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Trailmate (or other!) Trike, for special-needs kid

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Trailmate (or other!) Trike, for special-needs kid

Old 05-23-20, 04:09 PM
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Chicago Al 
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Trailmate (or other!) Trike, for special-needs kid

Hi all. My first venture into this forum. I'm a classic & vintage rider, and am used to working on conventional bikes. I have a neighbor with a teenage son who is special needs, I believe autistic. He is unable to ride a bike, but can manage a trike. This is a huge thing for him, gives him some little measure of independence, burns off some energy, and also gives his mom a break. Someone who knows the family gave them an old and kind of rough Trailmate recumbent trike and I'm trying to make it work for them.

This thing has a welded steel frame, a 12" front wheel (plastic!) and 24" chromed steel wheels in the rear. It is frankly quite crudely made and is heavy as hell. This one had both chains very rusted so I replaced them, put lube where I could, and got it more or less rideable. However I am pretty sure I'm going to see this thing again, and I'm stumped by the wheels. Only one gets power, the other spins freely; they are/were made by Sun. The non-drive side has no axle itself, it just spins on the solid axle and is held on with a cotter pin. The drive side appears to be the same wheel, only there's a long thin pin going through the hub that (I guess!) holds it to the axle.

Trailmate is only somewhat responsive to the questions I've had so far; they made clear that this is an old version.

Here's the recumbent--the current version, with what look like much lighter wheels: https://www.trailmate.com/product.cfm?proID=69

Here is what I think may be the rear wheel: https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Master-.../dp/B005LY4UYC

I know it's a long shot that anyone knows this particular setup and can advise on how the wheels work, how I can service them, etc, but this is the only place I can think of to ask.

Also, the family is considering upgrading, but they've been disappointed in products marketed to the special-needs community. So a suggestion of a really *quality* adult trike would also be welcome.

Sorry for the long post! And TIA for any help.
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Old 05-23-20, 04:54 PM
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Maybe someone here who owns a delta trike can explain how the drive wheels are *usually* handled, but I'm pretty sure that only having one drive wheel is the norm. Most new trikes are going to start at around $1000 and go quickly up from there. Sunseeker (formerly Sun) sells an ECO-DELTA SX which is just under $1000. The advantage of Sunseeker is that any bike shop can order it from their J&B catalog - no dedicated dealership required!
https://www.sunseeker.bike/index.php.../eco-delta-sx/

Another choice is Terratrike. They sell a 3-speed that is cheaper, but their Maverick model has 8 speeds and is $1199
https://www.terratrike.com/shop/maverick-x8/

Of course, there's also the used route - if you can find one. Trikes constitute 90% of the recumbent market these days, so theoretically there should be a few out there on the second-hand market. Brand names you're likely to see are Catrike, Sunseeker/Sun, Terratrike, and Trident.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:41 PM
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Thanks, yeah, I get that only one of the rear wheels is a drive wheel, way too much pedaling effort otherwise. It just seems so crude that the non-drive wheel is simply spinning around a piece of steel rod, held on by a cotter pin, and the drive wheel is on the other end of the rod, but held tight to it with what amounts to a long nail driven through hub and axle! And for goodness' sake, why chromed steel wheels? They were quite rusty inside the rims, enough that it a rough edge in there seems to have caused a flat! Surely for a nearly-$1K bike (today's price) with no fancy components like derailleurs they could have gone alloy?

BTW the family is not necessarily looking for a recumbent to replace this, this one just happened to be dropped in their laps. A good quality adult trike would do just fine, and it can be single speed as it's flat as can be here. Possibly even a single-speed bike with stabilizer wheels.
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Old 05-24-20, 08:44 AM
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Trailmate is nowhere near enthusiast level. Which you could probably guess by the plastic front wheel. Almost anything, even a Walmart trike would be better quality. Maybe an adult trike like this?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0872S3JLG...osi&th=1&psc=1
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Old 05-26-20, 10:50 AM
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A simple approach :
https://www.fatwheels.com/Default.as...SAAEgK2mfD_BwE

https://hasebikes.com/104-1-Special-...-Handbike.html
https://hasebikes.com/110-1-Special-...rike-TRIX.html
Options,, are good

https://bikeportland.org/2017/01/19/...l-needs-213913
more can sometimes be better
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Old 05-26-20, 05:01 PM
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Thanks! That is indeed another option the mom has been thinking about. I could certainly fit those on a decent single-speed city type bike for them.
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Old 05-26-20, 05:47 PM
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If the boy winds up with His feet somehow strapped, clipped or otherwise secured to the trike made double sure he knows he needs a helmet at all times.
It's extra hard to tuck n roll with a trike secured to your feet,,
Trust me on this one ~
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