Bike riding is a healthy, enjoyable activity that improves dexterity, flexibility, and endurance. Sadly, seniors might find the standard 2-wheel bike challenging. Riding these bicycles requires strength and balance, which mobility-impaired individuals lack. Longitudinal studies even suggest that 40% of seniors struggle with activities of daily living (ADL).
For a safe, comfortable alternative, opt for a 3-wheel bike — also known as a trike. With these bikes, seniors who want to stay mobile can cycle long and short distances without worrying about balance. The tri-wheel structure also accommodates slow, steady cycling.
Keep reading for a helpful starting point on finding the best 3-wheel bike for senior cyclists.
The 26-inch Adult 3-Wheel Bike Meridian ranks among the best trikes on the market. It has a durable aluminum frame resistant against rusting, a perfect braking system, and an adjustable springer seat. You can also hoist yourself onto the seat quickly thanks to its step-through design.
Another cool feature about the Schwinn Meridian is it features a single-speed mechanism. Unlike other trikes, you don’t have to worry about shifting gears on uphill and downhill slopes. The brake and pedals would suffice. To further improve comfort and convenience, adjust the springer seat according to your cycling preferences.
Note: Avoid riding single-gear trikes on uneven surfaces. Even with its lightweight frame, you might find yourself struggling to scale uphill slopes.
The Kent Bayside is the perfect 3-wheel bike for senior riders looking for an alternative mode of transportation. This trike can easily climb elevated roads since it features a Shimano grip shifter. Just set the dial accordingly and you should be good to go.
Another cool feature is the back support on its seat. The added lumbar support would prove useful on long-distance rides wherein you’ll have to extend and fold your back multiple times.
The Sixthreezero BodyEase Tricycle is arguably the easiest, most convenient trike on the market. Its functional 7-speed gear allows you to cross various terrains. Trust us — this feature would prove helpful when you’re scaling elevated slopes and uphill roads. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself pedaling way too hard.
There are dozens of trikes that feature speed gears, but what makes this model different is its ease and functionality. Yes, it has multiple gears. However, you don’t have to worry about any shifting difficulties because its simple, functional gears can easily match your speed. This trike can even run up to 20mph on flat, even terrain.
Opt for the Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle if you want a lightweight, portable trike that’s convenient to carry around. It has a unique folding mechanism that reduces the trike to three times its normal size, which makes storage and traveling more convenient. You can even fit it in the backseat of a sedan or small corner in your garage.
We dubbed Mantis Tri-Rad Folding Adult Tricycle the best folding trike for its durability. While there are dozens of folding bikes on the market, the extra hinges make the frame flimsy. Luckily, this isn’t the case with the Tri-Rad. It can withstand long-distance rides on even surfaces for several hours on end.
Do you find yourself catching your breath in the middle of cycling sessions? Try the EW-29 Adult Electric Trike. This hybrid trike features both manual pedals and a small electric engine. Turn the engine on for added support on uphill slopes, uneven roads, or long-distance rides. Each full cycle lasts 20 miles. Afterward, you would either need to recharge or pedal manually.
The best 3-wheel bike for senior cyclists that experience back pain is the Mobo Cruiser Triton. Unlike standard trikes, you do not have to extend your limbs or back. All you have to do is pedal.
Perhaps the only downside to recumbent trikes is they cannot scale slopes. You can go cruising on flat, even roads for several hours with ease, but their low ground clearance makes it nearly impossible to climb elevated surfaces. Of course, you can also walk your bike on these types of roads.
Weighing at just 45 lbs., the SixThreeZero EvryJourney is arguably the most lightweight, portable trike on the market. Even mobility-impaired seniors would have no trouble moving this bike around.
Despite its lightweight frame, it still packs an impressive performance on the road. The EvryJourney comes equipped with a multi-speed gear shifter — which you can utilize on various riding applications.
Do you always get left behind when cycling with a buddy? Ride alongside your loved ones with the Worksman Side-by-Side Team Dual Trike. Unlike other tandem bikes, this dual trike allows users to sit beside each other cycling. It’s not the most functional piece on this list, but it is definitely among the most exciting and unique options.
Are you having trouble using manual bikes? Don’t worry—Senior Strong can help! Check out our in-depth guide on how the mobility-impaired can use scooters for those who have difficulty with ADLs.
Wearing a helmet is not compulsory when riding a trike. That said, wearing a helmet can protect your head in the event of an accident. It can also protect you from the elements, so you might still want to wear a helmet when riding a trike.
Recumbent bikes are a good option for seniors, as this allows them to stay active with less stress on their knee joints.
Although riding a 3-wheel bike is slower than riding a regular bicycle, it still helps meet the needs of seniors who want to stay active. Even a leisurely ride once a day can work both your muscles and your brain.
Trikes are more stable than your traditional bicycle, and they don’t require users to hold them steady. It’s also worth knowing that trikes have the advantage of being bigger than a bicycle, therefore making them more visible to others on the road.
When it comes to the size of your bike frame, the truth is that personal preferences are what matter most. Making generalizations when it comes to smaller or bigger bike frames can be risky as this can impact your riding position and overall stability.
These are just some of the best 3-wheel bike models on the market, so feel free to explore other options that pique your interest. No two seniors have the same preferences. Blindly choosing your trike based on trends yields negligible advantages. Get a bike that matches your cycling needs, preferences, and experience.
We also encourage going beyond aesthetic upgrades and features. Extra bells and whistles might seem great, but factors such as durability and stability take precedence. Your bike should last several years. To get in-depth insights into a prospective bike’s long-term performance, consult other senior cyclists who use the same model.
Senior Strong emphasizes that living a healthy life as you age goes beyond cycling. For other ways that seniors can stay healthy, check out our in-depth guide on the best exercises for seniors.