Tadpole or Delta Trike?

It’s a common question – which is the better kind of trike? The answer isn’t so easy – both configurations have their advantages and disadvantages:

Tadpole:

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  • Simple drive system – a normal chainset at the front with a chain leading through to normal rear wheel gearing.
  • Very stable, you sit right in the middle of all three wheels.
  • Can carry normal panniers alongside the rear wheel.
  • You can see how wide it is when riding, for narrow gaps.

Delta:

Kettwiesel train

  • Very manoeuvrable – the front wheel can turn through about 80 degrees to either side, so it can almost turn in its own length.
  • Very easy to get onto and off – you can sit down first, then swing your leg over. Access from a wheelchair is simple.
  • More complex drive system, with single-sided drive to one rear wheel or a differential to drive both, sometimes with mid-mounted gearbox gearing.
  • Less stable when cornering fast.

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