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toddler on green trike with teddy

Why Buy a Trike and Not a Bike?

 

In the time we've spent breaking down what a tricycle is, we've heard this question countless times - "Other than an extra wheel, is there really any difference between tricycles and bicycles?"

Yet, we've never addressed why a tricycle might actually be preferable over a bicycle. 

Here, we're going to right that wrong. There's much more to the humble trike than a single wheel, and we're here to prove it.

These are our reasons why you might want to buy a trike (and not a bike).

Do you lack confidence? Don't worry!

It's natural. As fun as bikes have the potential to be, it's hard to ignore how much bigger the motorists are than you and the threat of falling. 

Tricycles can ease some of these concerns. We joke that there is more to trikes than one extra wheel, but really, most of the benefits do come from this wheel. One key reason is that it leaves you feeling supported in a way a bike just can't. 

You shouldn't worry about balancing because the trike does the job for you. You can feel safe and protected by your three-wheeled friend. 

These assurances mean that trikes are an excellent option for those who can't ride a bike. You may be unable to ride a bike for many reasons - maybe you're too young, never learned, are a disabled person, have mobility issues or are elderly? 

Regardless of the reason, if you can't ride a bike, you may very well be able to ride a trike. It's a great option to build your confidence while getting many of the benefits of cycling. Namely, the fresh air.

Experience cycling at a leisurely pace. 

Cycling is often associated with the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, and Victoria Pendleton - travelling so fast that if you blink, you'll miss them.

But, it doesn't have to be this way. Riding a tricycle almost always means that you have to travel at a much slower pace.

That's not to say that tricycles are always slow. You only need to take a look at the speed of some of the Paralympians who use tricycles to know that's false! Yet, the standard design of tricycle is intended for slower speeds. 

This relaxed pace is possible by, you guessed it, the tricycles third wheel. You don't have to worry about keeping up a fast enough speed so that you don't tip over as you do on a regular bike.

Consider how you have to pedal on a standard bike when climbing a hill. It's rhythmic, it's intense, it's exhausting, right?

On a tricycle, all you need to do is switch to a lower gear, and you'll likely have no trouble getting to the top. It's possible by being closer to the ground and not having to worry about your sense of balance. 

Riding a tricycle encourages you to slow down and appreciate your surroundings in a way you just can't on a bike.

 

green kids trike in bedroom with giant teddy bear

Kids are ready to ride trikes before bikes. 

As balancing isn't a concern, pedalling is the most complex part of learning to ride a tricycle. A child could be ready to try pedalling anytime from 3 years old, which means they can start using a tricycle.

You might be thinking that you could also use a pedal bike with stabilisers. While this is true, stabilisers are a temporary measure when learning to ride a bike.

So, you intend to take them off eventually. This goal means that they usually use plastic wheels. These are smaller and less sturdy than tricycles larger wheels. 

Trikes have the potential to see a child through the development of their cycling. Their sturdiness allows for years of cycling adventures until your child builds up the confidence to use a two-wheel bike.

Developing coordination.

Coordination is a crucial part of a child's development. And, riding a toddler tricycle is an ideal way to encourage this at a young age.

Good coordination will serve your child throughout their life, especially if they take part in sports. If you have dreams of your little one being the next winner of the tour de France, start their training a few years early on a tricycle!

Cycling helps dynamic (moving) coordination, particularly body awareness, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Riding a tricycle can help to progress your toddler's development of these skills.

You can see this through the arm and leg coordination needed to mount the trike and learning to steer.

For safety and awareness. 

Toddlers who spend time on tricycles develop an awareness of safety risks. They meet obstacles and understand to avoid them, preparing them for other challenges as they grow.

Kids who cycle are found to be more aware of other children's safety and are more alert and ready to learn at school than those who don't.

Riding a trike has much more value than the obvious skill of pedalling. It can help shape a child into a well-rounded person because of the skills that it provides.

 

green kids trike on a path surrounded by trees

It can hold (more) cargo.

Yes, we know you can get all sorts of bags, panniers, and baskets for a standard bicycle. But, carrying excessive weight in them can make it harder for you to cycle.

This difficulty can make riding a bike for any distance uncomfortable - especially when you add hills to the mix.

On a tricycle, this isn't a problem. The area between the rear wheels is a perfect location for cargo to sit and not throw off the balance of the trike. Pack up a picnic, games, and blanket and still cycle with ease to your destination.

Kids can fill up the rear bucket on their trike with knick-knacks, without noticing a difference in how comfortable the ride is.

Trikes are the ideal way to get some exercise and end it with a feast you've brought along with you. If that's what exercise is, we're sold!

A comfortable ride. 

There's nothing better than enjoying bike rides down never-ending roads. The wind whipping through your hair, birds chirping in the trees, and the sun shining on your face. And then... you can't cycle anymore. Your back cramps, bum aches, and legs can't propel you any further.

There's a limit to how much your body can handle when on a bike. It's understandable, considering the size of the seat and the need to hold yourself upright.

Riding a tricycle, however, is much less taxing on your body.

The seats are larger, so you can spread your body weight over more space. This means you can cycle for longer and remain unscathed.

What's more, if you fancy a break, just pull up at the side of the path and sit. There's no need to hold your bicycle in place or rest it against a wall while you awkwardly stand nearby. A trike does the work for you.

Kids won't grow tired of riding their tricycle as quickly as a bike as it exerts much less effort and they can ride in comfort.

This is a bonus for a parent who won't be stuck lugging their child's bike home.

What do you think?

These are only some of the reasons we think that you should consider a trike over a bike. If you prefer living slow and comfortable, a tricycle may just be right for you. 

Like what you've heard? Shop our kid's tricycle range today!

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