In this article we will discuss some of the benefits of using a trike and review some of the best electric tricycles for seniors. The table below gives a quick snapshot if you are in a hurry.
If you have ever been in a quandary about what to gift your elderly loved one, well, you may consider an electric tricycle or trike, the next time there is such an occasion. Trikes have risen in popularity in the last few years, given the amazing convenience, they offer to the rider.
An electric tricycle is a battery-powered device with three wheels, one wheel in front and two wheels at the rear of the device.
It has a motor to auto-propel the trike forward and does not require pedaling or any physical effort for the rider. They are balanced devices with 3 wheels and does not require the rider to balance the cycle, like a bicycle.
So let us look at the best electric tricycles for the elderly available in the market.
#1 Addmotor Electric Tricycle
The Addmotor electric tricycle is one of the most powerful trikes with a 750 W motor to power you up steeper paths. The trike can carry a maximum weight of 350 lbs with provision of another 100 lbs that can be stored in the rear storage.
The gross weight of the trike is 125 lbs, along with batteries. The tricycle provides the feature to pedal with electric assistance to reduce the effort of pedaling which is very useful for the elderly, particularly on elevated or ramped terrains.
One of the best features in this trike, however, is the curved-out backrest support for your lower back which really helps in easing your back during long periods of travel on the trike.
In terms of storage, the tricycle does not have a front storage, as most other models do. The rear storage has ample capacity, but cannot be accessed while traveling, like the front storage. If you would need to carry an item which is not heavy and which you would need while travelling, the workaround is to carry it in a bag on the handle of the tricycle.
The tricycle rides on fat inflatable tires and you should always be aware of the air pressure in your tires. If your tires do not have the optimal air pressure, you will have to pedal harder or your tricycle batteries will last for a shorter distance. The best thing to do is to keep an inflator device always on the rear storage for any exigencies.
- Comes in 4 colors: green, white, red and orange
- Elevated backrest for better support and comfort during rides
- LCD display has control for head light as well
- Long battery range of 55 – 65 miles on full charge and pedal assist level of 1
- 7-speed option with wide tires for more stability
- No storage in front; It may be difficult for you to access items on the rear storage while traveling
- Heavier device than comparable models
#2 Emojo Electric Tricycle
The Emojo tricycle is powered by a 500 W motor, has a durable and sturdy aluminum frame and can carry a maximum weight up to 320 lbs (or 145 kgs), including cargo weight.
The device has dual storage (front and rear), dual disc brakes, 5 level pedal assist and battery range of up to 35 miles or 56 kilometres.
The trike is an excellent choice for the elderly for short trips like grocery shopping, a short ride to the next block or on the golf course, however, for longer trips it may not be suitable as it does not have a seat backrest.
Alternatively, you could attach a backrest separately. The seat height is adjustable from 44 inches to 35 inches from the ground and the range is sufficient to accommodate riders who are very tall.
The device has 5 levels of speed and pedal assist for convenience of older users. The light weight of the device (just about 70 lbs) helps it to cover longer distances with a fully charged battery and the actual distance will depend on amount of assistance you require on the pedals.
You can also extract the maximum distance out of your batteries, by keeping your rubber tires fully inflated, at all times. Flatter tires increase friction with the ground and reduce battery life.
- Extremely lightweight and weighs only about 70 lbs with batteries
- Good motor capacity and 5 level pedal assist for comfortable rides across flat & uphill terrains
- Dual disc brakes allow for a safe and reliable braking system
- Comes with one-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
- No backrest on seat; may not be comfortable on longer rides
- Suspension mechanism could have been better for more comfortable rides
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#3 Buzz Electric Tricycle
This is a basic device which has decreased motor power of 350 W (vis-à-vis 500 W in more premium models) to give you a more affordable option of an electric tricycle. Unless you are travelling uphill a lot, this motor power is going to be more than sufficient for your use.
The maximum weight carrying capacity is 350 lbs and has dual large storage and dual disc brakes with easy an informative LCD display.
The bike has a headlamp on top of the front tire, with conveniently located switch on the handlebar, which is helpful if you are riding in low visibility. The battery capacity and power are smaller than premium models at 36 volt and can last up to 40 miles depending on usage patterns and amount of pedal assist required.
The model has ample storage at the rear with a front storage as well for storing quickly accessible items. However, the device may not be comfortable for long period of use unless you fix a padded backrest to the seat.
For some users, the seat may turn out to be too firm and you may want to replace or add to the padding of the seat. While the LCD display shows some useful information, you may find it difficult to read the display on a bright and sunny day. The trike also lacks any shock absorbing mechanism on the front or rear tires, or under the seat, which may make it uncomfortable to ride on rough terrains.
- Convenient LCD display with large font; shows battery level and speed / distance travelled
- Comes with 10 year limited warranty on frame & 2 year limited warranty on electrical parts; however, you should read the fine print and understand term of warranty invocation.
- Long battery life of up to 40 miles on flat terrain and level 1 pedal assist
- Disc brakes on front and rear tires provide more secure braking system
- Good value for money
- Shock absorbing mechanism could be improved for a smoother ride on rough terrain
#4 Emojo Caddy Pro Electric Tricycle
The device is made of aluminum alloy frame and has dual storage in the front and back, with the back storage capable of holding heavier stuff. The tricycle runs on a 500 W DC brush less motor, weighs about 70 lbs without batteries and can carry up to 320 lbs including cargo weight. The device comes with a rechargeable 48 Volt lithium ion battery.
One of the standout features of the tricycle is the front tire suspension system which acts as a shock absorbing mechanism and is really helpful for the elderly while driving on rocky or uneven surfaces.
The distance the trike can cover on full charge depends on your level of pedal assistance – on level 1 pedal assist, the batteries can last for more than 50 miles or 80 kilometres which is likely to be enough for most of your trips. The battery, located behind the seat support, takes about 6 hours to charge fully and can last up to 3- 4 years, if you take good care of it.
The caddy comes with a comfortably padded backrest so that back pain or fatigue does not become the reason for shorter trips. The device requires installation and assembly on arrival, ensure that you have a good tool box to complete the assembly process quicker.
- Lightweight device at 70 lbs
- Good suspension system allows for a comfortable ride on rough surfaces
- 7 speed transmission for higher number of options in pedal assist
- Disc braking system for added safety and effective braking
- Powerful brush less motors of 500 W
- Good customer service
- Comes with minimal installation instructions and you might find it difficult to assemble the device, particularly the chain which connects the pedals with the rear wheels
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#5 Horizon Mobility Electric Tricycle
The electric tricycle from popular mobility aid brand, horizon mobility, is powered by a 500 Watt brush less motor and comes with an aluminum alloy frame which is highly durable, pedal assist across 7 speed transmission, hand brakes and dual storage capacity, both front and rear.
The gross weight of the tricycle is 106 lbs along with the batteries and can carry maximum weight up to 320 lbs. On level 1 pedal assist, the bike can run for 40 – 55 miles on full charge, depending upon the terrain.
The seat height is adjustable for customizing it as per your height, and you may want to attach a backrest to the seat, which does not come by default along with the trike. Some users have initially complained about chain dislocation with changes in speeds, however, they seem to be isolated cases and were dealt with by the customer care department.
The rear storage is ideal for carrying groceries or for carrying your pet dog or picnic supplies or a combination of all of these for a day out in the sun. The model has a more wallet friendly price tag than comparable 7 speed transmission trikes.
- Dual storage in front and back. Front storage lets you carry items that you need to access while riding.
- Wide tires provide more stability
- LCD displays information about remaining battery power and distance traveled
- 7 speed transmission option with top speed up to 23 mph, provides more pedal support option
- High capacity motors, will help in pedaling uphill if the need be
- Good battery life; time to fully charge batteries is 4 – 6 hours
- Heavier than comparable products and will be a drag on you if you try pedaling without motor assist, or if you run out of batteries in the middle of a trip
- No back rest on seat; may not be comfortable for long rides
What are the Benefits of Using an Electric Tricycle for Seniors?
The benefits of an electric tricycle or trike are many.
- Stability: Most electric tricycles have bigger and fatter tyres which add to the stability of the device and provide good ride quality in rough terrain as well. You do not need to balance the device like a bicycle, and you do not need to bear the weight of the device when you are at a standstill. It is also easier to get on and off a tricycle when compared to a bicycle.
- Effortless Control: The device is easy to control with hand brakes and different level of speeds
- They are environment friendly as they do run on fuel; rather, they come with rechargeable batteries
- Storage: Trikes come with ample storage so that you can complete your grocery runs without feeling any shortage for storage space. Motors are powerful enough to carry extra weights
- Pedal assistance: In some trikes, you can choose how much support you require from the motor when propelling forward which lets you always put the optimal effort behind a tricycle and is, therefore, a healthier means of transport than an automobile. Pedaling keeps your lower body joints supple, increases your blood flow and enhances your fitness.
- Less running cost: Once you have made the one-time investment in your trike, the nominal cost of electricity for charging batteries and regular maintenance costs stack up quite favorably against more prevalent modes of travelling like traditional bikes and cars.
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What to Consider Before Buying an Electric Tricycle for Seniors?
- Power or Motor Specifications: Electric tricycles comes with the feature of pedal assist. While motor specifications do not matter while you are travelling on flat surfaces, they do matter when you will have to pedal uphill. Most of the electric tricycles have motor capacities above 200 – 250 W. You should ensure that your tricycle motor has this capacity at a minimum.
- Battery Life and Charging Time: Battery life is the fuel for your tricycle and how far you can go on it will depend on the batteries. Also, time taken to fully charge should be such that charging for a full night suffices for a trip.
- Storage Space: Electric tricycles come with large storage spaces and you should ensure that yours come with one too. This will not starve you of space when you go for your next grocery purchase trip.
- LCD display: Premium electric tricycles will have LCD displays which will help you track ride statistics like distance traveled, remaining battery life and current speeds. This is extremely helpful in planning out your trips.
- Shock absorption mechanism: Good shock absorbing system on the wheels or below the seat offer a more comfortable ride and should be your preference if you anticipate regular travel on rocky or otherwise rough surfaces.
- Foldable: Some electric tricycles can be folded and therefore require less space to park or store. However, you should keep in mind that these mostly weigh between 80 – 120 lbs and will not be easy to lift for seniors.
- Back rest: Premium electric tricycles may have a seat with a back rest, which significantly increases comfort during longer period of continuous use.
Here we have a video that showcase a general guide on how to ride a tricycle.
Best Practices to Maintain Your Electric Tricycle
- You should always ensure to charge batteries to full when starting out. However, when charging batteries, always charge them to full and avoid discharging them below 20 per cent charge to get the maximum life out of your trike batteries.
- Nuts & Bolts: You should periodically check on all the nuts, bolts, and joints of your tricycle to ensure that none of them have come loose.
- Yearly professional servicing: Ensure that your trike is getting professionally services at least once a year, preferably from an authorized service center of the manufacturer of the tricycle.
- Keep tires fully inflated: Before going out for a trip, you should ensure that your tires are fully inflated. If they are not, they will create more friction with the road and reduce speed of your tricycle leading to more battery usage. Deflated tires also reduce the life of your tires as they become prone to punctures.
- Keep your pedaling chain well-oiled for a comfortable and smooth riding experience.
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Whether you are buying the electric tricycle for your own use or as a gift for your elderly loved one, it opens new doors for the user in terms of convenience of travel. Not only on roads, but you can effortlessly travel on trikes on the beach, on golf courses and on practically any terrain that you may feel like. Lower costs of travel and light exercise make this mode of transport a preferred choice for many.