Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

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Quicksilver89
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Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Quicksilver89 » 11 Nov 2017, 8:55pm

Hello

I have been a handcyclist for quite a few years now and often did long rides and keep myself in decent shape. I had a Top end Force R which was pretty nifty, though it struggles to get up hills and isn't very good for commuting.

However the handcycle was useful because I had a high level of muscle stiffness in my legs and I lack balance so it was ideal.

Though now the flexibility in my knees has improved and after trying the gym bikes I seemed to do pretty well. So this has got me thinking as to whether I should get a trike instead of a normal bicycle.

Has anyone here used trikes before? Plus should I go for an upright or recumbent trike? I can imagine an upright trike is a fair bit slower then a standard bicycle but I can imagine a recumbent trike may address some shortcomings and may be suited for me?

Let me know what you guys think, if it's a potential avenue to explore then I would be keen to try one out. I'm in Southampton at the moment.

Regards

Jonny

tatanab
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby tatanab » 12 Nov 2017, 7:54am

I have been using upright trikes for almost 50 years. That is the British lightweight "racing" trike variety in addition to my bicycles. I have no disability but I can relate difficulties you may find with upright machines. With limited knee flexibility I imagine you would have difficulty in mounting anything but one with a low step over, hence a custom frame or low stand over machines such as Pashley, Kingston, Mission and so on. The standard production manufacturers I've listed tend to be heavy, 50-60 lbs,; quite different to a lightweight machine at about half that weight, and could be difficult for you to manhandle if you have limited space. Learning to ride the thing - it is not like riding a bike, you have to recalibrate the brain. I've only seen hand powered machines with 3 wheels never 2. Assuming your handcycle has 3 wheels then I very much doubt you would have any difficulty in handling one. Not far from where I live is a chap with one, and I find his riding very impressive indeed but I can see what you mean about being very slow up hills. An upright trike is about 10% slower than an equivalent bike, mainly due to wind resistance - note I say EQUIVALENT since it is no good comparing it to a carbon featherweight bike.

Recumbent machines - I have limited experience having only tried them out over short periods, borrowed from other people. I have ridden both configurations. They are not for me but I can see why some people like them. In your shoes I think I would be looking at a recumbent, and I think I'd be looking for a dealer or friendly local rider to let me have a try on one.

9494arnold
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby 9494arnold » 12 Nov 2017, 10:14am

Quicksilver, I too like "Upright" Lightweight Trikes (I know tatanab too) Where are you based? I'm West Midlands , happy for you to try mine but it is a 23" Frame so unless your inside leg is 31 plus you might struggle with it. If that helps shoot me a pm and we'll set it up.
We both subscribe to "On Three Wheels, My Fast Forum" a dedicated "upright" Trike riders forum. Lots of experience there , I know there's an Amputee who posts there , if you have a specific question there's generally someone who has been there and don it before , and there is a Mobility Trike Section but I would agree that most of the Adult Trikes on the Market Today are made down got a price and as a consequence are often heavy and a bit crude too.
The issue with Lightweight Trikes is that it's a specialist market so the machines do command a premium price.
Many bike manufacturers have done "Mid Budget" off the peg lightweight bikes, not so Trikes.
Makes to look for are
Trikit : Beautifully Made and engineered . Still being made to order, believe a waiting list.
Longstaff : Similarly So. Some 2 wheel drive machines have transmission that can't readily be updated when it wears, Trikit will convert the axles if required.
Higgins : Historical Machines, a quality build, finished in late 1950's / Early 1960's . Sometimes been ridden to death and occasional issues with gearing and general neglect or bodgery (particularly lugless machines, you might struggle to fit a front gear mech, it's to do with the frame angles, lugless machines can have a bottom bracket that's lower than on an equivalent sized bike , it helps with Stability ) business bought by :
Ken Rogers , usually more than adequate nice machines, allegedly some say not quite some well engineered as Higgins (I have owned one since the 70's and not had any major issues with it)
A few specialist bike frame builders use axles from Higgins/Rogers , Bob Jackson being one (have recently acquired a Mixte Jackson but it's for the good lady and it's in bits, frame away being painted , and I recently saw a HR Morris with a Rogers Axle.
And you can buy Axles to convert a bike to a trike which might be an easy way to dip your toe in the water without breaking the bank. Have a browse of the On 2 wheels site most of this in detail there. And some of the pitfalls.Machines for sale do feature there ,usually a link to e Bay . And generally accompanied by a critique of the machine on offer.

9494arnold
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby 9494arnold » 12 Nov 2017, 10:20am

PS Rogers/ Higgins parts available, a trike axle (usually) is a bit like an elongated bottom bracket, two cones that are separate and an interference fit on the axles with a "notch" to locate, usually an adjustable bottom bracket cup each end . Boss fits on the end of the drive Axle, screw a conventional freewheel on to that.
Chris Hewitt does parts amongst others. Have a look at the Tricycke Assocition Website too.

Quicksilver89
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Quicksilver89 » 12 Nov 2017, 4:23pm

Thanks for the replies.

Yup my knee flexibility is rather limited though not severe. With a standard bicycle my knees can't bend to enough of an extent to do one full rotation. Though anything with a seat a little further back should be fine. The main reason for requiring 3 wheels is because my balance is the big issue.

I have a fair budget to spend, if I find a recumbent trike I like, then I will sell my handcycle, which should get ~£1500 as it is a highly specialised fit. That should give me enough to get something decent. I love the handcycling, especially around the New Forest but the hills are a struggle. I average 12mph on my strava rides so anything as fast as that with easier uphills will make me happy :mrgreen:

Also a disadvantage of my handbike is the lack of ground clearance and poor turning circle which makes it unfeasible for commuting. I have a large safety flag on the back of it so other drivers can clearly see me and would put it on my new recumbent if I get one.

So yeah based in Southampton as of now but will be travelling up north to hull for a while to see the family.

9494arnold
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby 9494arnold » 15 Nov 2017, 12:53pm

Balance COULD be an issue on a trike. You are fine standing still
(famous Trike Quote:
Why ride a Trike? So as I can stop in the middle of a ford and roll a cigarette without getting my feet wet)

However, if you want to do some even relatively fast cornering you'll need to learn to lean out to keep 3 wheels firmly planted or even keep it going in a straight line on a heavily cambered road .It happens without thinking on a bike, but a trike won't let it happen. The technical explanantion is the "Traingle of Forces"
If you have balance issues this might not be do able for you.

Search "Trikes Cornering" on You Tube if you can't put a mental picture together.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Tigerbiten » 15 Nov 2017, 2:41pm

If you are inclined to try a recumbent, I'd suggest you look at a Kettwiesel delta trike first. Delta's tends to be higher seats than on tadpole trikes, so easier to get on and off.
After that it would be an ICE Adventure tadpole trike. I've an ICE Sprint which is lower still but it's rare that I ground it if I go off road on it
I've seen them all fitted with an electric motor which does take the strain out of hill climbing.

As you've bad mobility in your knees, I'd look to get short (150mm-155mm) cranks. You'd need to run slightly lower gears due to the lower leverage from them but thats not a problem on a trike.

If you can get to Little Thetford near Ely, try and contact Kevin at D-tek for a try out on a range of bent trikes. Maybe he/you can find a good second hand one that you like.

Luck ........ :D

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NUKe
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby NUKe » 15 Nov 2017, 4:43pm

Give Kevin a ring at DTek
Contact details :
Kevin Dunseath
Tel. 01353 648 177
Email dtekhpvs@btconnect.com

he is very good at understanding peoples needs and although quite a distance from Southampton. He does deal in different types and sells second hand.
NUKe
_____________________________________

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Graham
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Graham » 15 Nov 2017, 4:56pm

This immediately sprang to mind @ Alice Holt Forest near Farnham.
http://aliceholtinclusivecycling.com/

There might be some possibilities for experimentation.

If it is too difficult for you to get to, they might know if there is an equivalent facility more local to Southampton.

UpWrong
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby UpWrong » 16 Nov 2017, 6:58am

I have mild cerebral palsy and feel I benefitted from using recumbent trikes. The steering is very natural and they are very stable. My current Catrike is very low so probably not the one to start with. An ICE Adventure or T, or a Kettweissel would be better.

Quicksilver89
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Quicksilver89 » 16 Nov 2017, 8:03pm

UpWrong wrote:I have mild cerebral palsy and feel I benefitted from using recumbent trikes. The steering is very natural and they are very stable. My current Catrike is very low so probably not the one to start with. An ICE Adventure or T, or a Kettweissel would be better.


Interesting :) my CP mainly affects my legs, and affects the right hand side of the body more then the left, I don't think it should have too much of an effect on my ability to push the pedals hard (though will be weak).

How easy is it to climb up hills? On a recumbant handbike its bloody tough haha.

Thanks for the advise everyone, I've found a place in the New Forest where I can try a recumbent, then I can decide whether I want to go for a second hand one later. The seat height doesn't matter too much, my Force R handbike is as close to the ground as you can get lol.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Tigerbiten » 16 Nov 2017, 8:50pm

Quicksilver89 wrote:How easy is it to climb up hills? On a recumbent handbike its bloody tough haha.

A "standard" first gear for a bent trike with derailleurs is in the 12"-15" range, you can climb most hills but not fast.
My bent trike with a Rohloff in a 20" wheel has a first gear of only 9.4", so only +20% are hard work but I do climb those hills at sub 2 mph.
You can get a similar first gear using something like a dual drive built into a 20" wheel.

Most trikes use wide triples up front, so their top gear is around the 100".
If they don't use a triple, then it tends to be something more exocit like a Schlumpf drive for even more range.
I use a Schlumpf HSD so my top gear is 173" ..... :shock:

Plus it's easy to stop, put the parking brake on for a rest, once rested set off again ..... :D

UpWrong
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby UpWrong » 17 Nov 2017, 9:10am

Cycling recumbent developed muscles that needed developing. Getting up and down from mine is a little tricky but I have no parking brake. How tall are you are you and do you have spd shoes? Thinking you might be able to try my Catrike. Though it doesn't have short cranks.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby Tigerbiten » 17 Nov 2017, 9:41am

I agree with UpWrong, it take at least 1,000 miles of regular cycling before you build up "bent" legs.
So don't be discouraged if it's as hard as your hand bike to start with.

But you really need SPD shoes to safely ride a recumbent trike.
The risk is your foot slips off a pedal and gets stopped when it hits the ground.
The cross bar on the trike then gives you an extra bend in your leg.

My Sprint is setup for 5'8", if you're around that size and want to try a bent with ultra low gears I may be able to run down.

Luck ......... :D

pwa
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Re: Trike for person with minor cerebral palsy?

Postby pwa » 17 Nov 2017, 12:17pm

I don't have a lot of knowledge on this topic, but a teenage girl with CP lives a couple of doors from me and had a heavy duty trike, not the kind of thing you would want to go far on. Sat on it, she was very high off the ground in a very upright position, and the trike was not especially wide. So it was all too easy to topple sideways, which she did. And I think it put her off. Something to consider when choosing a trike.