Traditionally, tricycles have been looked upon as the beginner’s bike. They were meant mostly for babies and kids and at times for those that were physically challenged. Today, trikes (Yup! That is what these tricycles are called now) are a cool way to travel. They are stylish and have plenty of oomph. They are clean, they are green and they make the onlookers go green – a typical case of the neighbor’s envy being the owner’s pride. Combining the best of aesthetics, ergonomics and design, trikes have ushered in a revolution in short and long distance travel. Let us test ride five select trikes that have been modeled along different concepts to achieve the same common goals of enjoyment, exercise, economy and ecology!
1. Bam trike
This definitely looks like a chariot from the Roman amphitheater. The Bam Trike is a recumbent tricycle designed by Alexander Vittouris as a personal mobility vehicle. Eco friendly bamboo has been used in conjunction with Polylactide resin to build this elegant looking body for the trike. Bamboo is as strong as woven fiberglass and it shapes very well in building the trike. The rider pedals from an ergonomic reclining position and the side pockets on the trike’s body can be used as storage area to carry personal belongings. With its stylish looks, zero emission rate and high exercising ability, the Bam Trike is really a neat recreational vehicle.
2. Twin trike concept
While one is lonely, two is company! The Twin Trike scores over the Bam Trike in the fact that it harnesses the power inherent in synergy. Two heads are better than one they say. “Four legs are better than two”, seems to be the slogan of the Twin Trike. Cikaric Dragan has designed this tricycle to be mounted by two riders pedaling in tandem. The ideal transport for a green couple, this tricycle has been designed from ultra light and durable carbon fiber. No back seat driving here as all the controls are with the rider in front! Two gears make the ride easier while a flexible moving frame ensures neat and seamless turning while riding. The added headlights and indicator lights make the Twin Trike a functional concept for the nights too.
3. Human powered Pardo concept
Taking comfort to the next level is this design from Pablo Lopez. It is shaped in the sprinting posture of the agile cheetah and thus, it scores high marks on speed. The rider can recline on the stomach, placing the feet on the pedals that are located just beside the single wheel. The reclining posture is aerodynamically suitable for better speeds and optimization of efforts. The pedaling is also slightly different and the pedals have to be pushed simultaneously. Though it looks quite uncomfortable, the feel is absolutely lovely. This trike has been designed for racing purposes and so, it is no wonder that the leopard was chosen as an inspiration. For storage, it can be folded neatly to half its size and stowed away.
4. The Windcheetah
While the Pardo design was inspired by the leopard (cheetah), this trike has perfected the concept and achieved the results of a cheetah too! The rider on the Windcheetah is ‘back’ to reclining normally while riding. The adjustable pedals are situated up front. Just like its namesake, this Cheetah too hits speeds of up to 70 mph! And if you are riding downhill, that speed will increase much more. Rumor is that this is the fastest trike on the planet powered by human muscular energy. Any rider is bound to experience a 12 percent improvement in performance, thanks to the Cheetah’s aerodynamic design. It is built light and strong. Its looks are simply stunning and the jet black color gives it a charisma of sorts. One negative point however – users complain about poor after-sales service for the Windcheetah. Guess ,it really leaves you a bit stranded in the wild!
5. Greenspeed GT3
Reserving the best for the end, we present the Greenspeed GT3, a recumbent tricycle that beats the Windcheetah in many aspects and definitely gives it a good run for its money in the velocity department. And it achieves its top speeds with a paltry 27 gears instead of the usual 70 or 80! Though it is available in different colors, the GT3 comes in one standard size and it can bear a rider up to 270 lbs in weight. With Disc Gator brakes, Greenspeed Scorcher tires, alloy rims and stainless steel spokes, this trike is worth every dollar of its cost. At $2600, it is half as expensive as the Windcheetah. The best part is the fact that the whole trike can be compacted and folded to less than half its original size with the help of one little 6mm Allen key!