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.
Worksman PAV-3 is a step in the right direction, a wide variety of recumbent and semi-recumbent trikes are available.
Few electric recumbents are available as complete trikes. So, you will likely need to get a kit and install it onto the trike of your choice.
For example, the Kinetic8-Fun fits most bikes and trikes. The Electro Cycle E-4 drive kit,
designed to fit Sun Bicycles EZ-3 and X3,
may be adaptable to other recumbent trikes.
Hubs are also 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 a Roadrunner II 16" wheel build (available in Select Motor drop down) from Crystalyte. Also,
Crystalyte Phoenix II non-geared Hubs are great for trikes with 20" wheels or more. Although not geared like Enduro,
Phoenix II are very powerful and are able to go in reverse, which can be very useful for 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.
If you own a trike that you want to electrify, consider these conversion kits which include all those kits mentioned above and more:
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.