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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!"

I am armless and hope for tips and tricks

Old 11-28-19, 09:47 AM
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Armlesscyclist
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I am armless and hope for tips and tricks

I am born without arms and would like to know if anyone knows of adaptiv equipment that could help me when riding a bike?

I am able to ride a bike, but it is done with a home made shoulder harness, and I wonder if there is better ways?

You can read a little more in my intoductions thread:
Hello from Germany - I don´t have arms but still ride my bike.
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Old 12-13-19, 11:25 PM
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The only thing I've seen (it was featured on the ABC television program "The New Inventers" many years ago) was a trike set up for a young boy that was in the same predicament as yourself. The trike was a recumbent design with a bucket-style seat which, when the cyclist leant one side or the other, would cause the trike to steer in that direction. I do not recall how braking or gearing worked. Maybe that's a starting-point… have a look at who sells recumbent trikes in your area, then see if the set-up can be adapted.

As hand-signals are pretty much an impossibility, you'd probably want to consider some sort of bicycle indicator system. LED indicators for motorcycles work quite well for this, just needing a simple circuit consisting of a few switches, a NE555 (and supporting passive components) and a power MOSFET to blink the indicators. I have such a set up on mine (noting that I have no physical disabilities, I just prefer not taking my hands off the handlebars) and it has been working quite well for some time.

https://hackaday.io/project/19436-bi...ighting-system

Good on you for wanting to give it a go though. I wish you all the best.
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Old 12-19-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Armlesscyclist View Post
I am born without arms and would like to know if anyone knows of adaptiv equipment that could help me when riding a bike?

I am able to ride a bike, but it is done with a home made shoulder harness, and I wonder if there is better ways?

You can read a little more in my intoductions thread:
Hello from Germany - I don´t have arms but still ride my bike.
That is definitely an accomplishment!

Should you ever get to Central NJ, USA, I invite you to pedal as stoker in my recumbent tandem tricycle.

- Ed


July 4, 2013 parade in Belmont, VT
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Old 12-19-19, 05:37 PM
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I'm not in the know about this stuff, but could have someone fit a coaster brake to one of these? Then if it's a trike that can lean/pivot the joints to steer you've now got braking also. Do they make non-kid's bike coaster brakes? Maybe trick course bmx bike parts?

You could have someone fit some momentary electrical switches on a little post going up between where your inner knees would be near so you could blip it for a turn and it would then signal some electric turn signals for 15 seconds each time you blip the switch with your inner knee.
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Old 12-28-19, 12:52 PM
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I found a 3-wheeled unicycle the other day.

I tried it out. Most unique "trike". Anyway, probably not for long rides, but it could still be fun.

The concept could be made larger.

Cyco Cycle 20-Inch Tricycle Unicycle Folding Frame Model 8104-40



Not mine. But, I could ship mine off if needed.

Thinking of the same concept, the "tri-hauler" made by our local coop is essentially foot steered. One does use the hands for stability, but I doubt it would be necessary.

Cargo Bikes & Human Powered Machines



I don't think they are making many bikes now, but the concept could be copied to make a custom trike.

Shifting might be an issue, but there are "autoshift" systems available, or perhaps a foot shifted (although foot brakes would also be important).
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Old 12-29-19, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Thinking of the same concept, the "tri-hauler" made by our local coop is essentially foot steered. One does use the hands for stability, but I doubt it would be necessary.

Cargo Bikes & Human Powered Machines



I don't think they are making many bikes now, but the concept could be copied to make a custom trike.

Shifting might be an issue, but there are "autoshift" systems available, or perhaps a foot shifted (although foot brakes would also be important).
I normally advocate enclosed footwear when riding any open-frame vehicle… but if you've got no hands, toes need to substitute! On that basis, one thought is that if the pedal were extended a bit, you could incorporate buttons for controlling electronic shifters on the pedals that could be toe operated. Slip rings could be used to convey the signal back to a controller that drives a servo motor for pulling on the bowden cable going to the shifters.

Replace the seat with a more "bucket"-style seat to reduce the chances of the rider "falling off", and that could be a good option for someone without upper limbs to commute on.

Last edited by Redhatter; 12-29-19 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Snipping the reply context.
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Old 12-29-19, 09:47 PM
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Here is the other thread with a little more information.

Hello from Germany - I don´t have arms but still ride my bike.

So @Armlesscyclist uses toe shoes... as if they were made just for her!!!

And, shifting can be done with an appropriately mounted shifter.

I would still choose a bike with coaster brakes. Which would be easier with the pivoting front wheel like the trihauler than the tadpole like in the Jessica video above.

A backup brake would still be handy if the chain gets flipped off or broken.

The tri-hauler does sit fairly high, and gets stability through being wide, and carrying a load. It probably could be lowered slightly, but there may be limits with that steering.

They are made to go one direction, forward, although one could do something like the S3X internal gear "fixed" 3-speed, but one would have to be careful with shifting and not losing the pedals.
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Old 01-02-20, 02:34 AM
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Thank you all for your ideas and thoughts.

They all look very interesting and I will look further into it.

Do you know of any adaptions to a normal bike?
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Old 01-02-20, 02:44 AM
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A friend just send me an old picture from the internet showing an armless girl riding a bike.
The bike has been modified with an extension to the handlebar to place it at the same height as her shoulders.

This seems to be a very simple solution.
Don´t you think it is just a matter of finding someone who can weld an extension to the handlebar?
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Old 01-02-20, 02:51 AM
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This is the picture mentioned in post #9 :

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Old 01-02-20, 11:44 AM
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I suggest to contact your National Paralimpic Committee, there are several categories for ciclist that have no use at all of both arms, due to pathology or amputation, I'm sure they have information about manufacturer of tricycle, and also maybe you can find some club were to start doing cycling at very high level, and maybe we'll see you in next Paralimpic Games in Tokyo this summer...….

Regard

Andrea
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Old 01-06-20, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Armlesscyclist View Post
Do you know of any adaptions to a normal bike?
I've seen footage (no pun intended) of a Chinese arm-less chap who was riding a standard (un-modified) bicycle. He was leaning the bike to turn, and if he wanted to shift gears or use the brakes he leaned down and used his chin. Very sub-optimal. I think the local police would balk at that.

I think the handlebar extension so that you can rest your shoulders on the handlebars would be a vastly superior system. If there's a residual stump you can make use of, controls could be positioned there, failing that, there's the chin method again -- at least if the handlebars are extended up, you won't need to lean down so far.

Hector Picard is another who rides a more standard bike… his story is he got too close to a couple of HV transformers and became the bright spark in the middle… left him with a fist-sized stump coming out his right shoulder and a left-arm that ended just past the elbow. His bike is set up with a socket he can fit that left stump into to control the brakes, and I think he uses some electrical shifting system with his right stump. There's video footage showing him changing the tube of his front tyre. Not bad for someone who had to adapt later in life!

Seems though, if you've got at least two functional limbs, there's things that can be done. Haven't yet seen a triple amputee tackle a standard bike… there's a few who are managing on recumbent trikes with one arm and residual leg stumps, none that I know of doing it arm-less with one leg (I think keeping balance and hanging on whilst pedaling would be problematic). Anyway, I digress!

The suggestion to hit up the Paralympic groups is a good one… as they'd have the connections I think. In the likely event you get something set up, do share what you wound up doing. I think that will only encourage more to throw off the shackles of "disability" and give things a go.
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