A trishaw is a three-wheeled pedal-powered machine with a pilot behind and a passenger seat up front for views of the community and nature.
Trishaws can go just about anywhere. In Wisconsin, they are legal vehicles and allowed on all roads just like bicycles. But the best routes are low-traffic neighborhood side streets and trails through parks. These trishaws help people experience the beautiful community trails they may never have been on and ride through old neighborhoods that spark fond memories.
Trishaws can be ordered at local bike shops in Wisconsin or online at the CyclingWithoutAge.org website. They cost between $7,400 – $11,000 plus shipping from Copenhagen. Depending on your order method and the supply chain, you may expect to receive your trishaw anywhere from two weeks to nine months.
The trishaws are not typically a stock item for bike shops in the US. In fact, very few shops even have a relationship with trishaw manufacturers to have one ordered. The ones that we have worked with all have come from Copenhagen in a shipping container. Options for ordering each have their pros and cons, so your organization can decide what is a best fit.
Option 1: Ordering from a Local Bike Shop:
- We have several shops in the US who facilitate orders of trishaws, 2 are in Wisconsin (The Cargo Bike Shop and Moboevo).
- These shops are brick and mortar, making it comfortable and easy when it comes to ordering and repairs.
- Parts: Not all parts are standard bicycle parts, our trishaw dealers know the common “hard to get” parts and stock many of them.
- They understand our culture and terrain and can make confident recommendations.
- Pricing is the same as other options, comparing apples to apples.
Option 2: Ordering from the Cycling Without Age Organization in Copenhagen:
- Supports their international efforts and mission.
- They have a variety of trishaws and similar mobility devices, of different price points and quality.
Trishaws can be picked up locally, or delivered to your community. They all come from overseas and ship when the container is full, so timing depends on whether your trishaw is the first or the last one in the container.
We recommend you have the bike shop you order through do the assembly. If you want to do your own, make sure to clarify how much assembly is required, some roll out of crates ready to ride and others have required hours of complicated assembly.
Some basic accessories are needed for safety, others for a comfortable ride and storytelling. Here is a pretty standard list:
- Water bottle cage for pilot
- Phone holder
- Helmets (2 sizes)
- Lights (front and back)
- Sanitizer for between passengers
- First aid kit
- Safety vest for pilot
- Sunglasses for passenger
- Emergency contact numbers
- Emergency contact numbers
- Journal to collect stories
Staying on top of maintenance is very important. Many of the parts and pieces are not standard to other bicycles, therefore not inventoried here in the US, and the process of repair/replace can be more complicated.
All pilots should do an ABC Quick Check before they ride, even taking over a shift from another pilot, to ensure that the trishaw is in proper working condition. Access the ABC Quick Checklist
Be sure to have your trishaw checked over in the spring before your pilot training and in the late fall before you store it for the winter.
Refer to the bike shop you purchase the trishaw from to assist with the maintenance. Some repairs will impact the warranty if not performed by a mechanic certified on that brand.
Ideally, everyone would be able to pedal the trishaws to all of our appointments and destinations, although that is not common. Here are some popular options for transporting your trishaw:
Enclosed Trailers & Vans
This option doubles as storage space and protects the trishaws from the elements and being banged around in a garage. Special concern should be given to the battery in extreme temperatures.
Light-weight and easy to pull with even small vehicles. Not good for speeds over 35.
There is concern when loading and unloading but a decent option in a pinch!
- Secure the wheels to the floor, paying attention not to transport with pressure on spokes
- Drop the footrest
- Engage standard parking brakes, but not hydraulic brakes
- Strap to the frame only, with no cables under the strap
Storing the trishaw in plain view within the location is a great reminder that rides are available. When storing in an accessible location, drop footrests and put signs on the seats to discourage climbing on the unattended trishaws. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your equipment remains accessible and safe:
Dust blowing in a garage gets on the brakes and chain may accelerate the maintenance needed.
Park your trishaw in the lobby of a sponsor, or a local business where you ride often.
Bike shops, municipal garages, places of worship, and other community facilities
Sometimes storage is available in these locations to get you through the winter.
Be aware to protect your trishaw from rodents who may damage cables and make nests in other parts of the trishaw when not in use.