Tribents.com directly sells some of the finest three-wheel recumbent tadpole cycles, which are described on this website. This website also provides directory access to other major manufacturers of three-wheel recumbents.
Definitions: Tribents and Tadpoles
For a discussion of the five major cycle categories, please see: Major Cycle Categories. Here we will just define “tribents” and “tadpoles”, which characterize the products offered by Tribents.com.
Tribents are three-wheel recumbent cycles. Unlike bicycles and tricycles, which have saddle seats located above the rear wheel(s), recumbents have wider seats and seat backs, which generally are located forward of the rear wheel(s). Tadpoles are three wheel recumbent cycles that have two wheels on either side and slightly ahead of the seat. They have a single wheel behind the seat, which generally is the power/drive wheel while the two side wheels generally are the steering wheels. Tribents do come in another configuration known as “deltas” – with two wheals behind the seat and the single steering wheel in front. Riders generally sit higher on deltas than on tadpoles. Tribents.com does not sell deltas because they have a higher center of gravity and, from our perspective, too closely resemble “your grandmother’s trike”. (Check our Directory of manufacturers, if you want to buy a delta.) We exclusively feature and sell recumbent, three-wheel tadpoles, most of which are folding.
The tribents sold by Tirbents.com primarily are folding tadpoles. Folding tadpoles offer maximum portability, for example, allowing retirees to easily transport them from their summer homes to their winter residences. As another example, boaters can fold and transport the tribents on their boats, always having land-transportation available when needed. Also, cycle commuters can fold their tribents and store them during their workdays next to their desks.
While some other companies manufacture folding tadpole trikes, those directly offered by Tribents.com are among the most affordable quality tadpole cycles available. Our folding tribents offer the same quality and features of non-folding trikes, and in most cases cost less than the non-folding tribents (with the same features) from other manufacturers.
Folding Tribents for Safety and Comfort
Compared to bikes, three-wheel recumbents tadpoles offer a much lower center of gravity and the forgiving stability of three wheels – especially since two of the wheels are on either side of the rider. Also recumbent riders are facing forward, and comfortably holding controls on either side of them. In contrast, bike or trike saddle-based riders are bending over with much of their weight resting on their shoulders, arms and hands while straining their necks to see ahead. And there's absolutely no comparison in seat comfort. Unlike bikes and trikes, recumbent tadpoles are stable, comfortable, and easy to ride.
Because tribent riders have a low center of gravity, high stability, and are riding while facing forward, they are less likely to experience an accident from loose gravel and most other road hazards and conditions. If an accident does occur, they are much less likely to roll. If knocked off a tribent, they have much less to fall. This is of considerable consequence for older riders, who may be more severely injured from a fall and recover less quickly than younger riders. Ominously, national statistics show a three-fold increase in bike accidents among persons 70 and older when compared to the next lower age bracket. Thus, for the continuing health benefits of cycling, older riders should be switching from bicycles to the comparative safety of tribents.
Folding Tribents for Fun and Style
Riding a tribent is like driving a go-cart. Tribents are fast – as fast as human power and terrain will allow. On uphill climbs, tribents may be slower than bikes, but they will pass bikes on the downhill. Tribents will maneuver and corner with agility. (In fact, this is a potential problem with tribents. Tribents with “direct” steering are more sensitive to small steering changes, which may prove dangerous at high speed. For this reason, Tribents.com, primarily offers tadpoles with “indirect” steering, which is much more forgiving at high speed.)
Speaking of speed, an Australian website reports a tribent reaching speeds in excess of 70 kilomoters per hour (kph) (about 45 mph) on a downhill slope. A good tribent rider can cruise at 40 kph (25 mph), when road and driving conditions are favorable.
However, tribents can be ridden at any speed the rider desires. Unlike bikes, tribents do not require a minimum speed to retain balance. At stop signs, tribent riders need not take their feet off the peddles to maintain balance, and have no difficulty re-gaining minimum speed to sustain balance. This allows tribent riders to concentrate on traffic, terrain, etc., rather than on the act of riding itself. When touring, tribent riders can focus more on scenery and less on road surface than can bike riders. And all the time, tribent riders will be much more comfortable than bike riders.
Furthermore, because tribent riders are reclined, they present less frontal profile, resulting in reduced wind resistance. Under most riding conditions, tribent riders generally can ride farther, with much more awareness and enjoyment of surroundings. For sheer fun, comfort and safety, no human-powered cycle surpasses the tribent.
Tribents also are stylish, indeed some will call them “sexy”. They are sleek, low, maneuverable and fast – the sportscars of cycling. Tribents attract attention. They definitely are not “your grandmother’s trike”. Quite the contrary, they are the next generation “plaything” of discerning adults, who like style as much as performance, comfort and safety. When you want to go and arrive in style, there is nothing like riding a tribent.