Affordable sub-$900 electric trike lowers cost of ultra-stable e-bikes in the US

Electric tricycles have become a quickly growing segment of the e-bike market, especially prized by older riders seeking more stable bikes that don’t require a keen sense of balance. And now an entry into the market from Viribus promises even lower pricing to make electric trikes more affordable than ever.

The Viribus electric tricycle, which is priced at just $889, offers a surprisingly budget-friendly option for a motorized three-wheeler.

It’s a low-power design best suited for flat areas, featuring a 250W hub motor in the front wheel. The motor carries a peak power rating of 500W, so it may handle modest inclines but likely won’t be as impressive of a climber as other e-trikes we’ve tried.

The 36V and 10Ah battery is also rather small, but the top speed of 15 mph (25 km/h) means that it won’t draw power too quickly from that 360 Wh battery. The company estimates the max range as 30 miles (51 km) on pedal assist or 20 miles (32 km) on throttle-only operation. Pedal assist requires the user to work the pedals as it contributes additional motor power, while the throttle-only operation mode lets users ride the Viribus electric tricycle while treating the pedals like foot rests.

The 70 lb. (32 kg) electric trike features a rim brake in the front and drum brake in the rear. Standard accessories that come packaged with the Viribus e-trike include a rear basket, LED lighting, fender set, and outer wheel guards.

Six different color options are available, and riders have the choice between 24″ and 26″ wheels for a shorter or taller ride.

Electric trikes offer many of the same advantages as e-bikes, yet in a more balance-friendly design. They’re a quick and easy way to get around town or just cruise the neighborhood, provide an adjustable and comfortable level of exercise (when not used in pure-throttle mode), and are more fun than most mobility devices like handicap scooters.

Older riders often prefer electric trikes due to the enhanced stability and balance they offer, reducing the risk of falls compared to two-wheeled e-bikes. Trikes allow riders to enjoy cycling without the constant need to maintain balance, making the ride more leisurely and less physically demanding. This is particularly beneficial for seniors who might have age-related balance issues or health conditions affecting their mobility.

Additionally, trikes like the Viribus electric tricycle have a lower step-through design, making them easier to mount and dismount. They also frequently come with cargo baskets that are practical additions for everyday errands.

viribus

Despite e-trikes often being associated with older riders due to their stability and ease of use, they also hold appeal for younger riders for a variety of reasons.

For one, tricycles offer an alternative cycling experience that can be both fun and practical. The stability of three wheels allows riders to navigate confidently through crowded city streets and busy bike lanes, and doesn’t require putting your feet down at red lights or stop signs. There’s also a fun go-kart style feel to them, especially when taking turns quickly (though this can also be more dangerous on trikes, so older riders and anyone unfamiliar with trike handling should take turns more slowly).

The ample storage space in cargo baskets often found on trikes makes them ideal for commuting and utility jobs like grocery runs. Rear bench seats can even be added to carry several small children to day care.

And as a nod to environmental consciousness, e-trikes provide a sustainable mode of transport, much like e-bikes, but with added stability and cargo capacity.

Several major electric trike launches have occurred so far this year, including the highly refined Rad Trike from Rad Power Bikes and the budget-minded Lectric XP Trike from Lectric eBikes.

Electrek’s Take

There’s no way the Viribus is going to rival the major players when it comes to performance or features. But there are plenty of seniors living on fixed incomes that can’t afford even a low-cost $1,499 Lectric XP Trike, much less a $2,499 RadTrike. And when you’re just planning to cruise around the neighborhood and slide down to the shuffleboard court, an ultra-low-cost option like the $889 Viribus electric tricycle might be just what the doctor ordered.

Its low power and smaller battery don’t make it great for hillier areas, but I think it’d work fine on flat ground for basic rides. That’s something I’ll be finding out soon for sure though, as I’m going to try to get my hands on one of these and see if a super-cheap e-trike is any good.

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