Tips to riding the Ricksycle:

Although I've been told that the Ricksycle now has a instruction manual, mine didn't come with one. It's not like the Ricksycle is hard to put together or maneuver; you'd figure it out easily. Besides, my types of tips here are not typically in manuals anyway.

I hope you will decide to purchase a Ricksycle from Rick at If my site helps you make a decision to purchase, please pass that along to Rick in his comments section.

  • Realize that adjusting the pedals to your feet also changes the adjustment on your arms to the gear shift.
    The pedals and the gearshift for each wheel are mounted on the same axle. This axle moves under the passenger seat; thus, allowing you to change the pedal distance to your feet. Just realize that, every time you change the pedal distance to your feet, you are also changing the gear distance to your hand. A person who has short arms and long legs will have more difficulty reaching forward to change gears. When you adjust for your feet, also check the distance your hand is from the gearshift.
  • Your buttox will settle lower on the seat than you expect.
    When you first adjust the pedals to your leg length, it will be natural for you to sit up straight in the seat. However, after about a mile, your buttox will naturally slide forward on the trike so that you can gain a better angle of attack on the pedals. If there is a design flaw in the Ricksycle, then this is it; the pedals could be 3 to 5 inches higher. However, this does not affect your comfort and it actually stretches you out more so that you are reclined like a normal recumbent bike.
  • Use an arm rest to rest your driving arm.
    Unlike the gearshifts which adjust as you adjust the pedals, the steering joystick does not adjust... at all. People with short to normal length arms have to reach forward a bit to hold the steering joystick. Constantly reaching forward can become tiring for about the first 30 minutes of steering; after 30 minutes, you arm just becomes use to the constant reach. I suggest that you put some sort of arm rest between you and your passenger. We used a bicycle helmet and it worked great.
  • Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere.
    The Ricksycle is a leisure form of transportation. You are not going to win any races on this thing. (I guess that's not exactly true... You'll win any race against any Rickshaw, trike, or any other four wheel bike.) It's easy to pedal; it's fun to ride; it's slow to get anywhere. Do not expect to stay up with the road bikes in the pack. Expect to easily keep up with mountain bikers riding on hard surfaces.
  • Keep the fenders SMOOTH!
    The fenders above each rear tire are an important arm rest for you. The top of the fender is smooth as it ships from the factory. We rested our bare arms on the fender for 8 hours a day, 7 days in a row, and never once got chapped or a rash. If you protect any part of the paint job on the Rickscycle, protect the top side of the fenders. Scratching up the paint, or allowing rust to form here, could cause serious arm comfort issues.
  • Let go of joystick if you think you've lost steering control.
    When you are first learning to steer with the joystick, you WILL turn wrong, then oversteer to correct yourself, then panic because you are swerving back and forth on the road. The best solution found for panicing is to just let go of the steering joystick for a moment. The Ricksycle will somewhat correct itself and then you can take control again to get yourself back on course.
  • If the front wheel clears an obsticle during a tight turning radius, the pedal guard will also clear the obsticle
    The Ricksycle has a pretty small turning radius. During a turn, it is easy to tell if the front wheel will hit an obstacle. Not only is the front wheel swinging around the parameter of the turning radius, but so is the outside pedal guard. To clarify: if you are turning left, then the right pedal guard is on the outside; if you are turning right, then the left pedal guard is on the outside.

    As mentioned, it is easy to tell if the front wheel will hit an obstacle during a tight turn but you will swear that the outside pedal guard is going to hit the obstacle. That is not the case. The Ricksycle is engineered in such a way that so that the outside pedal guard will not hit an obstacle if the front wheel does not hit the obstacle while in a tight turn.
  • Keep the pedals dry.
    The pedals are black square blocks of plastic. When this plastic gets wet, your feet begin to slip around and you lose your angle of attack on the pedals. Keep your pedals dry so you don't slide around. If you know you will be riding the bike in the rain or through puddles, you may want to attached some some non-skid grips to the pedals.
  • General rules for a cooperative Ricksycle passenger.
    This is for the person who wants to be a "good passenger" on a Ricksycle!

    • The passenger has to remember... The Driver is in control! but the passenger has a break and pedals. It's kind of like the Student Driver car; you can inefficiently affect what the driver is doing by messing with your controls incorrectly.

    • If the driver stops pedaling, then you stop pedaling... especially at slow speeds. Continuing to pedal while the driver is trying to navigate people/obsticles is akin to one of those Toyota cars that accelerate unexpectedly.

    • Break only when the driver brakes and match their braking force. Above 9 mph and with the brakes engaged, you can feel the trike slightly twist from the passenger's side to the driver's side. When this occurs, it means you need to exert more braking force. The opposite is true; if you feel the trike twist from the driver's side to the passenger's side, you need to reduce your braking force.

    • Use your gears! I hear people say all the time, "I just like to stay in the hard gear." WHAT?@!#? You like to work hard?!@#? Come on people, gears are your friend! Every time you come to a stop, be sure you are ALREADY in 1st gear. The trike is very difficult to pedal when taking off from a full stop. Take a lesson from your car, any time it's speed changes or it traverse a hill, it's gears are changing. The same applies to you; your gears should be changing by the MINUTE to keep your cadence/power constant while the trike changes speed or traverses a hill.

    • Don't forget to use the front gear on the pedals. As soon as you hit a downhill slope, you should switch into the larger sprocket. If the trike is slowing but you are exerting added force to the pedals, then switch to the smaller sprocket. Note: You should be changing gears on the front sprocket while the back gears are between 2 and 6; do NOT wait to run out of gears on the back wheel before changing gears on the front. Note 2: It is quite typical to go from gears 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, then change to the large sprocket on the front, go back to gear 3, and continue working your way through gears 4, 5, 6, & 7.

    • Don't move around much at high speeds. See the original FAQ question "How well does the trike go down hills?".

    • Be prepared to take the wheel. The driver (or maybe it's just me) may unexpectantly look around the trike or do something that allows for the hands to be taken off the stick. No big deal... Just calmly grab the wheel and become the driver.

    • To the driver and passenger... Swap sides so that each of you learn to drive the Ricksycle with both hands, not just your dominate hand.