7 Unique Quadracycles and Why They're Good for the Planet

Quadricycles lined up next to a riverfront

Cristi Croitoru / Getty Images 

Quadracycles are also known as four-wheeled bikes or pedal-powered quad bikes. These human-propelled vehicles are designed for a range of uses—from recreation and sport to delivery systems to snow plows, and much more.

When compared to cars, quadracycles have an environmental advantage. Choosing a quadracycle to get around lowers your carbon footprint substantially. And just as e-bikes have the potential to shift more commuters from behind the car wheel, so too do electric quadracycles.

The following four-wheeled bikes are notable for their completely unique design, high-tech features, and awesome environmental benefits. This list is not exhaustive, and not every bike will be suitable for your needs (some are designed to be commercial vehicles, or are manufactured and sold primarily in European countries). If you're in the market for an easy-to-operate bike with a lower carbon footprint, take note of the features here that you value the most and find a vehicle that's perfect for you.

of 7


A German development team debuted an off-road, four-wheel drive, pedal-powered vehicle in 2008 with an eye on bringing the quadracycle's weight down below 110 pounds (50 kilograms). The prototype of the Trailcart sported 400-millimeter axle displacement, 290 Newton meters of torque, and Shimano's Nexus 8 shifting system.

While the Trailcart is no longer in production, this vehicle inspired future designs in the quadracycle sphere.

of 7


The Champiot was designed to be a "Rowing Machine on Wheels" because the rider pumps a lever at the front of the frame to get the four wheels moving. Like an upper body exercise apparatus that moves you, the Champiot was designed in part to include people unable to pedal with their legs, opening cycling opportunities to more riders.

According to the manufacturer's website, there are a variety of Champiot models with unique features, including models designed for people with disabilities.

of 7


VierBike, owned by ParBike, offers three quadricycle models: the Sport, designed for two riders; the Sprint for one; and the Metra, which has two seats and the option of adding child seats for family trips to the grocery store or around town. All models feature speed shifting capabilities, Shimano components, and dual-band braking.

of 7


Fernhay's company mission is to lower carbon emissions by decreasing traffic congestion and eliminating the need for large delivery vans. Their products, including the compact eQuad, are designed for easy maneuverability. The eQuad is bike lane accessible and carries a maximum of 200 kg of cargo. Fernhay's eQuad, eWalker, and Cube can be seen throughout Europe; UPS is a top customer.

of 7

Snowplow Bike

The environmental impact of snow removal is well documented, and plowing with trucks isn't a great option over salt, sand, and chemicals. A Trek bicycle engineer built a plow from part of a ride-on lawnmower and old bicycle components. The blades were formed from a couple of shovels, with one of the handles employed to raise and lower the plow. Variations of the four-wheeled snow plow have been built and marketed since.

of 7


The road isn't the only place to set down four wheels. Recumbent pedal-power bikes can be modified to use on abandoned rail lines, where there is a minimum of rolling resistance. RailRunner aims to reduce fuel consumption with its products by shifting transport systems from the road to rail lines. This trend has its own U.S. enthusiasts group known as Rail Riders.

Conversion kits also allow riders to put a regular bike or two onto the train tracks. RailRunner also offers training services, including Terminal Anywhere Services to ensure you learn the ropes.

of 7


Made with your next outdoor adventure in mind, TrikExplor bikes feature an optional electric system, which provides additional torque and efficiency when you need it. These quadracycles can be easily transformed to fit riders' plans, including commuting, off-roading, sports, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is a quadracycle?

    A quadracycle is technically any four-wheeled bicycle. Some have one seat, others have two, and some even have four seats.

  • How is a quadracycle powered?

    Quadracycles can be powered by foot pedals, hand cranks, and even electric motors.

View Article Sources
  1. Choi, Kathryn, Solène Delumeau, Khris Liang, and Lisa Xu. “Study of UBC’s Current Snow Removal Practices, and Their Possible Effects,” April 2020. doi:10.14288/1.0390011