If you haven’t seen the unusual Trikke 3-wheeled scooters yet, you should take a look. Instead of pushing yourself from the ground or pedaling, you propel one by “carving”– swaying left to right holding a steering column designed to do so. There are currently 8 wheeled models available, all with different design features best suited to different people and needs. They all provide a great low-impact workout that can be superior to jogging or biking, but make sure you choose the right one for you.
Rider Age and Size
Your first consideration in choosing one of these scooters is age. The smallest model, the T5WS, is generally recommended for riders who are at least 6 years old. Do note that there is a learning curve similar to learning to ski (though not quite as difficult), so a younger person may need some instruction to get up to speed, so to speak. All Trikke models have recommended height and weight levels to consider. The maximum weight for a rider on any o f them is 250 lbs. This child’s model for small folks is OK for riders up to about 4′ 10″ and 150 lbs. For bigger children, the taller T67 is the preferable and it’s weight limit is up to 200 lbs.
Thanks to the great full-body workout you get using one, these scooters are actually even more popular with adults than with children. If you are over 5′ tall, you should be able to handle any of the full sized models, though most models are not recommended for persons over 6′ 4″. If you are over 6′ 4″, the T12 model is your only choice.
After rider size, you need to consider where and how you wish to ride. The biggest difference is in the tire types. If most of your use will be on smooth concrete surfaces, such as sidewalks, you may do OK with T78CS, which 1 air tire and 2 smaller poly tires. The most frequent complaint I’ve heard from new users, though, is that the poly tires make riding too rough for use on average streets. If you think you may want to do any amount of street travel, you need at least a T78 Deluxe, which includes all air-filled pneumatic tires. Most people wanting a one for both fitness and occasional distance travel opt for the somewhat larger and lighter T8 Sport. This is the most popular model and probably makes the best balance of lightness, ease of handling and road worthiness.
If you see yourself as more of a power user, the Trikke T12 Roadster may be your best choice. It’s best for folks who want a maximal workout and cover some serious miles on the road. The beefy framing and 12.5″ tires of this model are well suited for the street use. Many people actually commute on theirs. Do remember that it’s larger wheels and slightly greater weight make climbing hills a heartier task than with the T8. Also, the T12 does not fold nearly as compactly as the others and may not fit into your car trunk.
Of course, if you’re looking to leave the gas guzzler behind and make a greener daily commute, you might want to consider the powered model, the Tribred Free Rein. For riders ages 12 and up,this is essentially a T8 with an electric motor. Good for about 12 miles on power, it can still be used in unpowered mode, allowing you to save battery power by just using it on those long uphill stretches.
One warning I can give you, no matter which Trikke model you choose: these things can be addictive. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll probably find yourself on it almost every day. Be ready to leave the joggers and cyclists in you wake while receiving greater benefits and having twice the fun.