Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My wife has Cerebral Palsy (CP) so can’t balance on a normal bike, what are the options so she can go cycling with me?

We don't own a van, the size of any "bike" is important as it will have to fit in a car.

share|improve this question
    
A folding tricycle would work. There's a question here about them: Looking for recommendations for a folding tricycle –  Neil Fein Nov 19 '10 at 1:17
add comment

6 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I've seen quite a few older people in my city riding around on 3 wheeled bikes, similar to the ones shown here. They offer quite a bit of stability, without making you low to the ground like a recumbent. However, I can't think of how you would get one into a car. Getting a regular bike into a car is hard enough, have you thought about a roof rack?

You almost might want to look into stabilizer wheels which can be attached to any bike, and you may be able to find some that are removable for transportation.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, The StabilizerWheels looks interesting, but they don't seem to have any dealers in the uk. –  Ian Sep 2 '10 at 10:20
    
According to EU laws, a car is a motored vehicle that can go over 25km/h with at least 4 wheels. Now we have 4 wheels. It can go over 25km/h. Is this thing now a car if it happen to have some sort of motor even though the motor is small one? When we are going to see bicycles with register signs that are registered as car? :) –  user652 Jun 14 '11 at 18:02
add comment

Check out the Hase Pino. Tandem Bike, but built to let a recumbent rider get a full view from the front, without having to steer or balance, while the captain can sit upright with the same awesome view. There's accessories for seatbelts or handcranks, if that's your thing. Also, the newest models fold in the middle, so they can fit in a trunk. On the other hand, mine doesn't fold, but it's short enough that I can just put it on a trunk rack.

share|improve this answer
    
Interesting suggestion. How is it that the stoker doesn't have to worry about balance as much? Is it because they're lower to the ground? –  Neil Fein Mar 4 '11 at 16:26
    
I'm 180lbs, my wife is 130. When we're riding, I hardly realize she's there. When I switch to a 190lb stoker, it's easier if the stoker can lean into turns a little. The stoker doesn't need to think about balance in part because you're doing it for them, but also it's possible to strap the stoker to the bike if you're concerned that the stoker might fall off. You can also change the gearing, so that the stoker can coast while the captain steers (not related, but I thought it'd be helpful to know) –  Kyle Schmidt Mar 4 '11 at 20:01
1  
@Neil Finn: the stoker usually leans with the bike due to the recumbent seat, so as long as they're consistent in staying with the seat it's more like riding a load bike than an upright tandem. Them being lower helps a little, but I found that even a 50kg kid hanging off the side made it very hard to ride. More suited for physical disabilities only than those with mental hiccups too. I think this style is the best solution for partly-able stokers. –  Мסž Mar 5 '11 at 3:09
add comment

Your best bet is probably a recumbent trike. Of course this does bring up the transportation issue. You could look at getting a roof rack or rear platform for the car which could negate the transportation issue.

Another thought would be a tandem. If you can balance enough to keep you both up and she can manage not to fall off. Again this brings up transportation as you'd have to have a big car (truck really) to get a tandem inside.

Really I'd look at the recumbent and roof racks.

share|improve this answer
3  
Minor comment on the tandems and transportation: Some friends have a Santana tandem (santanatandem.com) that you can disassemble quite easily. It breaks down significantly smaller than two bikes would be. This is at the cost of having to spend a bit more time assembling, but it certainly is an option. –  bikesandcode Sep 1 '10 at 20:17
    
Correct spelling is recumbent (with an "e"). –  Murph Nov 21 '10 at 12:12
add comment

You really should read Shelton Brown's site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

He was a great resource for the bike community (RIP) and you have some common threads with him. He talks about tandeming, which would be an option for you. A note on the bike having to fit in the car, it is possible to get racks for the tandem, it doesn't have to be transported in the car. www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem/index.html

The other option that Shelton Brown can also speak to is the trike. He had one before he died and has an write-up on it. www.sheldonbrown.com/org/greenspeed/

Cheers, Chris

share|improve this answer
add comment

I found a long list here (I don't know how good or recent it is, but it is quite long, and pan-national): Where to Find A Four-Wheeled Bike or Tricycle. The various sellers might tell you whether/how it's possible to transport them by car.

There are also second-level links, for example one of the links is to http://www.roman-road.co.uk/ which then links to http://www.tricycleassociation.org.uk/

share|improve this answer
add comment

My sister works in Cardiff and one of her part time jobs is working with severally mentally disabled adults. She often takes them out on specially adapted bicycles/tricycles which in Cardiff there are a lot of trails and tracks to enable them to get around. Although this does not directly meet your requirements of fitting into your van they do offer other sort of mobility bikes which you can read more about the kind of bikes that are provided here:

http://www.cardiffpedalpower.org/cycle_hire/accessible_cycling.htm

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.