Adaptive Bikes

By Jennifer Endres
May 20, 2015

On May 8, 2015, Rettsyndrome.org shared their monthly “Possibilities” post on Facebook.  The post was a picture of a girl named Eden who was riding her adaptive bike.  We received an overwhelming number of inquiries from people who were looking for information on how to obtain an adaptive bike for their child, grandchild, student, etc.  We decided we would collect information from families who have successfully obtained one for their child and share with the Rett community.  It is our hope that this information will help everyone who is interested be able to obtain an adaptive bike.

Thank you to EVERYONE who shared information; we tried to capture it all but if we missed anyone’s messages, we apologize in advance!  

Adaptive Bike - Addie    Adaptive Bike - Abigail

How does the adaptive bike work?

Krista (parent), reports, “For Kya it is adapted so that an adult pulls the handle and her feet paddle at the same time.  She is strapped in and her hands are strapped to hold the handlebars.”

Jana (parent), reports, “For Addie’s, her feet are strapped in and she is fully strapped in and supported at the torso.  The pedals are hooked on a “pulley” system and pedal automatically as the bike moves.  Her bike has a rear steering bar that we use to push/steer her bike.”

Gina (parent), tells us, “It has soft straps that keep her hands on the handlebars, a waist strap for safety, and foot straps to keep her feet in place. Parent handlebar in back so we can push her along.”
Adaptive Bike - Diana  Adaptive Bike - Julie

How do the children that use an adaptive bike like it and what does it do for them?

Susan (parent), tells us about her daughter, Julie, “It is great because her hamstrings are getting tighter and it allows them to be stretched and get exercise as she is peddling. She gets to ride a bicycle like other kids do and visit with friends and smile at neighbors who come out to see her!”

Julie (parent), shares with us about her daughter, Jorja, “She LOVES it and it is actually at school (has been all year) and she uses it during gym some days and during PT or to just get a break. Now, she uses it outside on the playground too!”

Gina (parent), tells us, “It has simultaneous arm/leg rotation, which makes for excellent bilateral stimulation and strengthening of the spine.”

Danielle (parent) shares, “Jayden absolutely LOVES her bike.  It has rear steering so she can feel independent.”

Other parents have reported that their daughters “LOVE it!” and “ADORE it!”
Adaptive Bike - Jorja  Adaptive Bike - Eden

Ok, I want an adaptive bike; HOW do I go about getting one?

Jenn (parent) tells us, “Through our OT we found out about Ambucs Amtryke.  They were absolutely wonderful to work with and as our girls/boys grow they will ‘trade up’ for the next size.”

Susan (parent) shares, “We purchased our bike privately, but were able to get it at a discount by buying it at a demo at the Abilities Expo years ago.”

Julie (parent) shared they received her daughter’s bike through the Variety Children’s Charity – the Pittsburgh division

Gina (parent) told us, “We got Lili's adaptive trike at www.especialneeds.com. It's a Kettler trike called an Amtryke.”

Krista (parent) shares that their bike is coming from the Cerebral Palsy Association in Calgary.

Other Resources to Explore:

Make a Wish
Varieties
Pay It Forward Networking
Ethan Henry LeCour Foundation
Stephen R. Baum Foundation
Knights of Columbus
Elks Club
Rotary Club
Adaptive Bike - Suki  Adaptive Bike - Ashley
Adaptive Bike - Lili  Adaptive Bike - Lily