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Electric Bike Vs. Electric Trike: Which Is Right For You?

Posted by Jim Dewan on

Ready to go back to the playground? Gone are the days of endless summer fun and two-wheeled adventures racing through the neighborhood with your friends. That old Schwinn took a beating but was there at the ready every morning, prepared for any antics the day might bring.

What’s old is new again.

Adulthood may have ushered in years of work and obligation, but it has also opened the door to some well-earned old-style fun. The toys may have changed, but the adventure is still there to be chased. This time it’s electric! A meteoric rise in popularity of the e-bike in recent years has brought back the thrill of childhood combined with an eco-friendly twist of convenience. The choices are broad with the styles and features that make up today’s e-bikes. The biggest choice is whether to get onto one of the two or three-wheeled models of these cruising dynamos.

Electric bike vs. electric trike: Which is right for you?

Aside from the extra wheel, what makes these two types of e-bikes different? Let’s look at each and see if we can help you decide which suits you and your lifestyle.

Electric Bike Vs. Electric Trike: Bike Advantages

The electric bicycle has changed substantially over the 150 years since the first steam-propelled bike hit the road. One thing that hasn’t changed is the popularity of this two-wheeled mode of transportation. Whether it’s steam, gas, battery, or muscle-powered, the two-wheeled bicycle has been the lightest and most compact mode of transit available.


Cruise this summer in your neighborhood or on the boardwalk with the electric Cruiser bike.

Bike Features/Benefits

  • Easy to maneuver–turn radius is much better than a trike.
  • Easy to store–Many folding models to choose from.
  • Lightweight–suitable for apartment dwellers or anyone who needs to carry a bike upstairs. Easier to load on public transportation.
  • Many models are suitable for riding in loose sand, mountainous terrain, and steep trails.
  • Many more model options and features than trikes.
  • Easier to pedal if there is a total loss of battery power and you need to pedal home.

Use this electric City bike to commute to work or around town on errands.

Bike Cons

  • The range varies from 20 to 50 miles max, depending on model.
  • Cargo/passenger limitations.
  • Good balance is necessary. Some infirmed or elderly may have issues.
  • Can aggravate existing back or joint issues

Electric Bike Vs. Electric Trike: Three Wheels the Charm?

So what’s the deal with the extra wheel on an electric trike? The most significant appeal of a trike style can be found back on that playground when you were a kid: stability. There’s no questioning why almost every child’s first experience was with a tricycle. The balance it takes to ride a two-wheeler hasn’t developed yet, so a trike gives a solid foundation.

This electric Fat Trike makes any season fun to trike in.

Rita W. looking extra cool on her Fat Tire Trike!

An electric trike does the same thing for an adult rider. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we have excellent balance and agility. Maybe there’s been an injury or limitation which makes balance impossible. Here’s where the rubber truly meets the road for those who want the freedom to hit the streets but need a bit more of a stable ride.

Trike Features/Benefits

These three-wheeled bicycles come in a range of designs. Some resemble traditional two-wheeled bikes with frame modifications to accommodate a wider axle and additional rear wheel. Others are recumbents, supporting the rider in a chair-type seat, with a frame that is low to the ground. Three-wheeled bikes are known for their stability and ease of riding. 

  • Better for folks with balance issues.
  • More space.
  • Trikes may be better for shorter people who have problems touching the ground on a bike.
  • Better with back or joint problems and especially great for seniors and disabled riders
  • Some trikes have an incredible range. 30-50 miles is average, but some trikes get hundreds of miles on a charge.

Trike Cons:

  • Can be a bit more expensive than an electric bike.
  • Low clearance–rough or bumpy terrain is tough.
  • The turning radius can be a challenge in tight spaces.
  • Not as easy to lug up a flight of stairs and bulky to store.

Electric Bike Vs. Electric Trike: What’s Best For You?

So back to the question – electric bike vs. electric trike: which is right for you? If balance is a big issue for you, going with the e-trike will be your obvious choice. You will not regret the stability a trike provides, even if it comes at the cost of performance and athletic flexibility. Our popular Fat Tire trike is cool to look at and is the perfect companion for your next off-road adventure. We also offer the traditional trike which is ideal for recreational trike riders who crave the latest electric bike technology combined with the comfort of a traditional adult tricycle. Our recumbents come in all shapes and sizes, too. Some swear it's the best ride they've had! Lastly - if you're leaning towards an e-trike, join our Electric Trike Owners Group on Facebook! It's a great way to learn from owners by asking questions and/or reading their posts for more insight.

The e-bike, on the other hand, becomes the front-runner if you want a more athletic ride and have that “go anywhere” drive. Two wheels will have you darting in and out of traffic and around potholes in the city and dodging trees and rocks off-road. We offer an array of models, suited to fit every want and need - everything from the Electric Bike Cruiser to the Electric Mountain Bike and everything in between.

As always, give us a shout if you have any comments or questions on which option is best for you and your situation. You can reach us by phone at 800.215.1976 or via email at support@electricbikestore.com.


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