First of all, I have to thank the recumbent community for helping me get the answer to this common question. I hope this article will help the recumbent beginners to have a smoother and more pleasant start of their trike riding.
Accessories for recumbents are a topic. As mentioned in article 18 RECUMBENT ACCESSORIES YOU SHOULD CONSIDER TO HAVE, many accessories are coming from the world of upright bikes that you can use on your recumbents and many that are specific. And because recumbent trikes are even more unique than recumbent two-wheelers, I wanted to prepare a list of the most helpful trike accessories. I have used the help of the trike riders community and asked them the same question you see as the title of this article. Based on their answers, I compiled a list of the 7 most essential add-ons sorted by importance. Others follow.
I got to that final result by simply calculating how many times was that particular accessory mentioned. Because some experienced recumbent riders wrote down more than one item, I summed all of them. I always gave them the same value without prioritizing them, even if they were listed with importance. In the end, I find the list pretty much correct. The canopy seems to be a bit unnecessary for many, and I would add mudguards, but it all depends on where you live and where you ride—whether in sunny Florida or wet Scotland.
7 most helpful accessories for recumbent trikes
- Clipless pedals or any other foot retention system
- Water bottle cage + bottle
There is not much to explain regarding the first seven products. They are all described in the article about 18 recumbent accessories which I have mentioned already. The clipless pedals are not listed there because I don’t really find them as an accessory in their true manner. However, they are really important. They protect your feet and legs from being caught under the trike frame cruciform – an event known as leg-suck – which can cause a severe injury.
Of course, not only those seven add-ons are important. Many others have been mentioned as well. Like motors, for example, a rider, a riding companion, “me”, or good knees, which I would all consider part of the “motor category”. Also, a tool kit, phone holder, bell, computer, or mudguards are definitely great friends of trike riders. For those with reduced mobility, helping handles, or as they are called grab handles, or stand-up assist bars, are beneficial products as well.
AfterShokz & Kayak Seat Pads
An interesting comment came from Carl, who mentioned his iPhone and AfterShokz – headphones you don’t place into or over your ears but slightly in front of them, and they transfer the sound through your skull. You may know the effect as bone conduction. That way, you can hear the music and the traffic around you as well.
The nonskid pad was mentioned twice by ladies. These mats can help you in case you slide down from your seat. You can either find them as non-slip carpet liners or Anti Slip Kayak Seat Cushion from Amazon, as Colette recommended.
Many great and valuable comments have appeared in the forum on Facebook. I mention here some of them as I think they either perfectly cover the topic or describe some of the accessory-related issues.
Jan mentions: “There’s a difference in ‘important’ and ‘nice to have’. Pedal slings and a mirror are important. A bell, a phone holder, and even a nonskid carpet liner (to keep from sliding on my web seat) are ‘nice to have’.”
I agree with Tim about lights. I would just add a flag or ideally a flag with light on top of it to his comment: “For road riding safety an extremely bright multi-mode flashing rear light to ensure you are seen by automobile’s.”
There were also some funny ones like from Thebh Dragon: “A roof! It gives ya shade, shelter from the rain & snow…and most importantly…it give ya someplace to stack & tie down a pile of pizzas too!”
Peter commented with some clever ideas about having your favorite music with you on the ride: “Bottle holder for using my JBL charge 3 Bluetooth speaker, and side mounts for handlebar bags.”
Finally, Art comments that it is challenging to write just one item. For many recumbent trike riders, the set of necessary accessories consists of several products and they would not start their riding without any of them. Art mentions: “I vacillate between saying water bottle holder (and the bottle, of course) and rear view mirrors. I really wouldn’t want to be without either.”