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Riding an Electric Trike in Today's Changing World

Continued recommendations from health professionals and scientists to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by maintaining social distancing are proving that this physical distancing is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the spread of illness during a pandemic.

Physical distancing, for many of us, means making changes to everyday routines as a way to reduce close contact with other people. This may mean you try to avoid larger gatherings and crowded places like subways, buses or trains, fight the urge to reach out for a handshake, limiting your contact with higher risk people like elderly or with poor health and keeping a distance at least 2 meters from other people whenever possible.

So how does an electric trike for adults fit into this narrative? Let's take a look at some of the benefits of riding an e-trike and how they can address some of these concerns.

Getting Around While Avoiding Crowds

It will be interesting to see how much things change as this pandemic progresses, but one thing is for sure, it will likely impact how cities manage public transportation. Maybe you have to get to work, or to the store to do some shopping, but the thought of getting onto a crowded bus or subway makes you nervous. What are your options? 

In parts of Europe and China there is already a significant move towards biking and walking with up to a 150% increase in some cases. This includes increased uptake and reliance on electric bikes, scooters and other micro mobility electric vehicles. We are starting to see some of this uptake here in Canada as well. All you have to do is look outside at the number of people on bikes or on foot. 

Cities across the world are starting to dedicate more road space for cyclists and pedestrians. This will have a positive impact in the long run since human powered (or EV assisted!) transportation like biking and walking is the cheapest to create infrastructure for and offers the highest amount of environmental and health benefits. 

An Electric Trike Offers Riders Features A Regular Bike Doesn’t

Stability

Three wheel electric trikes for adults are very stable in most scenarios. When riding, the rider does not need to maintain a minimum speed to balance the trike to keep from tipping over like you would on a traditional bicycle. With three points of contact on the ground an e-trike will not tip over easily when moving slowly or at a stop. When the trike rider decides to stop, they just apply the brakes and stop pedalling. The e-trike will roll to a stop without needing the rider to balance it when standing still.

Cargo Carrying Capacity

While there are plenty of cargo options and bags for two wheel bicycles,the extra wide wheelbase on an e-trike for seniors makes them able to carry heavier amounts of cargo. All of our electric trikes come with front and rear cargo racks and bags. Some models can even tow a trailer which further increases the amount of cargo the trike can carry.

Hill Climbing

Electric three wheel trikes, when combined with a suitable motor and gears are better than traditional two wheel bicycles when it comes to climbing hills. On a two wheel bike the rider must maintain a safe minimum speed to keep upright. On an e-trike you do not have to worry about balancing. The rider can put the trike in a low gear and pedal at a much more comfortable pace, climbing hills without the fear of losing their balance and falling over.

Comfort

Electric tricycles for adults are often more comfortable than traditional two wheel bicycles with a more relaxed position for the rider and no additional effort required to balance. This allows for longer rides without spending extra energy balancing and maintaining a minimum speed.

The Challenges of Riding an E-Trike

Road Camber

Camber is essentially the tilt of a wheel against the slope of the road. Roads are typically not flat with the centre of the road usually higher with either side sloping down slightly for drainage. On a two wheel bike the tilt of the road is manageable and the rider would often not even feel it.

By adding a third wheel on an electric trike for adults it makes it impossible for the rider to lean and reduce the camber effect unless they are using a tiltable trike. An e-trike will always remain vertical to the slope being ridden on. If you are on the right side of a road that is sloped to the right, the rider will always feel like they are being pulled to the right. In order to counter this effect the rider will always need to push or pull the handlebars slightly in the opposite direction. This is something that the rider will need to get used to on an e-trike.

Rider Footprint

Electric trikes are often wider than a normal bicycle, tending to be about shoulder width. When comparing this to a bike, there is always the width of the rider to consider so in most cases an e-trike and rider does not take up more room than a two wheeler. While most motorists will give trike and bike riders plenty of space when driving past you should always make sure that you take as many safety precautions as possible before riding an electric trike for adults on the road or cycle path.

Three Wheel Paths Vs One

With traditional two wheel bikes the front and rear wheels are inline with each other so there is only a single wheel track. On an e-trike the three wheels are all on their own path. This essentially means that the rider must remain aware of road hazards like potholes and rocks because you have three wheel paths to control.

Planning Ahead For Turns

Electric Tricycles are happiest when all three wheels remain on the ground. Once a rider leans enough to raise one of the wheels off the ground the trike risks tipping over. If you are used to riding a regular bicycle then not leaning into turns will feel quite awkward and will take time to get used to. It is important for the rider to keep their weight low and centred and all three wheels of the e-trike on the ground while turning to ensure a stable ride. Don’t head into turns at speed, slow down and you will reduce the wider turning radius that is common on a trike.

Final Thoughts

The uptake of electric tricycles as an alternative method of transport is exploding across the world. With many different models and styles of e-trike on the market it is important to find one that fits in with your daily routine. Everywhere you ride is different, different roads, cycle infrastructure, pathways and routes that are available to riders. If you are interested in finding out if an electric trike will work for you give us a call and we will help you find the right model and even arrange a test ride when possible.

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