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Before You Buy: 10 Essential Considerations for Purchasing a Recumbent Trike

Investing in a recumbent trike is an exciting decision that opens up a world of cycling adventures and possibilities. However, with so many options available, several factors should be considered before making your purchase. In this article, we'll explore ten essential things you should know before buying a recumbent trike. We hope this article will help you make an informed decision and find the perfect trike to suit your needs and preferences.

Riding Experience:

Firstly, when considering which trike to buy, it's essential to think about your experience with riding and how much experience you've had with trikes in the past. If you're new to triking or don't have much experience, you may prefer a beginner-friendly model with stable handling and easy-to-use features. At Utah Trikes, we have some great options for beginners, particularly in the Sunseeker lineup.

The Sunseeker Eco Tad is an excellent trike for recumbent newbies that offers all the basic necessities for a comfortable beginner ride. It's also a great starting point for upgrades and modifications as you become more accustomed to triking. The Eco Tad is also one of our most affordable recumbent trikes.

For anyone in between newbie riders to experienced riders - Any Catrike model is a GREAT option. There is truly a Catrike for anyone with so many different models for any type of ride. And all with the perfect balance of quality and affordability. You can check out our Catrike video lineup here for more information.

If you're an experienced rider, you may want to look for more advanced options with specialized features for optimal performance or touring. For these riders, the Azub, HP Velotechnik and ICE line of trikes are an excellent choice.

These high-end trikes are built with extra comfort and quality-of-life features that you won't find anywhere else. These expanded features make touring more streamlined and your trike rides more intuitive and comfortable.

Some of our shop-favorite trikes come from Azub. These are high end trikes that we carry, Built in the Czech Republic with a lot of extra comfort and quality of life features that you won't find anywhere else. The Ti-Fly X for example is a fantastic full-suspension trike for off-road riding.

If touring is your thing, the trikes from ICE are world-renowned with suspension options and folding capabilities. Take the Sprint X Tour for example, It is suitable for carving bends, pushing speed, or long-distance touring.

Riding Terrain:

It's essential to consider the terrain you'll be riding on most frequently. Recumbent trikes come in different designs that cater to different surfaces. It's critical to figure out which one is best for you.

If you mostly ride on paved roads, a recumbent trike with a lower seat height and aerodynamic build will be better suited for the smooth pavement. This type of trike will provide high stability and maneuverability. Depending on your riding style in these conditions, your wheel size will vary as well.

If you are in a lot of stop-and-go traffic and need to accelerate easily, smaller wheels might be the best option. If you are going for long touring rides on open roads with occasional stops, a larger rear wheel will provide higher top speeds and a more consistent speed. These features provide excellent stability and maneuverability, especially at higher speeds.

If you're planning to ride on gravel trails, a more upright seat will give you a more comfortable and controlled riding experience. We also recommend considering wider tires and a build with higher ground clearance. This type of trike can handle rougher terrain more efficiently while providing a comfortable and smooth ride.

For off-road adventures, consider a recumbent trike with suspension. This will provide the necessary shock absorption to ride over rough terrain and obstacles without discomfort or loss of control.

It's important to choose a recumbent trike that matches your preferred terrain. This will ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience. If you have any additional questions let us know by shooting us an email at trikes@utahtrikes.com.

Seating Position:

It's essential to consider the seating position. Trikes come with different seating options, such as fully reclined, semi-reclined, and upright. Each position is suitable for a specific riding style. Opting for an upright position might be more suitable for individuals who face physical challenges in getting onto the trike seat.

Therefore, it's crucial to consider which seating position is most comfortable for you and aligns with your riding style, level of comfort, and physical limitations.

There are also many different seat styles as well to consider as you look for trikes. From simple mesh seats, all the way to ergonomic padded seats built to create the perfect amount of airflow there are many options to consider for the trike you get.

And if seat adjustability is a must-have for you there are plenty of trikes that have adjustable seat backs so you can have the desired seat angle for your ride, or there are even seats like on sunseekers eco tad where you can adjust the seat up and down the frame for height adjustment.

Frame Material:

It's important not to overlook the frame's material. The two most common materials for trike frames are aluminum and steel, each with advantages and disadvantages, including durability, weight, and ride quality.

A steel frame is rigid and durable, excellent at absorbing road vibrations. However, it is much heavier than an aluminum frame.

On the other hand, an aluminum frame is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for transportation and offering a modular ride. Both materials have unique features, and it's essential to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Advanced ICE frames use a combination of aluminum and steel to balance aluminum's stiff responsiveness with the smoother ride of chromoly steel. Azub uses titanium suspension on its aluminum frame to provide an entirely unique and smooth ride.

Wheel Size:

When choosing a recumbent trike, it's important to pay attention to the size of the wheels. On average, the wheels range from 20 to 26 inches, but they can be as small as 14 inches or as large as 29 inches. The size of the wheels can significantly affect your ride quality, so it's an important factor to consider.

A standard road tire in 20x1.5 inches would be better if you want quick acceleration and easy startup. On the other hand, if you're looking for a higher and more consistent speed, a 26 by 1.5 inch road tire would be more suitable. For off-road terrains, you will need a wider tire built for stability and high traction. For example, you can consider the 20 by 4 inch knobby tires we offer on our website.

We have a wide variety of tires, including the Schwalbe Big Apples, which are wider and provide higher traction with a built-in suspension. There are too many types of tires to talk about today, but we will make a video discussing all the different types of tires in the near future, so stay tuned.

The size of the wheels can affect ride comfort, handling, and performance, so it's essential to consider your preferences and riding goals when selecting the wheel size for your trike


Evaluate the gearing options available on the trike, including the number of gears, gear range, and drivetrain components. Choose a gearing setup that suits your riding terrain, fitness level, and desired riding speed.

Accessories and Customization:

Looking at the accessories and customization options available can help you find the right trike for you. These can really enhance your riding experience and tailor your trike to your liking. Some popular accessories include cargo racks for transporting groceries or gear and fenders to keep you and your trike clean and dry in wet weather. Lighting is also super important for safety, so ensure your trike has good lighting or add additional lights.

If you ever need an extra power boost while riding, you might want to check out electronic assist systems. These systems can make pedaling more manageable, especially when you need to climb hills or ride longer distances.

By taking your time and considering these options, you can ensure that your trike is right for you and that you have the best possible riding experience.

Test Ride Opportunities:

If you're thinking of buying a recumbent trike, you should test-ride different models to find the one that's perfect for you. We recommend trying several models to get a feel for their handling, comfort, and performance.

Finding a trike shop that specializes in recumbent trikes is the best option for testing rides. You can try out a few different models on the street or in a parking lot. However, it can be tricky if there are no trike dealers near you. Some shops may also charge a fee to test ride.

If you can't find a trike shop near you, try finding local trike riders who are willing to let you test ride. You can reach out to fellow trike enthusiasts on local trike groups on Facebook. It's a great way to meet new people in the trike community and get a free test ride.

If you live in Utah or are willing to drive to us, we at Utah Trikes offer free test rides and have the largest selection of trikes of any dealer. If you're interested in a test ride with us, feel free to email us at trikes@utahtrikes.com or give us a call to plan your appointment.

Whether you test ride at a shop or with local riders, trying out different recumbent trike models can help you make a smart decision and find the right one.


If you're planning to buy a recumbent trike, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you can enjoy your new ride without any financial worries. First, set a realistic budget that includes not only the cost of the trike itself but also any accessories or customizations you may want, such as lights, mirrors, fenders, and racks.

It's also important to consider the ongoing costs of maintaining and repairing your trike. Depending on how much you use it and its condition, you may need to replace things like tires, chains, gears, or brake pads, which can add up over time. That's why it's a good idea to do some research on the average prices of recumbent trikes and accessories and the estimated costs of maintenance and repair.

Don't worry; you don't have to figure all of this out alone. You can always consult with a dealer or other experienced trike riders to better understand what to expect. By taking these steps, you can set a budget that works for you and enjoy your recumbent trike without financial stress.

Support and Service:

Research the manufacturer's reputation for customer support, warranty coverage, and replacement parts availability. Then, choose a reputable dealer or retailer who can provide expert advice, support, and service throughout the life of your trike.

Purchasing a recumbent trike is an investment in your cycling enjoyment and well-being. Considering these ten essential factors before buying a trike, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect one to suit your needs, preferences, and riding goals. At Utah Trikes, we're committed to helping you find the ideal recumbent trike for your cycling adventures, providing expert advice, personalized recommendations, and exceptional customer service every step of the way.

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