Riding a tricycle is always a good time and adding an electric boost can double the fun. The Viribus Trio Plus is an Electric Tricycle for adults that’s ideal for trips to the farmers market or riding around the park. During testing, the Trio surprised me and perhaps not in the ways you may think! Keep reading to learn how this electric trike performed out in the real world— is it more gimmick or simply a great product?
Viribus is a new manufacturer to have hit the scene recently, launching the brand in 2018 and introducing its first ebike in 2020. The brand’s e-tricycle was released just last year as they try to stand out amid a crowded ebike marketplace. Viribus has a large focus on tricycles (electric and standard) as well as a range of electric and “analog” bicycles.
This makes Viribus an attractive option for riders who want a more stable bike with three wheels, including people with limited mobility or older riders. But hey, riding a trike still has some serious fun-factor for riders of all ages and skill levels. Its headquarters is based out of Southern California and, as with most bike companies, the bikes are likely manufactured overseas in China.
The Trio Plus is Viribus’ upgraded electric tricycle equipped with a more powerful 350W motor and mechanical disc brakes. It’s not a premium ebike by any means, but I don’t think Viribus is really aiming to capture the high end of the market. This trike is designed for easy-going recreation and smooth cruises around town (think: picnics, to the park, and weekend bike paths). I’d say stick to paved surfaces with the Trio Plus and leave the off-road riding to bikes with wider, knobbier tires.
I’m thinking that this bike is built for older folk or riders who want the extra stability offered by the third wheel. It has a short wheelbase that felt too compact for me, but facilitates a comfortable and upright riding position. During testing, it was a luxury for me to never have to put my foot down and support the bike at a red light or stop sign! But if you’re looking for a trike that has the fancy specs of today’s electric two-wheelers, it’s best to look elsewhere. Compared to the Trio Plus, the standard Viribus Trio model features a 250W front hub motor and a front rim brake— definitely a more bare-bones setup.
Hopping onto the bike for the first time, I have to say I wasn’t impressed. The components immediately felt low-quality, especially compared to the other electric bikes I was testing that week. The frame’s construction reminded me of bikes from decades earlier with old-style seat post clamps, thin tubing, and flimsy metal fenders. The levers of the mechanical disc brakes felt more like traditional rim brakes to me.
But in my book, the Trio Plus is still a bike that serves a purpose. The $989 price tag may seem like a lot given the low-end parts, but it is an electric tricycle after all. Any rider would be hard-pressed to find an electric bike for less than that, let alone a three-wheeler with all the extra components required. If you’re set on purchasing an electric-assist tricycle, the Trio Plus is one of the few budget-friendly options available.
The Viribus has a 350W hub motor in the front wheel due to the tricycle design with dual rear wheels. The acceleration is decently fast and isn’t too jumpy, probably helped along by the weight balance of the bike smoothing things out. I was expecting a bit more oomph from the 350W motor. With so many outdated components on the bike along with the front hub motor, the Trio Plus rode more like an ebike conversion kit than a true, dedicated electric bike.
Throttle vs Pedal Assist
The throttle mode was fun and made cursing around the city a blast, largely overshadowing the pedal assist levels. The Trio Plus is a single-speed with a very small gear ratio. This makes it very easy to spin out while pedaling using electric assist. I was using the throttle so much that I almost forgot that pedal-assist was an option. One serious criticism, however, is that the right-hand thumb throttle got stuck a couple of times, delivering power even when my hand was off the grips.
The large battery is externally mounted behind the seat post and has a useful handle when removing it. There are a few LED indicators showing how much juice remains in the battery, too. The display on the handlebars was simple and clearly showed the current speed— the default setting was in kilometers per hour.
On the other side of the handlebars are the switches for the integrated front light and horn. The front light is fairly bright and the horn makes a cute, beeping tone but won’t do you much good in louder city traffic. There are a lot of cables and wires at the front of the bike and Viribus somehow made them appear even bulkier. The brand opted for a kind of thick neoprene sleeve over the cables instead of thin wrapping to keep them organized— simply an aesthetic note, but an easy one to fix and get right.
Amazon.com Price: $799.99 (as of 02/29/2024 14:27 MST) Details
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
An essential part of any tricycle is the large basket! This accessory makes it easy to carry groceries, a backpack, or other large ride items at the rear of the bike. The thin wire design means it’s not the sturdiest basket out there, but is securely attached to the bike— way better than zip tie hacks that many cyclists do, that’s for sure. The fenders connect to a neat protection bar over the rear wheels, but they did rattle a bit going over bumps. I used to work at a bike shop where we hauled some gear via trike to our booth at local farmers market and I’m envisioning the Trio Plus as a machine that can do that same job well.
Overall, the Viribus Trio Plus Electric Tricycle ($989.00) isn’t the ultimate around-town bike I was hoping for, but I don’t think that’s the bike’s end goal. The lower-end components enable this setup to deliver a lot of bike at a super affordable price point— it is both an electric and three-wheeled bike after all. If you’re a recreational rider on the hunt for a trike, you won’t be blown away by the performance but you’ll surely have a ton of fun.