Vehicles for the Disabled: Trykebar
THE TRYKEBAR FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Father and son enjoying a ride together.
Renee-The innovative Caregiver.
What is the Trykebar?
This deceptively simple-looking piece of equipment is not just a tow-bar, although that could be one of its many functions.
The Trykebar enables any special needs person or child, able to ride and pedal a trike, to enjoy the freedom of the open road or off-road trails, while at the same time enjoying the protection afforded by the person in front (in cycling parlance 'the Captain'), who will create as safe an environment as possible by addressing the moving and stationary hazards and obstacles that are part of cycling, but which may well be beyond the comprehension of the rider on the Trike (in cycling parlance 'the Stoker').
The Trike's steering, speed and radius of turn are completely under the control of the Captain, as is its interaction with other moving and stationary obstacles and hazards.
This creates as care-free an environment as possible. It makes it easier for any trip, either to the mall or beach or picnic, to be one of maximum pleasure, exercise, well being, and just plain fun for both Stoker and Captain.
The towing mechanism is easily detachable which enables the tricycle to be used on its own for developmental purposes or other use.
We can supply a suitable trike if required.
Why the Trykebar?
Many special needs kids and adults-with or without suitable equipment like special pedals, harnesses, seat backs, etc.-are capable of sitting on an adult trike and pedalling it considerable distances.
So actually going somewhere like shopping, picnicking etc. would add to their pleasure and well-being. However, a journey of almost any kind involves vehicle traffic and their drivers, hills, curves and sharp corners, off-camber grades, trail pot-holes and bollards. Hazards normally encountered and dealt with by regular cyclists on an ongoing basis, but outside of the scope of many with special needs. However...
The Traykebar takes care of all those problems and provides an affordable way to make all trips as safe and as pleasurable as possible.
The other item we need is someone to be at the front end of the Trykebar – on a well prepared bike, trike, or tandem – who is capable of taking care of all the hazards mentioned above for themselves, and thanks to the Trykebar, the Trike rider as well.
The Trykebar connects to the Trike and while it allows the Trike rider to pedal, change gears, brake, wave to friends, get some exercise, etc. The person towing the trike has full control of the steering – the Trike rider cannot steer.
The Trykebar allows the front rider to control the speed and turning radius of the trike which is very important, plus of course avoiding any other hazards.
It really works well!
The trike is what is usually known as an adult trike because it has spoked wheels, is chain-driven and can be multi-geared. It is available in a range of frame and wheel sizes to fit even fairly small children, and can be used in conjunction with modifications available as add-ons to suit the different needs of the rider.
The Trykebar attaches to the seat post of the towing bicycle (or another trike, tandem etc.) with the renowned "U-Hitch", which provides appropriate articulation and is easy on-off using a simple hitch pin.
The seat post attachment fits all known sizes of seat-posts, and needs about 2 inches of seat post showing. To be certain, when you order I will need the info in this form: http://www.tonystrailers.com/ordering/enquiryform
Sending me side view pix of both vehicles (the trike, and the bike that will be towing it) is a good idea. The other end of the Trykebar attaches via a clamp assembly to the Quill of the handlebar stem of the tricycle being controlled. (The clamp assembly remains in place on the quill when the tow bar is disconnected but still allows the use of the trike for normal riding if required.)
(You do need a 6mm Allan wrench to install the stem clamp, but that's a one-shot deal)
The stem attachment fits the two usual sizes of quill on tricycles: 25.4mm (1 inch), and with the shims supplied 22.2mm (7/8 inch). If you have a different size we can probably custom adapt for you.
The stem clamp takes up 2 inches of space on the quill and must still allow insertion to the "minimum insertion mark" engraved on the stem. It seems to just make it on all the ones we tried, but if it doesn't make it on yours a quill extender takes care of it. (See picture)
The other information I need to quote you a price, is the size of the front wheel of the trike-it's written on the tire, and if your towing bicycle is normal with either 26 inch or 700c wheels. If not how different is it (say a recumbent or whatever)? The pix will help.
Another measurement that helps is the height above ground where the quill comes out of the headset. (See picture)
I don't want to make this seem complicated because the standard TrykeBar will fit pretty well any combination of towing and towed vehicle. Just want to be sure it all works when you receive it.
What our Customers are saying about the Trykebar:
I wanted to write to you yesterday. But it was my son's birthday so we were very busy hosting a party for him.
I want to thank you so much for getting the product out so quickly! It got here on Friday and my husband and I had all day Saturday to assemble the bike and practice driving/being pulled... So he opened the present on Sunday.
We gave the gift to him yesterday – and he jumped on and loves it! (See photo of my husband and 2 sons biking yesterday.) My husband and I are so thrilled with the product – easier than I expected to assemble and really well made. We feel like we can now go anywhere to bike as a family because all the bikes and Trykebar can be loaded in our car.
Our son loves to bike -- I feel like this product opens up so many opportunities for him to have fun.
"Ashley ASKS to ride her bike, she never used to do that. I cannot thank you enough.
My daughter, who will be 15 this November, has a very rare chromosome deletion as well as autism.
We wanted a bike for her that she would be able to ride on her own when she wants and also, one that would attach to my bike so that we could go for long rides together. (see attached picture).
You see Ashley can not ride on her own for very long, so I couldn't ride with her, after 10 minutes she would be tired. BUT with the fabulous set up that Tony has made for us, I can attach Ashley's bike to mine and we can ride for hours! Ashley has never ASKED to ride her bike before, but since we got her new one, she goes downstairs, gets her helmet and says bike with mom?'
She just loves it. She is experiencing the wind blowing on her face as we ride fast all around Richmond.
When she is riding on her own she is able to go much faster now on her three wheeler but she tires quickly as it is a lot of work for her, so we have the option of a quick ride just for her or a nice long weekend romp with the two of us.
We fill her big basket with all the necessities as well as picnic stuff and we go for hours.
I highly recommend this set up for your daughter, as it gives the freedom to have two separate bikes that will attach to one. If your daughter is able to use a bike on her own and you have a bike - then this is perfect for you. I looked at the dual set ups also, but the problem with them is that you are trapped with a two person bike, and if you or your daughter want to go yourself one day then you are stuck with a two seater bike anyhow.
Tony is wonderful. He is able to adapt a three wheeler for your child and make it tandem accessible.
As you can see from my daughter's bike, he made a back rest for her for support and comfort, a safety strap to stop her from falling off (but she is so comfortable on the bike now, she doesn't need it!), he fixed the pedal cranks so she could reach them and adjusted the handle bars so she could reach them and then he built the attachment devise for joining our bikes! He asked what I wanted for her and then voila it was ready and made in no time at all.
We tried two wheelers with big adapted wheels, but as she got older, she got more and more scared as the bike still tipped like training wheels and she has no balance. The three wheeler is very steady and gives her balance which in turn gives her confidence.
I think Ashley could ride with me all day if I lasted! It is so nice to be able to do something together that is fun as well as exercise. I can't wait till next spring to ride again. (or sooner if we have nice riding weather!)
In closing, I can honestly say that getting this bike set up was the best thing we ever did. Thanks to Variety for funding most of it and to Tony for designing it we are able to spend some quality biking time together for the first time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
"I'm sure I'm not alone on this, but I can't tell you how good this makes me feel to finally be able to bike with my wife again. You must feel good to be able to reopen doors for people to be active again.
We have gotten out several times and the tow bar and trike combination works great. I feel very confident with the tow bar and my wife is comfortable as well. She loves the fact that she can pedal if she wants, use any gear she wants and really can relax.
Thank you for making such a great product."
- Don Ehlenfeldt
"The Trykebar created by Tony Hoar is an incredible, easy to use device that enables my son Kevin and I to enjoy the sport of cycling.
With the Trykebar, we have ridden up to 20+ miles at speeds in excess of 20 miles an hour. The ride is very stable and Kevin's trike tracks extremely well behind my bike.
With the quick connect, we can easily connect and disconnect our bikes very convenient when we ride and run in one outing. Tony has provided tremendous support to ensure we safely maximize the potential of the Trykebar. Based on how well the Trykebar has performed, we are planning to participate in a 30+ mile bike race and a duathlon later this year.
Kevin and I highly recommend the Trykebar!"
Read an inspiring story about Kevin here. An Emmy Award-winning film was created about his experiences.
"Got the tow bar installed. No problems and works great. It really is something special to be able to go for a bike ride with my boy.
Thanks again for the great service.
Best regards, Leon."
"Tonight we created a memory of a lifetime~ We rode bikes for the first time in 24 years together as a family.
My son sang the entire time. Thank you for building this for Brandon. He is so happy! Take care and thanks again! Cheers to you on an awesome job!"
- Ann and Gordon Christie, Virginia Beach, VA
- Standard Trykebar complete with quick disconnect swivel hitch at the bike......... $490 (US $387)
- Quill extender (if required)........................................................................................... $17 (US $13)
- Quick disconnect at Trike (optional)............................................................................ $39 (US $30)
To view our comprehensive range of options for Special Needs vehicles, click here.
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Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.