- A compact, folding (and separating!) electric trike designed for easier transport, fitting through doors and modular repairs or replacements
- Partially built in America, solid one year comprehensive warranty, uses a powerful 750 watt hub motor in a cast hub motor casing to improve strength and reduce noise
- This trike can support up to 400 lbs (passenger plus cargo), it has five power levels and an easy to use twist throttle, the display is large and easy to understand, there's a walk mode and reverse!
- Heavier Steel frame, cheaper cranks, tight seat tube and head tube, a few quirks with the first edition have been fixed including a loose controller, quirky power-on sequence and brittle plastic basket
The Liberty Trike is a truly liberating electric bicycle designed for people who want improved stability, weight capacity and comfort over more traditional two wheeled bicycles. Adding to the mobility aspects of a trike, you get electric throttle power here so climbing, hauling and simply going further is less of a challenge. I have been super excited to review this e-trike for quite a while… ever since I heard about the custom design from the founder and saw mockup images. This is one of the only folding trikes I’m aware of and it goes one step further with complete separation of the front and rear portion of the frame making it so much lighter to lift (in parts) and compact to store. It comes in a surprisingly compact box but it isn’t what I would call light at ~90 lbs. Once unpacked and setup the weight drops down to ~80 lbs total (with the battery attached) but this isn’t terrible, many electric trikes weigh in excess of 100 lbs and are much wider… and don’t break apart. These are all huge points, being able to ride through most standard door widths means you can take this inside for charging easier or even go into some stores for tasks like grocery shopping. The rear basket isn’t huge and, the demo unit I reviewed here had the older plastic design, but it definitely gets the job done for about two grocery sacks worth of cargo. I was really impressed to hear that the maximum load capacity of the trike is 400 lbs. This is great for larger riders or those who truly want to haul stuff.
The Liberty Trike isn’t perfect, especially the first version that I got to test ride here. Most of the frame parts are Steel which is sturdy but heavy, the crank arms felt a little short, there’s only one gear so pedaling at different speeds isn’t as comfortable as it could be and there was a quirk with the throttle button where if you turned the bike on and the throttle button was set for reverse the twist throttle itself wouldn’t activate consistently (you’d have to coast back to zero mph to use the throttle again). But this and most other shortcomings are being or have been addressed! For a first iteration, this thing impressed and delighted me. You’re getting a powerful 750 watt durable gearless hub motor up front in a cast Aluminum hub for improved protection and strength. The motor power cable is protected by an axle cap, there’s a chain cover to keep your pants clean and the key was modified to avoid snags and bumps as your feet pass by. The latest versions have a shorter (but still similar capacity) battery with a key that folds so it’s completely out of the way and the controller box (that you can see mounted to the bottom of the downtube) is connected with sturdy metal brackets vs. plastic and rubber.
This trike has five levels of power so you can control just how fast you go. There’s no pedal assist mode, just a simple twist-throttle and it’s variable speed so you really get a lot of precision. The lowest level will get you up to ~3 mph while the highest can reach just about 12 mph with the throttle all the way turned. There’s an easy-to-reach control pad mounted near the left grip that includes an “i” button to change readouts and this is what turns the bike on after you’ve inserted the key into the battery and twisted to the “on” position. Activating the bike is a two step process that requires you to bend down and mess with the key (and leave the key in) but the trade off is more standardized parts and removability of the battery pack. At ~$2k with a sub $100 standard shipping cost you get a lot of value here. Update! The trike has dropped in price to ~$1,500 now so it’s even more affordable… Some other improvements have been made as well. The Lithium Manganese batteries in the first batch have been replaced with more compact Lithium-ion cells but both perform well and don’t develop a “memory” as easily if left uncharged and are stable. You should get 1,000+ cycles but rest assured, replacement packs are available for ~$540.
At the end of the day, this is one of the most unique and custom built electric trikes I’ve seen. The Worksman Cycles Liberty Trike aims for value with its price and some of the parts reflect that but it doesn’t sacrifice some of the values customers might appreciate like the made in America frame and good customer support. It made me smile and went way above and beyond with an LCD display vs. the more common LED indicator and this gives you lots of feedback (hold the up arrow to turn on back lighting). I could see myself zooming around on one of these and using it for more than just fun outings, it really can haul and with the fun colors it’s the kind of thing you could enjoy with a friend. From what I’ve heard, the trikes are selling well and are now available at ElectricTrike.com alongside some larger models (if you want to haul more stuff) and some recumbents (if you prefer a more sporty leaned back style). I hope the company continues refining the offering but it seems like they hit the 90% mark and are trying to keep that price reasonable. Reviewing trikes is a rarity for me so judging between models over long periods of time can be difficult, I’ve included more thoughts below but welcome you to chime in with your own feedback, especially if you bought one of these yourself :) Big thanks to ElectricTrike.com for partnering with me for this review.
- Unique folding-separating design makes the shipping and transporting size smaller, I found it much easier to lift each part than the entire heavy thing (the front is ~27 lbs the rear is ~41.5 lbs and the battery is ~10.5 lbs), re-assembling the trike seems like a two person job so keep that in mind before taking the thing apart on your own ;)
- This is one of the most narrow upright trikes I’ve ever tested and that makes it easier to roll or ride through doorways, the widest part of the bike is the handlebars at ~26″ but the rear wheels are only ~24″
- I love that the Liberty Trike has reverse mode, this could be useful for parking in tight spaces… there’s also a walk mode that helps to move the bike forward for you if you’re not riding, just hold the button in for several seconds and it goes
- The display is large, mounted in a well-protected spot at the center of the handlebars and is backlit so you can read it at night or early morning… just hold the up arrow for a few seconds to activate the light
- The design is being improved and refined with a more sturdy controller mount, lighter battery pack, folding key on the battery and a metal basket, these are all areas that were alright on the original but maybe not as easy to use or sturdy
- I love that the trike comes with coaster brakes (where you pedal backwards a bit to activate them) as well as a mechanical disc brake in the front! The front brake lever has an integrated parking hold and an electronic motor inhibitor… make sure the brake isn’t on when you try to ride or the motor won’t respond (this happened to me in the video)
- The smaller 16″ wheel size keeps this trike super low to the ground and larger 2.5″ tires add some cushion and stability, it’s a decent setup and one that empowers the front hub motor through a mechanical leverage advantage vs. 20″+ tires
- The frame is made in Brooklyn NY USA, you get a solid one year comprehensive warranty and shipping is only $98 anywhere in the contiguous USA (not bad considering the ~90 lb shipping weight)
- Charging the trike is easy because you can leave the battery on or off, the charger itself is a 2.5 Amp medium-fast charger and it’s in an aluminum shell that seems sturdy… even has a fuse, decent stuff
- I didn’t love the seat because it felt a little hard but it does have springs to reduce the impact of bumps and it is oversized to help support larger riders, the handlebar grips felt decent and the high-rise handlebar put me in a relaxed body position with my head up and alert… good ergonomics overall :)
- The motor is quite powerful at 750 watts, it’s a gearless design that’s built into the front wheel casing for added strength and reduced noise, the trike was able to take me up to the top speed of ~12 mph with no problem
- I like the cast Aluminum front wheel and thicker 13 Gauge spokes on the rear wheels designed to accommodate heavier passengers, I was told that the maximum load capacity for the trike is 400 lbs
- The plastic basket isn’t as large as you’d see on some other electric trikes, I was surprised that it still felt sturdy and was easy to load, it’s tempting to lift the rear end using the basket but I think that’s a mistake… glad they are switching to a metal basket for the latest versions
- There has been a quirk in the system for the early builds of this trike where if you powered it on (with the key in the battery) but had the reverse button depressed the trike would respond oddly, like you could accellerate with the throttle but if you let go and tried to add more power with a second twist it wouldn’t work… you’d need to coast all the way down to zero then start with the throttle again, to avoid this make sure you power the bike on in forward mode not reverse, I’m told this issue is fixed with newer models
- This trike only offers one gear, the cranks are a little short and the pedals are kind of cheap… that’s not a huge deal because the throttle works great and a less complex drivetrain will require less maintenance and weigh less
- There’s no front reflector included with the trike (or lights), I’d recommend adding some lights for sure if you plan on riding in dusk or dark conditions… I love that there’s a large rear reflector and pedal reflectors and that you can choose from several different colors that are more visible than the black one I reviewed :)
- Just like a lot of ebikes with the metal slide-on battery boxes, you have to leave the key in this one to power it up and that means more jingling and potential for snags BUT I like that they positioned the key further back and now offer a folding key to limit how much it sticks out… it’s less of a big deal on this trike than some other models I’ve seen
- The head tube and seat tube quick release levers are very difficult to use and tight, this was one of the least fun parts about assembling the bike and adjusting it later, I like the mid-fold quick release lever more but it’s also a little cheap