The advantages which cycling provide to anybody with a disability are almost endless. Meaningful exercise, good fun, development of co-ordination and all-important independent mobility represent just the beginnings of those benefits.
Tricycles (or trikes) are a great option for anybody who wishes to enjoy the aforementioned benefits, and they come in all shapes and sizes. In general, they will all have two wheels at the back to provide carrying space and then feature a familiar steering arrangement toward the front.
Aside from that, however, the variations between different models can be marked. The highest quality trikes for instance, can have features as impressive and beneficial as differential gearing which powers both wheels together to deliver improved control and handling.
Whichever model you opt for, too, there are a number of notable advantages offered across the board. Trikes in general, for example, are easily visible and safe on the road, as well as being stable and reliable at low speeds.
That is crucial as it means that even up difficult gradients or when your energy is low, you can simply select a very sympathetic gear and keep the wheels rolling with minimal effort. What’s more, hugely useful adaptations such as back support, footplates and other elements can generally be quickly and easily added.
Trikes aren’t without their slight drawbacks, however, with their size proving a notable issue when it comes to storage.
There is no question that trikes can make a real positive difference to the life of someone with a disability. That means that choosing the correct trike for you is a very important decision, and that’s why we’ve compiled the following brief reviews of a few different tricycle options for people with a disability:
Freedom Concepts Tricycles
Perfect for providing both a fun leisure activity and tangible treatment benefits for a child with a disability, Freedom Concepts Tricycles can be custom built to offer exactly the features that any individual rider needs.
Adjustable handlebars, extra trunk support, rear control steering and assisted pedalling are just a few of the things that can be built in to make an individual trike just right. As well as making the experience of riding the trike as fun as possible for a child, those adaptations also provide very real benefits in the area of physical therapy.
The very act of riding a Freedom Concepts Tricycle is great as cardiovascular exercise, stimulates reciprocal leg movement which is essential for walking and crawling, improves endurance and encourages upper extremity use through steering.
Micah Special Needs Tricycles
Specially designed for children and young adults, Micah Special Needs Tricycles are particularly well suited to riders who need extra support and assistance with balance.
Originally designed with Cerebral Palsy sufferers in mind, these tricycles are perfect mobility training and exercise providing cycles which are consistently popular with users. Care-givers, too, find Micah Special Needs Tricycles to be particularly rewarding thanks to the rear steering capability which makes the trikes accessible to a broader range of potential users.
Quest 88 Tricycles
There are a broad range of Quest 88 Tricycles on the market. One example from the Quest 88 range is the Quest 88 Kitten, and it ably demonstrates the kinds of benefits and features provided by the entire range.
Designed for children of around two to five years of age, the Kitten is the smallest of the Quest 88 range and is a fixed drive trike. That means that when the pedals turn, the trike’s drive wheel rotates and vice versa. Invaluable added momentum and pedalling assistance is provided, therefore, and this is particularly useful for riders with low strength or poor muscle tone.
Representative of the kind of additional benefits that Quest 88 Tricycles provide across the board, the company’s trikes can also be fitted with a variety of specialised supports.
The Theraplay Special Needs Tricycle range is broad and diverse, and provides foot propelled trikes, hand cycles and combination duo tricycles for child and adult alike. That means that whatever your requirements, you should be able to find a trike to suit you.
If you’re a teenager or adult looking for a high end option, that trike might well be one of the company’s two ‘Tracker’ models. Available as a 20” or a 24” alternative, the Tracker tricycles both feature alloy wheels, calliper brakes and a parking brake mechanism, as well as a special frame folding mechanism for ease of transportation and storage.
An innovative special needs tricycle, the Rehatri 20” provides young riders with the feeling of freedom and independence that they desire whilst also offering parents or care-givers the control that they need.
As well as that invaluable rear steering, the Rehatri tricycle also includes fully adjustable steering and back rest for comfort, a 20” wheel suitable for lower leg lengths of approximately 23-32 inches (58-81cm) and is easily dismantled for storage and transport.