Bicycles for People With Mobility Issues, mobility cycles
A step-through frame lets users who can’t throw a leg over the saddle get seated easily. There are many options, small-wheeled bikes such as the Brompton and Moulton, to lady’s frames. A height-adjustable ‘dropper’ seat-post designed for mountain bikers to lower the seat while descending difficult trails, lowering the saddle for mounting the bike, then raising it for riding.
Riders with the effective use of one arm or hand can still brake and change gear safely. A back-pedal coaster brake allows foot operation of the back brake. Two different kinds of gear change can be fitted to the same side of the handlebar. Or a hub gear or wide-range mountain bike back derailleur can give a good enough spread of gears by one shifter: a Shimano Alfine 11 hub gives a 409% range; an 11-36 cassette a 327% range.
Recumbent cycles cover many aches, pains or more serious issues with the neck, back, bottom, hands and arms. The rider sits on a laid-back seat, with the body weight being mainly on the back.
Some cyclists of recumbent cycles often say they fear being hit by vehicles because of their lower position as it makes them more difficult to be seen.
Some users often say the opposite, saying the novelty of the cycle makes it more conspicuous to other road users. They also have the advantage of a good view of the traffic from the drivers’ perspective.
A mirror is a must for a good rear view on mobility cycles. The riding position makes them aerodynamic and quick. It also keeps the centre of gravity reassuringly low and allows you to get some umph behind the pedaling action.
Tricycles have the advantage of width, which can make them less susceptible to close overtakes and certainly coerces the rider into taking the main position on the highway. That same width, which can hinder times for nipping through traffic and for that reason riders might want to seek out traffic-free routes. Unfortunately, for any non-conventional bike design, problems can arise negotiating barriers and squeeze points on off-road cycle paths, careful route choice is important. If you do find your journey hampered by badly-designed infrastructure raise it with your local authority.