The tricycle has been around for over 150 years. Follow the popularity of bicycle as a way of transportation, tricycle started to emerge in the market in late 1860's. The major reason behind the creation of tricycle was as a result of safety concerns while the third wheel was added to make the bicycle more stable and easier to ride.
The adult tricycles started to appear in 1860's as a disable German created his own tricycle so that he was able to move around. As a watch maker, he created his own tricycle that was powered by hand cranks. By the end of the 1860's, variations of tricycles started to appear in the market. The seat was moved further back to help correcting safety issue. At the same time, as a kids’ toy, wooden tricycle started to be available in the market. However, there is no official documentations about children tricycles. The only evidence found is the photographic about where the first children tricycle was made. It is , therefore, concluded that the first children's tricycle was a homemade.
Tricycles have key advantages in the sense that they have riding comfort, good cornering and very stable. People usually think about the tricycle as a kid’s toy. However, tricycle is commonly used by adults who can’t ride bicycle or for elder who is afraid to fall down. The major drawback of the tricycle is that with such a low riding position, it is hard to spot in traffic. This makes tricycle not as safe to drive in busy traffic. Moreover, the tricycle has very poor climbing ability. It would take much more energy to ride the tricycle up hill.
Tricycles are popular for young kids as a way to learn how to ride before switching to a bicycle. Children's tricycle is usually made of steel or plastic frames. The plastic frame is cheaper but the plastic frame has some disadvantages such as they tend to be easier to tip over. Children's tricycle usuallt comes with direct drive. However, some children’s tricycle can be found to have chain drive. Diffrent to adult tricycle, children's tricycle has solid wheels that made of rubber to avoid having to deal with flat tire.
In some countries such as China, tricycles are used to carry freight. These tricycles have cargo area consisting of steel or a large basket which are mounted over front wheels. Freight tricycles can also be used in manufacturing plants. The advantage of using freight tricycle is it produces no air pollution which is good for the earth.People forgot about tricycle over the time as men have moved to combustion vehicles. In recent years, due to the sharp rise of the oil price together with the concern about global warming, tricycles have gained back its popularity and is expected to be much more popular over the years to come.