Trikes mostly fall into one of two main design categories: delta and tadpole. How do they compare?


Kettwiesel delta trikes


One steered wheel at the front; two driven wheels at the back


  • Simple steering
  • Stable load platform at rear
  • Weight concentrated at rear makes for good braking 
  • Can be coupled in trains (Kettwiesel)
  • “Easy-rider” image


  • Complexity of two-wheel drive
  • Centre of gravity tends to be high 
  • Some models have poor cornering at speed
  • long

Examples: Sinner, Hase Kettwiesel

HP Scorpion rider having fun


One driven wheel at the back; two steered wheels towards the front (usually at about the position of the rider’s knees).


  • Simple drive (standard bike parts)
  • Can carry standard bike/recumbent luggage
  • Can be made (very) low
  • Compact
  • Easy to streamline (most velomobiles are tadpoles)
  • Good high-speed cornering
  • Widest part is where you can see it
  • “Go-kart” image


  • Complicated steering
  • Turning circle usually rather large 
  • Getting on and off can be difficult (low height)
  • Weight mostly on front wheels can lead to traction problems uphill, back end lifting under hard braking

Examples: Trice, Greenspeed, Windcheetah, Steintrikes, hp Scorpion, Alleweder, and many others