Electric Trikes vs. Regular Trikes: What’s The Real Difference Everyone’s Talking About
You’ve heard of electric trikes but do you know what the real difference between electric trikes and non-electric trikes is? Electric trikes have been growing in popularity in the US for a number of years and they’re certainly here to stay.
You’ll still have to pedal with an electric trike just like any other trike, the only difference is that the motor will add a bit of extra power to your natural riding power making things seem a little easier when you need it most. But ultimately, electric tricycles are very similar to traditional trikes with the only real difference being the added electrical components. There are five key additional elements that differentiate an electric trike from a regular non-electric trike; these are the Electric Power Assist Motor, Sensor, Battery, Controls and Display.
E-trikes are certainly great for convenience and fun, but how good are they for your fitness? A lot of people like biking precisely because of the exercise and don’t want to feel like they are ‘cheating’ with an electric trike.
The good news is that e-trikes promote exercise just as much as regular trikes, and even more in some cases.
Studies Show e-Triking Is Good Exercise
One study published in the journal Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives analyzed physical activity related to various transportation modalities such as walking, cycling, walking, running, etc. across the country.
The study found that people who use electric cycles actually got more exercise on average than traditional pedal bikes. The authors suggest that the results are due to the fact that e-bikers spend more time cycling in general than traditional bikers and also travel longer distances on average. The same study also found that the average age of e-bikers was older than traditional bikers.
Why People Choose To Get An Electric Trike
Once people find out about electric trikes, many wonder why someone would buy one instead of a regular trike. These doubts revolve around:
- what’s the technical difference between the two?
- what are the advantages of an electric trike?
- isn’t the point of riding a trike to get exercise?
- why are they much more expensive than regular trikes?
These are all compelling and valid questions that we often find ourselves answering to customers. After all, there is a lot of misunderstanding around them. As they are a whole new type of transportation, people aren’t that familiar with them yet.
But don’t worry. By the end of this post, you’ll know the difference between an electric trike and a regular trike. And what is more important, you’ll know if an electric trike is for you.
What’s the Riding Experience Difference?
If you’re wondering what it’s like to ride an electric trike and whether electric trikes are any good compared to traditional trikes then it might be worthwhile booking yourself a test ride at your one of our Laid Back Cycles stores near you. But in short, riding an electric trike feels very similar to riding a non-electric trike. You’ll still have to pedal just the same as a regular trike and change gears, the only difference is that things will feel a little easier than usual. You’ll find hills a breeze, travel longer distances before feeling fatigued, conquer stronger headwinds and move off from a standing start with ease.
Plus, the power delivery from the motor is extremely smooth with the top quality motors. You’ll barely notice the difference from riding a traditional trike. The riding experience of electric trikes is one of their main benefits as they act to smooth out the less pleasant elements of riding a traditional bike. No matter which eTrike you choose, keep in mind that not all motors are the same. Electric motor manufacturers will agree that different motors are suitable for different styles of riding. Through our extensive research and testing, we have chosen what we feel, as well as feedback from thousands of customers, are the best motor systems for the recumbent trike world.
Which Electric Trikes Are Most Popular
Over the past few years, we’ve tried almost every kind of etrike there is, from inexpensive to high-end. Whether you’re tooling around your neighborhood, going to your local supermarket or trying to trim a few miles off the ride for a socially distanced visit, we have the best etrike for you.
Many trike manufacturers have had supply issues this year, so stock may fluctuate. Be sure to check with one of our stores for supply and get your order in early in the season. As supply changes and technology improves, we continue to test and ride etrikes to make sure we have the best options for your riding needs. So if you don’t see one you like now, check back later. Once you get one, check out our favorite triking accessories, bike locks, and gear for a trike packing adventure.
Here’s our Top 3 etrikes for 2021 starting from lowest priced and up;
The Terratrike Rambler EVO has been the fastest selling etrikes of all time. Starting at $4499, TerraTrike’s latest Electric Vehicle Option, the E.V.O., is powered by the award winning Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor and the PowerPack 400Wh battery. With a whisper quiet motor and a deceptive amount of power on tap, this system is wickedly fun. Go from the “all-day ride” Eco mode to an exhilarating Turbo mode with a few clicks of a button. Having this control and all of your ride information at your fingertips with an included console creates an experience without limitations.
Add in how lightweight the Bosch mid-drive unit is and the strategically placed frame mounted battery, and you’ll find the trike is so well balanced you’ll forget it’s even there. The E.V.O. was designed with premium features packed into a tried-and-true platform so it can drift into the background and you can simply enjoy the ride.
Go farther, faster and with greater ease aboard an Catrike 559 eCAT, starting at $5750. At the heart of the eCAT line is the latest in electric assist systems from industry leaders Bosch. The result is a Catrike with the perfect combination of maximum efficiency, comfort and riding enjoyment. The efficient and versatile Active Line Plus electric-assist drive mated to a 1 x 11 drivetrain (11 – 42 cassette / 44 tooth chainring) provides dynamic performance – guaranteeing an authentic riding sensation with minimal pedaling resistance. It delivers active and sporty acceleration even at low cadences, offering powerful assistance as soon as you step on the pedals. In addition, the system’s multi-sensor technology and fast information processing ensure optimum interaction between you and your eCAT.
The ICE Adventure HD 26 Steps 6100 Fast Track is for those who appreciates luxury and doesn’t mind paying a bit more to get all the features that make riding super comfortable and easy. This ICE includes: ICE Ergo-Luxe Seats as standard, Rear or Full Suspension, Neck Rest and Wrist Rests as Standard. Compact flat twist frame, Shimano STEPs E6100 e-assist motor and Shimano Alfine Di2, 504wh Shimano battery, Electronic Shift or Auto Function, powerful Sturmey Archer 90mm drum brakes, Shimano V-brake parking brake, Schwalbe Big Apple tyres, on the road pack including Rear mudguard, Shimano XT SPD touring pedals, Mirror and ICE flag.
Our methodology to select and rank the best electric trikes of 2021
Although the best electric trike is the one that suits you and your lifestyle, there are a few different factors to take into consideration when choosing a list of strong contenders.
We looked at the offerings of some of the most popular recumbent trike cycling companies in the world. Then, we looked at availability for 2021 and took into account the reliability and ease of use of the system. We also looked at the range and charging time of each e-trike, the quality and positioning of its motor, the available electric models and also the price of each trike.