Hear It from the Only One Who Counts

A Sixth Grade Student's Adaptive Bike Review

April 07, 2016 by Lori Potts, PT

Usually we run blog posts from or for clinicians. It’s rare that we have the chance to share the user’s experience, so when we received a product review from a sixth-grade student we knew we had to run it. Jenny Cashion, Ana’s therapist, writes:

One of my students, Ana, hadn’t had much success with previous trials on adaptive tricycles. When I introduced her to the large Rifton tricycle, she took off! She looks great in it, and she is able to pedal and steer herself. There are so many therapeutic benefits for her. Best of all, she is so excited to be biking! She LOVES it!

Ana has cerebral palsy with high tone in her legs and one arm. With the abductor in place, the position of her legs is the best that I have ever been able to achieve with her while she’s pedaling a tricycle. She is able to keep her involved hand on the loop handlebar, and move it as she steers. Even the position of the rear wheels allows her to utilize her peripheral vision and pay attention to her “space” more.

I sat down and wrote a letter to Ana’s insurance company to explain all the benefits. Meanwhile, Ana received a 6th grade homework assignment to write a product review. Naturally, she chose the large Rifton tricycle. You can read her opinion of this great product in her own words.

glamour shot of a pink adaptive tricycle for people with cerebral palsyAdaptive Bike Review by Ana Martinez

Have you ever noticed that kids with physical disabilities find it difficult to ride regular bikes and enjoy this activity with other kids? Well, Rifton claims they have invented tricycles that kids with special needs can ride easily, while they strengthen their leg muscles and improve their balance. Rifton also claims their tricycles are good-looking, durable and offer many accessories, colors and sizes to help kids of all ages that have different disabilities. Best of all, they can enjoy this activity with others. As a person with a disability myself, who has tried and has been unable to ride regular bikes, this product caught my attention.

I personally rode this tricycle last week. The tricycle is very easy to ride because it gives me the confidence that I won't fall over. Also, this tricycle has many parts that you can put on or take off as a child progresses. For example, there is a lateral trunk support that helps your chest stay intact. This is a tool that you are able to take off. Also, there are a lot of straps that help me and other kids feel secure. Also, you can adjust the seat until it is conformable to ride. Also, there is an abductor. The abductor keeps my legs from coming in together that can be taken off once you are finished riding the tricycle. Also, the tricycle has a rectangular handle bar that is easy to steer.

The Rifton tricycles come in three colors: red, green and blue. They also come in three sizes. The Rifton tricycles also have many accessories to improve the ride. Finally, the Rifton tricycles are made of solid durable steel, which will last a long time.

Overall, Rifton delivers what it promises. It offers a good looking tricycle that will last a long time and is easy to ride by kids with special needs. Although they are expensive, parents will save money because tricycle riding is like a trip to physical therapy, so they will spend less money for physical therapy. I would not only recommend Rifton tricycles, I am currently trying to convince my parents to buy me one for my next birthday.

From all of us at Rifton we say keep riding, Ana! Your review is an encouragement to all of us who make these bikes. 

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Reply by Trey on June 24, 2016 at 10:35 PM
Thanks for sharing Ana's review. We just got a small rifton for my son. Is there a way to attach it to my bike so I can pull him behind me on a ride?
Reply by Elena on June 27, 2016 at 9:05 AM

Hi Trey, Thanks for your inquiry. Here is a link to Equipment Shop- a company that makes adaptations to adaptive equipment such as tricycles. I think they will be able to help you out!