Does anyone make a kit to convert an adult tricycle bicycle to electric or gas power? Will a bicycle kit work?

By · Sunday, December 19th, 2010

I have an adult tricycle with front brake and rear basket, single speed, steel frame that I bought from the estate of an old woman. Its great and the basket is the perfect size to haul around my fishing gear on the river trails. The problem is that its single speed and can't do hills at all. I'm looking for a kit to convert it to electric power (preferably) or possibly a gas engine. I've heard that the kits for a bicycle will not work and will require additional parts but I don't know what extra parts. Does anyone know of a website or store that sells conversion kits geared specifically for tricycles? I've seen the complete converted trikes for sale, but I can't find the conversion kits anywhere. Thanks for the help!


Interesting question, everything I’ve seen for a tricycle is a custom job. I have an idea though, actually three of them; one, take the trike to a bicycle shop and tell them what you need. They may have better sources for kits or parts then we can find on the web. The second idea I like better, go to the local high school or vocational school and talk to the shop teacher. As a class project they might be willing to modify or equip the trike with an electric or gasoline assist motor. Especially if you went to the local newspaper and asked them to do a story about the conversion. My third idea, two American companies manufactured industrial tricycles, Schwinn and a Brooklyn company called Workman. I don’t know if your trike is one of them. Other companies made tricycles, but the kinds made by Schwinn and Workman were big heavy brutes built for factory employees. Workman is still in business and makes an electric trike, but they don’t sell a conversion kit. I’ve included the link, if its a Workman cycle contact them and see if you can buy a kit as a special order. If your trike is a Schwinn or another brand, you still might be able to make something from Workman work for you.

You can install a “front hub” electric bike kit very easily on a trike. Since the motor is built directly into the front hub, almost no modifications are necessary. Simply take off the front wheel, replace with the hub motor / wheel, run the wiring and mount the battery / controller. A battery should be very easy to install on the rear of a trike. Here is a nice front hub kit:

You’ll find a couple other options on this website. The key is choosing a “front hub” kit that will install on the front fork.