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Accessible Bicycling for MS Patients

July 21, 2016

Many new MS patients will view riding a bike as a huge challenge, due to symptoms such as spasticity, fatigue, weakness and balance issues. However, technology has made advances the same way as it always has, yielding some great options for anybody looking to ride.

There are many different style of electric bicycles to choose from at “electric bikes”. These are elaborate tricycles that include not only a motor, so you can rest your legs in between pedaling, but also a high back seat and fold-down armrest, so that the entire body is able to rest during a ride. Electric Bikes is one of many electric bike manufacturers around, so be sure to look around to be sure that you get a bike that fits you for a great price.

Recumbent Bicycles
A recumbent bicycle has been a choice for many disabled riders for years. The bike is basically a stretched out version of a normal bike, with the seat having a back to it, much like a beach chair. The rider sits all the way back into the seat, with their legs outstretched, cranking the pedals. The handlebars are standard handlebars, but are easily graspable from a relaxed, sitting-back position. Recumbents.com includes general information and links to other recumbent-related Web sites.

Handcycles are pretty self-explanatory, as they are powered by a hand-crank. Varna Innovation & Research Corporation makes, among other things, a “hybrid tandem handcycle.” (In English, a two-person bike with a leg-powered two-wheeler for the front rider and a hand- cranked three-wheeler for the person in the rear.). Additional resources can be found at the United States Handcycling Federation.

Mountain Bikes
 Handcycles are typically front-wheel drive, but One-Off Handcycles offers a rear-wheel-driven model, which gives extra traction for climbing steep grades. One-Off’s 24-speed handcycle stays low to the ground, uses a 3rd wheel and can go almost everywhere a typical mountain bike can go. It offers a very tight nine-foot turning radius to boot.