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Old 10-22-08, 01:38 PM   #1
Caribou2001
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Is there an engineer in the house? wheelchair-bike?

I saw this, and it got me to wondering if there were any talented engineers/metal-workers on BF.n who would be interested in creating a similar beast as is pictured here:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/indigoclouds/2767797627/in/pool-74538626@N00/


I was looking around online and found some similar but more dangerous versions of this (i.e. one where the front-wheels of the wheelchair are on the ground... could be very dangerous as their small diameter lends to them stopping suddenly for bumps/rocks/etc... One with obviously no front braking....)

If you (or know of someone) who has the skills to come up with a way that I could take my son on my bike trips, or if you know of an existing product that fills the need, I'd be grateful to hear more about it!

My initial thoughts on requirements:
  • must be able to transport a non-ambulatory individual: should be able to strap-in securely (i.e. 4-5 point harness)
    must be comfortable
    must be safe, i.e. front brakes, no small-diameter casters touching the ground...
    no need to be able to compete in TT, just for toolin' around
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Old 10-22-08, 02:12 PM   #2
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You probably would get a better response in the frame builders forum.
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Old 10-22-08, 02:38 PM   #3
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Caribou - Try contacting the folks in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. at the University of Alabama (www.ua.edu). They did a design project a year or two ago in which students developed a four-wheeled bike that could be operated by physically challenged individuals. Don't know if they would be interested in helping you out, but it should be worth a try.
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Old 10-22-08, 02:40 PM   #4
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Caribou - Try contacting the folks in the Mechanical Engineering Dept at the University of Alabama. They did a similar thing a year or two ago and might be able to help you out.
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Old 10-22-08, 03:00 PM   #5
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You could start with a semi-recumbent tandem, and configure it with footrests where the front crank is:

http://www.bilenky.com/viewpnt.html
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Old 10-22-08, 03:58 PM   #6
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It may be easier than that. Essentially it’s a modified tricycle. Chop front tubing and enlarge as necessary, over these weld supports for a chair (custom molded in FB?). Done.
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Old 10-22-08, 04:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bullwinkle View Post
Caribou - Try contacting the folks in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. at the University of Alabama (www.ua.edu). They did a design project a year or two ago in which students developed a four-wheeled bike that could be operated by physically challenged individuals. Don't know if they would be interested in helping you out, but it should be worth a try.
I think he is talking about the moonbuggy program...many universities have this program, not only alabama.

You may want to try contacting Dick Hoyt http://www.teamhoyt.com/ His story is amazing. He has done many ironmans and marathons with his disabled son. He may be able to point you to where he had his bike made.
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Old 10-22-08, 04:33 PM   #8
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No need to re-invent the wheel, this product is used all over the world. Wouldn't be hard to get one shipped. This is how I used to get to school:




Although I think the version with the passengers in back is safer. The trike is MUCH easier to steer with a normal single front-wheel. Turning is natural. Both brakes work better with a rear-heavy weight-distribution. And in the case of a frontal-impact, you only have a wheel to worry about replacing.


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Old 10-22-08, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caribou2001 View Post
My initial thoughts on requirements:

  • must be able to transport a non-ambulatory individual: should be able to strap-in securely (i.e. 4-5 point harness)
    must be comfortable
    must be safe, i.e. front brakes, no small-diameter casters touching the ground...
    no need to be able to compete in TT, just for toolin' around
Do you absolutely have to have a trike? If not, you may be able to refit a bakfiets to carry this person. Clever Cycles in Portland carrys them and I'm sure there're other sources.

On the other hand, a quick Google of "wheelchair bicycle" found this:
http://www.frankmobility.com/duetfeat.php
It specifically says that the "wheelchair" portion incorporates drum brakes, and it looks like the casters don't hit the ground when the "bike" is attached.

If you want to create something, you should probably get in touch with HPVOO. Otherwise, you'll probably get away cheaper, faster, and more reliable if you find a commercial product. No need to reinvent the wheel.
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Old 10-23-08, 07:36 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback (I guess I overlooked the framebuilder forum, btw.) My searches hadn't revealed the available commercial products. The Duet looks like it's pretty much what I want... now I only need $5000! Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-08, 08:12 AM   #11
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I think he is talking about the moonbuggy program

Nope. The students there did something entirely different from that.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:36 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback (I guess I overlooked the framebuilder forum, btw.) My searches hadn't revealed the available commercial products. The Duet looks like it's pretty much what I want... now I only need $5000! Thanks again.

Yeah, well... maybe you can convince your government to pay for the beastie. Are there programs that help people purchase "assistive technologies" in the Great White North?
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Old 10-23-08, 09:36 PM   #13
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Here's another alternative:
http://www.tonystrailers.com/vehicle...aircarrier.php

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-23-08 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-23-08, 09:57 PM   #14
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Here's another alternative:
Hmmm... it got hashed when I tried to view the image. Let's see if this works:


He's pretty creative. I wonder how my cats would like this:

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Old 10-24-08, 05:38 PM   #15
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Yeah, well... maybe you can convince your government to pay for the beastie. Are there programs that help people purchase "assistive technologies" in the Great White North?
Not that I know of ... if it's something they can deem to be "recreational" (because cripples don't deserve to go to the beach, etc. don'cha'know). One of the medical centres my son goes to (Bloorview) has a recreational equipment borrowing service, so I have asked them to buy one, but frankly I won't be holding my breath.

Again, many thinks for the time and information -- I truly appreciate it. If you're ever in Toronto look me up and I'll buy you a coffee/beer/cheesecake/whatever suits your fancy and then we can go for a ride to burn off those kcal!
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Old 10-24-08, 05:51 PM   #16
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another good place to cross post this would be the utility forum....odds are you will get even more ideas.
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