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Tips For Riding An Electric Trike

When Was The Last Time You Rode a Tricycle?

No doubt it has been a while, but riding an electric trike for adults, or an electric trike for seniors is a great alternative for people who love to be active and ride a bike, but may have difficulties on a normal bicycle because of their age, mobility issues or other factors that impact their mobility in some way.

ETrikes offer some excellent benefits because of their added stability and range while also being able to carry your shopping, your dog, golf clubs, baby seat, work gear and more with ease. Try doing any of that on a 2 wheel bike.

The most important thing to remember is that riding an electric tricycle is not the same as a bicycle. Not leaning into turns, wider wheelbase and overall lower centre of gravity make for a completely different way of riding. Take your time and get used to this difference before heading out on an epic trike adventure!

The Stability Of An eTrike vs An eBike

We’ve been asked a few times whether eTrikes are stable to ride or if they are prone to falling over. Perhaps this underlying concern goes back to the days when the first three-wheel motorbikes appeared on our roads and some riders were taking corners too quickly and rolling them over.

The fact is that a three-wheel trike can stand on its own without falling over where a two-wheel bike cannot. Three points of contact are always going to be more stable than two. Try riding a bike slowly up a hill and you’ll appreciate the fact that a trike can be ridden at a snail’s pace without fear of tipping over. When riding a bike, the rider is required to step off the pedal to support it when stopped at traffic lights or corners, whereas an electric trike rider does not. An eTrike rider can sit comfortably with two feet on the pedals even when stopped simply by keeping both brake levers tight so you don’t roll freely.

Turning Your Electric Trike Takes More Room

Let’s talk cornering. It’s fair to say that riding a trike is not the same as riding a bike. Learning to ride a two-wheel bike takes some time and may incur the occasional spill. The same can be said when stepping onto a skateboard or scooter for the first time. First time on a trike in a while? Take your time and start out slow.

The dynamics and operation of an eTrike take a little getting used to but the learning curve is a lot flatter than that of a bike. Once comfortable, you’ll experience a high level of security and stability. If you’re on a wet slippery road you will feel a lot more confident with three wheels under you.

eTrikes have a wider turning radius when compared to a two wheel bike because of their wider wheel base. This means it takes longer and more space to complete turns, so keep this in mind!

Tricycles are also unlike bikes because they do not do well on edge. If you lean over too far and get one of the rear wheels off the ground, you are at a high risk rolling over. For traditional bike riders, not leaning into corners will feel awkward and will take some time to get comfortable.

It is important that you keep your weight centred over your electric trike to ensure all three wheels remain firmly on the ground when cornering. This means you will rely mostly on the steering to get you around turns.

Jumping On Your E-Trike

Some people find just getting on and off of an electric trike for adults can be challenging because they are used to standard bikes. Seat position for a trike is usually lower than that of a bicycle.

The easiest way to get on your etrike is to keep both of the brake levers held tightly so the trike does not move, then step through the middle and, using a pedal if needed, climb onto the seat. Once you are up and comfortable you can let go of the brakes and push off to get rolling. It is best to start off with your seat lower than you would normally on a bicycle to keep your center of gravity lower for added stability.

Be careful when walking beside your etrike and pushing it along, the rear tires are positioned nicely to run up the back of your leg if you are not careful. You need to step a little bit wider when walking a trike.

You Have a Wider Footprint, Ride With Caution

Keep in mind that your electric tricycle takes up more room than a bicycle. A good reference point to keep in mind is that the rear wheels are usually a little wider than your shoulders. This also means you should keep an eye out for obstacles in front of you over a wider area as well. The area directly ahead could be clear but a pothole a little to either side could be right where one of your rear wheels will be.

Unlike a bicycle you will not be able to manoeuver around obstacles as quickly so continue to ride with caution at all times.

Where Do Your Ride Your eTrike

We also have to consider the purpose of an electric tricycle. If you are looking at ripping up single track in the backcountry, you are probably better off with an eBike or traditional mountain bike. There are many advantages to an electric Trike over a bike or electric bike like comfort, cargo capacity and stability but extreme riding isn’t one of them. Electric Trikes are right at home on paved or gravel roads but we don’t recommend you ride them off road or in deep snow, extreme cold.   

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