Are Recumbent Trikes Safe?
Recumbent tricycles or “trikes” are 3-wheel bikes designed for comfortable, safe adult cycling. They offer comfort and stability, with the three-wheel configuration making it almost impossible for them to tip. People who love to cycle for long trips but hate the discomfort of the seat and pressure of an upright bike are sure to find an adult tricycle an excellent option. Here we look at recumbent trikes and just how safe they are.
Recumbent Trikes are Stable
Recumbent tricycles are extremely stable thanks to the third wheel. When riding a traditional bicycle, it takes skill and experience to keep the bike from tipping over. This is never a concern with a trike. If you suffer from balance issues and have deserted your upright bicycle, this is the ideal solution to get you back out there.
If balance isn’t an issue, the added stability is still the best way to avoid topples due to things like obstacles in the road, swerving to avoid a squirrel or just general imbalances due to many unexpected events. The trike offers a better center of gravity because they are lower to the ground, adding to the ease of keeping the trike steady and balanced. So, if you are worried about balance and injuries, the recumbent trike reduces the risk of falls and accidents.
One last word on balance: When you stop on an upright bicycle you have to place your feet on the ground to remain stable. This can make it more likely for tipping over when you stop at faster speeds and need to put your foot on the ground for balance. This is not an issue with a trike.
Recumbent Bikes are More Comfortable
While it might not seem, comfort is important for safety, it actually does impact your ride. If you begin to tire and feel uncomfortable while cycling it can make it easier to experience injuries and strains. With trikes, because they have a reclined, comfortable seat, you can ride further without feeling the tension and strain you would with an upright bicycle. You reduce stress and pressure on your back and buttocks as well as your wrists and neck.
The comfy seat isn’t invasive like a narrow bicycle seat, so you don’t need to worry about special cycling pants for added padding and comfort. Most upright bikes also put a lot of pressure on your lower back when cycling further distances, which can make it difficult to reach your destination. Pain interferes with concentration, while also indicating possible injury. When you cycle in comfort, your body is relaxed, your mind is focused, and you can avoid a range of motion issues due to muscle stress and strain.
Suspension for Rougher Terrains
If you love more challenging trails, cycling on hills can still be a painful and dangerous experience. You are at a far greater risk of tipping on an upright bike, especially if you find it necessary to slow down going up steep slopes. If you travel on rough terrain, an adult tricycle with suspension offers even more stability and responsiveness. You can make it up hills with less effort, by slowing down without the worry of tipping. You can also safely cycle over rockier, less even trails to enjoy the thrill of exploring. Because of the 3-wheel design, recumbent trikes have a wider stance. The wider stance makes the trike easier to handle when cycling at faster speeds.
Forward Facing for Improved Visibility
The ergonomic design of the seat allows you to keep your head in a comfortable, forward-facing position. Instead of cycling hunched over like many bicycles, you are always looking ahead, without the temptation to keep your eyes down towards the ground. As a result, you remain focused on the trail or road ahead for improved visibility. You are better able to anticipate trouble and see obstacles more easily to help avoid accidents.
It’s also easier for other cyclists or vehicles to see you when you’re on a recumbent trike. The fact that you’ll take up more space on the roadway or trail means they can see you from farther away, and if you also use safety flags on your trike, you’ll be even more visible to others.
Storage Space to Be Better Prepared
Another advantage of the adult tricycle is the increased storage space. This allows you to head out prepared for all possible challenges whether it is inclement weather, being delayed and requiring food, or proper stores of water on exceptionally hot days. Warm clothing, rainwear, long pants, etc. can all be at your disposal should the need arise. However, storage space also helps you avoid challenges trying to carry something while cycling, such as groceries. As a result, you are at less risk of accidents you are more likely to experience on a bicycle. Despite the added weight, the recumbent tricycle remains sturdy and stable.
Overall Health Benefits
Recumbent trikes also keep you safe by keeping you healthy. If you have stopped cycling due to joint or back pain, as well as balance issues, you won’t get enough exercise. Cycling is a wonderful way to stay active and you don’t have to give it up thanks to recumbent trikes. If you have always been active, but pain, balance or other physical limitations are getting in the way, you can see your health begin to deteriorate. You can “get back in the saddle” with an adult tricycle and reap all the health benefits. You use your muscles to keep them strong, while also improving blood flow and circulation.
Because you remain mobile, you keep your muscles and joints more limber, helping to improve tissue elasticity. As a result, you maintain proper function and range of motion keeping you more agile, mobile, and independent. This is very important for your mental health. Cycling is a cardio workout that doesn’t put too much strain on your muscles and joints like other high-impact cardio programs. You enjoy a relaxing activity that helps calm your mind while targeting your glutes, hamstrings calves and quadriceps.
So, in answer to the question, are recumbent trikes safe, the answer is yes. Whether you want a more comfortable ride when cycling, suffer from joint pain or physical limitations, or are worried about accidents on an upright bike, the adult tricycle is a safe way to enjoy cycling.