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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 09-01-13, 10:00 PM   #1
bandroadman
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My daughter's roommate had a stroke. Need some suggestions

My daughter's roommate had a major stroke a couple of years ago at age 35. He has physically recovered as much as he probably will but still has several major issues. He has completely lost the use of his right hand and will probably get little or no improvement. He is able to walk but still has some loss of function of his right foot and leg. He has lost some of his ability to speak as well although he understands very well.

His physical therapist has suggested that he get a bike and ride, a lot, to his therapy sessions which are about two miles from his home. He and my daughter live in Arlington, Texas which is mostly flat with city streets. She will ride with him as much as possible but she does hold down a full time day job, so he will have to ride solo some of the time.

Which brings me to my questions:
1. What kind of bike? 3 wheel or a "comfort" bike with adult training wheels?
2. Single speed or gears?
3. Since his right foot/leg is weak, will he need some form of clips for the pedals?

I am sure I've missed a lot of questions but I am also sure that you kind folks will have a lot of answers and I thank you in advance for your help and suggestions.
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Old 09-01-13, 10:16 PM   #2
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My sister had a stroke as an infant. When we were kids, my dad built her a bike using a full rigid 80s mountain bike.

Here was the basic setup:
-slick tires
-both shifters on left side (a trigger shifter on bottom and thumb on top works great)
-rear brake to left lever (now you can buy a brake levers that operates two brakes)
-toe clips

it worked well. She had to tighten the toe clip on her right foot very tight to keep it on the pedal. This made putting the left food down vital. I do recall a few minor tip overs at first.
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Old 09-02-13, 12:58 PM   #3
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If he has balance issues, an adult trike would probably work best.

Adjustable toe clips that don't require shoes with cleats will work for his weaker foot.

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Old 09-02-13, 05:23 PM   #4
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Here's my suggestions but you should run these by his therapist.

Adult trike with an internally geared hub.
Move twist shifter to the left side.
Make all brakes activated by a single lever on the left side.
Add some type of foot retention to prevent his weaker foot from falling off the pedal (check if he can get in and out of power grips).
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Old 10-16-13, 07:56 PM   #5
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Safety is really important, so I suggest starting with very safe equipment. Bexalel is right, an adult trike might be the best way to go. These are very safe. I had one for my mother.

I also recently saw a pretty cool adaptive bike that you can use with someone. It's basically an adult trike with a handle on the back you can walk or run with. Here's a link:http://www.bicycleproductguide.com/b...tive-tricycle/. I think they're a bit pricey, but might be worth looking at.

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-14, 11:07 PM   #6
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I'm recovering from a double stroke back in September. I have L Leg paralysis and happily, have a recumbent trike. I'm getting ready to resume riding soon. I use Egg beater clipless pedals for foot retention, by the way and can hang my walker from the back of my seat.
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Old 03-01-14, 11:18 PM   #7
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We had a friend in grade school. He had an illness. I'm not sure what they call it now, but back then he was called a "spastic;" right hand always curled up, walked with a severe limp.

Of all of us in that small Minnesota village, he was the only 12-year-old who could not ride a bike. And his parents prohibited it, thinking he'd fall and hurt himself.

So for 6 weeks, my brother and I would meet him at the football field, far away from his parents' eyes. We put him on our big Schwinn American and simply gave him a good push. Time and again he'd fall. Sometimes we'd catch him before he hit the ground. Not always. But he'd always get up and try again.

We could have given up. So could he. But one day . . . one day . . . we saw him physically correct the steering and keep the bike upright for an additional 10 yards. Then 20. Soon he was riding the length of the football field. Within a month, he was riding with the rest of our group on some borrowed bike or another. His parents were ecstatic when they learned what he'd accomplished, and bought him a new bike. They bought us one, too. Ecstasy all around :-)

Not that the above has anything to do with anything. It's just a story. But good luck with yours. Duane Behrens
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Old 04-12-14, 07:20 AM   #8
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Make all brakes activated by a single lever on the left side.
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Old 04-23-14, 01:38 PM   #9
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I had a stroke 1 year ago (04/19/13) at age 45. Bad timing because my wife broke her right foot in three places the week before and couldn't walk or drive. So I had to pretty much take care of myself. The stroke affected my right side (arm & leg) and speech. My balance was not good and I wanted to get a trike but my wife said no. So I got on my stationary bike until I got enough balance back and then got on my regular bike and was riding again after 4 weeks. Today no one can tell I had a stroke.

Safety first. But my point is the more limitations you encourage, the more those limitations become permanent. The brain can learn to reroute commands thru good tissue to regain function, even years after a stroke (assuming there is good tissue to use). The above are all good suggestions but let the rider make the choice. A regular bike will be more difficult but would help him with his recovery better than the trike would.
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Old 04-24-14, 09:20 PM   #10
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Good for you. Made me smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
We had a friend in grade school. He had an illness. I'm not sure what they call it now, but back then he was called a "spastic;" right hand always curled up, walked with a severe limp.

Of all of us in that small Minnesota village, he was the only 12-year-old who could not ride a bike. And his parents prohibited it, thinking he'd fall and hurt himself.

So for 6 weeks, my brother and I would meet him at the football field, far away from his parents' eyes. We put him on our big Schwinn American and simply gave him a good push. Time and again he'd fall. Sometimes we'd catch him before he hit the ground. Not always. But he'd always get up and try again.

We could have given up. So could he. But one day . . . one day . . . we saw him physically correct the steering and keep the bike upright for an additional 10 yards. Then 20. Soon he was riding the length of the football field. Within a month, he was riding with the rest of our group on some borrowed bike or another. His parents were ecstatic when they learned what he'd accomplished, and bought him a new bike. They bought us one, too. Ecstasy all around :-)

Not that the above has anything to do with anything. It's just a story. But good luck with yours. Duane Behrens
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Old 04-25-14, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
We had a friend in grade school...Schwinn American...
One of the more stable bikes out there. A cruiser would have longer chainstays and a relaxed fork angle.
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