Tricycle
Overview
 
A tricycle is a three-wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

ed vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

. While tricycles are often associated with the small three-wheeled vehicles used by pre-school-age children, they are also used by adults for a variety of purposes. In the United States and Canada, adult-sized tricycles are used primarily by older persons for recreation, shopping, and exercise. In Asia and Africa, tricycles are used primarily for commercial transportation, either of passengers in pedicabs, or of freight and deliveries.
Encyclopedia
A tricycle is a three-wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

ed vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

. While tricycles are often associated with the small three-wheeled vehicles used by pre-school-age children, they are also used by adults for a variety of purposes. In the United States and Canada, adult-sized tricycles are used primarily by older persons for recreation, shopping, and exercise. In Asia and Africa, tricycles are used primarily for commercial transportation, either of passengers in pedicabs, or of freight and deliveries. In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, a "tricycle" is a public (for-hire) vehicle consisting of a motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 and an attached passenger sidecar
Sidecar
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle.-History:A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was...

, and should not be confused with an unmotorized three-wheeled pedicab is know as a trisikad.

Human-powered trikes are usually powered by pedals, although some models have hand cranks. Motorized trikes can be powered with a variety of methods, including motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 engines, smaller automatic transmission scooter motors, and electric motors. The legal definitions of vehicle types vary widely in different jurisdictions around the world.

Design

Layouts

Tricycles generally follow one of three layouts:
  • Upright resembles a two wheeled bicycle, traditionally diamond frame, or open frame, but with two widely spaced wheels at the back, called delta. Or two wheels at the front, called tadpole. The rider straddles the frame in both delta and tadpole. Steering is through a handlebar directly connected to the front wheel via a conventional bicycle fork in delta, or via a form of Ackermann steering geometry
    Ackermann steering geometry
    Ackermann steering geometry is a geometric arrangement of linkages in the steering of a car or other vehicle designed to solve the problem of wheels on the inside and outside of a turn needing to trace out circles of different radius...

     in the case of the upright tadpole.

  • Recumbent delta is similar to an upright, with two wheels at the back and one at the front, but has a recumbent layout in which the rider is seated in a chair-like seat. One or both rear wheels can be driven, while the front is used for steering (the usual layout). Steering is either through a linkage, with the handlebars under the seat (USS) or directly to the front wheel with a large handlebar (OSS).

  • Recumbent tadpole, or reverse trike, is a recumbent design with two steered wheels at the front and one driven wheel at the back, though one model has the front wheels driven while the rear wheel steers. Steering is either through a single handlebar linked with tie rods to the front wheels' stub axle assemblies (Indirect) or with two handlebars (rather, two half-handlebars) each bolted to a steerer tube, usually through a bicycle-type headset and connected to a stub axle assembly (Direct). A single tie rod connects the left and right axle assemblies.


The tadpole trike, which is rapidly becoming the most popular design, is often used by middle-aged or retiree-age former bicyclists who are tired of the associated pains from normal upright bikes. With its extremely low center of gravity, aerodynamic layout and light weight (for trikes), tadpoles are considered the highest performance trikes.

Not all trikes fall into one of these three classes. For example, some early pedal tricycles from the late 19th century used two wheels in tandem on one side and a larger driving wheel on the other. Another design is an in line three wheeled vehicle, with two steered wheels: one at the front and the other in the middle or at the rear. It is not unusual for tricycles to have front and rear wheels of different sizes.
  • Tricycle Conversion set A complete unit for bolting or clamping onto a (usually) adult bicycle to form a delta or tadpole upright tricycle. Manufacturers have included Rogers, Higgins, Longstaff and Trykit. (Deltas) The last two are still active in supplying conversion axle sets and hand built, complete tricycles and tandem tricycles to order. Newton (Roman Road) provide a unique, upright, tadpole, tricycle conversion set with Ackermann steering and front hub or disk brakes. They also build complete tadpole, upright trikes and tandems to order. The advantages of a trike conversion set include lower cost compared with new, hand built tricycles and the freedom to choose almost any donor bicycle frame. Tricycle conversion sets tend to be heavier than a high quality, hand built, sports, touring or racing tricycle. Conversion sets can give the would-be, serious tricyclist a taste of triking before making the final decision to purchase a complete tricycle. (or a tricycle frameset) Conversion sets can also supplied ready to be brazed onto a lightweight, steel, bicycle frame to form a complete trike. Some trike conversion sets can also be used with recumbent bicycles to form recumbent trikes.

Adult and child model comparison

Another way of categorizing tricycles is by whether they are designed for children or adults. Children's tricycles and most adult tricycles made for the recreational market use the upright layout. From a design point of view, the difference between children's and adult tricycles is that whereas children's tricycles are usually direct drive
Direct drive mechanism
A Direct drive mechanism is one that takes the power coming from a motor without any reductions .-Advantages:* Increased efficiency: The power is not wasted in friction...

 and have no brakes, adult trikes usually have a gear-drive with multiple speeds and front and rear brakes.

Tricycles are typically used by children between the ages of two and four, after which point they usually switch to a bicycle, often with training wheels. Parents choosing a tricycle for their child should ensure that the trike is not too tall and that the seat is too high, and that the wheelbase is wide enough, because if this is not the case, the child may tip over easily. The seat should be stable, which is not always the case with the most inexpensive models. Some trikes have back rests which provide support and a push bar for parents so that the parents can push the child up hills or hold the child back when descending, or in case of the sudden approach of other traffic. For safety many parents make children wear a helmet when riding a trike. Some parents also attach a safety flag to the trike so that the child will be more visible to drivers.

Children's trikes are made of steel frames or plastic. One disadvantage of plastic frames is that they are more likely to tip over than a steel frame if a heavier child is riding. On the plus side, plastic frames will not rust like steel frames if the trike is left out in the rain. Children's tricycles can also be made from bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

. Bamboo has a tensile strength that is comparable to steel while at the same time being lightweight like a plastic frame. Bamboo can also be used to make an adult bamboo bicycle.

While most children's trikes have direct drive, a small number of models such as the Cheetah
Cheetah (riding toy)
A Cheetah is a type of tricycle produced by Lakeside Toys of Minneapolis Minnesota during the early 1970s. It was similar to the Big Wheel and the Green Machine...

 have chain drive
Chain drive
Chain drive is a way of transmitting mechanical power from one place to another. It is often used to convey power to the wheels of a vehicle, particularly bicycles and motorcycles...

. Unlike adult bikes, children's trikes do not always have pneumatic tires
Bicycle tire
A bicycle tire is a tire that fits on the wheel of a bicycle, unicycle, tricycle, quadracycle, bicycle trailer, or trailer bike. They may also be used on wheelchairs and handcycles, especially for racing...

; instead, some trikes have solid rubber wheels. While this adds to the weight of the tricycle and reduces the shock-absorbing qualities, it eliminates issues with flat tires, punctures, and leaky tubes. Since most trikes are direct drive, the child can slow the trike down by resisting the forward motion of the pedals, as with an adult fixed gear bike
Fixed-gear bicycle
A fixed-gear bicycle is a bicycle that has no freewheel, meaning it cannot coast, as the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving....

. Pull brakes are rarely used on children's trikes, but some "Bigwheel"-style plastic trikes have lever brakes in which an inverted half-moon-shaped brake pad is pressed against the driving surface of the right rear wheel.

Riding

Adults may find upright tricycles difficult to ride because of familiarity with the counter-steering
Countersteering
Countersteering is the technique used by single-track vehicle operators, such as cyclists and motorcyclists, to initiate a turn toward a given direction by momentarily steering counter to the desired direction...

 required to balance a bicycle, in which the weight of the body is used during turns. The variation in the camber
Cant (road/rail)
The cant of a railway track or a road is the difference in elevation between the two edges...

 of the road is the principal difficulty to be overcome once basic tricycle handling is mastered. Recumbent trikes are less affected by camber and, depending on track width and riding position, capable of very fast cornering. A few trikes are designed to tilt into the corners much as a bicycle does, and this also renders them more comfortable on cambered roads. They are referred to as tilting three wheeler
Tilting three wheeler
A tilting three wheeler is a three wheeled vehicle whose body and or wheels tilt in the direction of the turn. Such vehicles can corner safely even with a narrow track.-Wheel configurations:...

s (TTWs).

In the case of delta tricycles, the drive is often to just one of the rear wheels, though in some cases both wheels are driven through a differential. A double freewheel
Freewheel
thumb|Freewheel mechanismIn mechanical or automotive engineering, a freewheel or overrunning clutch is a device in a transmission that disengages the driveshaft from the driven shaft when the driven shaft rotates faster than the driveshaft...

, preferably using no-backlash roller clutches, is considered superior. Trikes with a differential often use an internally-geared hub as a gearbox in a 'mid drive' system. A jackshaft
Jackshaft
A jackshaft is a device for turning the wheels of a locomotive. It is essentially an axle with no wheels. Each end of the jackshaft has a crank pin and a counterweight. The driving wheels are then connected by side rods. The name may come from a combination of "jack," a slang term for a locomotive,...

 drive permits either single or two-wheel drive. Tadpoles generally use a bicycle's rear wheel drive and for that reason are usually lighter, cheaper and easier to replace and repair.

Braking

Recumbent trikes often brake one wheel with each hand, allowing the rider to brake one side alone to pull the trike in that direction. Some trikes use a geometry (also called center point steering) with the kingpin axis intersecting the ground directly ahead of the tire contact point, producing a normal amount of trail. This arrangement, elsewhere called "zero scrub radius" is used to mitigate the effects of one-sided braking on steering. While zero scrub can reduce steering feel and increase wandering it can also protect novices from spinning out and/or flipping.

Tadpole trikes tend also to use Ackermann steering geometry, perhaps with both front brake
Brake
A brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Its opposite component is a clutch. The rest of this article is dedicated to various types of vehicular brakes....

s operated by the stronger hand. While the KMX Kart stunt trike with this setup allows the rear brake to be operated separately, letting the rider do "bootlegger turns", the standard setup for most trikes has the front brake for each side operated by each hand. The center-of-mass of most tadpole trikes is close to the front wheels, making the rear brake less useful. The rear brake may instead be connected to a latching brake lever for use as a parking brake when stopped on a hill.

Strengths and weaknesses

Recumbent trikes' strongest suits are cornering, stability, comfort, rider stamina and terminal velocity. Trikes can be used by adults who have problems riding bicycles. As well, trikes are a good choice for elderly riders who are worried about falls. Trikes can ride and climb at very low speed and a kickstand
Kickstand
A kickstand is a device on a bicycle or motorcycle that allows the bike to be kept upright without leaning against another object or the aid of a person. A kickstand is usually a piece of metal that flips down from the frame and makes contact with the ground. It is generally located in the middle...

 is never needed.

Trikes are always heavier than bikes of the same quality. In fact, the lightest commercially-made tadpole trikes, at around 29 pounds, are easily twice the weight of an upright bicycle of the same cost and quality. Deltas are even heavier. Shortcomings that potential tadpole trikers should realize center on the low riding position which makes them difficult to mount (grab handles are often available). Visibility in traffic is much debated. People who do not ride recumbents often assume that they will be hard to see in traffic, but their unusual appearance often draws attention, and frequently promotes safer overtaking. Even so flags and blinking lights are often used, especially in urban areas where the rider wishes to filter past queuing traffic (where the rider is often in drivers' blind spots). Visibility concerns become minimal on bike trails and off-street riding.

An often-noted problem with recumbent trikes, much debated by trikers and recumbent riders of all kinds, is their poor climbing ability: the rider cannot get out of the saddle and stand up on the pedals to climb hills. It is however possible to either 'spin' in a lower gear, or sometimes to use the seat back to provide extra leverage (although as this force is not limited by the riders weight it can result in over stressing the knees). Trikers argue that they make up the time lost going up hills by going much faster on the downhill side because of the low, aerodynamic riding position.

Special purposes

Some tricycles (such as the Christiania and the Pashley load trike) are designed for load carrying. Others are designed for racing or for comfort. Some recumbent tricycles are fully enclosed for all weather use as well as aerodynamic benefits; these are known as velomobile
Velomobile
A velomobile or bicycle car is a human-powered vehicle, enclosed for aerodynamic advantage and protection from weather and collisions. They are virtually always single-passenger vehicles. They are derived from recumbent bicycles and tricycles, with the addition of a full fairing . There are few...

s. Some tricycles, such as the Zigo
Zigo
Zigo is a brand of carrier bike designed by US company SOMA Cycle, Inc., located in South Orange, NJ. The product is convertible into a stroller...

 Leader, are designed to transport children.

Hand and foot trike

With hand and foot trikes, the rider makes a pair of front wheels change directions by shifting the center of weight and moves forward by rotating the rear wheel. The hand & foot trike can be also converted into a manual tricycle designed to be driven with both hands and both feet. There are also new hybrids between a handcycle, a recumbent bike and a tricycle, these bikes make it even possible to cycle with legs despite a spinal cord injury.

Tandem and hand trikes

Recumbent tandem trikes allow two people to ride in a recumbent position with an extra-strong backbone frame to hold the extra weight. Some allow the "captain" (the rider who steers) and "stoker" (the rider who only pedals) to pedal at different speeds. They are often made with couplers so the frames can be broken down into pieces for easier transport. Manufacturers of recumbent trikes include Greenspeed, WhizWheelz and Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE).

Hand-crank trikes use a hand-operated crank, either as a sole source of power or a double drive with footpower from pedals and hand-power from the hand crank. The hand-power only trikes can be used by individuals who do not have the use of their legs due to a disability or an injury. They are made by companies including Greenspeed, Invacare, Quickie and Druzin.

Freight trikes

Urban delivery trikes are designed and constructed for transporting large loads. These trikes include a cargo area consisting of a steel tube carrier, an open or enclosed box, a flat platform, or a large, heavy-duty wire basket. These are usually mounted over one or both wheels, low behind the front wheel, or between parallel wheels at either the front or rear of the vehicle, to keep the center of gravity low. The frame and drivetrain must be constructed to handle loads several times that of an ordinary bicycle; as such, extra low gears may may added. Other specific design considerations include operator visibility and load suspension. Many, but not all, cycles used for the purpose of vending goods such as ice cream cart trikes or hot dog vending trikes are cargo bicycles.

Freight trikes are most often of the tadpole configuration, with the cargo box (platform, etc.) mounted between the front wheels. India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 are significant strongholds of the rear-loading "delta" carrier trike. Freight trikes are also designed for indoor use in large warehouses or industrial plants. The advantage of using freight trikes rather than a motor vehicle is that there is no exhaust, which means that the trike can be used inside warehouses. While another option is electric golf cart-style vehicles, freight trikes are human-powered, so they do not have the maintenance required to keep batteries on golf carts charged up. For more information, see the articles on "workbike" and "freight bicycle
Freight bicycle
Freight bicycles, carrier cycles, freight tricycles, cargo bikes, or bakfietsen, are human powered vehicles designed and constructed specifically for transporting large loads. Vehicle designs include a cargo area consisting of a steel tube carrier, an open or enclosed box, a flat platform, or a...

".

Common uses include:
  • delivery services in dense urban environments
  • food vending in high foot traffic areas (including specialist ice cream bikes)
  • transporting trade tools, including around large installations such as power stations and CERN
    CERN
    The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

  • airport cargo handling
  • recycling
    Recycling
    Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse...

     collections
  • warehouse inventory transportation
  • mail (The UK post office operates a fleet of 33,000 bicycles, mainly the Pashley
    Pashley Cycles
    Pashley Cycles is an English bicycle manufacturer in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, established in 1926. The company has been making bicycles for more than 80 years.-History:...

     MailStar)
  • Food collection,
  • Child transport; it is estimated that 90% of the freight bicycles sold in Amsterdam are used primarily to carry children.

Trike rickshaws

Most cycle rickshaw
Cycle rickshaw
The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, becak, trisikad, or trishaw or, simply, rickshaw which also refers to auto rickshaws, and the, now uncommon, rickshaws pulled by a person on foot...

s, used for carrying passengers for hire, are tricycles with one steering wheel in the front and two wheels in the back supporting a seating area for one or two passengers. Cycle rickshaws often have a parasol or canopy to protect the passengers from sun and rain. These vehicles are widely used in South Asia and Southeast Asia, where rickshaw driving provides essential employment for recent immigrants from rural areas, generally impoverished men. In the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century, rickshaws have become increasingly popular in big cities in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where they provide urban transportation, novelty rides, and serve as an advertising media.

Spidertrike is a recumbent
Recumbent bicycle
A recumbent bicycle is a bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. Most recumbent riders choose this type of design for ergonomic reasons; the rider's weight is distributed comfortably over a larger area, supported by back and buttocks...

 cycle rickshaw that is used in central London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and is operated by Eco Chariots. The trike pictured is called the SUV (Sensible Utility Vehicle) and is produced by the company Organic Engines, which operates in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 in the United States. It is a front wheel drive tricycle, articulated behind the driver seat. The passenger is protected from rain and sun with a canopy. These pedicabs have features like double disc, hydraulic
Hydraulics
Hydraulics is a topic in applied science and engineering dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation for hydraulics, which focuses on the engineering uses of fluid properties. In fluid power, hydraulics is used for the generation, control,...

 disc brake
Disc brake
The disc brake or disk brake is a device for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel while it is in motion.A brake disc is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon–carbon or ceramic matrix composites. This is connected to the wheel and/or...

s and internal hub gear
Hub gear
A hub gear, internal-gear hub, or just gear hub is a gear ratio changing system commonly used on bicycles that is implemented with planetary or epicyclic gears. The gears and lubricants are sealed within the hub-shell of the bicycle's rear wheel, as opposed to derailleur gears, where the gears and...

s.
Treecycle is a cycle rickshaw that is used in Shanghai and invented by Chris Trees. It has a stainless steel frame and a bamboo body. The bike pictured is the cabriolet version without roof. A notable feature is the children's safety seat as used in cars and the storage compartment below the seat. Other models feature a roof or loading deck. All models are center drive tricycles with Gates carbon belt. Features include Nuvinci invariable hub gears, hydraulic disk brakes on all wheels with park-lock function, LED front- indicator- and brake-lights.

In the Philippines, an unmotorized three-wheeled pedicab is known as a trisikad and uses not a tricycle but a bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

 with an attached sidecar
Sidecar
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle.-History:A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was...

.

Manufacturers

Makers of upright trikes include George Longstaff
George Longstaff
George Longstaff was a British bicycle builder with a high reputation for tandem bicycles, tricycles and handbuilt touring bicycles....

, Higgins (ceased trading in the 1960s but still held in high regard and many of their machines still exist today), Trykit and Pashley Cycles
Pashley Cycles
Pashley Cycles is an English bicycle manufacturer in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, established in 1926. The company has been making bicycles for more than 80 years.-History:...

 in the UK. Italian company Di Blasi make a folding upright trike, which folds to a compact 68 x 28 x 62.5 cm. There are also many inexpensive, mass-produced upright trikes available through mass-market retailers. They are generally heavy and of uneven quality, but are suitable for occasional, low-demand riding, especially by those with mobility problems.

Makers of recumbent trikes include KMX; Hase (who make the Kettwiesel delta, improbably named after the British children's programme Catweazle
Catweazle
Catweazle was a British television series, created and written by Richard Carpenter which was produced and directed by Quentin Lawrence for London Weekend Television under the LWI banner, and screened in the UK on ITV in 1970 and 1971...

); Inspired Cycle Engineering, who make the Trice range of tadpole trikes; AVD, who build the record holding Burrows
Mike Burrows
Mike Burrows is a bicycle designer from Norwich, England.He is best known for the design of the track carbon-fibre Lotus 108 time trial bicycle manufactured by Lotus for Chris Boardman, when he won the 1992 Olympic 4000m pursuit in Barcelona...

 Windcheetah or Speedy, a design exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Australia's Greenspeed, one of the oldest manufacturers; Michigan-based WhizWheelz, which makes 10 models, including a sub-US$1000 model tadpole and a tandem; Big Cat HPV which builds the 8 Catrike
Catrike
Catrike is a brand of lightweight tadpole-design recumbent tricycles manufactured by Big Cat HPV, LLC, which is based in Winter Garden, Florida, United States. The company was founded in 1999 by Paulo Camasmie....

 models in Florida and Sidewinder Cycle which has a front wheel drive system with rear wheel steering builds 3 models all with Electric assist capability located in California.

The largest manufacturer of recumbent trikes is Sun Bicycles who make both tadpole and delta trikes. The deltas are built from designs licensed from Gardner Martin's EasyRacers, the premiere maker of recumbent bicycles. Sun bicycles are factory-made in Taiwan and are among the least expensive trikes of good quality.

The least expensive adult trikes are steel framed upright models; the most basic models suitable for leisure riding or shopping start at about $300, and mass-market models tend to be in the $500 to $700 USD range. Mid-range trikes with better quality parts and more features are in the $1000 to $1600 range. High-end adult trikes begin at about $2000 USD, with some models costing over $3500 USD.

History

The first tricycle was built in 1680 by a disabled German man who wanted to be able to maintain his mobility. Since he was a watch-maker, he was able to create a tricycle that was powered by hand cranks. In 1789, two French inventors, Blanchard and Maguier developed a tricycle.
In 1818, British inventor Denis Johnson patented his approach to designing tricycles. In 1876, James Starley developed the Coventry Lever Tricycle, which used two small wheels on the right side and a large drive wheel on the left side; power was supplied by hand levers. In 1877, Starley developed a new vehicle he called the Coventry Rotary, which was "one of the first rotary chain drive tricycles." Starley's inventions started a tricycling craze in Britain; by 1879, there were " twenty types of tricycles and multi-wheel cycles ... produced in Coventry, England, and by 1884, there were over 120 different models produced by 20 manufacturers." The first front steering tricycle was manufactured by The Leicester Safety Tricycle Company of Leicester, England in 1881 which was brought to the market in 1882 costing £18. They also developed a folding tricycle at the same time.

Tricycles were used by riders who did not feel comfortable on the high wheelers, such as women who wore long, flowing dresses. In the UK, upright tricycles are sometimes referred to as "barrows". Many trike enthusiasts ("trikies") in the UK belong to the Tricycle Association, formed in 1929. They participate in day rides, tours and time trials. Massed start racing of upright tricycles is limited to one or two criteriums such as in Bungay, Suffolk each year.

Motorized tricycles

Some tricycles are powered with motors, typically gasoline engines. Depending on the design of the vehicle, motorized trikes may be categorized as motorcycles, motor scooter
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

s, or simply the three-wheeled counterpart to a motorized
Motorized bicycle
A motorized bicycle, motorbike, cyclemotor, or vélomoteur is a bicycle with an attached motor and transmission used either to power the vehicle unassisted, or to assist with pedaling. Since it always retains both pedals and a discrete connected drive for rider-powered propulsion, the motorized...

 or electric
Electric bicycle
An electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike, is a bicycle with an electric motor used to power the vehicle. Electric bicycles typically cost between and , use rechargeable batteries and can travel up to...

 bicycle. The main difference between a motorcycle trike and a scooter trike is that motorcycles are sat on in a "saddle"-style seating (as with a horse), with the legs apart, and motorcycles have manual transmissions. Scooters have a "step-through" seating style, in which the driver sits on a more chair-like seat, with the legs together; as well, scooters have automatic transmissions. While laypersons often associate the engine size as a dividing line between motorcycles and scooters, since a typical scooter has a small 50 cc engine, engine size is not one of the dividing lines, because some scooters such as the Bergmann have 600 cc engines.

Motorcycles with sidecars are not usually considered tricycles. It can be harder to categorize three wheeled automobiles. While some early prototype automobiles were steam tricycle
Steam tricycle
A steam tricycle is a steam-driven three-wheeled vehicle.-History:In the early days of motorised vehicle development, a number of experimenters built steam-powered vehicles with three wheels....

s, 1930s and 1940s-era three-wheeled cars such as Morgan Motor Company
Morgan Motor Company
The Morgan Motor Company is a British motor car manufacturer. The company was founded in 1910 by Harry Frederick Stanley Morgan, generally known as "HFS" and was run by him until he died, aged 77, in 1959. Peter Morgan, son of H.F.S., ran the company until a few years before his death in 2003...

 cars are often classified as cars rather than motorcycles.

Motorcycle tricycles

A motorized tricycle's wheels may be arranged in either configuration: delta or tadpole. A delta trike has one wheel in front and two in back, and the tadpole trike has two wheels in front and one in back. Occasionally, rear wheel steering is used, although this increases the turning circle and can affect handling (the geometry is similar to a regular trike operating in reverse, but with a steering damper added). Thrust SSC used a rear-steer tadpole layout (technically, Thrust SSC was not a tricycle; it had four wheels, two at each end. The rear steering wheels (2) were mounted very close together).

Tadpoles are more stable under braking and more likely to slide instead of roll; front braking hard on a delta requires the vehicle to steer almost straight to avoid tipping. The balance of friction patches and rolling resistance also means that tadpoles tend to understeer and deltas oversteer.

Motor trikes are attractive for those with mobility or balance problems, for carrying multiple passengers on a motorcycle license, or to avoid helmet use regulations. These machines are generally custom-built and often finished to a very high standard. A common arrangement is to fit chopper
Chopper
Chopper may refer to:* Helicopter* AK-47 as used in street slang/rap lyrics. Prolific in New Orleans rap, where the city is known as "Chopper City"* Attacking Chopper, the table tennis style* Thompson submachine gun...

-style ("ape hanger") front forks to a VW Beetle engine
Volkswagen air cooled engine
The Volkswagen air-cooled engine is an air-cooled boxer engine with four horizontally opposed cast iron cylinders, cast aluminium alloy cylinder heads and pistons, magnesium crankcase, and forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods....

 and transaxle, popular because it is largely self-contained on a single subframe
Subframe
A subframe is a structural component of a vehicle, such as an automobile or an aircraft, that uses a discrete, separate structure within a larger body-on-frame or unit body to carry certain components, such as the engine, drivetrain, or suspension. The subframe is bolted and/or welded to the vehicle...

. Similarly, the engine, transmission and rear wheel may be taken from a large motorcycle as a single unit, and used in the construction of a tadpole trike.

Mass-manufactured motor tricycles include the Piaggio
Piaggio
Piaggio based in Pontedera, Italy encompasses seven brands of scooters, motorcycles and compact commercial vehicles. As the fourth largest producer of scooters and motorcycles in the world, Piaggio produces more than 600,000 vehicles annually, with five research and development centers, more than...

 Ape
Piaggio Ape
The Piaggio Ape is a three-wheeled light commercial vehicle first produced in 1948 by Piaggio.- History and design:At the end of World War II, most Italians, badly affected by the war, lacked means of transport, and more importantly, the financial means to acquire full-sized four-wheeled vehicles...

 (Italian for Bee) delivery trike (delta); the Bombardier Recreational Products
Bombardier Recreational Products
Bombardier Recreational Products or BRP is a Canadian company that traces its roots back to the year 1942 when Joseph-Armand Bombardier founded L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in Valcourt in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.In 2003, Bombardier Inc...

 Can-Am Spyder
BRP Can-Am Spyder Roadster
The Can-Am Spyder is a Three wheeled motorcycle with a single rear drive wheel and two wheels in front for steering, similar in layout to a modern snowmobile. The Spyder uses an ATV-like chassis...

 (tadpole); the T-Rex
T-Rex (automobile)
Campagna T-Rex is a two-seat, three-wheeled cyclecar created by Campagna Corporation located in Quebec, Canada. It has a 1.4 L, straight-four engine. Although classified as a motorcycle, the interior can accommodate the driver and passenger seated side-by-side, with adjustable seat backs,...

 reverse trike; trikes used by municipal authorities in the USA; and, historically, vehicles such as the Scammell Scarab railway dray, a common sight around post-war British railway stations.

According to Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

, motor tricycles are in category L5e.

Motorized freight trikes

In Asian and Southeast Asian countries, motorized trikes are used as small freight trucks and commercial vehicles. Nicknamed "three-wheelers" or "tuk-tuks" in popular parlance, they are a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw
Cycle rickshaw
The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, becak, trisikad, or trishaw or, simply, rickshaw which also refers to auto rickshaws, and the, now uncommon, rickshaws pulled by a person on foot...

 or velotaxi. They have a small three-wheeled cart driven by a person, and is related to the cabin cycle
Cabin cycle
A cabin cycle is a form of land vehicle with a hull that wraps around the basic bicycle or motorcycle design. Unlike traditional designs, the chassis can be moulded to reduce drag when travelling at high speeds. Some 3-wheeled variants are commonly known as auto rickshaws or tuk-tuks. In Czech...

.While they are mostly used as taxis for hire, they are also used for commercial and freight deliveries. They are particularly popular where traffic congestion
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

 is a problem in cities like Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

, Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, Hyderabad and Bengaluru,

They usually have a sheet-metal body or open frame that rests on three wheels, a canvas roof with drop-down sides, a small cabin in the front of the vehicle for the driver, an air-cooled scooter
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

 version of a two-stroke engine
Two-stroke cycle
A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the process cycle in one revolution of the crankshaft...

, with handlebar
Handlebar
A handlebar is part of the steering mechanism, in lieu of a steering wheel, for vehicles that are ridden on, instead of in, such as bicycles, motorcycles, tricycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and personal watercraft. It may also be simply the handles on a device such as a zip line trolley or a floor buffer...

 controls instead of a steering wheel
Steering wheel
A steering wheel is a type of steering control in vehicles and vessels ....

.
The smaller motorized trikes are used as delivery vehicles for lighter loads. The larger trikes, with more powerful engines, have larger cargo bays, and they can carry freight within a city.

Motorized scooter trikes

Scooter
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

s are motor vehicles that can vary significantly in design and capability, but are generally derived from a traditional design combining a step-through frame with front fairings and floor boards, inner fairing storage, small wheels (10" to 16" in diameter), and a rear swingarm-mounted engine suitable for light duty. The classic scooter design features a step-through frame and a flat floorboard for the rider's feet. Most newer scooters use a continuously variable transmission
Continuously variable transmission
A continuously variable transmission is a transmission that can change steplessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. This contrasts with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios...

 (CVT). While most scooters have two wheels, some scooters are three-wheeled scooter trikes.

Most scooter trikes have two rear wheels which are the drive wheels and a front wheel which is used for steering. Some first decade of the 21st century-era scooter trikes such as the Piaggio MP3
Piaggio MP3
The Piaggio MP3 is a tilting three-wheeled scooter from the Italian manufacturer Piaggio. It was first brought to market in 2006...

 are reverse trikes, with two wheels in front and one in the back. The MP3 leans like a 2-wheeled bike, with the front wheels moving independently in a scissors action.

Motorized Tricycles in the Philippines

In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 motorized tricycles are used as a public utility vehicle and for personal transporation.

See also

  • Motorized tricycle (Philippines)
    Motorized tricycle (Philippines)
    Motorized tricycles are a common means of passenger transport everywhere in the Philippines, except on busy major highways and very busy city streets...

  • Tandem bicycle
    Tandem bicycle
    The tandem bicycle or twin is a form of bicycle designed to be ridden by more than one person. The term tandem refers to the seating arrangement , not the number of riders. A bike with two riders side-by-side is called a sociable.-History:Patents related to tandem bicycles date from the late 19th...

  • Three wheeled cars
    Three wheeled cars
    A three wheeled car, also known as a tricar or tri-car, is a powered vehicle, legally classed as either an automobile or motorcycle, that has one wheel in the front and two at the rear, or two in the front and one in the rear...

  • Three wheeler
    Three wheeler
    A three wheeler is a vehicle with three wheels, either "human or people-powered vehicles" or motorized vehicles in the form of a motorcycle, All terrain vehicle or automobile. Other names for three-wheelers include Trikes, Tricars and Cyclecars...

  • Unicycle
    Unicycle
    A unicycle is a human-powered, single-track vehicle with one wheel. Unicycles resemble bicycles, but are less complex.-History:One theory of the advent of the unicycle stems from the popularity of the penny-farthing during the late 19th century...

  • Zigo
    Zigo
    Zigo is a brand of carrier bike designed by US company SOMA Cycle, Inc., located in South Orange, NJ. The product is convertible into a stroller...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK