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I have tried the classical plastic pedal extensions as in the picture. I have tried riding with one foot, but it was a little bit hard pulling up. I was wondering if anyone knows of an extension for a one-off legged person riding a bike. I thought the following would work:

enter image description here

Any ideas?

Also, there would have to be a mechanism for ensuring the biker did not have a bad fall in case the bike became unbalanced and the biker fell on the side the biker had no leg. How would you prevent this? Would you just attach small-child-like accessory wheels on only one side as follows?

enter image description here

Maybe the back supporting wheels might be enough, otherwise the biker could not turn the front wheel.

Maybe some sort of mechanical spring plus other components would be needed attached to the front supporting wheel, sort of as follows, although the picture is not a good one:

enter image description here

How would you do it?

Does something like that exist?

Thanks.

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    The top picture shows toe clips, sometimes wrongly called cages. You're asking about a disabled person riding a normal bike, and since they're missing a leg, they need some way to pull the single pedal up? Separately you're suggesting some kind of outrigger on their legless side to stop falls in that direction?
    – Criggie
    Aug 12 '16 at 12:38
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    Clarification - are we talking about a rider with a dead leg or one with a missing leg (amputee) ? It could be worth involving the rider's physiotherapist or someone from the medial profession.
    – Criggie
    Aug 13 '16 at 5:02
  • Time's moved on since this question was asked. Its totally reasonable to get an electric-assist road bike which will definitely help with the getting-moving part.
    – Criggie
    Feb 1 '19 at 9:48
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There are many ways to approach this problem. The WORST thing you can do is not involve the rider in the decision making process.

If the rider is comfortable riding, perhaps all you need is a regular bike with a toe clip (as pictured) or a clipless MTB shoe with a cleat underneat, and a matching pedal. SPD would be the most commonly known style.

There's no need to remove the other-side crank although that is a good theft deterrent. In fact it may help to add a little weight to the empty pedal.

A little wheel on the off side is likely to hook on things or cause more problems than it solves.

More spendy options exist too -

Tricycle Solving the balance problem by adding a big third wheel instead of little kids one.

enter image description here

Handcycle These are powered totally by the rider's arms, not by the feet (foot) This one is probably a tricycle, but the theory works the same for a 2 wheeled bike.

enter image description here

Here's a handcycle built onto a wheelchair - its possible to remove the front part and return it to normal wheelchair mode.

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Prosthetic Depending on how much of the leg is missing, its possible to have a strapon leg that rides like normal. Above-knee amputee's comments or this guy who rode the Haute Route with one leg and one arm

enter image description here

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    My grandad lost a leg, this is something that I've wondered about personally. Although I'd probably consider a recumbent trike as well.
    – Criggie
    Aug 12 '16 at 12:56
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    The SPD pedal would have to use the type of cleat (SH-51) that releases only when moved sideways to prevent accidental release on a strong upwards pull. And the release force probably needs to be adjusted to strongest for the same reason.
    – Carel
    Aug 12 '16 at 15:31
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    I like the first one, with a cleat. It seems the most stable, to me somehow. The second picture looks like it could be great for arm muscle building, while also nice, and I like how you could use it to quickly turn left and right. The last picture looks like a careful balancing act with the right hand would be needed, but is the picture real? As you say, the final choice lies with the rider. Aug 13 '16 at 20:30
  • Any other alternatives? I am interested, because I truly believe even more styles of bikes or Half-Life devices are possible. Thank you for your answer, it addressed and answered some of my question. Otherwise, how could you start riding the bike and come down from the bike? Thanks. Aug 13 '16 at 20:34
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    As to the SH-51 cleat, seems feasible, and I think you would have to have some sort of box-like dock on the amputated or motionless leg side to get started. Any ideas? Aug 13 '16 at 20:37
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I've been a one legged cyclist for 41 years (lost leg to cancer). I ride a British trike (from eBay) like the yellow one pictured above, there are also trike adapters to make standard bikes into trikes (contact Geoff at Trykit website), that are less expensive. You may need a bike shop to help you put the adapter on properly and help you build the wheels. I use a classic metal toe clip & strap on my one pedal and can pull up just fine, I do NOT like the pedals I've tried that clip more firmly to the bike shoe...I've needed to get my foot out in a hurry on several occasions. Make sure to get the right gearing on your bike, you only have half the power production of someone w 2 legs, so granny gears can be very helpful AND there are some hills you'll just have to avoid. Have put a great many miles on and love riding. Just make sure to do it safely -- use good helmet, bright clothing, rearview mirror, lights, anything to make you more visible to the cars on the road. Best of luck!

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As far as the pedal platform goes there are similar things available to what you have doodled.

enter image description here

Criggie's answer covers everything pretty well.

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  • Thank you for your contribution. These straps seem a bit tight or uncomfortable. Hopefully there is a better one with some rubber cushioning. In the end, the choice lies with the rider, but I do believe softer would be more comfortable. Thanks. Aug 13 '16 at 20:41
  • @JackMaddington Pedals aren't cushioned because they'd distort and absorb force under load. Padding would be bad here.
    – Criggie
    Aug 13 '16 at 23:32
  • They are also large enough that your shoe would still be worn as well. I wouldn't strap a naked foot in there lol
    – Nate W
    Aug 15 '16 at 15:12

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