How to Ride a Trike

A helmet is crucial, and gloves will protect your hands from blistering.

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Two-wheeled upright bikes work well for some people, but if you have balance issues or if sitting in a slightly forward direction hurts your body, riding a three-wheeled recumbent bike may be more your speed. One brand of recumbent trike is the Catrike, a "tadpole" style trike with the third wheel at the back of the cycle. Whatever model you have, you'll use a similar technique to ride your trike. Take your time and don't ride the trike too hard at first -- it's going to take some getting used to if you're accustomed to riding a two-wheeler.


Stand just over the crossbar near the front of the trike, with your butt facing toward the seat and one foot on either side of the crossbar.


Bend over and grab the hand brakes, located just above each of the two side wheels. Squeeze the brakes as you lower yourself into the seat.


Place your feet on the pedals, look around you to make sure the area is clear and then press down on the pedals in an alternating fashion to begin pedaling. Catrike recommends that you ride the trike with a high pedal cadence instead of pressing hard on the pedals, so if it's not easy to pedal as you start out, continue pedaling and shift by pressing up or down on the shifters at the top of the brake lever. Always brake slowly if your trike is a Catrike; the back wheel may come off the ground if you brake too abruptly; a trick -- or mistake -- called a "stoppie."


Squeeze the brakes gently when you approach a turn so that you go into the turn at a safe speed. Turn your head in the direction of the turn and attempt to make a wide and shallow turn as opposed to a tight turn. Your side wheels tend to rise off the ground if you take too tight a turn.


Squeeze the brakes slowly and evenly to stop. When you're at a complete stop, lean your head and torso over your knees, while at the same time moving your feet toward the ground and squeezing the brake levers to hold the trike in place. Getting out of your trike is among the trickiest parts of riding one.

Things Needed

  • Cycling helmet
  • Gloves


  • Before you ride this or any other cycle, check the tire pressure to make sure the tires are properly inflated, according to the recommended inflation listed on the tire's sidewall. Also check the brakes and the general condition of the cycle before you take off.


  • For your safety, always wear a helmet when riding cycles. Your trike is lower to the ground than other cycles, so to make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you. Be sure to ride using the safety flag that came with your trike. Brightly-colored clothing, reflectors and blinking lights will also help you be seen.