The three main styles of adults tricycle vary drastically from the trike you rode as a child. An upright trike keeps your body in a similar position as its two-wheeled cousins, but the recumbent tadpole and delta offer a entirely new way to enjoy a ride. The recumbent cycling position feels more like sitting in a lounge chair than riding a bicycle. Although trike styles offer similar benefits, the recumbent versions are most comfortable.
A trike is simply a bicycle that has three wheels instead of two. This additional wheel changes the look, feel and ride of the trike, which takes some getting used to. An upright trike rides, pedals and steers like a two-wheeled bike, but it is heavier and less maneuverable. Recumbent trikes have pedals that sit in front of your body and don’t have a handlebar.
The trike’s third wheel provides greater stability than a bicycle, making it easier for you to keep your balance. This means you could crawl slowly up a hill without falling over, for example. If you hit loose gravel while riding the trike, you might just spin instead of losing control and falling over. Compared to a bicycle, a trike could be better for you, particularly if you have poor balance or a condition that prohibits you from riding an upright bike safely and comfortably.
Tadpole and delta trikes utilize a seat that distributes your weight across a large area. Greater weight distribution decreases the pressure you might otherwise feel in your bottom when you sit on the smaller seat found on upright bikes. Since your butt will feel more comfortable, you will be able to ride longer without pain and fatigue. You could potentially burn more calories if you feel more comfortable and ride longer as a result.
Riding a trike is an enjoyable way to exercise. On an upright trike, your legs and arms do most of the work. However, when your legs sit out in front of you on the recumbent versions, you use more of your hamstrings and your core muscles when you pedal. Instead of propping your bike on a kickstand and standing next to it when you get tired, you can take a break while remaining in your seat.
As you get more fit, you can also amp up your trike workout. Head to a hilly area for uphill cycling to increase your calorie burn, or simply add “sprints” to your cycle to get your heart pumping.