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Accessible Bicycling

Move United

For more information on adaptive cycling, and other adaptive sports, visit Move United.


For people with MS, symptoms such as fatigue, iffy balance, weakness, and muscle spasticity can make traditional bike riding seem difficult or impossible. There are a variety of adaptations now available, so that someone who wants to ride, might just find wheels that will work.

The most popular types of accessible bikes are:

  • Recumbent bicycles
Recumbent bicycles are comfortable, easy to ride and are popular among people with and without disabilities. If you’ve never seen one, imagine a sort of stretched-out tricycle with a seatback like you’ll find in a director’s chair. You sit all the way back into the seat, with your legs outstretched, cranking the pedals. The handlebars are standard handlebars, but are easily graspable from a relaxed, sitting-back position. includes general information and links to other recumbent-related websites. 
  • E-bikes
At Cycle Electric International Consulting Group’s “Electric Bikes,” you’ll find an overview of the electric bike, including everything from power-driven two-wheelers to “personal activity vehicles.” These are elaborate tricycles that include not only a motor, so you can rest your legs in between pedaling, but a high back seat and optional fold-down armrests, so you can relax the rest of your body as well. There are numerous e-bike manufacturers and dealers so compare features and prices. To explore more electric bike options, visit
  • Handcycles
Explore handcycle options on offers a full-service bike shop offering service/sales of handcycles, recumbent trikes, active everyday wheelchairs and sports wheelchairs. Shop adaptive cycles and view cycling resources including financial assistance options. 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.). 
  • Mountain bikes
Handcycles are typically front-wheel drive, but rear-wheel drive models, which can give extra traction for climbing steep grades, are also available. View options on

You can also ask your physical therapist about adaptive equipment to transform standard and alternative bikes. Backrests with padded straps, leg and shoulder harnesses, even hip pads, provide added support and can help the cyclist maintain balance. Footrests with leg guides help position and retain foot placement on pedals.


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