- Stable three wheel design with battery, motor and controller mounted low under the cargo bin
- No pedal assist option with this bike but the twist throttle is intuitive to use and durable
- Comfortable upright seating with back rest, large comfortable bars and forward pedaling position
Pedego spent over two years experimenting with this three wheel electric bike concept before finally releasing it in 2013. The Trike design maximizes stability by keeping the motor, battery pack, controller and rider low to the ground. This makes mounting and dismounting the bike a cinch. Much like its cousin, the Cruiser, it keeps riding simple and accessible by reducing electronics and computer displays. Overall, it delivers exactly what you’d hope for in an electric tricycle for adults. It’s durable, stable, simple and capable of hauling both passenger and cargo around town while reducing the chances of a fall.
At nearly six feet long by 2.3 feet wide, the Pedego Trike is stable and just barely slim enough to get through a standard sized 3 foot wide door. I imagine many people will park this bike in their garage or patio but getting through gates is still a concern and it’s nice to know this bike will fit. It’s fairly heavy and awkward, not something you’d want to carry up stairs alone, and the rear portion is the heaviest due to motor and battery. The good news is, this bike can make a u-turn with just a five foot radius so you shouldn’t have to lift it very often ;)
In terms of power, the Trike is very capable. It uses very similar hardware as the standard upright electric bikes from Pedego including a 36 volt Lithium-ion battery with 10 amp hours of range. The battery cells are light weight and tough, built into an aluminum box that locks to the bike. It’s also long-lasting and can manage over a thousand charge cycles before losing capacity if cared for properly (don’t let it get too hot or cold, always keep it charged). The motor is a 350 watts brushess geared type for increased torque and it drives a chain connected to the rear axle. The way it’s setup, the motor can power the bike without you having to pedal along.
The brake configuration on this bike is very intuitive and has two options. The first is the coaster brake. Much like single speed childrens’ bikes, the Trike has a rear coaster brake which means you just pedal backwards slightly to get it to engage. The second is a standard v-brake with rubber brake pads that activates the front wheel. This brake uses a lever attached to the left handlebar. Built into the hand brake is an electronic cutoff that kills the electric motor.
Many electric bikes these days include pedal assist options which means the bike senses user pedaling input and uses that as a signal to turn the motor on. The Pedego Trike has chosen not to include this option in favor of a simpler, more durable throttle-only configuration. That means the only way to activate the motor on this bike is to twist the throttle which is mounted to the right side of the handlebar. This is good design approach because it makes the bike less complicated to use or share with friends and less likely to break because it’s so simple. I imagine it also helps to keep the overall cost of the bike low which isn’t a bad thing.
The wheels used for the Trike are 20″ in diameter which is smaller than a standard bike and this does two things. It keeps the bike lower to the ground but it makes the ride a little bumpier. Thankfully, Pedego has included oversized tires that help to smooth things out. All three wheels have fenders covering them to keep you dry and clean when riding through puddles and unlike many ebikes that have hub motors in them, the wheels on the Trike are relatively easy to remove and that makes changing a flat easier.
Pedego is known for building solid electric bikes from the ground up and the Trike is no exception. It comes with a soft leather seat and matching built-in back rest that tie in with the handlebar grips. The brake lever they used is large, solid and has a rubber grip built right in. The pedals they chose are durable metal that won’t slip if your shoes are damp. The front chain ring is covered by an aluminum guard to keep your pants from getting greasy or caught in the chain. Everything matches, looks good and is built to last.
The tricycle style isn’t for everyone. You’d do well to add lights and maybe a flag if you plan on riding at dusk or night because it only comes with reflectors built in and sits low to the ground. For many people with balance or reflex issues this bike will be a great fit. You don’t have to worry about getting on or off, about the bike tipping when you load it up or even about falling over as you ride (as long as you don’t ride too fast!). It’s a great way to get outside, save on gas and minimize risk of personal injury. Pedego is good company that supports their products well and has a network of dealers around the US who will let you take a test ride or offer repairs over the long haul. It’s worth checking out.
- Stable three-wheel design won’t tip easily when mounting, dismounting, loading or riding
- Corners well and can make a u-turn with just five feet of width
- Rear differential makes turning easier and reduces wear on the two rear tires (allows rear wheels to turn at different rates)
- Proven electronics and battery (used on Pedego Cruiser line of bikes)
- Simple to operate, no fancy computer or different modes, just a key, on/off switch and a throttle
- Wheels are easier to get off to change flats than most regular electric bikes
- Lots of cargo space for carrying groceries, books or your pet in the back
- Seat is soft, wide and includes a back rest that reduces lower back pain
- Two brake options (coaster and left hand brake) easy to use, cuts power to the motor when applied
- Chain guard keeps pants from getting ripped up or greasy when riding
- Built in fenders cover all three wheels so you won’t get wet or dirty
- Chain guide is a bit flimsy, try not to step on it or it will get bent
- Smaller 20″ front and 24″ rear wheels don’t smooth out bumps as well as larger ones, it would be nice if the bike included a seat post shock like the Pedego City Commuter
- At higher speed, turning can put the bike onto two wheels and you can crash, be careful!
- No gears means that it’s hard to keep up pedaling when riding at higher speeds
- No lid for the cargo area on the back, it would be nice to lock things in there or keep water out
- No lights built in, this would make the system more complex but it would be nice to have for safety
- Bike is low which makes it stable but this makes you harder to see as well, consider adding a flag
- Key has to be left in the battery pack in order for the bike to operate (good for security but the key gets dirty and jingles when riding, also hard to reach and requires bending down)