Adult three-wheelers don't require balancing like 2-wheeled bicycles. That's why people
with balance and mobility difficulties (or who never learned to balance a 2-wheeler) often use electric
trikes for shopping, errands, and short trips.
Although stable when stopped or when ridden straight ahead, standard upright adult tricycles (left picture) tend to tip when turning at "high" speeds.
To avoid that tipping, most electric trike speeds are limited to well below e-bike speeds. Both kits and e-trikes are available in this style.
Many people discover that lowering the seat height (which lowers their center of gravity) increases stability so they are safer at higher speeds.
Recumbent trikes (right picture) also offer more comfort with a wider, softer seat and a backrest. As a result, recumbent trikes are gaining popularity.
A wide variety of recumbent and semi-recumbent trikes are available.
Want an inexpensive trike to convert to electric?
Then consider this table with conversion suggestions for these trikes, tadpoles, and recumbent trikes from Sun Bicycles as a donor trike.
Few electric recumbents are available as complete trikes, mainly because shipping cost.
Those that are available often require as much assembly as getting a trike and conversion separately anyway.
So, you will likely need to get a conversion kit and install it onto the trike of your choice.
Hubs are a simple way to convert your trike to electric.
Enduro Geared Hubs are small light and powerful, great for
getting 20" (or larger) wheels moving.
If you have a Sun recumbent trike with only 16" front wheel, you can upgrade the front to 20" with a standard
fork replacement OR get an Enduro Hub with a 16" wheel build. Also,
ElectoRide Crystalyte H3540 non-geared Hubs with optional Statorade Injection are great for heavy trikes AND Pedicabs with 20" wheels or more. Although not geared like Enduro,
H3540 are very powerful and are able to go in reverse, which can be very useful for trikes that are very heavy and Pedicabs. The optional Statorade injection is highly recommended for Pedicabs, as this offers more robust performance in extreme heat.
This system is now compatible with the Cycle Analyst V3 plugin, just like Enduro. You can also program regen to get this motor more efficient when braking, still not as efficient as Enduro geared hub even with regen, but robust.
The Electroride Crystalyte H3540 with Statorade Injection also comes in rear hub for tadpoles for the same price as the front hub
Mid drives are also convenient for converting about any bike or trike, especially if you have smaller wheels or in some quads where hub can not be mounted.
For example, the Kinetic8-Fun fits most bikes and trikes.
Note: Streets are not flat. They are usually convex to direct rainwater to the sides.
As a result, trike seats usually lean a bit to the right because the rear wheels are tracking a right-leaning road.
People who can ride a bicycle and don't require the self-balancing of a trike will find that recumbent bikes
feel more natural and comfortable than trikes.
Wise Buying Advice
1. Make sure the bike fits you. An e-bike is still a bike.
The better the fit, the more you pedal, the longer
your range, and the happier you are.
2. Put your e-bike needs in writing. Speed, range, and
which hills to climb - with specifics.
3. Never buy solely based on price unless you are an expert on
e-bikes. Pay a little too much for the right product and cry once.
Get a good deal on the wrong product and cry every day.
If you own a trike that you want to electrify, consider these conversion kits which include all those kits mentioned above and more:
Some available complete electric trikes include:
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