For those of us who experience the convenience and joy of bicycling, it’s easy to be puzzled by the increasingly popular electric recumbent-trike.
A bit of a closer look though, quickly changes all that. The first things to notice on an electric trike, of course, are the three wheels and the seating position, and next is likely the position of the pedals and the steering handles. For those who have never tried a recumbent bike you might be wondering what does this combination offer?
Do Recumbent E-Trikes Really Offer Any Comfort?
Winston Churchill once said “Never stand up when you can sit down. And never sit down when you can lie down.” It’s hard to imagine him on a bicycle, but a recumbent-trike? Maybe in his younger days. The point is that he was right, especially for those who have any kind of issues riding traditional two wheelers.
The fact is having a proper seat in a comfortable position is a major advantage when you as the rider are part of the propulsion mechanism, if not all of it. Compared to the upright position on a traditional bicycle, a recumbent-trike saves the energy a rider normally uses for balance by providing total stability and the benefit of pushing against the seat for every leg extension on the pedals. Add electric assistance, which on a trike tends to come with greater battery capacity, and the riders long-distance endurance is drastically improved.
Are Recumbent E-trikes Easier On The Body?
Many riders have to live with various physical conditions that are exacerbated by repeated bicycle usage. Lower back and shoulder pain are common given the forward-leaning posture on bicycles. Others may have to work with hip and waist issues resulting from injury or surgical procedures. The recumbent position not only helps avoid any pain, but also reduces the chances of complications or further injury from repeated use. On top of that, since the rider travels feet first on a recumbent-trike, in the event of an impact, he or she will not tumble head first as may be the case on a bicycle.
Are Recumbent-Trikes More Fun?
That depends largely on personal preference. They both offer a connection to the road and environment that few other modes of transportation do, especially on paved surfaces. But, where a bicycle is comparable to a sportbike when it comes to the sensations it offers, a recumbent-trike is more of like a high-end Italian sportscar. One enjoys steep lean angles, head-first into the corners, while the other offers improved braking performance and even the odd moment of oversteer reminiscent of a rear-wheel drive roadster. Both can be thrilling, though, in entirely different ways. Needless to say, the added support and comfort from the recumbent position sacrifices nothing in terms of excitement.
Should You Go Electric With Recumbent bikes?
There is no other type of bicycle that is more perfect for an electric motor a recumbent bike or trike. In addition to the relaxed sitting position, it is now easier than ever to pedal. The built-in aerodynamic advantage of your recumbent bike also comes in handy. There is less drag which means more acceleration and range out of your battery.
A downside is the long-chain transmission has more elasticity which makes it susceptible to wear and tear. For this reason, we recommend a rear hub motor system which is more reliable than a crank motor.
What Are The Best Electric Recumbent-Trike Models?
The two brands we recommend at EbikeBC are the Sunseeker Recumbents and Catrikes.
Sunseeker are a reliable, low-cost option with many different models available. The rear wheels are cambered for stability and tracking along with a 24-speed drive train. Braking is provided with dual rear discs on the back and a linear-pull brake in the front.
Catrikes are made in the United States with a production process they designed and customized themselves, meaning their electric bikes are extremely well built. The Catrike has received six awards for the ‘Trike of the Year’ by the readers of Bent Rider Online. If you’re looking for quality bikes that will last, Catrikes are a great option.
Is A Recumbent-Trike Right For Me?
If there are any medical issues that are aggravated by consistent bicycle usage, then chances are yes. If discomfort or fatigue hold you back from getting out on the bike, then it’s definitely worth trying out quality makes like Sunseeker or Catrike, to see how they work for you. Ultimately, it’s all about you and what your body tells you, so why not try it out and see?
If you’re looking for an electric recumbent trike, visit us online at ebikesbc.com. We have a showroom in Vancouver, Canada but also have dealers all across the country to serve you. EbikeBC’s mission is to create an environmentally sustainable transportation product for our customers designed to replace cars on the road.