Tricycle or Adult Stabilizer Wheels for Neuropathy?
My dad has neuropathy in both legs (indeterminate origin) and is unable to get on his hybrid. He thinks he could ride a cruiser style bike with a step-through frame. Because he has trouble knowing exactly where his feet are, I think this would be extremely dangerous. I think a tricycle or a step-through frame with adult stabilizer wheels (basically adult training wheels) would be much safer. A recumbent is out of the question because he has trouble getting up from low chairs. I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.
There are SO many variances in conditions, but, FWIW:
I have the condition to the point of needing a cane to save a potential fall when walking anywhere. Really, I don't have trouble cycling, with a few exceptions. I need to visually check my foot position regularly if riding without toe clips, otherwise knee trouble starts within a short time. He'll need to keep those joints lined up to save possible injury. My left leg has actually developed better muscle bulk and tone because I can't press as hard with the right leg.
Handily, I don't need a cane when out cycling; using the bike and brakes for support when walking works out fine for me. If I have to leave the bike, I've got trouble! Getting on/off can be risky, but again, lock the brake and it should help. A step through or mixte may work out without the performance downgrade a trike would entail.
Good luck to both of you; you may be pleasantly surprized at how much he's able to do, I hope so anyway!
Last edited by North Coast Joe; 08-17-13 at 07:19 AM.
Thanks, everyone. I've tried to get him to go the bike trail the last two weekends where we could rent a trike to see how he does, but he has been resistant (despite saying he would really like to be able to get out and ride). I think the trike or the stabilizer wheels would be because he wouldn't have to worry about falling over when he stops. I think there may be a pride issue going on.
Thanks, Northcoast. It sounds that the two of you may be similarly situated. But...he has refused to to use any form of support that looks like a medical device, even after his back surgery--which of course resulted in multiple falls. When we go shopping, he uses the cart for support. Maybe, instead of trying to talk him into renting a trike, I should suggest renting the step-through frame (see above).
Last edited by anon1010; 08-17-13 at 08:19 AM.
Reason: word choice
Just for clarification, the pictured trike is not a step through design. The Trailmate Joy Rider is a true step through design, http://www.trailmate.com/productJoyRider.cfm; however, being very low would present a problem from your indication regarding difficulties in getting up from a low seated position.
i am diabetic and sometimes have problems with my feet. i ride a recumbent trike and found my feet slipping off the pedals so i bought bicycle shoes with clips and new pedals to go with them, now i ride perfect. i also wear 2 prostetic hands and bar end shifters work best for me. i rotate the brake lever backwards and the brakes work fine. i will only use linkage steering or indirect steering as it steers like power steering, i don't like direct steering. i also own 2 adult tricycles, they ride nice however you can not go fast and make a sharp turn as the trike will tip over easily. they ride nicely if you ride slowly like on the street in front of your house. on the adult trike i would recommend 3 speed minimum, single speed you cant ride up steep hills to good. i own a trek pure aluminum single speed adult tricycle, sun 3 speed adult tricycle, scorpion fs recumbent trike, terratrike tour recumbent trike, sidewinder pro cruiser recumbent trike. for me i know what works best.
FWIW, there are gobs of people in The Netherlands with canes on their rear racks and a number with custom holders for their canes. I've never surveyed them to see what their various issues are, but invariably they'll get to their destination, use their bike for support, then grab their cane and head off. You'll also see a fair number with step-thru frames that drop below the bottom bracket. Whatever issues they have with walking do not seem to affect their ability to ride and many aren't exactly slow.