If you’re riding a low center-of-gravity trike, you’ll have a nice balance as you pedal and steer.
On the other hand, if your trike’s center of gravity is high, you’re likely to feel off-balance and “skate” as you pedal. To find a trike that has a low center of gravity, look for a model with a high maximum weight capacity.
Most electric bikes have a maximum weight capacity of around 100 pounds, so 300 pounds is a great place to start when you’re looking for a good trike. If you want to feel like you’re in complete control while you’re on your trike, you need a low center of gravity.
Low-center-of-gravity trikes are the most common type, and they should be a part of your trike shopping process.
Key Shifting Specs to Look For in an Electric Trike
How much power does your trike have? A high power rating lets you get up to speed quickly and lets you carry heavier loads. While a higher top speed lets you go faster and maintain more control.
Choose a trike with a battery life that fits your riding style. A trike with a slow cadence might work best for you. We recommend looking for a trike with a top speed of at least 10 mph. If you’re new to cycling and want to feel confident in a vehicle that can go faster than walking speed, a top speed of 15 mph or more is a great choice.
A good trike should have brakes that are strong enough to bring the vehicle to a stop safely. If you want your trike to pedal while you’re holding the handlebars automatically, look for a model with an assist level of at least 10%.
Choosing the Right Battery for Your Trike
If you’re riding an electric trike, you’ll need a battery to store electricity generated by the motor. Unfortunately, there are many options when it comes to choosing a battery for your trike. To make things easier, we’ve broken down your choices into three categories.
High-quality, but low-cost batteries. Although you can find some low-cost batteries at your local big-box store, we recommend staying away from them. Low-cost batteries are often made from substandard materials. Instead, shop for high-quality batteries from a reputable online retailer.
Mid-range, high-end batteries. If you’re new to cycling, you might want to go with a mid-range battery. On the other hand, if you’ve ridden a few times a week for a while, a high-end battery might be a better fit for your needs.
What are the benefits of each battery type? Low-cost, substandard batteries: These high-volume batteries are made from low-quality components and are often made in China. Low-cost batteries often have shortened warranties, poor construction, and a shortened life expectancy.
Mid-range, high-end batteries. These batteries are made from high-quality components, including Japanese cells that have a longer life expectancy than cells from other countries. Mid-range, high-end batteries might have a lower price tag, but they’re better quality than low-cost batteries.
Excellent batteries have a high energy density and reduced internal resistance. Best of all, they have a long life expectancy and come with a full warranty.
Riding Tips for Newbie Electric Tricyclists
If you’re new to cycling in general, you might want to go with a pedal-assist model. Pedal-assist models let you practice cycling without the need for a real bike.
Don’t be afraid to ask an experienced cyclist for help when you’re out shopping for a trike. You’ll have more time to learn and practice with a trike during the off-season than during the summer.
If you’re serious about getting out on your bike and experiencing the freedom that it offers, then an electric trike is a great option. Electric trikes are quieter and more powerful than two-wheelers, and they offer a smoother ride. They are perfect to start working out or just to cruise down the road to enjoy the weather.