Electric Trike vs Electric Bike: Should You Go for Three Wheels or Stick with Two?

By Addmotor | 30 December 2023 | 0 Comments
The debate between electric trikes and two-wheeler bikes wasn’t as obvious in the past. However, with the improved performance of current electric motors and batteries, it can be even harder to pick between the two. 
So what are their differences, and what’s your best option? Keep reading to find out.

Electric Bike or Electric Trike? Why Should You Pick Between Them?

Unsurprisingly enough, electric bikes (or E-trikes) hold several advantages over their non-electric counterparts
Essentially, e-bikes and trikes provide customized electrical assistance. This can improve your cycling experience in any situation and use case. You can push your fitness goals further, or commute without breaking a sweat. All of this, with minimal impact on the environment. 
So with that out of the way, why should you have to decide between the two wheels and three? A two-wheeled electric bicycle is the obvious choice, right?
Well, in most cases: yes. That said, you should still consider going for an electric e-trike. It can be very beneficial to most users and has several advantages. 
For instance, electric trikes come with a third wheel. This provides extra stability, along with more high-performance electrical assist and additional comfort. 
So let’s get into these in a lot more detail.

Differences Between an Electric Trike and an Electric Bike


One thing that the pros will always tell you is that trikes tend to be the most stable overall. With the third wheel in place, there’s no need to keep pedaling to maintain balance. On top of that, you’re not always stressed about accidentally losing balance.
Other than that, trikes tend to be safer and more grounded. They have a lower center of gravity. This ensures that trikes rarely tip over, provided you ride at safe speeds and make slow deliberate turns.
Also, since they are heavier and closer to the ground, they are much less likely to fly off the ground. This can be especially useful when rolling through bumps or slopes at higher speeds.


Maneuverability and responsiveness can be major weak points for an electric trike. The third wheel and wider frame make for a larger turning radius. 
This means you can’t make sharp turns or fit through narrow spaces as much as you would on a two-wheeler. An electric trike is less flexible in that regard. 
On top of that, learning to control your electric trike more fluidly can take some practice. So if you're a delivery rider or someone who rides professionally, be sure to test them out first.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-maneuver eBike, check out the HEROTAN M-65X. It’s a moped-style electric bicycle that’s ideal for casual city cruising and other urban adventures. 


This is another point where two-wheeled eBikes take the win. Electric bikes are less heavy and easier to pedal manually. This means you can achieve higher speeds much more effortlessly.
However, this isn’t to say that you can’t achieve the same top speeds on a trike with electrical assistance. You can easily do so, but you’ll have to expend more effort and battery power for the same outcome. 
Also, trikes can be difficult to turn or control at higher speeds. This makes them less than ideal for high-speed situations.


eBikes are much more lightweight and efficient than electric tricycles. Therefore, it’s no wonder that eBike batteries are much more efficient than ones on electric tricycles. 
So generally, electric trikes tend to have a lower range compared to an ebike running the same battery capacity. That said, most eTrikes nowadays are equipped with higher-capacity battery packs to provide roughly the same amount of range. 
At Addmotor, we have equipped our bikes and trikes with batteries that meet the Standard(s) for the Safety of ANSI/CAN/UL/ULC-2271
On top of that, they are appropriately sized to provide an average of 85+ miles of range on a single charge. 

Power and Torque

eTrikes, under the same use cases, tend to have motors with higher torque outputs. This can be useful to help riders push up a hill with ease or push themselves out from stubborn off road terrain. 
However, this is only to combat the larger weight capacities of electric trikes. They aren’t necessarily “better” than eBike motors.
So regardless of whether it’s a mid-drive or hub motor, you get higher torque from an eTrike. However, that doesn’t mean you can take it out on a mountain trail or in harsh offroad conditions. 

Cost and Maintenance Aspects

There’s no getting around it: electric trikes are comparatively more expensive. They have a larger frame and a much sturdier build. 
On top of that, they include components that are somewhat difficult to find in common bike shops. For instance, the seats, suspension systems, high-power motor, cargo bags, and baskets can add up to the cost. 
Also, maintenance can be a significant factor when comparing eTrikes vs eBikes. Repairs, replacements, and servicing can be very costly on electric trikes. On top of that, some repair shops won’t even have the proper tools and components to repair and replace certain components. 

Storage and Weight Capacity

Weight capacity is one of the most obvious factors where electric trikes can take the cake. Most fat-tire electric trikes can accommodate heavy riders up to a maximum limit of 350 lbs. They can also carry an extra 100 lbs capacity as cargo. 
So if you’re a heavy rider, or a delivery driver, an electric trike can be the best fit for you.
Also, some electric trikes allow room for an extra passenger, child, or pet. Our Addmotor SOLETRI M-366X is the best example of this.

Offroading and Handling Rough Terrain

Electric trikes aren’t the best for off-road adventures. For those, we recommend sticking to e-mountain bikes such as our MOTAN eBike Lineup.
That said, you can still do some beach cruising or general off-roading with an electric trike. The trike will provide a more comfortable and smooth experience. However, the additional weight and bulk of an eTrike can cause premature wear and tear.


Electric trikes are highly accessible to different riders. This is due to several features such as additional stability provided by the third wheel.
This makes electric trikes the ideal option for adults and seniors with limited physical fitness. With an etrike, they don’t have to worry about balancing the vehicle. They can even literally sit back, and let the electrical motor do all the work if they don't feel like pedaling. 
At Addmotor, our electric trikes are pioneers of comfort and accessibility. All our models feature step-through frames and low seat height. Also, most of our models come with ergonomic seats with an adjustable backrest and a wooden footrest for extra comfort. 
Speaking of laid-back rides, be sure to check out our ARISETAN II M-360. It's our first major success at designing a one-of-a-kind semi-recumbent electric tricycle.

Ease of Use

Electric trikes can be very stress-free and easy to manage overall. There is less worry about the whole “balancing act on two wheels.” You can always sit back, increase the amount of electrical assistance, and enjoy the ride. 
The only situations where they can be a hassle is when trying to store or transport them. Electric trikes are almost impossible to mount on a bike rack, carry at the back of your car, or store in a garage. This is mostly because of their larger frame and (mostly) non-foldable design.
Also, if you live in an apartment, don’t even think about lugging one up a flight of stairs. Most of them are just too heavy and too wide to carry around. 
eBikes on the other hand are much easier to handle. You can easily carry them up by yourself or stow them away in your garage whenever you need to.  
Not all electric trikes have to be big and bulky though, take for instance our TRIKETAN M-330F. This is a folding e trike that features a retractable head for easy storage and transportation.

Comfort and Riding Experience

Electric trikes are the best option for anybody with limited physical fitness. They are also ideal for anybody searching for a comfortable and stress-free riding experience. 
This is because pedaling and waiting on an electric trike is very hassle-free. They are self-balancing. This means you don’t always need to “put your foot down” while waiting at a stop light or anywhere else. 
Apart from that, you can easily lean on an electric trike or always use it to sit down whenever you need to. Simply plop down on the seat and put your feet up on the frame or wooden footrest anytime you want to take a breather. 
Also, in terms of riding experience, trikes with electrical assist are always satisfying to ride. They allow you to ride further and do more without exerting yourself too much. 
The only downside is that you do have to rely mostly on electrical assistance. This can be especially true if you’re not very physically capable.
So if you’re riding long distances, we recommend carrying an extra battery.

Advantages of Electric Trike

You can see that electric trikes cater to a wider demographic. Meanwhile, eBikes excel in certain specific situations. 
So to help sum it all up, here are the biggest benefits of owning an electric trike compared to a two-wheeler eBike. 

  - An eTrike is self-balancing and ideal for riders who have trouble balancing or getting into a two-wheeler. This includes seniors, adults with limited mobility, and heavy and short riders.
  - Electric trikes always allow the rider to sit comfortably and ride at their own pace.
  - Electric trikes can carry another passenger, child, pet, or about 100 lbs of extra cargo.
  - Electric trikes are significantly more stable and won't easily tip over.

Advantages of an Electric Two-Wheeler eBike

Conversely, here are some things that are still better with an eBike:

  ​​​​​​​- An eBike is highly responsive and easier to maneuver. A rider can quickly make sharp turns and ride through narrow areas without too much of a hassle. 
  ​​​​​​​- eBikes have less rolling resistance and they are lightweight. This means they are easier to pedal and accelerate, even without electrical assistance.
  ​​​​​​​- eBikes tend to be more affordable and easier to maintain. The upfront cost for a regular eBike is comparatively low. Also, their components aren't as expensive to repair, replace, and service. 
  ​​​​​​​- An electric bike is much more capable of handling off-road terrain.
  ​​​​​​​- Two-wheelers take up less space. You can easily mount them on bike racks, carry them up a flight of stairs, or store them easily in a garage. 
  ​​​​​​​- Electric bikes use lower-capacity battery packs. They recharge faster and are much more efficient.

Wrapping Up

Adult electric trikes are usually the best option that caters to a wide demographic. This includes seniors, adults with limited mobility, and short and heavy riders. 
Meanwhile, eBike two-wheelers are limited to regular adults. With an eBike, you constantly have to balance it and always do a little extra work to pedal and push forward. Also, they aren't always the most relaxing or ergonomic.
So when picking between the two, make sure to consider all the above factors. However, pay special attention to accessibility, cost, comfort, and off-road capabilities.


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