Adult tricycles for boomers and beyondPublished 10:47am Friday, May 25, 2012
Dear Savvy Senior,
What can you tell me about three-wheeled bicycles? I’m 67 years old and would like to take up recreational bike riding but don’t trust myself on a two-wheeler.
~ Unbalanced Bonnie
Three-wheeled bikes – also known as adult tricycles – are a great cycling option for older boomers and seniors, especially those who have concerns with their balance or stamina. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips to help you shop for one.
If you’d like to take up bike riding, but worry about falling, an adult tricycle is a smart option to consider because of the stability it provides. With a tricycle, you can ride as slow as you want without ever losing your balance and you can put both feet on the ground while seated, which is very reassuring for many older riders.
In addition, adult tricycles are also made with a low “step through” design making mounting and dismounting much easier than a traditional bike; they come with big tires that ensure a smooth ride; have raised, ergonomic handlebars that are easier to reach and grip; and offer oversize seats (some even have backrests) for comfort and support. And, other than the frame, tricycles use the same standard components as traditional bikes do, so replacement parts are readily available, and repairs are not an issue.
Types of Tricycles
There are literally dozens of different types of adult tricycles to choose from with prices ranging anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. To help you figure out the right kind of tricycle that meets your needs and budget, here’s a breakdown of the different styles and costs, along with some popular models to checkout.
Upright: If you’re primarily interested in a leisurely ride around the neighborhood for pleasure, fitness or running errands, upright trikes are a good choice. These are traditional upright-positioned tricycles that come with rear cargo baskets and limited gear options usually ranging from one to three-speeds. Some popular models in this category include the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle sold at Walmart and Target for around $270, the Sun Traditional 24 trike (see sunbicycles.com) that retails for around $375, and the Torker TriStar three-speed (torkerusa.com) which costs around $500.