How to Buy a Recumbent Trike

Take a Trike is your recumbent trike buying guide. Learn everything you need to know about recumbent trikes and how to buy a recumbent trike. Find out everything you need before buying a recumbent trike.

What is a Recumbent Trike

What Is A Recumbant Trike

A recumbent trike is a tricycle that seats the rider in a reclined position. Unlike traditional bicycles where riders sit in an upright position, recumbent trikes put riders in a more relaxed reclined seated position. Riding a recumbent trike is similar to sitting in a pool chair with your legs elevated forward to pedal.

Shown here: TerraTrike Rambler GT Recumbent Trike

Types of Recumbent Trikes

Tadpole Recumbent Trikes

Types of Trikes: Tadpole Recumbent Trike

Shown here: KMX Venom Recumbent Trike

Tadpole trikes have 2 wheels in the front and 1 wheel in the back. Typically, tadpole trikes are better for speed. With the trike and rider placed lower to the ground, they tend to be more aerodynamic. The lower center of gravity also makes it easier to turn at faster speeds. These trikes also tend to weigh less.

With a lower seat, tadpole trikes can be more difficult to get in and out of. Because of their design, tadpole trikes also can be more wobbly when peddaling at faster speeds.

Delta Recumbent Trikes

Types of Trikes: Delta Recumbent Trike

Shown here: Mobo Triton Recumbent Trike

Delta trikes have 1 wheel in the front and 2 wheels in the back. Overall, these trikes tend to weigh more, but they tend to be more durable and good for hauling. They also tend to be more stable during heavy peddaling. With the seat positioned higher on delta trikes, they are usually more comfortable to ride.

With a heavier frame, delta trikes are better for cruising, but not necessarily high speeds. They can also be harder to transport because of their weight and longer frames.

Why Get a Recumbent Trike

Excercise

Some people are simply looking for another form of exercise. They may use a recumbent trike to supplement their other forms of exercise—including biking. Because riders are positioned in a more comfortable position, it’s possible for recumbent trikers to ride longer than traditional bicyclists. Other people look to recumbent triking for pleasure and relaxation. There’s nothing better than going for a ride through the neighborhood or along trails.

Comfort

Traditional biking can be hard on the back, shoulders and wrists. Sitting hunched over with your upper body weight pushing down on your wrists can lead to strain and soreness. Recumbent triking puts riders in a more relaxed reclined position, therefore putting less strain on the back. Because of this reclined position, the arms are not having to support the weight of the upper body pushing down on the handle bars and therefore leading to less wrist fatigue.

Balance

With 3 wheels, recumbent trikes don’t need to be balanced. So they are great for people who don’t know how to ride a traditional bike or just have problems with balance. You also run less of a risk of falling or tipping over like you would on a bike. Being lower to the ground, you also don’t have too far to fall should you fall off your trike. Recumbent trike riders can also come to a stop without needing to put their feet down or try to force themselves to stay balanced.

Sightseeing

Recumbent trikes are also great for taking in the scenery. This isn’t to say that you can’t take in the nice view on a traditional bike. But with a traditional bike, the rider is positioned in a way that has them facing down a majority of the time. Traditional bikers also have to focus on balancing their bike constantly. With recumbent trikes, the rider just sits back and doesn’t have to worry about balancing—therefore they are able to enjoy more time sightseeing.

Recumbent Trike Buying Considerations

Riding Type

Are you a speed demon or a cruiser? It’s important to know what type of riding you plan to do to pick the proper recumbent trike. If you’re looking to go fast, a tadpole trike is better suited because of the lighter frame. If you’re just looking to cruise around or haul groceries, then a delta trike might be a better option.

Rider Info

Make sure you’re aware of any height and weight requirements when choosing your trike. Some trikes will list a minimum and maximum height. Others will list the x-seam length requirements. Knowing this information will assure that you pick a bike that will allow you to comfortably reach the pedals.

Transporting

Will you be riding your trike around the neighborhood or will you be riding along trails? If getting to the trails requires you to transport your trike, make sure your car can properly fit your trike or that you get a car rack. Also make sure have enough room to properly store your trike in your home since they take up more space.

Budget

Don’t be surprised that a recumbent trike can cost significantly more than your traditional bicycle. Standard trikes can cost up to $2000. Whereas a more custom trike can cost up to $5000. It’s important to know how often and how you plan to use your recumbent trike to figure out the right amount to spend.

How to Measure Your X-Seam

Most recumbent trike companies state an x-seam length to help you determine if you can properly fit a trike. The x-seam measures the length from a rider’s rear end to the bottom of their feet when seated in a reclined position.

To measure your x-seam, lean a board against a wall. The base of the board should be anywhere from 12-16 inches away from the wall. Now sit down against the board and measure the distance from the bottom of your feet to the base of the board. This distance is known as the x-seam.

Different companies measure the x-seam in different ways, so it's best to check their guidelines.

Buying a Recumbent Trike: How To Measure Your X Seam

Shop for Recumbent Trikes

KMX Venom Recumbent Trike

KMX

Venom
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 4.5/5.0

$1,899.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 29-48in
Max Weight: 275lbs
Gears: 29
Weight: 38lbs
Width: 33.5in
Length: 75-83in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 26in
TerraTrike Rover Recumbent Trike

TerraTrike

Rover
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 4.5/5.0

$1,199.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 32-47in
Max Weight: 400lbs
Gears: 8
Weight: 47lbs
Width: 33in
Length: 69.6in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 20in
KMX Typhoon Recumbent Trike

KMX

Typhoon
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 4.0/5.0

$1,099.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 35.5-44in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 8
Weight: 40lbs
Width: 32in
Length: 71.5in
Front Tire: 16in
Rear Tire: 20in
KMX Cobra Recumbent Trike

KMX

Cobra
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 5.0/5.0

$1,599.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 35.5-44in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 24
Trike Weight: 41lbs
Width: 32in
Length: 73.5in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 24in
TerraTrike Rambler GT Recumbent Trike

TerraTrike

Rambler GT
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 3.0/5.0

$2,299.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 37-50in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 27
Weight: 37.5lbs
Width: 33in
Length: 72.25in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 20in
KMX Viper Recumbent Trike

KMX

Viper
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 5.0/5.0

$1,499.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 32-48in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 24
Weight: 40lbs
Width: 32in
Length: 73.5in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 24in
TerraTrike Rambler Base Recumbent Trike

TerraTrike

Rambler Base
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 5.0/5.0

$1,799.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 37-50in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 24
Weight: 37lbs
Width: 33in
Length: 72.25in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 20in
Performer JC-70 Recumbent Trike

Performer

JC-70
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 3.0/5.0

$1,750.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 36-48in
Max Weight: 265lbs
Gears: 30
Trike Weight: 41lbs
Width: n/a
Length: n/a
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 700c
TerraTrike Rambler 8 Speed Recumbent Trike

TerraTrike

Rambler 8
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 5.0/5.0

$1,599.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 37-50in
Max Weight: 300lbs
Gears: 8
Weight: 37lbs
Width: 33in
Length: 72.25in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 20in
Performer JC-20 Recumbent Trike

Performer

JC-20
Recumbent Trike

Stars: n/a

$1,795.00

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Tadpole
X-Seam: 33-48in
Max Weight: 265lbs
Gears: 30
Weight: 40lbs
Width: n/a
Length: n/a
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 20in
Mobo Triton Three Wheeled Cruiser

Mobo

Triton
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 4.1/5.0

$410.92

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Delta
X-Seam: n/a
Max Weight: 220lbs
Gears: 1
Weight: 39lbs
Width: 26.5in
Length: 41-51in
Front Tire: 16in
Rear Tire: 12in
B003BOWODS Mobo Shift Three Wheeled Cruiser

Mobo

Shift
Recumbent Trike

Stars: 4.2/5.0

$529.00

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Delta
X-Seam: n/a
Max Weight: 250lbs
Gears: 1
Trike Weight: 44lbs
Width: 28in
Length: 48-62in
Front Tire: 20in
Rear Tire: 16in

Trike T-Shirts and Clothing

Check out our fun collection of trike clothing and gear designed exclusively by Take a Trike. Show everyone your trike pride with our t-shirts, clothing and more. Check out all of our trike designs on Zazzle.

Zazzle Mens Recumbent Trike Light T Shirt
Zazzle Womens Recumbent Trike Light T Shirt
Zazzle Mens Trike Love Tee
Zazzle Womens Recumbent Trike Dark T Shirt
Zazzle Mens Trike Third Wheel Tshirt
Zazzle Womens Trike Third Wheel Tshirt
Zazzle Mens Take A Trike Flag Tshirt
Zazzle Womens Take A Trike Flag Tshirt
Zazzle Mens Take A Trike Dark T-Shirt
Zazzle Womens Take A Trike Dark T-Shirt
Zazzle Mens Take A Trike Light Tee
Zazzle Womens Take A Trike Light Tee