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Cycling for a walking quad with balance issues

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    Cycling for a walking quad with balance issues

    I suffered a spinal cord injury 11 years ago. After a few months I was able to ride a recumbent trike. A few months after that I was able to begin riding a bicycle again. I have ridden about 8000 miles per year since, along with a few falls, but no injuries. Recently I had a fall. I was riding up a steep hill, standing on the pedals, when suddenly I found myself on the road. I am not sure what caused this. Unfortunately, I broke my femur. This has been a very unpleasant experience, and I am reconsidering how I ride. The options I am considering are wearing bike shorts with crash pads, riding a recumbent bike, or riding a recumbent trike. I have purchased a pair of downhill mountain bike shorts, with hip protection, and they are comfortable. A recumbent bike seems like it would help because you are closer to the ground when you fall. A recumbent trike is the safest for falling, but they do take up a lot of road. Opinions or experiences?
    C1/C2 walking quad, SCI from 4/2010

    #2
    Are there any organizations around Boise that might have a variety of equipment available for you to test? I agree that the recumbent keeping your center of gravity low could be a great option and is kind of a future proof approach vs just padding up for more anticipated falls, but absent some trial and error it’s hard to say if you’d be more comfortable on two or three wheels. Here in New England we have a group called Northeast Passage that rents out all manner of adaptive equipment so you can really try things and see what works best. You’d hate to invest in something only to find out it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
    C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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    • cajun
      cajun commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the idea, but I don’t think that there are any options there. Parks and Rec in Boise does have an adaptive program, but they have trikes and handcycles, no recumbent bikes. I do have a friend with one, and I am going to see if it’s similar to what I would ride.

    #3
    i have a couple old fart friends that ride. one uses a hand cycle the other a recumbent trike he pedals. no crashing

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      #4
      i know they are available. When I lived in upstate NY I tested a used recumbent trike at Bicycle Man. Take a look at their website for ideas and gie them a call for advice. They are fabulously knowledgable. https://bicycleman.com.
      I could move a light one along but barely. If I'd been able to figure out how to put on lower gears i could have done it, but your leg function sounds better than mine. It was fun! I would consider it unsafe except on small roads with little traffic. This is true of all recumbents. As someone who got their SCI while biking I have healthy respect for how difficult it can be to notice bikes for some drivers.

      They have a whole page of advice about recumbent trikes. Here is a sample "We strongly recommend that you test ride several tadpole and/or delta trikes from several different manufacturers and find YOUR favorite before you buy. Without test riding you will probably buy someone else’s favorite trike. We would be glad to have you come here to try them. If you are to far away from any shops stocking a variety of trikes we can help you pick one and ship it to you. But test riding is the best.".

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