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How Safe Are Recumbent Trikes?

Welcome back to another Utah Trikes Article. Over the past few years recumbent trikes have grown quite a bit in popularity as a comfortable and safe alternative to traditional bicycles. Featuring a reclined seating position and a low center of gravity, these innovative vehicles are gaining traction with riders of all types. In one of our previous videos a few weeks ago titled ďWhy Ride a TrikeĒ we touched on the reasons that a lot of our newsletter readers ride trikes. Many of our riders like to ride trikes for a wide variety of reasons, one of the major ones being safety. Here at Utah Trikes, we pride ourselves at putting safety first and In this article we're going to talk about our perspective about how safe we think recumbent trikes really are.

With that letís get into what makes trikes safe and some of our quick tips and tricks to keep in mind when riding a recumbent trike.

Safety Features of Recumbent Trikes

Now when you look at a recumbent trike youíll notice that besides looking really cool, they are characterized by a few different design features that are made to enhance safety. Trikes have a lower center of gravity, because of this they are way more stable than your average bicycle. The low center of gravity causes weight to be distributed evenly so that your trike and you remain balanced and stable.

The low center of gravity combined with the three-wheel structure of a trike greatly reduces the risk of tipping or suffering accidents associated with loss of balance. Another plus to recumbent trikes is that you can ride slower without being concerned that youíre going to lose your balance. When riding a bicycle sometimes when you go a little slower it can get kind of harder to balance especially if you already struggle with balance or havenít ridden a bike in a while. This isnít the case with a trike though you can go at a slow and steady pace or you can go total pedal to the medal and it doesnít make much of a difference balance wise.

Another safety feature of recumbent trikes is the reclined seating position that makes recumbent trikes recumbent trikes. Because the seats are reclined they offer better spinal alignment than a traditional bicycle would. When someone is riding a bicycle their back is usually hunched over and arched but on a recumbent trike their back is laid back and relaxed. In our slogan that we say at the end of every article starts with the word ďrelaxĒ. Being able to relax while riding a trike is a major factor. The ergonomic approach to rider positioning not only enhances comfort and allows you to relax, but it also has the potential to reduce strain injuries to the back and neck.

Trikes can also be easier to get in and out of. Certain varieties of trikes are especially easy to get on with their upright posture. Many trikes have handle bars that you can hold onto when getting in and out of them. If they don't have them we offer a variety of different exit and entry aids such as our UTCustom EZ Entry Aids and Catrikes Exit Assist bars.

One of the last safety features that weíll mention is being lower to the ground. Being positioned lower to the ground means that in the unlikely event of an accident, falls from a recumbent trike typically involve a shorter drop, reducing the potential severity of fall-related injuries. Falling off of a bicycle can result in potentially devastating injuries especially if youíre an older person. With trikes even if the possibility isnít zero itís definitely an improvement. Because the possibility of having an accident is never zero in our next section weíre gonna talk about some safety tips and tricks to keep in mind to keep yourself safe when riding.

Safety tips

Being safe on your trike is the most important thing when youíre on a ride. We have a detailed video where we talk all about our favorite safety tips and tricks but weíre gonna talk about a couple of our favorite tips here and some stuff that we weren't able to mention in that video.

Be Seen

One of the most important things to keep in mind when riding a trike is to see and to be seen. Some ways that you can make sure that youíre being seen is to have a flag. Bright flags flying above your trike can help other people around you know that youíre there. Itíll allow drivers to stop and slow down when approaching you. To go along with this wearing bright colors or reflective or high vis clothing is a good idea. Wearing bright colors makes it so that there is a greater chance that other riders and people on the road will see you.

The next safety feature that we have to mention is mirrors. Mirrors are super important when riding a trike so that you can be aware of your surroundings. Mirrors make it so that you can see what's going on around and behind you without having to look over your shoulder constantly. Mirrors are definitely a must have for any safe trike ride. If you donít have a mirror or if you would like to add another mirror to your trike check out our website.

Our last tip for being seen is lights. Lights make a huge difference for being seen. Now you may think that a light is only good for riding in dim light, but you would actually be mistaken. A good light can keep you safe at all hours of the day. A bright flashing front light and even a flashing red rear light can make all the difference if a larger vehicle is able to spot you or not, these lights are eye-catching even in the light of day.

But at the very least a good rule of thumb is that if youíre in a situation where you canít see whatís going on around you thereís a good chance that youíre not being seen. So especially if you're. doing morning or night riding make sure to get yourself a light to avoid accidents with other people. If you would like to pick up a light we have so many options on our website.

Protect yourself

Our next section about tips and tricks is how to protect yourself and how to avoid potential injuries.

Our first tip is pedals. In one of our recent videos we talked about the dangers of leg suck and things you can do to avoid it. If you havenít seen that video you can watch it here. We wont go into too much here but the short version of it is that leg suck is when youíre legs get sucked underneath your trike this can happen when you take your legs off of the pedals too soon or if youíre foot slips off of the pedals. Leg suck has the potential to cause potentially serious injuries but with the right pedals this isn't a worry. Pedals with a strap or that can hold your foot like our UTCustom heel support pedals do a great job at preventing leg suck. Besides from pedals, keeping your feet on the pedals until youíve come to a complete stop does an awesome job at preventing leg suck.

One of the most important things that you can do to protect yourself while riding a trike is to wear a helmet. A helmet can be the number one difference between you being fine and you having a serious injury. Itís not a joke guys please wear a helmet.

Now that youíre ready to get on the road hereís some things to keep in mind while youíre riding. Try to stay on bike paths and lanes if you can. These spaces are designed for trikes and bikes and your best bet for staying safe is to stay on these. If there are no bike paths or lanes around you own the road. Bikes and trikes are considered vehicles on the road and you have the same rights as any other vehicle. Stay in the middle of your lane and obey all the traffic laws.

Be aware of your surroundings and if something doesnít feel right it probably isnít. If you run into trouble and you get a flat pull over to a safe location and get it fixed or call for help. Itís always a good idea to bring essentials with you when going on a ride. What essentials you bring differs from person to person but we recommend bringing extra water and flat repair tools.

Handling and Riding Recumbent Trikes

One note for people considering riding recumbent trikes or people who have just started riding The unique way that recumbent trikes are designed may require a period of adjustment. However, understanding how they handle and practicing can contribute to safer riding experiences. With a wide base and low center of gravity, recumbent trikes are remarkably stable and tend to handle well at higher speeds compared to traditional bicycles.

New riders should take it slow initially, and dedicate some time to become accustomed to the different handling and riding style of recumbent trikes. It's important to practice until you feel confident with controlling the recumbent trike and are comfortable with its maneuverability and braking system.

We here at Utah Trikes are extremely dedicated to safety and weíre always looking for ways to make our trikes safer. We have tons of different options of trikes and we love to customize them so that theyíre perfect for you. Thatís all we have for today. We hope that you were able to learn how safe recumbent trikes are and that you were able to learn some new tips on how to stay safe. You liked this video let us know in the comments below and let us know how you stay safe on a trike and how you like to stay safe. And with that remember to relax, spin fast, and ride trikes.

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