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.


6 Answers 6


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.

  • Thanks, The StabilizerWheels looks interesting, but they don't seem to have any dealers in the uk.
    – Ian
    Sep 2, 2010 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, 2011 at 18:02

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.

  • 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? Mar 4, 2011 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) Mar 4, 2011 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, 2011 at 3:09

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.

  • 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. Sep 1, 2010 at 20:17
  • Many recumbent trikes fold to sizes that fit in quite small cars.
    – Willeke
    Jun 21, 2023 at 21:26

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

  • 1
    Sheldon's not dead - he's just out on a really long ride....
    – Criggie
    May 3, 2016 at 1:54

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/


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:


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