One of the most common questions we are asked at all stages of a Reach childs life is: How can I have my child’s bike adapted?
1 Your NHS limb centre should be able to help you out – if you are not in touch with them we would encourage you to contact them.
The limb centres are able to make a made to measure prosthetic which your child can pop their little arm into and release from safely if needed (in case of a crash). The prosthetic is attached to the handle bars and a child can slip their arm in or rest it on the extension. The limb centre can also change the brakes so that one hand will operate both back and front. Do contact us or click here for a list of limb centres.
2 Independent bike shops can come up with lots of innovative ways to make riding a bike easier one handed and often love the challenge. For instance, they might extend the handlebar and cover it with a soft material so that the child can rest their little arm on it and steer, and once again change the brakes over to be safer.
3 DIY – there are some really clever parents out there who have crafted their own adaptions – see one example below!
4 Remap – a charity who custom-make equipment to help people live more independent lives, we are aware there have helped engineer solutions for our members. Click here fore more detail.
Brake levers which can take both cables are easily bought online
(search for Dual Brake Lever); these should help reduce the incidence of a child flying over the handlebars after braking hard with one hand only).
Below are some examples from our members. If you have any to share please let us know.
A tennis ball makes a really cheap and comfortable place to rest a little arm, fixed to a bracket then onto the bike using bits and bobs from a DIY shop. This can be a great way to start building the confidence of a young child on a ‘big bike’ (NB. The rolling pin is instead of the handlebars not an essential part of the design!)
The attachment below was a bespoke make and fit by the NHS Limb Centre in Leeds for member Elsie Hughes in 2016 to help her compete in Cyclocross events. Her arm slips in the made to measure prosthetic which is attached to the handlebar and moveable to other bikes.