The new Mooncool TK1 Trike may be the best electric tricycle under the sun, expertly balancing utility and performance on its three wheels. Making a quality trike is a difficult brief, let alone an electric one that also folds and carries a significant amount of cargo. Keep reading this review to learn if the TK1 made us feel truly over the moon or forced us to eventually come back down to Earth.
I’m notoriously critical of tricycles, but quality three-wheelers do come around once in a blue moon— and the TK1 electric tricycle is one of them. Adult tricycles often have disappointing specs that are overlooked due to the novelty of rolling around on three wheels, letting brands get away with less-than-ideal models. That said, many riders like me actually want a recreational trike with great build quality that’ll withstand heavy use transporting cargo.
For example, I used to work at farmers’ markets and community bike shops where a trike was integral to carrying products from one end of the city to the other.
The Mooncool brand has a small fleet of standard bikes and trikes while focusing much more than other brands on its three-wheeled offerings. There are “analog” trikes, electric, and foldable models available. The TK1 is both electric-powered and foldable with 20 x 3.0” tires—its sibling, the TK1 FAT20 model, has true 4.0” fat tires and a backrest.
I especially love that the TK1 comes in a huge variety of fun colors: vibrant orange, cinnamon pink, slate gray, cyan green, and white. It’s rare to see such a wide range, so let your creativity run wild! We opted for the cyan-green paint job and it looked great in person. The one-size TK1 step-thru frame is recommended for riders between 5’2 and 6’.
Foldable Trike Frame
The TK1 is built around a durable 6061 aluminum frame with a folding hinge in the middle, as well as a foldable steerer tube. It goes without saying that this foldable ebike won’t fit on the metro or in small spaces (it’s an adult trike after all), but we found that its collapsibility can come in handy.
We realized the folded TK1 fit in the back of the Ford Bronco when we needed to transport it, assuaging our initial skepticism. For hitch rack users, Hollywood Racks makes a convenient add-on to their existing bike racks specifically for tricycles— check it out! The folding design is also helpful to save a bit of space in the garage or storage area when the TK1 won’t be used for a while.
350 Lbs. Capacity
This electric tricycle can be a powerful workhorse if you want it to be. Beyond providing a fun and stable cruise around town, the TK1 comes outfitted with heavy-duty front and rear racks. Mooncool makes the right choice to go for sturdy baskets instead of flimsy wire baskets to carry items— the ebike’s maximum payload capacity is 350 lbs.
This makes the TK1 a great choice for transporting groceries, trips to the farmers’ market, picnics, and short errands around town.
How’s it Ride?
The entire bike also feels very sturdy and high-quality, unlike the budget trikes we’ve tested before. The TK1 performs head and shoulders above the Viribus E-trike we reviewed a couple of months ago, for example. The modern build quality feels great and has a premium touch to it, all the way from the ergonomic grips to neat cable organization and sturdy folding hinges.
If the design of the TK1 seems familiar, it’s similar to the popular Lectric XP Trike but looks a bit sleeker to my eye.
I think part of this comes from the smaller 20” wheels that lower the center of gravity for more stable and controlled cornering. Steering on any trike, of course, will take some getting used to because you can’t turn as quickly as a standard bike. The wider 3.0” tires also contribute to extra confidence while making turns.
There’s also a speed differential mechanism in the rear axle so the trike can corner better since the rear wheels can rotate at different speeds— seem’s like Mooncool has thought of everything on this one.
500W Rear Motor
The TK1 has a 500W rear motor with a peak power of 750W and 45Nm of torque. Riders can toggle between 5 levels of pedal assist or use the right-hand twist throttle for pedal-free cruising. The maximum pace is 16 mph which is on the lower end, but considering the recreational nature of trikes and their sensitive cornering performance, I think that’s a decent top speed.
It’s a single-speed setup so there aren’t bigger gears to switch into— so you may notice you’ll be ghost-pedaling a fair bit while in the higher pedal assist levels.
- Amazon US$1,399.00
Amazon.com Price: $1,399.00 (as of 02/22/2024 09:34 MST) Details
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The 15Ah lithium-ion battery is placed externally directly behind the seat post. I think it’s a smart placement that doesn’t interfere much with the bike’s relatively sleek silhouette and makes it easy to remove for off-bike charging. A single charge of the battery lasts for around 30 to 45 miles of riding on the lower levels of pedal assist so you can complete all your errands in a single go.
It’s not a huge battery capacity compared to some other ebikes these days, but I tend to prefer these modest batteries compared to oversized power packs that add serious heft. Importantly, the battery comes with a generous 3-year warranty from Mooncool in case there are any issues down the road.
The TK1 also features a short-travel 40mm front suspension fork for additional cushion while riding, something the Lectric XP trike doesn’t have. The 20 x 3.0” tires have sufficient air volume to also provide some shock absorption with an all-terrain tread pattern for plenty of traction. Feel free to take this trike on gravel paths or bumpy surfaces, a challenge that most trikes with skinny tires wouldn’t dare take on. Another plus is the Star Union hydraulic disc brakes for improved stopping power instead of standard mechanical disc brakes.
The Mooncool TK1 doesn’t boast any space-age technology but comes equipped with several useful tech features. I especially like the integrated turn signals on either side of the automatic rear brake light, positioned below the rear basket. The trike is a decently sized vehicle— and it takes turns slower than a standard bike— so indicating your next move to cars or fellow cyclists via illuminated turn signals is a great idea. There’s a decently loud horn sound and a large headlight mounted to the front basket.
The simple black-and-white display is mounted on the left-hand side of the handlebars and clearly shows the most important ride metrics. There are no full-color capabilities or connected app but the display gets the job done well. I appreciate the choice of riser bars that allow for a bit of adjustability and leave plenty of room to mount more accessories such as a phone mount or extra light.
The grips have a nice ergonomic shape but during testing, I felt that the grips could be improved with a softer rubber material.
Priced at just $1,599, the Mooncool TK1 Electric Trike is a deal that’s out of this world. For older cyclists who want the extra stability of three wheels or hardworking riders who need to carry cargo around town, this trike is built for it all. And for the tricycle skeptics out there like me, give this one a try and you’ll be surprised.
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