What is the best recumbent trike on the market in 2019? There’s certainly a large number of brands and models available today; knowing which one to buy can be difficult.
To help you in your search we have selected 5 top rated recumbent trikes, covering a range of price points and features.
Whether you looking for a semi-professional machine for racing, a fun stylish cruiser or even a fat tired electric trike to help with mobility impairment, we have got you covered.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For detailed reviews on each of our selected trikes, plus a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Best Recumbent Trike for Adults
Recumbent Trike Reviews
Recumbent tricycles have been growing in popularity in recent years. The number of models now available provides plenty of choice for the consumer.
In selecting the 5 trikes for review we focused on issues such as build quality, function and purpose, extra features as well as price point and warranty terms.
Taking these rating criteria into account, here are what we believe to be the best recumbent tricycles on the market today.
1. BEST FOR LEISURE: Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle for Men & Women (Beach Cruiser Trike)
Our top pick recumbent trike is this Beach cruiser from MoBo.
Sure, there are more expensive racing trikes available, however if you looking to buy a recumbent for a fun way to exercise, you should look no further than the Triton Pro.
As we all know, recumbent trikes are designed to be more comfortable than your average bike, and allow you to ride and exercise for much longer that you would under normal circumstances.
The ergonomic seating arrangement, (complete with back padding) has a lot to do with this increased comfort and efficiency.
And let’s not forget the functionality for those that cannot ride a standard upright bicycle. A cruising 3 wheeler, is a perfect alternative.
A close look at the Triton Pro
Mobo have kitted out the trike with an adjustable frame. This versatile feature makes the Triton Pro suitable for riders between the following sizes:
- 4′ 2″ tall to 6′ 3″ tall
- Maximum weight – 250 lbs.
The dual-joystick steering offers smooth and comfortable manoeuvring, add that to the low centre of gravity one can enjoy with a recumbent and you have a trike that sticks to the road as if on rails.
The build quality is good with a full hi-ten steel frame. The cruiser also features a convenient chainless design and caliper handbrakes.
Finally, Mobo is a U.S based company with a reliable customer support service. They offer a comprehensive warranty and guarantee and are easily contactable should you have any issues with your trike.
Overall the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle for Men & Women is an excellent recumbent for those not looking for a high-priced racer, but a bike to enjoy exercise and leisure time.
With its sturdy, low maintenance design and adjustable frame to accommodate a wide range of riders, this is something the entire family can get behind.
Our top pick for all those reasons and more.
2. BEST FOR RACING: Artifice Adult Recumbent Tricycle
While our top pick was a fun cruiser, the Artifice is a recumbent trike for those looking for something a little more serious.
This is a fast, foldable tadpole recumbent trike suitable for competition racing. It features a large 26” rear wheel, and has an ultra-light yet durable Cr-Mo frame.
This advanced mode has more gears enabling greater speed control precision. The trike also comes with a higher grade, light-weight derailleur.
The mesh seat provides extended comfort for more demanding riding scenarios.
Complete with intercrossing steering linkages, this is a trike that can move.
Furthermore, the very low turn resistance makes it feel like you’re steering a car when you’re behind the wheel of this beast.
Where you have speed, you also need reliable braking. The Artifice delivers here, with fully lockable brakes and even a mode for parking.
For convenient travel and storage, the trike features a patented foldable seat and frame, while the front wheels can be easily removed.
Overall, the Artifice is a top choice recumbent trike for the performance-seeking rider. The price you pay does offer you greater speed, durability and storage convenience than our top pick from Mobo, however it is clearly designed for a completely different rider.
3. Mobo Shift 3-Wheel Recumbent Bicycle Trike (Worlds 1st Reversible Adult Tricycle Bike)
Another offering from Mobo makes our top 5 list.
Here we have a leisure style 3-wheeled bicycle for women and men that is excellent for town and around due to the in built reversible gear function.
In fact, the company states that this is the world’s first fully reversible adult recumbent tricycle.
The specs roll in as very similar to the Trident Pro, with the adjustable frame suitable for riders 4 feet tall to 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing up to 250 lbs.
As we said in the review above, this is trike the whole family can get behind, (not recommended for children under the age of 10 however).
The low center of gravity makes it easy for almost anyone to sit on and ride, (no balance is required after all).
Further more, the comfortable ergonomic reclining-back seat gives you six angle settings with which to get the best fit for you.
The trike features dual-joystick steering meaning the entire construction can be controlled with simple hand movements.
A durable hi-ten steel frame has been used for the build, the chainless design is also all present and correct.
As with the Trident, this also has caliper handbrakes and features a large 20” front wheel (with free-wheel hub), against smaller 16” rear wheels.
This Mobo recumbent has full reverse cabilities!! A world’s first!! Do you need any other reason as to why this is such a great trike?
Okay, beyond that it also features many of the great options that come with our top pick Trident Pro. This is a little more expensive however, (the price you pay for going backwards).
4. BEST ELECTRIC: Fat Tire Electric Recumbent Tricycle
This is the first recumbent in our top 5 that has been designed for those with mobility issues in mind.
This fast, fat tire trike from Mobility4less is actually electrically operated, meaning you do not need to pedal at all.
Apart from the fact you can whizz along on this trike at a good lick, there is a lot to like here.
Let’s take a closer look.
From a size perspective this is one of the largest trikes in this review round up. Featuring 20×4.0” tires at the front and even larger 26×4.0” tires on the back, this beast actually looks quite formidable when speeding down the road.
The speed offered from a fat tire electric bike clearly needs suitable breaking efficiency. This is delivered via high quality BB5 disc brakes.
Shimano are the guys behind the gearing system with high grade derailleurs, shifters and cassettes being used throughout (see specs below for model details).
But what about the motor? Are we taking Tesla level technology here?
Well not quite, however for the money you are getting a 48v 750watt brushless rear hub motor, with an in built 1200watts with the on board PowerBooster.
In short, the acceleration on this machine is nothing short of impressive.
A 48v 15.6ah Li-ion battery with LG cells keeps everything moving. This is also removable for convenient charging.
To keep you informed on whether you are breaking the speed limit of not, a DAPU LCD display provides all the essential readings.
Finally, comfort and build quality are exactly what you would expect of a mobility designed recumbent trike at this price point.
The cushioned, fiber glass seat is strong and comfortable even after long periods of use, the aluminium body construction is both sturdy and lightweight.
This Fat Tire Electric Recumbent Tricycle from mobility 4 less, is a machine geared directly towards those that find it difficult to get around.
Within that brief, the trike is hard to beat; comfortable, fast and easy to use any rider will get a lot out of this.
However, for those looking for a recumbent specifically for leisure and exercise, this clearly will not fit the bill.
5. BEST HANDCYCLE: Invacare Top End 1181147 Force3 17″ Seat width Black Stock Hand cycle
This Top End 1181147 Force3 hand cycle from Invacare is our second trike designed for the mobility impaired, (yet can still be used by anyone of course).
Powered by your hands rather than your feet, this black stock Handcycle features a wraparound frame design and a large 17” seat width to accommodate the rider comfortably.
In fact this seat, has bottom and back cushions as well as straps to safely, secure you in place.
This high-spec machine features a full 27 speeds and high-performance 26” wheels.
Shimano components are used throughout and the frame is designed to be totally adjustable.
Other features include a conveniently placed safety flag, durable chain guard, drafting bumper and superior disk brakes.
Overall, the Invacare Top End 1181147 Force3 a is a great way to get started in hand cycling for those that have never done it. However, it can also cater for anyone looking to take things more seriously and enter into competition (the features and build quality are that good).
What to look for when buying a Recumbent Tricycle
There are a few factors you need to consider when buying a recumnbent trike. As we have highlighted from the models selected for review above, there are different types available.
The first question to ask yourself is this…
What will I be using the recumbent trike for?
A racing, competitive trike will be a different to one used for leisure activity and general exercise. If mobility is an issue for you, an electric recumbent trike could be the best option.
There are of course HandCycle trikes, which are powered by hand movement to turn the crank rather than foot and pedals.
By understanding your own specific needs and requirements as well as what you will be using the trike for, will help narrow down the options to the most appropriate.
The type of Recumbent trike (Tadpole vs. Delta)
The two types of recumbent tricycle designs are the Tadpole trike, and the Delta trike.
The Tadpole trike has two small wheels at the front and a larger wheel fitted in the rear.
This design offers greater performance because the rider is positioned lower to the ground. This lower center of gravity, along with increased aerodynamics give Tadpole trikes more stability together with less drag.
This type of trike is easier to manourve at speed and is best suited to performance, competition recumbents.
On the negative side, tadpole trikes turn using both of the front wheels which increases the radius of the turning circle. This isn’t so good for leisure, city based riding.
Delta trikes flip this around and have the small wheels at the back, with the large one being fitted at the front.
This design gives the trike a higher center of gravity. However, with the single front wheel the turning circle is greatly reduced.
Essentially, the Delta trike configuration is designed for those that value manoeuvrability over speed.
How comfortable is it to ride?
The seat is the most important variable when it comes to rider comfort.
A well designed, ergonomic seat will support your back and neck in order to minimise the pressures exerted on your legs and knees during the pedalling process.
An upright seat position should automatically provide good support for your upper body, as well as give you a safe amount of visibility.
The downside of this however, is that your knees will suffer more stress.
Performance recumbent trikes will often opt for a lower profile seat position as this will help streamline your posture for more efficient pedalling.
In this design the headrest is very important and needs to be adjustable in order to comfortable support your head so you can see ahead.
Finally, the seat material is clearly important too. A soft comfortable padding and lining should be in place, that will also prevent you from sweating during the ride.
The Gearing System
There are a number of drive train configurations available on today’s recumbent tricycles.
You could single oft for a speed system that employs a road bike-style of cassette with with up to 20 speeds or more.
This is especially appropriate in hilly terrain as the more gears you have the better you will be able to traverse such landscapes.
Flat road riding is better suited to single-speed as you will have no reason to use all the other gears, (a high gear system is costlier to maintain and to buy in the first place).
You could even decide to buy a single speed delta tricycle that does not have any chain system at all. Here the pedals are directly attached to the front wheel for ultimate efficiency.
Wheel type and size
Another important variable to consider when buying a recumbent trike is the wheel size and type.
Ask yourself what type of road you will be riding on. Flat, asphalt roads are better suited to thin, hard road wheels.
However, this type of wheel will cause problems on rougher terrain. For this, hybrid wheels and tires are a better option. These offer low rolling resistance but have increased robustness.
For full off road riding you should fit your recumbent tricycle with wider wheels and heavily grooved mountain bike tires.
One should also look at the amount of accessories that come with the trike. Fenders, rear racks, chain guards and emergency flags are just some of the items that today’s recumbent tricycles are shipped with.
While the exclusion or inclusion of extra accessories should not be a deal breaker (you will often be able to pick up such items from most bike stores as and when you need), it is a good idea to be aware of what is available and what might be desirable for your specific riding scenario.
Price & after sales service care
Finally, we all have a price point and budget and in some cases that will limit the type of trike we can buy.
It is important to purchase the best quality recumbent that you can afford, and that also meets your needs of course.
A brand with a good reputation, competitive warranty terms as well as a support service you know you can easily get hold of are all important factors too.