These are the tadpole trike manufacturers that I have some experience with, not an exhaustive list. But first an explanation of the term “tadpole”. Trikes come in two categories– delta, with two wheels in back, and tadpole, two wheels in front. Delta trikes are the conventional configuration you see in the classic kid’s trike as well as adult cargo and performance trikes. Tadpole trikes are a newer design that generally tends to be lower to the ground, more stable in turns, and higher performance. One possible exception to the performance rule is the Hase Kettweisel line of delta trikes. I don’t have direct experience with the trike but they look pretty good, though I still think the tadpole configuration has some inherent advantages.
Incidentally, Hase makes the Trets tagalong that we use, which is extremely well designed. Well beyond a typical tagalong, the Trets is really in a classification by itself which I consider more of a detachable tandem for small people (even small adults). And if you’re pulling a tagalong behind a trike, it’s the only good choice I know of. I’ve tried conventional tagalongs (the Burley Picolo which is the best of the lot) with my trikes and the combination can be frightening. The problem is that a conventional tagalong is a lean-steer trailer attached to a non-lean-steer trike. With one wheel, the tagalong is constantly putting a rolling force (as opposed to pitch and yaw in aircraft terminology) on the trike which increases it’s tendency to flip (decreases its stability). In a braking turn, this force is extreme and will flip the trike in an instant. If you want a pleasant experience I highly recommend sticking to two-wheeled trailers. Of course this goes for cargo trailers as well as tagalongs– my BOB has the same problem. In fact the BOB is worse because the connection point to the trike is fixed in the roll axis rather than “floating” by way of a ball (or similar) hitch. If you configure your BOB into a “turn” behind the trike and add a heavy payload, you can flip the trike standing still.
Here, finally, is the list. Comments are based on my own experience so take this with a grain of salt. Again, these are the tadpole trike manufacturers that I have some experience with and not an exhaustive list.
|ICE||England||Great combination of innovative design, attention to detail, high quality manufacturing, and excellent factory support.|
|LoGo||Australia||High-end, hand made trikes.|
|Catrike||USA||Large line of trikes.|
|Greenspeed||Australia||One of the oldest manufacturers, huge line of trikes.|
|HP||Germany||The Scorpion compares favorably with the TRICE line last I looked.|
|TerraTrike||USA||Good entry level / lower cost line of trikes. I think other manufacturers in this list are a better choice at the higher end. Good factory support.|
|AVD||UK||The Windcheetah is (I think) one of the earliest Tadpole designs, by famed bike designer Mike Burroughs. Also one of the elite “racing” trikes.|
|KMX||UK||Design target appears to be off-road but they now have a full line of trikes. I don’t personally like the design or aesthetics but could be a decent value.|