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  1. #1
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    Mild Cerebral Palsy - Suggestions Please!

    Hello -

    As you might have been able to infer from my username, I'm looking to Try some form of bike for the long term. As a child, I had a modified bike (a steel frame was attached to the bike frame, and to that, larger air inflated tires that acted as 'balance' wheels.) and I've seen similar - though, vastly improved - modifications in that vein (Fatwheels are the closest approximation) but I think that there's room for improvement - there are so many options out there, and I'd love some input from the seasoned readers here as I truly consider the breadth of my options.

    Some [possibly] useful information about me:

    I'm a late-twenties male in Canada. My Cerebral Palsy is mild, with most of my issues being on my right side. My right hand/leg is much weaker than my left, but most of that is underuse - my left side is more capable, and thus sees more action, as it were. I'm hoping introducing regular exercise in the form of biking will help. I can't swing my leg over the crossbar of a traditional bike, and as a kid, rode 'girl's' bikes to get around the issue.

    Cerebral Palsy comes with balance issues. I use a single forearm crutch to aid in both navigating the world (stepping on and off the bus, or a curb, for example, is much easier with the crutch. Otherwise, I sort of need to hop off.) and granting me a bit more stamina. Again, I'm hoping that the increased exercise might help me get to the point where I can cut this expense (replacing crutch tips and cuffs with regularity, not to mention the crutch itself as it becomes worn out) entirely out of my life. At this time, I would need to have a method to transport my forearm crutch (which does not fold or collapse. In an effort to increase longevity, I've had it welded at the 'adjustment' points, as I am not going to get any taller or shorter in the near future.) added to whatever vehicle I settled on. I've seen some broom holders put to rather creative use in this regard.

    I'm looking most strongly at upright and recumbent tricycles, but I haven't been able to decide for sure which one would work best for me. I don't own a car, and don't want to own a car, but as stated, I live in Canada. The winters here.. they're a thing. So, is it viable to ride a trike or a 'bent in the winter? I've read conflicting opinions from both sides of the fence. Yes? No? If so, which? Why? If it's not, I can accept that and keep taking the public bus for my travel needs- but this is inefficient, and I'd love to be the master of my travel needs all year round if I can. In this, I'm leaning more towards a recumbent, if only because I feel it can't help but be more efficient in long distance riding if one truly seeks to be car free.

    Another issue I have is space. I don't have much of it, and whatever I get, it's gonna be bigger than a standard DF. I've seen folding 'bent and trike models - any plus or minus on them? I work at a pretty large mall, and I'm a little scared of leaving my expensive trike/bent out in the open all day - even well locked. But I can't really shove it in my locker. So, any tips on storage or deterring any fiddling on the part of passer by during the work day are also welcome.

    I've seen some 'bents with trailers, and I know trikes can easily have a basket or trailer added, so using the vehicle to haul my groceries around is entirely viable whichever way I end up going, but I'm hoping for some strong insight and opinion that'll help me make the right choice. In that vein, if you do have a particular model/brand that you think I should look into, please, let me know. I have a very modest budget, but I'm looking at this as an investment.

    TL;DR - Mildly disabled guy seeks advice - trike or recumbent? Why? Which (if either) is viable for a winter commute? Why/Why not?

    Thanks for any input,

    Tryke
    Last edited by Tryke; 12-13-15 at 03:31 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Can you ride a 2-wheel bike? If you can, it opens up a world of possibilities, and may be good practice with balance.

    As far as trikes, there are at least 4 or 5 different basic styles (and a few more sub styles).

    Upright Trike.
    Recumbent, Delta (single wheel in front)
    Recumbent, Tadpole (single wheel in rear)
    Quad
    Velomobile Trike

    The upright trike may have the most issues with stability, especially if you're tempted to do fast cornering. But, they are intuitive, and easy to get on and off of.

    The tadpole trike has the most stability, but is also the most expensive. They also drive off of a single rear wheel, and may lack traction in certain conditions.

    I haven't tried the delta, but there are a few that aren't too expensive.

    A velomobile trike is generally for speed, but may have benefits in the rain.

    For the trikes with two rear wheels, the cheapest of them only drive off of a single wheel. Spinning wheels in the gravel can be a pain. I would assume that spinning would also be a problem with snow or ice. I think a full differential would be worth it.

    There are studded tires available in 20", 26", 700C, and maybe other sizes.

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I got your note... part of my work here is building and designing adaptive bicycles and I might be able to help with a solution.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Carry a Walker and Oxygen Machine.
    Says he tries for 15 miles a day.

    Roy Josh 100 005.jpg

    Roy Josh 100 004.jpg
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
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    Hello -

    Thanks for the replies thus far!

    @CliffordK -

    I don't have the balance to reliably ride a two wheel bike. I've made numerous attempts, thinking perhaps it was just a matter of not having learned as it was assumed I couldn't do it, and even if I can manage to stay upright, I can't turn or adapt at all without kissing pavement. I think, in an indoor setting, I could possibly learn to ride a bike (where the ground was level and everything was a series of straight lines) but that's impractical for the world at large.

    With regards to the type of trike, I'm open to various types and possibilities. I've looked at quads and 'Irish Mail' styles, but felt that perhaps a more traditional trike or a recumbent would be a better balance of the stability, mobility and storage needs that I face - while there's no doubt as to the stability of a quad, it'd also be basically impossible for me to store inside my home, and I don't have a garage or shed. I haven't seriously considered a velomobile at all, the cost seems prohibitive and I'm looking for a utilitarian vehicle, not a speedster.

    It's good to know that the upright is probably the least stable option, though. It might come down to that, when making my final choice. I do not have issue getting into or out of most things, though getting straight off the ground is a bit hard, that's not really going to be a consideration in any of the styles I'm considering. I would have thought the delta had more stability than the tadpole, though. Am I mistaken?

    @Sixty Fiver -

    Wonderful news, I hope to hear from you regarding my options. It'll be wonderful to have someone in the city who'll know what sort of environment I'll be facing, as well as helping me cross off the 'where do I shop?' part of my list.

    @10 Wheels

    I'm glad to know that such as he are out there! Makes my situation seem small potatoes.
    --

    I hope to hear from any and all who've something to contribute on the topic - I've still got a lot of research to do.

    Regards,
    Tryke

  6. #6
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    One of the best folding upright trikes is the Di Blasi, I think.

    https://www.diblasi.it/Folding_Tricy...rodotto&Lng=en

    They are all steel and pretty heavy, but I think they fold quite compact. They also have an electric assist version.

    I'm not sure about folding recumbent trikes. There may be some. It would probably take some hunting to get one that folds real compact.

  7. #7
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    I have seen a man who had installed velcro mounts to hang his forearm crutches on his recumbent trike. I would need to look thru my photos to see if he had a tadpole or delta trike. Because a recumbent trike is long, it is not difficult to carry crutches on it.

    Would Easter Seals in your province have a program that you would qualify for?

  8. #8
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    @Tryke - The most stable option would be two wheels front, one wheel in the back. Have the suggestions in this thread been of any help?

  9. #9
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    Trailmate Joyrider 24"......https://www.trailmate.com/product.cfm?proID=77 has a walk in frame providing an advantage that is meaningful for some individuals. Low center of gravity aids in stability; however, lowered height can also create mount/dismount issues.
    Last edited by OldTryGuy; 12-26-15 at 01:13 AM.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Tryke,

    My friend has a Catrike that he is always happy to lend out for test rides, I also know the recumbent dealer in Bentley who has suffered with disability issues and we should talk to him as he often has a nice selection of reasonably priced / used recumbents and trikes.

    If he does have something you are interested in we could take a road trip.

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