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Options for adult with special needs

Old 01-24-22, 11:49 AM
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Options for adult with special needs

I have an adult son with special needs (level 3 autism, intellectual disability disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHD, etc.) who lives in a group home who isn't physically handicapped and has tons of energy (he loves to jog and jump) but can't ride a bike. There are big kid bikes out there but has anyone ever converted an old 26er to a balance bike? I'm thinking of doing so with my old hardtail to the right:



It's medium size frame and he's about 6'2" so he would be able to stand astride it. I've already semi stripped the drivetrain components off it so that he doesn't bash his shins. I'm also thinking of putting a dowel or something through the BB shell to use as foot pegs.

In the meantime, I ordered a DXT Drift Trike off Amazon for him to ride around indoors over the colder months. If he doesn't take to the balance bike idea I will swap out the "drifter" wheels on this for 10" pneumatic ones from the hardware store - and maybe even put in a more padded saddle so that he can ride in a local park/rail trails.

What do you think? Bad idea?
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Old 01-24-22, 11:53 AM
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Old 01-24-22, 12:03 PM
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A Balance bike would be easy to convert to and still leave you options for a return to normal. I have considered converting an old Mixti to a balance bike with a single large brake. I have also considered a hydraulic disk brake on a single lever that feeds both front and rear tires.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:24 PM
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I think I saw adult training wheels somewhere (not a fan). The balance bike idea sounds good.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:42 PM
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Personally I'd skip the foot pegs. I don't think they add much value, and potentially get in the way.

I've used DIY balance bikes like this to teach non-riding adults how to ride, and they work great. My grandsons both used balance bikes; I think one had footrests but I don't recall ever seeing them used.

Good luck.
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Old 02-18-22, 11:38 PM
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i have severe epilepsy, and about 15 years ago had to deal with retro grade, anti retro amnesia. the only real complaint from nurse was my muscle memory stuck to me, "was in martial arts from 4 to college" so if you can get him comfortable with it to the point it seems a natural thing, then odds are it will stick. I think you are doing a great thing, and hope it goes in a positive matter
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Old 02-19-22, 04:48 PM
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Could you try putting him on a tandem? Having someone in front to steer while he just pedals? their are blind tandem clubs; you might find someone who could help you wit this. I also know that Special Olympics sometimes does tandems. I meet a gentleman from Denver with a special needs 30 year old who has been riding with her for over 15 years! He just upgraded to a electric assist tandem because he has a bad knee.
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Old 02-11-23, 06:10 PM
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Awesomely adaptive: HASE BIKES for kids with special needs - HASE Bikes USA.
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Old 02-14-23, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
A Balance bike would be easy to convert to and still leave you options for a return to normal. I have considered converting an old Mixti to a balance bike with a single large brake. I have also considered a hydraulic disk brake on a single lever that feeds both front and rear tires.
I don't know if the master cylinder would be capable of moving enough fluid volume to apply two calipers with sufficient brake force.
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Old 03-10-23, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
I don't know if the master cylinder would be capable of moving enough fluid volume to apply two calipers with sufficient brake force.
This can absolutely be done.
https://www.outbraker.eu/product/out...rake-splitter/
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Old 03-10-23, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich
That's not how hydraulic braking systems work.
Read the reviews (comments at the end of the 'article', which is nothing more than a paid ad, IMHO.)
OutBraker inline booster adjusts your road, mountain bike hydraulic disc brake power - Bikerumor
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Old 04-16-24, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PGHNeil
I have an adult son with special needs (level 3 autism, intellectual disability disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHD, etc.) who lives in a group home who isn't physically handicapped and has tons of energy (he loves to jog and jump) but can't ride a bike. There are big kid bikes out there but has anyone ever converted an old 26er to a balance bike? I'm thinking of doing so with my old hardtail to the right:



It's medium size frame and he's about 6'2" so he would be able to stand astride it. I've already semi stripped the drivetrain components off it so that he doesn't bash his shins. I'm also thinking of putting a dowel or something through the BB shell to use as foot pegs.

In the meantime, I ordered a DXT Drift Trike off Amazon for him to ride around indoors over the colder months. If he doesn't take to the balance bike idea I will swap out the "drifter" wheels on this for 10" pneumatic ones from the hardware store - and maybe even put in a more padded saddle so that he can ride in a local park/rail trails. This can be a wonderful way to provide him with additional opportunities for physical activity and fun. Given his energy and love of active play, this could be a great addition to his daily routine. I just recently read about autism and found here information . I just cried after reading it. I'm even ready to help you and advise you about your bike. Changing the wheels to pneumatic ones and installing a softer saddle will allow him to comfortably enjoy this type of activity at any time of the year.

What do you think? Bad idea?
I'm not very good at this, but I hope everything works out for you. Good health to you!

Last edited by mramra; 04-24-24 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 04-24-24, 09:20 AM
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If he can use the DXT Drift Trike, that means he can pedal and steer, have you considered adaptive training wheels?

I've sold bikes with these installed.

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Old 04-29-24, 12:37 PM
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Itís all up to his residential provider. For safety reasons he needs two people with him at all times. Long story short, heís a flight risk and they need to keep him safe from himself. The building they house him has a large interior space where he can ride a tricycle but Iím hoping that with time and age he can overcome the emotional aspects of his disability. IMO the best way to do that is to instill confidence.
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