The CARGO TRICYCLE
Strong, comfortable, flexible – and sometimes super dynamic: cargo tricycles are a great alternative to cars, bicycles and other types of cargo bikes. We explain the advantages and use cases.
What is a cargo tricycle?
A cargo tricycle or cargo trike is a bicycle with three wheels, designed for transporting loads or people. It is equipped with a large or small loading area located at the front or rear of the bike. Cargo trikes are an environmentally friendly and practical alternative to cars or vans because they cover a similar range of applications. Compared to cargo bikes with two wheels, those with three wheels are usually easier to ride because they are more stable.
How do cargo bikes and
tricycles differ from each other?
There are several features that distinguish cargo tricycles. High-quality and durable cargo tricycles combine several of these features. The most obvious difference between cargo tricycles is the position of the second wheel. However, tilting technology and motorization are also important distinguishing criteria.
FRONT LOADING AREA
With a second front wheel and loading area in front of the riders, the steering is stable and safe because the center of gravity is at the front and can be steered easily. The size of the cargo bike is easily manageable and eye contact and conversation with passengers is possible – this is particularly important when transporting children. With tilting technology, cargo tricycles also gain extra maneuverability.
REAR LOADING AREA
Cargo trikes with a loading area/box at the rear are often easy maneuverable and can carry many kilograms, but are less dynamic. They can be loaded very high while riding without impairing visibility. Many heavy-duty bikes rely on this variant.
E-motors support cargo trikes with electrical energy when driving. This also makes them suitable for people with physical disabilities and ensures an effortless ride. Cargo bikes without a motor require a lot of pedaling power. As a rule, the formula applies: The more powerful the motor, the more fun it is to ride.
Most cargo tricycles have a rigid front axis. This means that they cannot fall over when stationary, do not need a stand and are very safe when riding slowly. However, when riding fast or on uneven roads, the cargo bike can easily tip over and is therefore undynamic. It is particularly suitable for beginners and people with balance problems as well as for heavy loads.
With (A) turntable steering, the loading area also steers because it is connected to the front wheels. This is technically simple and therefore particularly economical. However, the entire weight on the loading area has to be steered, which makes the steering difficult and takes some getting used to. (B) Ackermann steering is easier to operate: here, only the front wheels are steered – just like in a car or a classic bicycle.
Cargo tricycles with tilting technology combine the dynamic riding style of a single-track bike with the stability of a tricycle: when stationary, the axle is fixed, while the bike can be tilted during the ride, allowing it to take corners in a sporty manner. Especially when the wheels are individually suspended, they absorb bumps in the road. Tilting cargo bikes are particularly suitable for a sporty riding style and long-distance journeys.
What are the advantages
of a cargo tricycle?
Cargo tricycles offer many advantages over other means of transportation, they are …
- practical: cargo tricycles are stable and offer plenty of space for loads, luggage and/or people.
- healthy: cargo tricycles are a good way to keep fit – this also applies to regular rides with motor assistance.
- safe: Thanks to the three wheels, cargo tricycles do not slip on wet or slippery surfaces and do not fall over easily, especially with tilting technology. Thanks to two front wheels, twice the braking power can be achieved.
- comfortable: cargo tricycles often offer more space than other cargo bikes, which makes it possible to transport larger loads or more people – or all at the same time.
- flexible: cargo tricycles offer plenty of room and storage space and are therefore versatile and can be used for different purposes, e.g. for transporting shopping, children, dogs or bulky items – all at the same time, depending on the situation.
- dynamic: cargo tricycles with a motor and tilting technology offer similar dynamics to e-bikes with two wheels, despite the load, because they are similarly easy to control.
- environmentally friendly: cargo tricycles do not cause any CO2 emissions when riding. The ecological balance of the charging current, the (international) delivery routes and the manufacturing method, e.g. of the battery, must be viewed critically. (More on the topic: Sustainable cargo bike)
USE CASES FOR THE CARGO TRIKE
Cargo trikes can also be used to transport bulky items, such as furniture or building materials, as well as heavy loads. Depending on the manufacturer, the permitted downhill weight ranges from approx. 180 to 400 kg.