Just curious if anyone has seen these before, it would be a rare bird. I'm looking for a trike where the mount for the rear disk brake is mid-axle between the two rear wheels. What are the technical or marketing reasons these aren’t these more common?

My friend's trike has some terrible hub/band-brake on the rear axle. I put on on a front 180mm disk brake, that helped immensely, but I'm very curious about a rear disk brake too. A fully loaded trike plus the unloaded weight of a trike can be quite significant. [NB: looking for a non e-bike trike]

  • Sorry but product recommendations are off-topic on Stack Exchange. They go out of date very quickly and different products are available in different parts of the world. Feb 9, 2019 at 10:50
  • 2
    On a normally-weighted bike, the front brake will do 90%+ of the braking. On a cargo bike the rear brake becomes more useful, and on a tow-bike with an unbraked trailer then the rear brake becomes the more-important of the two. There is a decent question hiding here, but its about "what to look for in rear brakes on a loaded trike"
    – Criggie
    Feb 9, 2019 at 18:19
  • Edited to make less of a shopping question.
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 10, 2019 at 16:54
  • @DavidRicherby reworked to focus on technical aspects.
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 10, 2019 at 17:41
  • @RoboKaren OK, that seems better -- close vote retracted. Feb 10, 2019 at 20:03

3 Answers 3


Check out the Atomic Zombie plans for "deltawolf" These are do-it-yourself plans, they don't sell completed bikes.

Here's someone's bike from the rear


There's nothing to stop you putting the caliper mount further out for a 180 or 203mm rotor. You could also set up the same on the left-hand axle.

Note this design is a single driven wheel rather than a solid axle or a differential.

Someone's build: http://atomic-zombie-extreme-machines.blogspot.com/2010/08/building-deltawolf-recumbent-speed.html

  • That thing looks very small. Is it intended for children? Feb 10, 2019 at 17:12
  • @MichaelHampton well that particular one is scaled for a 26" rear wheel so adult. You could scale the plans to suit a kid. I suspect the colour scheme above makes it look more kid-like too.
    – Criggie
    Feb 10, 2019 at 18:45
  • Huh, that's odd. I'm not that tall, and it looks like my knees would hit the handlebars if I actually tried to pedal, and I'd be quite folded up anyway. I suppose it could just be an optical illusion. Feb 10, 2019 at 20:26
  • I would require a lot of confidence in my engineering skills to build/ride that - assuming the beige-coloured rod on the left is a steering rod.
    – Penguino
    Feb 10, 2019 at 21:41
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    @Penguino yes its a long delta trike with indirect Above Seat Steering. Which means a pushrod, no worse than a car without power steering. Atomiczombie are just plans, which are to help a skilled fabber/maker/welder to do the work and avoid specific pitfalls in design.
    – Criggie
    Feb 10, 2019 at 23:28

The normal delta style trike has one wheel in front and two wheels in back. The inexpensive “adult trikes” have an upright seating position much like a Dutch bike.

adult trike from Walmart

Most of these adult trikes don’t have a rear differential and only one rear wheel is driven. So when you pedal, the bike tends to want to veer in one direction or another. You quickly get used to this as a rider.

To make things cheaper for the manufacturer (and because many of these trikes have one-sided wheelchair style rear hubs/axles) they also have a simple band brake on the driven axle or coaster brake. So braking makes the bike veer in the opposite direction than pedaling it does. You’re never going that fast on these so it’s not that critical.

With just one braking wheel in back, you actually want a relatively crappy brake such as a band brake because if you lock one of the rear wheels by braking too hard you could easily have the bike whip out of control. So if you want effective brakes, you need them on both rear wheels.

So it would be great to have disk brakes on both rear wheels on adult trikes but it’d take mounting brake bosses to the frame near both wheels. The left wheel would also need a disk brake that is designed to go on the opposite side it normally expects to be. Things get expensive. In any case, it’s a lot of extra work and not worth it for most adult trikes which are designed to a price point.

Many tadpoles and delta recumbents do have brakes on both sides as they’re designed for faster speeds and more expert riders. But they’re custom made and more expensive. For example, this Hase has dual rear disk brakes:

hase recumbent trike

  • Thanks, some excellent points about band brakes and single-dive wheels. I think my friends wants to keep the cargo capabilities though (without a trailer).
    – Dan H
    Feb 16, 2019 at 0:45
  • With brakes on both rear wheels, how do they ensure an even distribution of braking force? Or am I overthinking things and it’s enough to simply split the hydraulic hose and connect it to both brakes?
    – Michael
    Feb 3, 2021 at 13:42
  • 1
    @Michael there's another question before that - hydraulic or cable? Cable would allow but also necessitate some balancing.
    – Chris H
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:15

This two-seater has a rear differential, a central disc brake, a rear drum pedal brake and front rim brake. It's called "Side-by-Side" by PF Mobility of Denmark.

enter image description here

  • Good spotting - I've never seen a bike like that. Which is why OP is asking about the concept being rare in the world.
    – Criggie
    Feb 6, 2021 at 23:33

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