Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Igor Karni
Trike e-bikes attract a lot of people because they are the height of convenience. For one, they virtually remove the need to balance because of the extra tire. Secondly, most can be fully motor-run, thereby removing the need to pedal too much (some models even let you forgo pedaling completely). You get stability and handiness all in one.
Why have you decided to opt for an electric trike? Is it mainly because of the great stability they provide? Do you want comfort as much as possible or do you intend to use it for a more practical purpose? There may be trike e-bikes out there that can easily astound many experienced e-bike riders with how they are built and their specs, and they will definitely be mentioned here.
But that is just half of the equation in acquiring the best trike e-bike. Once you learn all the criteria you need to know, you will certainly know why.
Top criteria for the best trike e-Bike
What would be deemed as the best trike e-bike? It is a given that most electric trikes will be able to provide those two said fundamental qualities. This considered, we need to start looking at specific factors such as the battery, motor, weight, capacity, helpful features, price, and, more importantly, your preferences and purposes for using an electric trike.
The ones you can view in the table below pretty much tick those checkboxes. But, in the end, be sure not to overlook your preferences and reasons for buying an electric trike. It plays as much of an important role when buying an electric bike that is as specialized as this.
Also, take note that upright and recumbent electric trikes pretty much serve as the clear dividing line between casual and performance use in electric trikes. This is especially proven by the big-ticket recumbent models of such brands as Outrider and HP Velotechnok.
Once you opt for the latter, not only can you expect maximum speed and battery life in electric trikes but relatively more expensive price tags as well. However, that’s not to say that all recumbent electric trikes are heavy-duty and high-end because casual models do exist.
The best trike e-Bikes based on customer feedback
|50 – 60 miles (80 – 95 km)
|140 pounds (63.4 kg)
|Rad Power Bikes RadBurro
|40 – 80 miles (65 – 130 km)
|227 pounds (102.9 kg)
|HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS 26 S-Pedelec
|35 – 90 miles (55 – 140 km)
|68 pounds (30.8 kg)
|20 – 45 miles (30 – 70 km)
|85.5 pounds (38.8 kg)
|Electric Mid-Drive Fat Trike
|14 – 28 miles (20 – 45 km)
|102.4 pounds (46.5 kg)
|Electric Bike Technologies Electric Eco-Delta
|15 – 35 miles (25 – 55 km)
|72 pounds (32.6 kg)
Riding range is all up to you; just make sure it doesn’t fall short
Yes, it does not hurt to have as much battery life as you can. But if you are just going to be traveling for very similar distances every day (like most commuters), then having an extremely high battery life will just be overkill.
Make no mistake, the riding range should, as much as possible, be high especially if you are the type of ride that does not want to pedal too much. Most casual, upright electric trikes noticeably do not offer as much range as their other e-bike counterparts. The comparatively heavier weight can be attributed to this, as well as the fact that these casual trikes are often just used for leisure riding or commuting.
If you are that type of rider, then make sure that the riding range will be sufficient for your traveling purposes. You may have to opt to pedal more to extend the battery life. Besides weight, pedal input, and battery capacity, other factors that impact the range are the terrain (you normally get lesser range when riding through inclines a lot), temperature, and speed.
It can be hard to calculate the riding range because of these variables. This is why the best trike e-bike, with its innate handicap weight-wise, should not disappoint in this regard. You also can’t blame people for choosing trikes with more riding range and faster-charging batteries because of this.
An e-trike should be able to compensate for its weight
Most users want to have lighter weight in electric trikes because of most models for an obvious reason. And that is saying a lot when it comes to electric bikes, which are naturally weighty enough as they are. The heftiness of the electric trike also plays a big role in how quickly you will be able to get the hang of riding it.
Cargo electric trike riders should also be extra mindful of the weight. If you will be using the trike for grocery shopping regularly, you will need to have a powerful motor and a battery with a decent range. This rings truer for riders who will be using solely full-motor mode for the entire ride and if there are hilly portions along the way.
Arguably, the weight only ever becomes a concern in electric trikes that do not have enough power or those built for casual use. If you will be using your electric trike for commuting, comfort riding, carrying passengers, and heavy items, then you better start considering options that can accommodate the extra weight and still manage to not be too cumbersome to the point that it greatly affects the overall riding experience.
E-trike motor should provide enough assistance
Considering the heavier weight of these e-bikes, you need to pay closer attention to the motor integrated. Plenty of cities also cap their motor power limit at 750W. If you are going to be using the electric trike for commuting alone, 500W and even 250W brushless motors will probably be enough because most are as silent as they are efficient.
For seniors, who often prefer electric trikes because of their stability, you probably can make do with motors that reach 14-16 mph top speeds. Most of these models are cheaper and can still impart satisfactory riding experiences every time.
However, if you will be hauling heavy things with it consistently, then you may want to have a more powerful motor. Assuming the electric trike has a 400-pound maximum weight capacity, opting for 500W or even 750W models might be necessary – and that is probably what the manufacturer will incorporate.
Comfort and safety should be boosted by other features
If you will be riding through muddy or unpaved roads often, then do not hesitate to go for models with fat tires; they are designed for that purpose, and they also add great support to rear-drive motors. If you are a frequent night-time rider, you will definitely need a powerful LED light.
Monitors and LCD displays are also some features worth having as they inform you regarding how much battery life or range is left and your current speed. For added visibility, you may also want those installed with rear and front lights.
The types of brake used, likewise, are equally important to consider. Disc brakes are often the gold standard in e-bikes simply because they are more efficient and make quick braking possible and easier.
If you are riding a high-performance, speedy recumbent trike, you will thank models that integrate dual front brakes like these because of their stellar stopping distance.
Make sure the price is always relative to features (and your purposes)
It goes without saying that you will probably not be buying an Outsider recumbent electric trike costing $14,000 if you will only be using it for brief, comfy trips around the neighborhood. That may seem like a glaring overstatement but plenty of buyers still make the mistake of instantly going for high-end models just because, well, they’re fancy or seems to have everything you need.
Need – that word has to be put in the spotlight every time you are buying an electric trike. If all you need is comfort, then start looking at features that ensure that such as the seating, position of the handlebar (higher is often more comfortable), and how long you can ride the trike without experiencing any pain or discomfort.
On the other hand, if you need more capacity, then make sure you find an electric trike with a bigger cargo load that can still support the extra weight you pile on it. If you need more range or speed, then start looking at the battery and motor more.
Read also: How to select the best e-bike for your needs? Making your educated e-bike selection choice – and also in this article. And, How much does a good e-bike cost? Comprehensive e-bike pricing guide (with 46 examples).
More often than not, once you choose the trike e-bike that satisfied your primary need or purpose, it won’t be farfetched to say that it is the best trike e-bike for you. And, again, this is because most electric trikes are designed to fulfill those various, specific purposes.
If you keep this in mind, it will not be hard to find the best electric trike for you. It should, more or less, be outstanding in delivering what you need and still deliver balance when it comes to fulfilling other fundamental criteria. This way, you do not lose out on price and, of course, value for money.
Incidentally, if you get electric trikes with long warranty terms, sweet. That is a good sign of quality in most e-bikes. One- and two-year comprehensive warranties and five- or ten-year frame coverage are considered as decent to exceptional warranty terms. Be on the lookout for such models.
A few words in conclusion
One thing is certain in the facts about electric bikes mentioned above: your purposes should never come second to any other criteria. The sheer amount of models that you can choose from nowadays and the various subcategories of electric trikes make this nothing short of a necessity.
Otherwise, you will only end up paying more for features you will not be making the most out of. Even if it ends up satisfying all the other criteria, can you still consider it as the best trike e-bike for you?
Read also: Ever considered offering e-bike as a gift? Or gifting one to yourself? Check out our suggestions – in this e-bike gift guide.