Special needs cycling guide
Our guide to special needs cycling resources in the UK and beyond...
Posted by Peter Eland on Monday 16 Jul 2012
What's in the Guides
Most of the contact information in the guides is still correct, but for up to date information, see the list of links below.Download for free
The files are available in PDF format, which retains the layout of the original magazine. Pictures are somewhat less sharp than in the print version, to keep file sizes down. Most modern computers will have the software required to read these files already installed. If you have problems, see here.
The Guides list many contact details for organisations who can help, offer expert, individual advice and often try-out facilities - please use them and the links below!
Look here first to see if there's a group in your region. If we haven't listed anything near you, that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't anything. The national organisations listed may be able to tell you about local groups, or there may be information available through your local council or community groups. Local branches of charities dealing with specific disabilities may also be able to help. Finally, your local cycling club may know of people able to offer advice from personal experience.
Thanks for this excellent Guide. I put a link from our site http://www.liggister.org (The Swedish HPV Club's site) to this article.
Your article about special bicycles for physically handicapped people is certainly useful. Perhaps you could add one more small manufacturer: Derk Thijs (a person somewhat related to the dutch manufacturer M5, mentionned in your article) makes interesting rowing bikes designed for "normal" people but he has also made a special version of his rowing bike, for use by people who have only one leg. His web site is www.rowingbike.com.
I wish much success to your web site
Hellow, readers may be interested to know that Wheels for All (charity no.1003309)have a network of 17 locations where people of all ages with disabilities and differing needs can use special cycles, together with friends, family and carers. We also produce a very comprehensive report "Cycling for People with Disabilities and Differing Needs" priced at £8 for disabled people and £11.50 for other purchasers. The research for this report was funded by the Nuffield Foundation so the report represents excellent value for money with over 100 pages, lots of colour pictures, illustrations and bound with removable studs so that it may be photocopied. We also provide a free, impartial information and advisory service, free taster sessions, run Wheels for All cycling events and can work with you to establish your own Wheels for All centre. For further information, please contact Hermine on 0161 745 9944 or why not visit our web site www.cycling.org.uk
I would be grateful if anyone knows where I can buy a new or old bike trailer for my Daughter - Naomi, she has a number of disabilities and loved being on the back of my bike. She has now outgrown the seat, as she is now 7 years old.
I have looked at trailers but none are suitable as she needs a very good harness to keep her still!!
Any info gratefully received.
At last someone who cares about disabled cyclists! I have been searching for a lightweight folding electric bike or a tricycle for ages as I am unable to walk any distance. As I am middle aged most bike shops treat me as a non-entity even telling me that it was not economical for bike manufacturers to make bikes for the disabled as there was more money to be made from commuters. I could probably manage with an ordinary shopper type bike but trying to find sellers is so difficult so thank you again for your help.
Hi,I'am looking for a (baby)seat for the back of my bike.A little boy is 5 years ,is 41 lbs and has CP.He has to have head support or at least a high back (a little higher than his head) and I can adapt it for him. Also ,like many other seats avalable the legs are protected. Can anyone help!Does anyone know where I can Buy a seat that will handel a child over 40 lbs. Thank You for any help.
If you are interested in handbikes try also this web site: http://www.benecykl.cz
would like to find out if there are any seats or adaptations available for my son. He's 5 and a half, has cp,and weighs 2stone 101bs. He loves it when we go out on the bikes, but he is too big for his toddler seat now. All help would be gratefully recieved!
I have a nine year old daughter with C.P..who has enjoyed her cycle trailer,but has just about out grown it.Any help and information to assist us in being able to continue cycling as a family would be gratefully receied.Thanks Richard Moult.
Hi, I am hoping someone will be able to help me. My son Anthony is autistic with learning difficulties. He has never had a bike and has never learned to cycle. He is going to be 8 in August and we would love to get him a bike but i don't know where to look or go for to purchase a bike. Any help appreciated. We live in Ayrshire, Scotland so somewhere local would be better. Many thanks.
My son is 6yrs old and has CP. He has difficulty in mobility, but thoroughly enjoys going out on roads and trails behind my bike in his Burley trailer. Unfortunately he has nearly outgrown this now and I would like something similar so that he can continue to enjoy the outdoors in something other than a wheelchair. Your help and suggestion would be most appreciated.Thank you.
My son, austistic with severe learning difficulties does not have the coordination to ride a bike. He used to love the child seat and then a trailer. However what to use next? some kind of wheelchair, but would need some electric help as he is quite a weight now and where we live has a few hills. Any suggestions? May need a purpose built system.
I have just been reading this list. I live in the Netherlands where there are many types of bikes. One is a bike that has a seat at the front for disabled people who are not able to ride themselves - the same principle as a rickshaw but a modern bike. This would probagbly be suitable for children who have outgrown trailers or (baby) seats
I wonder if some of the above posts would like to try the Hase Pino. We have a girl, now 7, who has lower limb problems. The Hase Pino, designed originally for people with disabilities, (but good fun for all), is a Tandem with the 'stoker' in front in a reclined mesh seat, it has served us well and fits the bill for those who are outgrowing traditional bike seats etc. The seat has a harness and is so stable the passenger can even have a snooze on route.
You're website looks very good, it was a pleasure to be on you're. ://feraria.topcities.com>vertical blinds Keep on the good work :-)
Hi my name is julie and i am looking for a trike for a adult if any one can help i would be very gratful thank you julie
I have an adult friend with mobility problems related to MS who formerly enjoyed cycling and would love to continue. Is there any kind of tandem available with an independent pedalling arrangement, as in a child's tag-along, so that the second rider wouldn't necessarily have to pedal at the same speed?
We manufacture buddybikes which are great fro disabled chliden lke my sone Jesse who has autism. we ride 10- 20 miles each time we go out and because he sits in the front and has peddles there he is involved yet i can steer from behind to avoid danger. see www.buddybike.com
please can you help my son has cp with right sided imobility and lives with his mum in kingsbury london nw9. he needs a trike can you help if so contact trish on 00447745703539 asap or email me back
Need help, looking for a bike/trile for a 13 year old boy. Very low muscle tone, and tires easily, it would need to be EASY to peadal, ANY suggestions?
I am based at at School in Cheadle Hulme in Stockport, near manchester called the Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders. We have a wide range of children with many disabilites. Here at the school we we have organised many sports and leisure event for our students and childern in the community called CADS (childrens abled and dsiabled sports) Weeks. This October we plan to organise a CADS urban sports event and would like to include mountain biking. I was wondering if any one knew of any coaches or organisation which might come down to our event with specialist bikes that we could hire etc.
Our 11 year old daughter has mild CP/right sided hemi-plegia. She can just about manage to ride her 20" wheel bike with stabilisers. However, she is fast outgrowing it and needs to move onto the next size but we have not seen any larger bikes with stabilisers. If anyone can suggest or recommend where we might find one, we, and she would be delighted. Alternatively, if anyone could recommend where she could'test-run' some of the specially designed bikes for disabled, that would also be great. Thanks in anticipation.
I am a right leg above knee amputee and I have been searching for a lightweight ordinary and simpe bike purely for the purpose of exercise. I am a middle aged man and am unable to walk for long distance.
Can any one suggest whether I require a specially adapted bike or just any one will do. I suppose I would have to have a toe grip or buckle fitted to the right side of the pedal to stop my foot from slipping off the pedal. Any suggestions would be welcome.
If anyone would like to know about all ability cycling in Kent then please visit http://www.kentsport.org/disability_sportslink.cfm for info
Hi, My son has C.P quadraplegic, aged two and a half. He cannot sit up on his own and has trouble supporting his head. I am looking for a bike seat or trailer that we could use to go on family bike rides. If anyone has one or knows of a contact for us please email me. Thanks
Hello, Well I'm disanilty and I'm in a wheelchair I have 5 yearswith my acseted and I would like to go out with my family out in bikes but sence i can't move my legs i cant use one of those bikes and i would like to know if i can get one one the bikes with 3 wheels that you cant pedele with your hands.. Well thankz i would love your help
I see many people are asking for help using this comments system. Usually, these are requests for individual advice which I simply do not have the time or expertise to give.
I strongly suggest that reading the PDFs supplied above, and using the contacts provided in them, would be a more useful approach.
ASKING A QUESTION HERE WILL MOST LIKELY NOT GET YOU A USEFUL REPLY!
This will probably be obvious from the masses of unanswered questions above. I'm especially unlikely to bother answering a question to which the answer would have been obvious had the questioner bothered to take even the quickest glance at the information I've compiled and make freely available in those PDFs.
There are plenty of organisations, listed in the PDFs, which are funded and with the expertise to handle special needs cycling requests. There is also basic information about bike and adaptations available, in the PDFs.
PLEASE READ THE PDFs AND USE THE INFO IN THEM!!!!
They contain answers to most of the questions above or details of where to get answers.
UNFORTUNATELY I CANNOT OFFER INDIVIDUAL ADVICE HERE!
I cannot help you individually but with a very little effort you can find out how to help yourself by downloading and reading the PDFs above.
It would a great shame if anyone is missing out on the great fun and health benefits of cycling because they're waiting for an answer (which may never come) to a question placed here, when they could be up and running simply by downloading and reading the PDFs, and following up on the info in them.
If anyone has problems with the PDF format please contact me and I'll see if I can help. And if anyone has suggestions about making this info more accessible please let me know.
Peter Eland - Editor, Velo Vision.
And just to add that if you have downloaded and read the PDFs, and contacted the relevant organisations and/or manufacturers, and had either positive or negative experiences of the process, please do let me know, so I can feed back the info into future Guides or articles. Thanks!
Does anyone make bikes meant for left-handers? Here in India, and there in UK too, bicycles have rear brake levers on the left, while it's the other way round in the States and elsewhere in Europe. One could ascribe it to the practice of driving along the left side of the road (as in UK) and along the right side (as in the US), but I thought it should have had more to left- and right-handedness.
Hi, my son whose 12 years old has learning disabilities and needs to learn to ride a bike have you a contact number that I could purchase a cycle and stabilizers for him please. 0121 242 3781
We are a cycling project based in Bradford, West Yorkshire anybody looking for disabled cycling please visit www.crank-it-up.org.uk
Hi...i run a hortucultural project for people with learning difculties...im trying to find a suitable delivery bike/tandem to deliver a vegetable box scheme with our clients assistance,hence the need for a stable bike...any ideas/leads/assistance would be much appreciated! thanks!
Hi I am 46 years old with CP and can not ride a two wheeled bike, about two years ago I bought a Greenspeed GT3 recumbent trike the best thing I have ever done the stability of the bike is more like a racing go kart then a bike and very comfortable, if your looking for good performance or a good safe reliable bike the Greenspeed is it, I ride 20km in 65 minutes it is mostly hilly, my bike has 27 gears so you get almost any where, the more you use it the more you will enjoy bike riding, I ride 3 to 4 days a week, and Greenspeed will modify the bike to what you need, they are made in Australia and export world wide, take a look at www.greenspeed.com.au
HI IS THERE ANY TRAILERS FOR ADULTS AS MY DAUGHTER CANNOT RIDE A BIKE AT PLEASE LET ME NO THANKS
Tomcat SNI Ltd custom build special needs Trikes (Carer-Controlled) and Trailer Trikes from age 2 to adult. For more information visit www.tomcatuk.org
my friend is a 21 yr old young man who lives life to the full , unfortunately he has CP and also very complex needs. He is unable too use any of his limbs but would enjoy either being pulled or pushed on a bike struture. This way he can enjoy great times out with his family and friends. There must be something out there that can be addapted for his needs.
my sone has MD, but is very mobile. He can ride his traditional bike, but tires easily. We want to get him a bike with an electric assist. He wont ride a trike or anyrthing that does not look "cool". Any ideas?
I train a young man with parcial movement down his right side of his body, leg,arm and his right hand . He is in his 20ies and loves bicycle, but find it difficult to to control his movements and would like motorist and padestriants alike to beaware of dis disability. He would like some kind of sticker that would make people aware of is needs. Sime thing he could put some place in full view. He would be very greatfiull for any advice or assistance you could give him Thany you
Marie Morris Ps my trainees name is Raymond Nobbs
I have a son thomas who is just over eighteen. He suffered a brain hemmorage nine years ago and has been left with leftsided hemeplegia , partial sight and visual agnosia. Thomas loves to cycle which we have at present a three wheeler. we are looking for a suitable bike for his needs as he no awareness of pedestrians or motorists when we are out which is very scary at times . we are needing advice regards to a suitable bike that would enable thomas to feel he has the independance and at the same time that we would be able to ride alongside him and be in control as well , by finding him a double seated bike, any ideas ?
Quest 88 has been involved in the design and manufacture of special needs tricycles for nearly 20 years, and is responsible for many of the innovations which are now considered essential and common place on both our own trikes and those of our competitors. Quest 88 has recently extended their special needs tricycle range by becoming exclusive UK distributors for Draisin bikes, the Petra Running Bikes and Berg Go-Karts. For more information, please visit www.childrenstricycles.com or www.quest88.com
I think that recumbents in general should be recognized by the Department of Transport or Mobility departments as a disability vehicle as if you can power one by either leg or arm power it is more beneficial than a power wheelchair/scooter, o.k I do not expect to ride around a shopping mall but with rider and authorities discretion more access should be available, also all disabled people should perhaps get V.A.T exemption, as whether blind/visually impaired or disabled these are a very important and valuable mode of transport highly beneficial, two wheels became in-accessible and although I would not class my self as good at riding or racing it is still liberation.
I have a little boy who is 5 years old and autistic and profoundly deaf. He cannot ride a bike, so I was thinking of getting him a child trailer. The only thing is he would soon outgrow these and then what would I do? I was wondering if I could have one specialy made so that it would last for longer.
If anybody knows of anywhere which may do this I would be most gratefull if you could let me know.
Thankyou Miss Amanda Duffy
My husband is registered blind but we'd like to go cycling. Has anyone any experience of a partially sighted person on the back of a tandem and some like me (an okay but not expert cyclist) on the front?
i am after a bike i have lost my left arm and my left knee will only bend about 90 degree after a knee replacement so if anyone had any idea's i would love to hear them thanks
Im a cycle training instructor coaching for the National Cycling Academy (NCA) we aim to be inclusive and not just 'tick the box' Our remit is to offer cycle training sessions or supervised rides for able and disabled children, adults and families. All ages, all abilities, and all cycle disciplines such MTB, road, track, BMX, Cycle Speedway, National Standards, Bikeability and cycle maintenance Contact us at www.ncagb.co.uk for more info :)
We have created a public interest website at
focused on extensive advice on travel for the disabled, which I thought may be of interest to your visitors.
My daughter has severe learning difficulties. It isn't safe for her to ride a normal bike so we have a tandem. She loves it. See http://www.tandem-club.org.uk/ for full details on tandems.
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