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Child sized handicapped trailer

Is there a way to have a pull-along bike trailer w/pedals (similar to the child sized trailer in the pic above) -- but sized for a disabled adult?

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  • Edited tags and language of question. Disabled cyclists tend to disprefer the label "differently abled" and use disabled or adaptive as the adjective. – RoboKaren Apr 19 '17 at 18:30
  • Cycletote and Wicycle, both have carts that work. – Mona Rawlings Sep 26 '19 at 0:12
  • Maybe a tandem recumbent? For example the Pino – Michael Sep 26 '19 at 7:21
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Disabled cyclists are cyclists and so they would like some control over steering, braking, or pedaling.

It's tough to design a strong singlewheeled adult-sized pedaled trailer because of the weight involved (50-200kg; 100-400lb) with adult riders. That's a lot of stress on the hinge-joint that connects the trailer as well as the front rider if the rear rider doesn't have the ability to balance themselves. As a result, rear adult-sized trailers tend to be two wheeled and not pedaled, but this doesn't meet the requirements for pedaling (not to mention steering and braking). The same goes for designs where the disabled rider is carried in the front but has no control over steering/braking/pedaling. They are just passengers, not cyclists.


Trike pusher: One of the things that my adaptive cycling center does is use a regular recumbent or hand cycle tricycle for the disabled cyclist -- and attaches a regular upright cycle onto the rear as a pusher cycle, with a non disabled stoker.

The design is simple. The pusher bicycle is a regular bicycle and take the front wheel off. Then get a truck-bed bike mount (the component in the middle) and mount it on the rear axle of the recumbent. Mount the pusher bike to the recumbent and voila, you have an easy way to create a recumbent tandem that allows a non-disabled cyclist and a disabled cyclist to ride together. The disabled cyclist in front doesn't have to pedal if they don't want to, but they do have control over steering and most of the braking power.

enter image description here

The advantage of this design is that at the end of the day, you can separate the two bikes which retain the ability to operate separately. This also makes storing and transport much easier. It works on adult tricycles as well as delta trikes. Tadpole trikes require a little more work (a solid rear rack).


Another option if you have the space is: have you considered getting a tandem or sociable? I ride a tandem recumbent tadpole trike as well as sociable quad at my local adaptive cycling center. Lots of fun for both riders, who can be of differing abilities and neither needs the ability to balance.

Finally, as I said, my adaptive cycling center places a tremendous amount of emphasis on the control and autonomy of the disabled cyclist. We actively reject the notion that getting passively pushed around in a wheelchair-rickshaw is cycling.

If you google image "adaptive cycling tandem" you can get some other ideas.

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  • Do you mind sharing the name of your adaptive cycling center? – Rider_X Apr 21 '17 at 18:13
  • The national organization is here (disabledsportsusa.org/sport/cycling) and you can find directories to local clubs through it or its links. – RoboKaren Apr 21 '17 at 18:16
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enter image description here

Depending on the degree/level of ability, you might benefit more from a design like this. Seatbelt/harness will hold the passenger in place.

This image shows a wheelchair-like front seat, but I've also seen one that had a big cushy armchair front seat intended for the elderly - I believe it was Dutch and used to give rest-home residents an outing, who were unable to ride.

Another thought is a full-blown 3 or 4 wheel trailer, but that runs the risk of the passenger feeling more like a load than a rider.

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  • This doesn't have the disabled rider pedaling, which is one of the requirements of the OP. – RoboKaren Apr 20 '17 at 14:37
  • @RoboKaren whoops I missed that - sorry. Reading between the lines, the requirement is for the disabled rider to feel like they're helping. – Criggie Apr 20 '17 at 20:32
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    It's for the disabled cyclist to be a cyclist and not a passenger.... – RoboKaren Apr 21 '17 at 21:29

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