Specialized Bike or Trike – For Children With Special Needs

A specialized bike is a bike that has been modified in some way!

A specialized bike is generally used for children or adults that have special needs, a disability or other special requirements!

Specialized bikes can have more than two wheels! These are known as tricycle or trikes. Specialized bikes or trikes can also be modified to have a larger seat, specialized peddles that include foot straps, free spinning wheels, seat belts, specialized handle bars, specialized brakes and even a rear steering handle!

All these modifications made to the bike or trike is what makes it specialized! All these modifications can help to assist a person or child with special needs, a disability or other requirements to ride a bike or trike safely and to participate in a great outdoor activity!

The trike pictured was my son Coleby’s first bike! This trike was bought through Body Cycles Australia. We had a seat belt and foot straps added to the bike so that Coleby was secure on the trike!

Coleby has pretty good balance so the specialized seat and handle bars were not needed!

We have just donated this bike to Singleton Public School’s Support Unit! Although my son has grown out of this, it is a good quality trike and will benefit another child in the Support Unit on their School biking adventures!

This trike was great for Coleby and for us as a family! It was good quality design and it assisted Coleby to achieve freedom, independence and the support he needed to be able to ride with his brothers!

Most specialized bikes and trikes are modified to suit individual needs!

These modifications can include:

Rear Steering

This Rear Steering modification is developed and added to a bike or trike for someone to assist the person or child riding the bike or trike from behind.

The Steering Arm can be adjusted easily up or down and a brake lever can be added for extra safety.

The Rear Steering Arm is a great accessory because although, allowing your child to have freedom and independence they are still able to be assisted when needed.

Support Pedal With Heel Strap

The Pedal With Heel Strap modification is designed and added to the Support Pedal so that the person or child riding the bike or trike has better support with holding their foot on the pedal to be able to pedal the bike or trike.

The Heel Strap also helps to keep the foot straight on the pedals and helps to achieve solid pedaling action!

Hand Supports

Hand Supports are a modification added that is designed to assist the hand to be held on the handle bars. They are easily adjustable and helps a person or your child to be more stable on the bike or trike. This is a great accessory for those who have muscle and grip issues that prevent them from holding on correctly.

Adjustable Handle Bars

Adjustable Handle Bars are designed to be able to adjust to every person or child’s specific needs and some even grow with the person! These adjustable handle bars can be raised or lowered and can be moved closer or further away from the person or child riding!

When researching my son Coleby’s next bike or trike, I found these great bikes and trikes that could assist your child to become more free, independent and active!

Specialized Tricycles

Junior Special Needs Hand And Foot Powered Cycle

This Specialized Tricycle is a great option for children who are affected by Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability and Low Muscle Tone!

This tricycle is propelled by moving the handlebars forward and backward easily!

This tricycle is suitable for children from 4 years of age through to about 10 years of age!

These tricycles, like anything that is attached to the word DISABILITY, is expensive! They are around $1500-$1800!

MICAH Special Needs Tricycle With FREE Youth Helmet

This Specialized Tricycle was designed especially for children and young adults 8 – 15 years old, with Cerebral Palsy. It is also really good for those children and young adults who have balance issues and need extra support!

The great thing about this tricycle is that the frame length is adjustable as well as the seat, which makes the tricycle great because it grows with your child!

In addition to the handle bar system, there is also a rear steering arm. This is a great accessory to any tricycle. The person or child riding has the freedom and independence to ride and the carer has the rear steering arm should the rider need assistance!

Again, these tricycles are pretty pricey!

Ranging in the $1500-$1800 marks!

Other Options

So while searching for my son Coleby’s next bike or tricycle, I began to realize that so many things with the words ‘bike or trike for a child with special needs’, attached a more hefty price tag!

I don’t make a million dollars a year or even $100000 a year, so when it comes to being able to pay big expenses out for my son it can feel impossible!

Now, most of these specialized bikes or trikes come with accessory options, these accessory options can be dropped off some bikes and trikes that make the price go down.

My son Coleby has no issues with sitting on a normal seat but he does have issues with balance. He also needs help to keep his feet on the pedals. So I started researching the options!

EUREKA! I HAVE A SOLUTION!

Buy A Regular Bike And Add Specialized Modifications!

The Bike

I am currently looking at just a normal 55cm Men’s bike!

Just a regular bike that you can get from KMART!

Kent Rockvale Men’s Cruiser Bike is the bike that I am looking at!

This one is from Amazon! It costs around $110 for the bike!

The 40cm bike is too small for my son Coleby! That is why I am going with the next size up! So that is the bike sorted!

Now to make Coleby Stable on the bike!

The Training Wheels

I have found adult training wheels online that can be added to any bike!

Here are a few options that I have found! I think I am going with the first option! Mainly because I know my son Coleby can sit properly on the seat and only requires the bike to stay upright!

Wald 742 Training Wheels (16-26-Inch)

These training wheels suit bikes that are 16-26 inches. These are for single speed bikes only! This means they are not suitable for bikes with gears!

These cost around $25 US plus shipping! These are available to be shipped to Australia!

Bike Stabilizer Wheel Kit

These are awesome!

These mount to most 24-27 inch bikes!

They are 16-inch tires and tubes attached to the frame, not to the axle!

These cost around $200 US and again are available for shipping to Australia!

These Bike Stabilizers are extremely well built and will provide a lot of support for those with balance issues!

The Pedal Support

Diamondback Bicycle Pedals with Toe Clips and Straps, Black/Silver

This specialized pedal supports come complete with toe clips and straps!

These cost around $20 US and are again available to be shipped to Australia!

Now, these only toe clips and straps for the front of the foot! My son Coleby has trouble keeping his feet on the pedals and in the toe clips!

On his last bike, the heel straps kept breaking!

It was a strap that went in to like an alligator clip. the strap kept fraying and eventually I had to replace it. My mother is a handy sewer! We go velcro and made our own heel straps! This was a very cost effective measure for replacing these straps and I would do it with these pedals as well!

So In Conclusion…

So there you have it, I have just made my own Specialized Modified Bike for my son with special needs! The Specialized Bikes and Trikes cost around the $1500-$2000 mark! I have just got a bike and added the accessories my son needs for under $200! That is a massive saving and an affordable cost for any family!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions or need help finding a certain accessory for your child’s bike, please comment below I would love to help you out!

Happy Biking or Triking!

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10 Comments

  1. Haley, my mum actually has had an adult size trike for quite a few years purely because she cannot ride a push bike on two wheels. But, you are right, whenever modifications are needed, prices flare up automatically. I think adapting a standard bike to the requirement needed by the child, or by an adult, is a brilliant and resourceful,idea. Thank you for suggesting a creative and cost effective solution.

    • Hey Giulia

      Thanks for your comment!

      Sometimes the prices are absolutely ridiculous! Especially for children’s things that they grow out of so quickly!

      Next time, you mum is thinking of upgrading she should check out these options to see if modifying a standard bike would be something she would be interested in.

      Regards

      Hailey

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I had no idea that there were so many different options available for those with special needs. And, those options seem to be available for adults as well as children.

    Your explanation of the different options is thorough and very well done. Giving us the idea of costs is also important.

    Your article is both educational as well as informative and anyone reading this will be the better off for it.

    Thanks for posting, I am looking forward to seeing more from your website.

    • Hey Frank

      Thanks for your comment!

      Yes there are so many options available if you do your research! Most of the time therapists and specialists are pushing people to a certain product! I did my research and I am happy with what I have found to suit my son!

      Cost is very important to families these days and just having these options available can allow families to spend this money on other important essential items

      Regards

      Hailey

  3. Your site is so inspiring. You are an amazing mom to your boys. I have a minor in special education and I have worked with children similar to Coleby. The most care free loveable children, I love that his school has a horseback riding program, so good for them to have that opportunity. What A great idea to make your own modifications to fit your sons needs. I Had No idea they made these seperately and I am so happy to read that It works for Coleby! It’s sad that the bikes are not cheaper but an amazing solution to that problem!

    • Hi Lauren

      Thanks so much for your comment and for your kind words!

      All the kids with special needs seem to win your heart over one way or another! You would love my son he has the most infectious laugh! Coleby loves the horse riding program through the school! He looks so good sitting up there lol 

      I was so surprised when I researched the modifications to these bikes and seen the cost difference! I just wish I seen this earlier! 

      Regards

      Hailey

  4. These are so cool! I didn’t even know they existed.
    I have a friend with a special needs child and I’m going to forward this post to her!

    I also work with a lot of foster kids and unfortunately a lot of them have special needs and their parents just don’t know how to help them. I am all for educating parents so they can properly take care of their children. I feel like this would be an awesome resource to try add some ‘normalcy’ in the lives of kids who can’t ride a ‘normal’ bicycle.

    Do you know if there are any programs out there that help sponsor parents with special needs kids and that might help raise funds for them?

    • Hey Kayla 

      Thanks for you comment!

      Yes these are prety cool! And the best part is, if you have a younger child that is into something like toy story, spiderman etc there are bikes that are themed! So you are right they can have a ‘normal’ bike and theycan fit in better with other kids!

      Depends on where you live as to what funding options are available! I live in Australia and there are lots including leap frog ability, wheeling and able, salvation army and NDIS. I have used pages like gofundme.com and mycause.com.au in the past to help fund items that funding won’t approve.

      Goodluck, you are doing a great job!

      Regards

      Hailey

  5. I was reading and then I started wondering how can anyone with children with special-needs afford any of these bikes. I then realized that you are offering everybody how to get these types of bikes for very very cheap. You don’t actually need to get a regular trike. Just as you mentioned you can easily get a bike at Kmart then add the add-ons based on your children’s needs. If they have balance problems then get them something that makes the balance easier. If they have problem with their muscle strength that get something that’s easier to handle. I do know some people who take care of children with special needs so this is probably exactly what they’re looking for

    • Hey there

      Thanks for the comment!

      Yes, everything is so expensive when you mention the word disability! But it doesn’t have to be! You just need to do some research because most of the time you are steered towards certain products because that is what the Doctors or specialists have seen or they know the people selling the products. 

      Always to research on products before buying them is my advice! There seems to be always other options out there!

      Thanks again for stopping up

      Regards

      Hailey

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