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How to Choose the Best Bike

By Katie Bergeron Peglow, PT, MS

There are several special needs bicycle and tricycle options available. It can be overwhelming trying to find the best one. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get the process started of narrowing down the best choice.

Sidewalk/Pavement:For special needs bicycles and tricycles that will be used on smooth, flat surfaces, solid tires are a good choice. Solid tires provide maintenance-free care – no need to inflate the tires! Solid tires for special needs bicycles and tricycles are also puncture-proof. No need to carry around a spare inner tube in case of a flat tire.

Parks/Grass: For children with special needs that are able to pedal over some rough terrain, pneumatic tires should be considered. The tread on pneumatic tires provides traction when pedaling over grassy hills and through dirt trails. The pneumatic tires on special needs bicycles and tricycles also provide some shock absorption for the bumpy ride.

The correct size special needs bicycle or tricycle is extremely important. You want it to fit your child now, but also provide room to grow. Most special needs bicycles and tricycles have built-in growth. Two of the most critical measurements to look at when purchasing a special needs bicycle or tricycle are: Inseam & Weight Capacity. Our therapists can help you with a proper fit… to start please click SIZING HELP and complete a simple form.

Most special needs bicycles and tricycles offer extra support to help the user maintain a functional position on the bicycle or tricycle. The amount of support can be customized by adding different accessories for the areas of the body that need assistance. To view the available accessories for each item, click on the "Accessories" Tab. Some of the most common areas that require positioning accessories are: head, trunk, hand, pelvis and feet.

Some special needs bicycle and tricycle manufacturers offer "Bells + Whistles" on their special needs products. These accessories are intended to make the user and caregiver's experience more functional and productive. A Basket can be used to carry any personal items that may be needed while riding on the bicycle or tricycle. A Tray can be used to place communication devices to work on speech therapy goals at the same time. A Cover provides protection from the elements for the special needs bicycle or tricycle when it has to be stored outside. Click on the "Accessories" Tab on the item page to view all of the offerings for each item.

Please feel free to or call us toll free at (800) 371-2778 with any questions that you may have about finding the best special needs stroller choice for you and your child. We are here to help you!