My daughter will be 8 this year, and weighs just over 40 pounds. She has Down Syndrome and sensory issues, and cannot ride a bike on her own. I have a Wike trailer for her that I have been using to take her to and from school, but sometimes I want to run errands after dropping her off, and don't want to take along an empty trailer.
I have a Trek 7200 that I am considering converting to an xtracycle. Unfortunately my daughter won't sit on the deck by herself. She needs to be strapped in to something, preferably with a 5 point harness. All the seats I've looked at have either a 40 or 50 pound limit, and I'd hate to have to spend $200 on a seat that won't get more than a year of use.
Does anyone know if there are any seats out there with a higher weight rating? Or is there anyone that does custom seats?
I love the idea of the weehoo, and I was considering contacting them to see if it's possible to just get the seat and adapt it somehow. As it is, it is too low to the ground and she would likely try and drag her feet. The Bobike Jr is neat, I like that it can fold away when not in use. I wonder if it is possible to fashion some side supports for it. I was also considering trying to adapt her old stroller. The seat separates from the base so it can be faced forward or backward. I might be able to bolt it to a rack, or something...
I am in the same boat as the OP. My son is 8 years old, and has special needs. He cannot ride a bike on his own and I am looking for a bike seat for him. We currently use a trailer but he really doesn't enjoy it anymore. He is rather tall for his age but very skinny. He weighs around 38 lbs. I have no problem buying any of the 40-50 lbs capacity seats I was able to find but I am concerned that his legs won't fit.
Cannondale F400, Yuba Mundo V3, Madsen Bucket Bike, Bike Friday Llama
My husband and I just recently purchased a weehoo for our special needs child. You do not have to worry about your child dragging her feet. The pedals have straps that securely keep the rider's feet safe. Also, the chain is completely covered, so you don't have to worry about little fingers either. If you have an REI nearby, I'm certain that you could try one out to see if it fits your needs. This is how we came by ours.
Thanks for the input. I checked the REI website and saw the I-Go Weehoo trailer. Didn't see the straps on the pedals but I will take your word for it. Although my son is not capable of pedaling, it may be good for him to do so to get stronger. I will certainly take a look at it at my local REI store.
Hase bikes has some pretty unique special needs offerings. They make many styles of recumbents and trikes and a rear captain tandem. The Trets is the most unique in their lineup. It is the only bike I know of that has an integrated trailer adaptation and is purpose designed for special needs. They are pricey compared to other options. The quality of the build appears to justify the cost. If you have longer term needs and a trailer setup is a workable solution, these can be a very good option.
What about these? I realize that right now she isn't able to really peddle and thus couldn't make full use of the features, but it would be an investment in something that you could use going forward as her abilities developed more. Plus they have options for foot pegs only that would be for just resting feet on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvXvXNBDblI
I finally purchased the Weehoo I-Go today from my local REI (yes, I know it has been 1.5 months since my last post but you know how busy life can get). Let me just say that I am ecstatic! My son seemed very stressed out from the very second I put him in his seat, however he liked it a lot. He isn't used to riding on two wheels so leaning on turns is very new to him. I knew he didn't dislike it because he never complained. He was just stressed, holding on the handles for dear life almost the whole time. As soon as we finished our 15 minute ride, and I got off my bike he gave me the biggest smile... like saying "I like it" (he is non-verbal). We took a 30 minute break and went back outside for another 20 minute ride and he slowly became more and more comfortable! Every time we stopped that smile got bigger and bigger! Hopefully in a few days he will start getting the hang of it and start pedaling too. (not that he has to of course)
As far as the Weehoo I-Go trailer is concerned, I think it is a high-end bike, it is aluminum, and it is well built. The mounting is one of the best I have seen. Very solid feel. I ride my bike without feeling that I am pulling anyone. Major improvement over our old Bell trailer that although very nice, it felt heavy. It is rather expensive at $389 +tax, but as long as my boy is happy, I am willing to do what it takes.