Disabled tricycles adults: overview of the best adaptive options

Regular physical activity is without a doubt critical for a happy body and mind. Riding a bike can be an extraordinary ally in making physical activity fun and accessible to -quite literally- everyone! It’s also important to mention that bicycles can become an empowering tool for folks that have lost or never really had the luck to experience mobility freedom.

Bikes have the potential to fully substitute cars and public transportations especially when assisted by electric power. For someone like mentioned above, that is often forced to deal with non-inclusive infrastructures (just to mention one: the bus with the broken wheel-chair platform …) This means gaining access to independence, really. Which can definitely improve the quality of life and well-being of the individual!

In this article we’ll focus on solutions for riders that can’t cycle on regular two-wheels bikes. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as limited mobility, balance problems, age, disabilities as well as many others. There are some critical differences between cargo bikes and knowing which set up suits you best, will greatly improve your cycling experience! Keep reading to discover all about it …


Disabled tricycles adults: An overview on the main bike models

First, we’ll briefly touch on the main bike solutions for riders that require extra attention. This will help you figure out what system might work best for you, depending on your needs, lifestyle & budget! If you’re still unsure, we advise getting in touch with a disabled tricycles adults specialist. For our UK based readers, Get cycling can help you test and design the perfect bike for your unique needs! Simply book an appointment through their website in just a few clicks.

Now, back to our overview …

Dad and son with mobility issuesriding a tandem

Photo copyright: Getcycling.org.uk

Ride with someone on a Tandem

A Tandem, is a bicycle that can seat at least 2 people and it allows both cyclists to ride actively. This solution is ideal for people who cannot cycle independently.

Tandems come in several forms depending on the type of disability:

  • People who do not have enough strength in their lower limbs, the second person can pedal more powerfully than the other
  • Someone with severe balance problems can ride on a tandem tricycle (the 3rd wheel provides extra stability) and it’s also possible to find them with a recumbent set up if preferred
  • People who need a support person with them; due to orientation, vision, hearing impairment for example. The concerned rider can always be accompanied by his support person, who can safely take charge of the ride
Also it’s important to mention that in most models, you have a choice regarding the placement of the steering. Front steering works just like a normal bike, so the person in charge of the bike will sit at the front. On the contrary, rear steering means that the driver can have full vision of the person he is riding with and at the same time on the road (his seat is higher). Tandems can also come as a side-by-side configuration, for better communication between the riders and it allows them to pedal simultaneously or at different speeds. Positive: designed for two riders and by consequence better stability, safer, easier driving etc… Negative: often bulky and heavy.
Disabled tricycles adults senior riding a recumbent bike

Positive: more comfortable, accessible and drives faster

Negative: less visibility of the surroundings due to the reclined position

Recumbent bikes for comfy rides

As the name suggests, you don’t sit on this bike but lie down in a semi-reclined position with your legs in front. This way, your body weight is distributed equally making it very comfortable and less tiring. It’s a more accessible option for seniors as well as people that struggle to sit upright and/or with special requirements.

This is deal for:

  • People who struggle with balance issues, e.g. the Tadpole model is characterised by an improved stability during rides thanks to the front 2-wheels system
  • People with limited to none leg mobility, with the hand powered variant of the recumbent the rider can pedal with the hands
  • Seniors or individuals with back and joints concerns, the seating position protects better the body and puts less strain on it
  • People who need a support person with them, the tandem version of the recumbent brings both the benefits of each bike in one!

Enjoy biking even on a wheelchair!

A wheelchair bicycle is a model designed to safely accommodate an individual on the wheelchair. It often comes as an electric assisted trike with a front loading space.

It’s possible to:

  • Ride as a passenger, the person on the wheelchair is carried by the support person. They can comfortably sit on a special seat or directly on their wheelchair.
  • Ride as the driver, the person on the wheelchair can drive in complete autonomy. Benur offers electrically assisted cargo trikes that can be propelled by hand. Even getting on and off the platform can be done independently by an electric folding ramp.

Positive: safe and comfortable option

Negative: pricey investment


Photo copyright: Benur

Disabled tricycles adults woman with wheelchair riding Benur bike

Tricycle & quadricycle?! The more wheels the better

The tricycle as well as the quadricycle, differs from the conventional bicycle in its number of wheels. Tricycles have one more wheel, which can be at the front or at the back. The four-wheeler has two additional ones, with two wheels on both axles, front and rear.

Apart from that, both models have something in common: improved stability while riding! Which makes it perfect for people who struggle with balance.
Furthermore, the tricycle or quadricycle is also often equipped with a proper seat as well as a backrest. So this can also be an optimal solution for people with back problems. If you need to, you can also choose a model with a low step to make it easier to get on and off.

For people with limited mobility, balance problems or a slight physical impairment, a brand new solution now exists: the accessory that allows you to convert a bicycle into a stable tricycle!

Accessory to upgrade your bike into a disabled tricycles adults

A conversion kit for your own bike that turns it into a stable tricycle? That’s exactly what the B-Back was designed for! Investing in this accessory means upgrading your current bike into a safe and smart cargo bike.

Disabled tricycles adults: how to transform your bike with the B-Back

Convert your favourite bike into a stable tricycle with this conversion kit

The B-Back converts your bike into a tricycle, which has great deal of advantages:
  • Great stability due to the two rear wheels, which makes the bike really easy to use even for beginners
  • Compatibility with almost every bike: you can therefore choose the bike model that suits you best, whether in terms of frame, design or even purpose (MTB, folding, city bike …)
  • Mountable on a bicycle for adults, but also for teenagers
  • Possibility to mount it on a bike with electric assistance as long as the motor is not on the rear wheel (you have to remove the original rear wheel to be able to mount the accessory),
  • Facilitated load transport with suitable modules for transporting animals or loads/shopping
  • Less expensive than a complete tricycle, you only need to buy the accessory
  • Easy to park as the rear part is not wider than the handlebars

Made to perfectly support you during your daily commutes

The B-Back will make daily tasks easier and more enjoyable. For example: Grocery shopping A tricycle with a loading space, such as the B-Back, makes it possible to do your weekly grocery run! You can safely carry your shopping bags without any balance struggle. You are flexible and independent just like if you had a car! Transporting your pet In addition to shopping, it is also possible to transport pets. For example, if your pet has an appointment at the vet, you can do this no problem. The B-Back offers 2 different sizes of transport box. So every pet up to 35 kg can easily ride with you! Visiting friends or going for a bike ride A bike with the B-Back also makes it possible to carry out activities such as biking tours, visiting friends and daily commutes. Thanks to its adaptable loading area, you can always carry what you love with you! … blanket, drinks and yummy foods and off you go for a picnic!
Disabled tricycles adults men riding the B-Back in the city

Disabled tricycles adults: final tips and potential concerns …

But what about if you haven’t really found a bike that suits your needs…What’s next?
First of all, don’t despair! This was meant as a general guide and therefore we haven’t included every bike model on the market. We can promise you that there are plenty more options currently on the market that you might find more suitable.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should look into customisation to build YOUR perfect bike. Vanraam, for example, offers a wide range of trikes that can be tailored to your unique needs by adding accessories such as belts, rotatable seats, special saddles etc …


I think I found a bike model that might work for me

Have you found an option that might suit your needs? We’re stoked that we could help!

Depending on your situation, we always advise speaking to a disabled bike expert to make sure that you’re getting the most suitable option for you. Once you know what you’re looking for, we strongly recommend you to go and test in person before buying. This’ll give you a better feeling of the setup and if it can *actually* work for you. We advise testing the bike outside to make sure you feel safe and comfortable around traffic, objects and people.
And, again depending on your condition, you might want to also check in with your medical provider to be sure that it’s safe for you to be riding a bike.

To conclude, making the world accessible to everyone is an extremely important endeavour. We hope that our contribution, even if little, can make a difference in the lives of people.
Everyday things like shopping, visiting friends or going for a walk with your pet are made possible again by a specially adapted bicycle.

Happy cycling!