Tricycle Tips: How to ride an adult tricycle
24th October, 2022
Tricycles and bicycles may look very similar, but they work quite differently. You’d be surprised at the difference an extra wheel can make!
Although the third wheel is designed to add more stability and make it easier to balance while cycling, it takes a bit of getting used to. Follow these tips to ensure you stay safe while cycling.
The key is practice ... where and how to practice riding your tricycle
- Practice on a flat surface
So you’re able to get used to the way riding a tricycle feels we recommend practising a few times on a flat surface where there’s lots of space. Sit upright on your tricycle and set off slowly to ease yourself in.
Start by just cycling up and down in straight lines. Don’t get ahead of yourself and cycle off too fast when you first ride your tricycle! Although you have the extra support of the third wheel, tricycles still operate pretty differently to bicycles. You don’t want to set off at speed, turn a corner and topple over!
- Practice steering and turning
Steering your tricycle will feel very different to on a bicycle. On a tricycle, you’ve got to stay sat upright and steer using the handlebars only – don’t try to lean into turns! So, once you’ve got the hang of starting and stopping, begin trying to use the handlebars to steer – you could even place obstacles on the floor for you to cycle around.
- Find local cycle routes
Once you feel you’ve practised enough and you feel ready to go on your first tricycle ride, familiarise yourself with some of the local cycle routes so you’re confident about where you’re going.
Most cycle routes are wide enough for a tricycle, but when you are out cycling remember that a tricycle is larger than a bicycle so you may need to pull over to the side when letting people pass you.
How to balance on an adult tricycle
When you ride a tricycle for the first time you may feel like you’re losing your balance or that your tricycle is pulling you to one side – this is completely normal.
Unlike with bicycles, you should try to sit upright, not lean to either side and think of the handlebars like a steering wheel – so you’re controlling the tricycle with your arms only.
If you are veering to one side, to re-balance yourself turn the handlebars in the opposite direction.
Things to check before setting off
1. Check the air pressure in the tyres is normal
The correct pressure your tyres should be inflated to is embossed on the sidewall of the tyre. If your tricycle tyres are not inflated properly cycling will be more difficult and cause excessive wear.
2. Make sure the front and back brakes are working properly
The left brake lever controls the rear brake. To test it’s working, squeeze the brake and try to pull the tricycle forward. The rear wheel should lock and drag along the ground. The right brake lever controls the front brake. To test it’s working, squeeze it and as you try to pull the tricycle forward the rear wheels should lift off the ground.
3. Ensure that the front and back wheels, handlebars and seat are all fastened tightly
Just give these a quick wiggle to check they’re not too loose and they’re securely fastened to the tricycle.
4. Check the battery of your electric trike is fully charged
Switch the display on using the power button on the handlebars. The top left-hand corner of the display will tell you how charged the battery is.
Safety tips when riding an electric adult trike:
• Obviously, always wear your helmet
• Remove the battery from the tricycle when leaving it unattended
• Avoid deep puddles
• Don’t hang things off the handlebars
• When riding on the road take extreme caution, assume other vehicles can’t see you – wearing bright clothing can help make you more visible to others
• Don’t wear loose clothing that can become caught up in the wheels of your tricycle
• Don’t try to brake suddenly in the rain, or on slippery surfaces