Are Tricycles Safer Than Bicycles?

Fear! That’s what drives most people away from regular bicycles to tricycles. They do so believing that tricycles are safer. But are tricycles safer than bicycles?

Tricycles can be safer than bicycles as they are more stable and less likely to tip over. But at the same time, they are less noticeable by motorists as they are too close to the ground and thus can be unsafe. That’s unless you use safety bike flags and reflectors.

So, this is a question where a Yes or No answer can be correct, depending on how you explain it. So, I’ll explain both sides to help you understand why the answer is often divided.     

Note that other reasons also make tricycles safer or less safe than bicycles, which I’ll also share. But before I do, I must clarify the difference between a tricycle and a bicycle.

For your information, a tricycle is a three-wheel cycle, also known as a trike, while a bicycle is a two-wheel cycle. So, the difference between the two is the number of wheels.  

Let’s look at the three-wheels’ advantages over the two-wheel to establish the basis of my argument.

Is tricycle better than bicycle

Tricycle Advantages and Disadvantages Compared to Bicycles

Tricycle Advantages = Bicycle Disadvantages

Let’s see the advantages that tricycles enjoy over bicycles under the following:

1. Stability

With an extra wheel comes more balance and extra stability. So, a tricycle enjoys more stability than a bicycle. In that case, you are less likely to tip over a tricycle than a bicycle.

Overall, it’s easier to maneuver a tricycle over rocks and rough gravel than a bicycle. And even when it comes to parking, you don’t need a kickstand to park a tricycle, but you need it to park a bicycle.

An option like the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle (View on Amazon) comes with upright handlebars for a balanced ride and has stronger wheels for maximum stability.

Overall, Schwinn Meridian’s weight limit is pretty impressive, given that it can bear up to 300 pounds without tipping over.

2. Comfort

Since tricycles target those who are too timid or just uncomfortable riding regular bicycles, they are designed with comfort in mind. Their seats mostly come with back support to allow you to sit for long hours while cycling.

Overall, the back support seats promise to relieve your back from all cycling-related complications. The seats are also wider and properly cushioned to absorb shock when you go over bumps. So, they are ideal for someone with a back issue.

3. Ease of Riding and Accessibility

Unlike a bicycle, it’s generally easy to jump onto a tricycle and ride away. While you can easily access a bicycle, you have to gather the courage to ride it if you’ve never done it.

Overall, the reason why tricycles are easy to ride is that they are stable. And since they are closer to the ground, they are more accessible.

Remember, tricycles are also more comfortable, and as a result, most users find them easier to ride. That is the main reason why tricycles are recommendable for seniors and people living with disabilities.

4. Climbing

While a tricycle’s biggest downside is speed, it is also its strongest point. Yes, you may not go faster because a tricycle is heavier and slower. But when it comes to climbing, you need a slow and steady cycle, and that’s where a tricycle comes in.

So, compared to bicycles, tricycles are better climbers, and we are not talking about speed here but the ease of conquering a hill without tipping over.

5. Cargo Capacity

Yes, bicycles like touring and commuter bikes allow you to haul loads. However, their capacity usually is smaller, unlike tricycles, which ordinarily feature a large rear basket for your cargo. As a result, tricycles are best for running errands and short commutes.

Are Tricycles Safer Than Bicycles

Tricycle Disadvantages = Bicycle Advantages

Now, here are the concerns that come with tricycles but not with bicycles:

1. Visibility

The biggest issue with tricycles is that they are too close to the ground. While this offers them stability, it denies them the right to be visible by motorists from a distance. So, it could be late before an oncoming track notices you.

However, the good news is that you can improve your visibility on the road using bike safety flags, reflector vests, and lights.

2. Bulkiness

The extra wheel on tricycles makes them broader and bulkier, which means you need more space to maneuver them in heavy traffic. If you are not careful, you could easily get stuck in traffic alongside motorists.

3. Portability

Unlike regular bicycles, tricycles are hard to store and transport as they are bulky. That’s unless you get a foldable option. So, you may have a problem finding a spot to park in town unless you park it alongside vehicles.

Also, note that there are places you cannot go on a tricycle. For example, you cannot go with it inside a bus or train.

4. Speed

It’s undeniable that tricycles are considerably slower than bicycles. You cannot ride them faster even if you want as they are heavy, and the presence of an extra wheel makes them bulkier.

So, if you are in a situation where you’ve to beat traffic or escape the rains, you may not do it with a tricycle. On the other hand, a bicycle is faster; thus best for commuting and escaping heavy traffic and bad weather.

Now, Are Tricycles Safer Than Bicycles?

From our above discussions, it’s clear that tricycles enjoy fewer advantages over regular bicycles that make them safer. It’s also true that they suffer a few disadvantages that make them unsafe. Let’s go through them for clarification:

Are Tricycles Dangerous

4 Reasons Tricycles Are Safer Than Bicycles

Essentially, tricycles are safer to ride than bicycles because of these four reasons:

1. Tricycles Move at A Slower, Steadier Speed

It goes without saying; tricycles are naturally slower. On a positive note, their slowness allows you to ride steadily, which means you go at a much safer speed and stay safe on the road.

2. Tricycles Are More Stable

Though this could be their downfall, tricycles are too close to the ground to offer you maximum stability. As a result, you won’t tip over easily. That is important if you are too afraid to ride a bike or explore a particular road.

3. Tricycles Are Gentle On the Back

You are more likely to find a tricycle seat with a backrest than a bicycle with the same. Some tricycles even come in a recumbent design, as it’s the case of Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle (View on Amazon) to allow you to ride comfortably in an inclined position.

So, for riders or commuters with back issues, especially seniors, tricycles are much safer than bicycles.

4. Tricycles Are Safer Climbers

Since tricycles allow you to slowly but steadily ride uphill, they save you from the extra strain. Moreover, they don’t tip over when you hit a rock or run over loose gravel, thus safer.

2 Reasons Tricycles Can Be Less Safer than Bicycles

While tricycles have many advantages that make them safer than bicycles, here are two of their downsides that make them unsafe:

1. Tricycles Are Often Less Noticeable by Motorists

As I mentioned earlier, the advantages of being closer to the ground may make tricycles more stable, but it also jeopardizes your visibility on-road. Most motorists may not see you at a distance, especially under low visibility.

You can, however, make yourself more visible by using bike flags and reflectors.

Is Tricycle Better Than Bicycle

2. Their Slow Speed and Bulkiness Makes It Harder to Escape an Imminent Danger

While their speed makes them safer, it could also be their weakness.

Suppose you are in the middle of the road and an oncoming vehicle has just lost control! You usually have less time to respond, and since tricycles are heavier and slower, you may end up doing nothing, and things could turn fatal.

Are Tricycles Dangerous?

It’s easy to assume that tricycles are dangerous to ride because they are less noticeable by motorists on the road. While this could be true, it’s also true that this concern is fixable.

All it takes is making yourself noticeable by other road users, especially motorists. You can do that by:

  • Attaching several bright flags on your tricycle
  • Use as many reflectors as possible – that includes wearing a reflector vest and using reflector lights.

It’s also essential to wear a helmet to keep your head safe and always be on the lookout.

Is Tricycle Better Than Bicycle?

Choosing between a tricycle and a bicycle depends on the rider and intended use. Tricycles are generally best for kids, seniors, youths, and adults who are scared to ride regular bicycles. They are also best for carrying heavy loads.

On the other hand, bicycles are best for fast commuting, exploring challenging terrains, fitness cycling, and fun riding when the rider is not too scared to try.

People Also Ask

1. Which Is Better Tricycle or Bicycle?

Tricycles are better where the rider is too scared to ride a bicycle, young, or just too old. They are also ideal for carrying heavy loads and low-impact exercising. On the other hand, a bike is better for fast commuting, fitness cycling, and outdoor exploration.

2. Are Bicycles Faster Than Tricycles?

Bicycles are lighter and more maneuverable than tricycles, making them faster. You can easily beat traffic, hit a deadline, and escape bad weather with a bicycle than a tricycle.

3. What Age Is Tricycle for?

Tricycles accommodate all ages. We’ve tricycles for kids as young as 1-3 years, for average adults, and even seniors. Simply put, you can get a tricycle for any age.

4. Are Tricycles Easier Than Bicycles?

Most people find tricycles easier to ride than bicycles because they are more stable and comfortable to control. That makes them better choices for senior adults, kids, and those too scared to ride regular bicycles.

5. Are Tricycles Hard to Ride?

Tricycles are the easiest cycles that anyone can ride. Since they’ve three wheels, they are more stable and easier to ride than regular two-wheels (bicycles).  

Are Tricycles Safer Than Bicycles? Closing Thought:

Because tricycles are more stable, gentle on the back, better climbers, and slower but steadier, they are safer than bicycles. They can, however, be unsafe because they are less noticeable on the road, slower, and bulkier.