The image of an adult trike may bring to mind the vision of one with two wheels in the back, one up front, with a big basket attached behind the seat and maybe on the handlebars too, that simply looks like a larger version of a child’s toy trike. If this is the picture you have, get ready for a huge surprise. Get ready for adult recumbent trikes! Specifically a tadpole design. Two wheels in from that steer, and one in back. Not your grandfathers trike.
Adult Recumbent Trikes Are Going Off The Charts
For the last 40 years recumbents have been making a slow but steady inroad into the bicycle community. Even though the history of recumbents goes back to the late 1800’s, in has taken a back seat to the diamond frame bike due not being declared illegal for competition by the UCI (Union Cyclist International), the French association that rules International Bike Competitions to this day.
The first adult tricycle has a history going back to the 1700’s, but the first adult recumbent trike dates back to 1875. In the U.S. the popularity of adult recumbent trikes are going off the chart! Those who are perhaps the biggest fans are Boomers, and those adults with some limiting physical issues that make riding bicycles to painful or just to uncomfortable.
At last count there are approximately 60 tadpole adult trike manufactures, even though some may now be out of business. None the less there are 19 major manufacturers doing well, that have been building tadpole trikes for years. Some of the better known are Greenspeed, Azub, Catrike, HP Velotechnik, ICE, TerraTrike and Windcheetah. These trikes are known names in the recumbent industry, and have provided hundreds, if not thousands of riders with the unbelievable comfort and joy unparalleled on three wheels.
Many With Physical Limitations The Ability To Get Out And Enjoy Cycling Again
What’s so special about adult recumbent trikes? It starts with no balance challenge. Three wheels on the ground make balance a non-issue. This allows any rider the confidence and security of more than not falling over, but the ability to concentrate on pedaling, and focus on all their surroundings. The reclined position is relaxing, and the benefit of pedaling against a backrest and full seat still takes the stress off the knees and hips. This allows many with physical limitations the ability to get out and enjoy cycling again…without the pain!
There is another choice available in the way of trikes for those who want to share the fun and excitement with more than one. A tandem recumbent trike. Yup, they really do exist and no, there are no Unicorns involved and no strange mushrooms have been eaten. Did you really think builders could stop with just one seat? Aren’t there bicycles built for two? Of course there are, and the recumbent movement was not going to be left out!
What should be highlighted is these trikes are not enjoyed just by adults, but buy those of all ages, both male and female. Add to the the number of homebuilders using a variety of different materials, from a bolt-together-no-weld aluminum frames, to working with carbon fiber. There are those few more adventurous craftsmen taking the challenge of building a titanium tadpole frame.
Numbers are hard to find in order to lend credibility to the number of recumbent adult trike riders and homebuilders out there, but you only have to go to the nearest trail, or country roads to find them. They’re also on the city streets and neighborhoods, pretty much anywhere you can ride. This includes the many organized events throughout the country, including rides across the U.S.
You Will Feel Like A Kid Again On A Recumbent Trike
If you’re reading this because adult trikes caught your eye while surfing the net, and now your curiosity has got your attention, why not go find a shop that handles these trikes and go for a ride. But be warned, if you’re a road bike, mountain bike or cruiser bike rider, you may find what thousands of others have discovered!
No pain, all gain! You know what I mean, and you get the meaning clearly on the seat of a recumbent adult trike. Don’t let the adult fool ya, because these are sleek, fast, fun machines. Don’t take anyones word for it. See for yourself, unless you’re afraid you might be converted! The recumbent motto is, “Riding recumbent is never having to say you’re sore!”So what’s the real reason so many love the recumbent adult trike? You will feel like a kid again on a recumbent trike.