Recumbent trikes come in two main categories.  Delta trikes have one wheel in front and two in back.  You typically see the front wheel ahead of the crankset (the pedal assembly), making for a longer frame. Tadpole trikes have two wheels in front and one in back, with the pedals at the very front.  Tadpole trikes are more common among recumbent tricycles.  They are lower, lighter, and more compact.

Types of riding

We also classify recumbent tricycles by how they are used. We find this classification more useful to people shopping for them.

Fast tricycles are low, aero and not usually so cheap.

Casual tricycles sit higher and more upright.

Sport-touring tricycles are for more serious fitness, touring and commuting use but not optimized for speed.

Folding tricycles and suspended tricycles (that is, tricycles with shock absorbers) focus on all tricycles with these upgraded, price-enhancing features.  These may also be casual or sport-touring tricycles.

All-terrain tricycles are for off-road, with fat tires, high ground clearance, and stump-puller gearing

Electric assisted tricycles exist, but since nearly any tricycle can have an assist added this isn’t a separate category.

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