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Best Folding Tricycle For Adults

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For many people with balance, mobility, or confidence issues, a tricycle is a terrific way to get some exercise with much less risk of an accident.

With a folding adult tricycle, of course, you can enjoy riding your trike in new and exciting places. Pop it into a car and go where you like!

In this article, we’ll review several folding tricycles, including the Slsy 7-Speed 20” Folding Tricycle. This is a versatile all-rounder available in various wheel sizes.

We’ll also give you hints and tips to help you track down your ideal folding tricycle.

Top 5 Best Folding Tricycles For Adults

We’ll now show you a selection of foldable trikes, each one with its pros and cons.

1. Slsy Mooncool 7-Speed 20” Folding Tricycle (best overall)

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At the top of our review list is the Slsy 7-Speed 20” Folding Tricycle, which we love for its sturdy construction, ride quality and 7-speed gears for extra versatility. This is a trike you can ride over moderately undulating terrain without any problem.

The steel frame of the Slsy Mooncool trike is not the lightest you’ll find, but it’s a frame that should last for many years. Steel is a compliant material, so you get a smooth ride quality, too.

This tricycle is available in a variety of wheel sizes. Bigger wheels ride over obstacles a little more smoothly, but they also add to the weight and folded size (40″ x 29″ x 41″ on this model). The 36H wheels are built with double-wall rims for strength.

Other useful features on this trike include a notched seat post to ensure it doesn’t slip, powerful V-brakes, a chainguard, a front fender, and a large rear basket.

What We Like

  • Sturdy – built around a strong and durable steel frame.
  • Size – the folded size is relatively small and stowable.
  • Gears – a choice of 7 Shimano gears helps you over modest inclines and helps you find a comfortable pedaling speed.
  • Wheels – strong double-wall wheels laced with 36 spokes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Weight – a few pounds heavier than some tricycles.

2. Viribus 24” Folding 1-Speed Tricycle (best single speed)

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  • Frame Material: Carbon steel
  • Gearing: 1 speed
  • Weight: 52.9 lbs. (approx.)
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs.

Our favorite single-speed trike is the Viribus 24” Folding 1-Speed Tricycle. One of the great things about a trike without gears is the lower chance of mechanical problems. Of course, it’s also less suitable for hills, but then trikes are mainly made for flat riding.

The 24” wheels of this trike enable it to ride smoothly over minor bumps. A nice feature of the Viribus for hardy all-weather riders is the triple fenders. Many tricycles only have a fender on the front wheel (the one more likely to soak the rider).

A roomy rear basket with 1.8 cubic feet of space lets you carry anything from groceries to picnics, or even pets if they can be comfortably secured. The tricycle has a 52.4” x 27.9” x 35.4” folded size. It’s also quite lightweight, owing partly to its lack of gears.

A downside to this bike is the 220 lbs. maximum load capacity. This is lower than most rival products.

What We Like

  • Durable – made from long-lasting (and economical) carbon steel.
  • Low-maintenance – no derailleur gears to go wrong or maintain.
  • Fenders – a lot of tricycles do not have triple fenders.

What We Don’t Like

  • Capacity – the load capacity is disappointingly low, especially for a tricycle.

3. Tri-Rad Mantis 24” Folding Tricycle (best lightweight)

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  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Gearing: 6-speed Shimano derailleur, Shimano shifter
  • Weight: 52 lbs. (45 lbs. for 1-speed models)
  • Weight Capacity: 320 lbs.

The weight of a folding bike or trike is important. We can recommend the Tri-Rad Mantis 24” Folding Tricycle as a lightweight trike. At 52 lbs., it’s lighter than most comparable products, and if you go for a one-speed model with smaller wheels, it’s 45 lbs.

Something that makes the low weight of this trike even more remarkable is the presence of a front suspension fork, which adds a little weight. Of course, this makes the ride smoother and irons out vibration from the road.

Other items of interest on this bike include a front fender, rear basket, high-quality Kenda tires, a parking brake, and a chain guard. To bring you to a reliable halt, the Mantis is equipped with powerful V-brakes.

What We Like

  • Lightweight – 52 lbs. or 45 lbs. depending on your chosen model.
  • Suspension – a front suspension fork smooths the ride.
  • Fenders – a lot of tricycles do not have triple fenders.

What We Don’t Like

  • Capacity – the load capacity is disappointingly low, especially for a tricycle.

4. Dongshan 20” Folding Tricycle With Passenger Seat (best for carrying kids)

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  • Frame Material: Carbon steel
  • Gearing: Single gear (double chain design for efficiency)
  • Weight Capacity: 440 lbs.

If you’re looking for a tricycle that can carry your children, the Dongshan 20” Folding Tricycle With Passenger Seat is your answer. Although it only has one gear, the trike features a double-chain design for maximum efficiency over its long drivetrain.

The design of the single-speed drivetrain makes the trike easier to pedal than it would otherwise be, but this still isn’t a machine you’d want to pull over too many steep hills. The trike has a big load capacity of 440 lbs.

Other features of this passenger trike include dual suspension, triple fenders, a rear basket under the passenger seat, a chain guard, a front caliper brake, a rear coaster brake, and an array of freebies that come with the trike.

A significant downside to the trike is its unsuitability for tall riders. The vendor quotes a maximum height of 5’ 9”. It’s not for six-footers.

What We Like

  • Capacity – easily enough capacity to carry an adult and two small children.
  • Suspension – front and rear suspension helps reduce road vibration.
  • Drivetrain – twin-chain design to maintain efficiency over the long wheelbase.

What We Don’t Like

  • Rider height – not suitable for tall parents with a max rider height of 5’9”.

5. Ongmies 24” Single-speed Folding Tricycle (best budget)

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  • Frame Material: Carbon steel
  • Gearing: Single gear (7-speed also available)
  • Weight: 49 lbs. (approx.)
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs.

A folding tricycle that’s ideal for low budgets is the Ongmies 24” Single-speed Folding Tricycle. For a few dollars more, you can have a model with 7 speeds, though be aware that not all models are foldable.

The Ongmies is lightweight for a tricycle at under 50 lbs., and it’s sturdily made from carbon steel. For stopping power, you get a powerful front V-brake and a rear band brake or drum brake. There’s also a parking brake lever.

Other features of the Ongmies tricycle include front and rear reflectors, a bell, a large basket, and a front suspension fork that goes unmentioned by Amazon (not present in all models).

What We Like

  • Lightweight – lighter than most tricycles, despite being made from steel.
  • Laid-back – extremely laid-back geometry with swept-back handlebars.
  • Suspension – includes front suspension fork (unspecified).

What We Don’t Like

  • Shipping – occasional reports of bikes damaged in shipping or wrong items sent.

Features To Look For When Looking For A Folding Trike

There are certain things you can look out for when shopping for a folding tricycle. We’ll get into those now.

Frame Materials

Although regular bikes are made with a variety of materials, we’re unaware of any folding tricycle that isn’t made of regular steel (carbon, mild, high-tensile). This is a heavy material, but it’s extremely durable and tends to offer a decent ride quality.

Even the best and more expensive tricycles from brands like PFIFF (German) are made of steel. Only if you look at something sportier like a 3-wheeled recumbent trike does a more lightweight material like aluminum or chromoly steel become likely.

For the sake of completeness, aluminum is lighter than cheaper steels but less durable (long-term) and often less comfortable, depending on the frame design and other mitigating factors.

Chromoly steel is unheard of in consumer-level trikes because everyday riders don’t need it. It’s stronger than normal steel, hence it’s usually used to create lighter and more compliant frames, but the frames are expensive.

Frame Design

Frame design may be important if you have mobility problems. Some tricycle frames dip much lower than others for the easiest possible step-through mount.

You may also spot differences in geometry, though most trike geometry is exceptionally relaxed.

Weight

Closely related to frame material is weight, and in a folding tricycle, you’ll have to choose between heavy and very heavy. That being said, the lighter folding trikes are often lighter than people expect, even though they’re made of steel.

To give you an idea, a lightweight folding trike (assume steel) is around 45 lbs., whereas a heavier model may weigh 60 lbs. or more.

This isn’t only about the frame. A trike with minimalistic specs also saves a bit of weight, so look at single-speed tricycles with a rim brake rather than a disc brake if you want lightness. Suspension adds considerable weight, too.

Brakes

Tricycles differ from bicycles in their brakes because the brakes are inherently asymmetrical. You can’t have “normal” brakes on the outlying rear wheels, so the trike usually has a band brake, drum brake, or coaster brake at the back.

Because a tricycle is capable of rolling off when you’re not on it or riding it, you should also find a parking brake lever on the handlebar.

You needn’t worry about the details of the rear brake because the front brake provides most of your stopping power and is more important. This brake is likely to be a rim brake on a folding trike. Some non-folding trikes have a more powerful disc brake.

Gears

Most folding trikes will be either a single-speed or they’ll have a low-cost gear system with a 6- or 7-speed freewheel and a rear derailleur. The parts are often Shimano, which offer a good balance of low cost and quality.

Since a tricycle is something like 2.5 to 4 times the weight of a lightweight road bike, it’s never ideal for climbing steep hills. But a range of 7 gears will certainly help you ride over modestly rolling terrain, whereas a single speed is best left to flat roads.

If you do live in a flat area, the benefits of a single-speed trike include a lower price (not always by much), a slightly lower weight, and lower maintenance. A derailleur can cause problems, especially if you knock it whilst grappling with the trike.

Wheels & Tires

You won’t always find many details about wheels, but models with plenty of spokes and double-wall rims are best. The heavier you are or the more you intend to carry, the more you should look at this.

Small wheels roll less easily over obstacles than large ones, so larger wheels usually yield a more comfortable ride at the expense of a larger folded size. Smaller wheels are also stronger, partly because their spokes are shorter.

Tires are always items that may or may not be proficient. On a cheap folding trike, it’s quite likely they’ll be mediocre at best, so an early upgrade may be wise.

Video: Folding A Tricycle

Weight Capacity

On average, tricycles can take bigger loads than bicycles, purely by dint of spreading the load over three wheels and a wider area. It’s common for trikes to have a 300-330 lbs. capacity, though you should confirm this if you’re a heavier rider.

The weight capacity does of course include the load in the rear basket, so you can’t max it out with rider/passenger weight and then blithely load the basket up as well.

Folding Tricycle: FAQs

Some of the commonly asked questions about [folding] tricycles are addressed below.

How Do I Size A Tricycle?

The most common way to size a tricycle is by the wheels. Here’s a guideline: 20” = 5’4” max height, 24” = 5’9” max height, 26” = 6’2” max height. Our top review trike is available in all three sizes.

Are Tricycles Good For Seniors?

A tricycle can be an excellent mobility and exercise option for seniors, who may lack the confidence, flexibility, and balance to mount and ride a two-wheeled bicycle. Younger adults with conditions that affect balance can similarly benefit.

Do Folding Tricycles Fit Inside Cars Or SUVs?

It will vary from trike to trike and car to car, but yes. You are likely to have to put the seats down because the cubic size of a folded trike is large relative to a car trunk’s capacity. You may also have to remove the handlebar.

Do Folding Trikes Come Assembled?

Like regular bikes and trikes, folding trikes do not usually come fully assembled. They’ll come with instructions that vary greatly in clarity from one manufacturer to another. You may prefer to ask a mechanically minded friend or bike shop to do the job for you.

Final Thoughts

To recap on our reviews, we liked the Slsy 7-Speed 20” Folding Tricycle for its compact folded size, sturdy frame, and the versatility of having 7 gears. Taller riders can buy 24” or 26” wheeled versions, too, so it’s a solution for all-comers.

We like the simplicity of the Viribus 24” Folding 1-Speed Tricycle with its low-maintenance lack of gearing. It’s a few pounds lighter than some folding trikes, too, despite the inclusion of three fenders.

There’s a limit to how light carbon steel bikes get, but the Tri-Rad Mantis 24” Folding Tricycle goes as low as 45 lbs. in its 20” version and is still lighter than most of the competition as a 24” bike.

Folding trikes gift mobility and exercise to people who may otherwise go without, as well as being fun to ride. They’re invariably durable, too, as steel has no set lifespan.

We hope this article was of use to you and that it might even inspire you to buy a folding trike. Good luck in your search!

Read more: Folding bikes for seniors

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Glenn H
Glenn H
When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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