The Joys of MS...

Some "very late" follow up. Since my last updates - my wife had a single knee replacement 4 weeks ago and the rehab is going well. It was her leg that wasn't affected by MS as much as the other, so could have been considered the "good leg". It really wasn't and the chronic pain was getting too much so we bypassed the publicly funded healthcare system and paid privately for a new knee. Instant quality of life improvement so I am very optimistic
that we'll be doing a bunch of riding in the new year, but I am under no illusions that she will be riding in anything other than fair weather conditions.

I added a more posture friendly handlebar and a stem riser. Plus I've added a pedal extender for her "hip width" as well. Her foot placement on the left side (MS drop foot situation) is better with a bit more width.
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No we get into the trickier mods, but I have all winter to affect the changes. With the handlebar changes, the hydraulic brake line to the rear brakes is too short, so that has to change. They are Tektro brakes, with the banjo style connector and it's proving hard to find. Last but not least - I will be changing the twist grip throttle on the right to a thumb throttle on the left side and the right side thumb derailleur controller to a twist grip one. Then I will be replacing the VERY basic controller with one that has the features we want.

We're still of the opinion that this is a fantastic device - it just wasn't kitted out appropriately for my wife.
The manufacturer is not responsible for these issues - he delivered what was asked for.
It is probably a good learning experience for him too - it was not in his regular target market/

More to follow - just don't know when.

Keep 'er rollin' and upright!
Ok, you have the right attitude towards building it 👍. It seems like you ( and the manufacturer) are pioneering some, but it will work out. Keep us posted please.
 
Well, it's been a while but my wife's trike is upgraded and has been ridden (albeit just a short test ride).
She had her personal upgrade in the fall (new knee) so it was time to proceed.

Looks like we are almost there!
As it came from the factory, there were a few features that just didn't suit the purpose.

As listed previously, this was not necessarily the fault of the builder, but I think they've learned a bit from the process.
The needs of disabled riders has to be taken into consideration when making certain choices in regards to controls.

Bringing it home from a local e-bike mechanic who, at a VERY reasonable price, replaced the controller and hooked up brake cutouts etc.

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Once it was home, we tested out ergonomics once again, and decided to change stem and bars to gain another inch of height.
Can't go any higher without a new front brake hose.

Originally, the throttle was a twist grip on the right. It is now a thumb throttle on the left (which is her better hand).
The lever on the left controls the front end lockout (this trike has an articulating front end as posted earlier).

On the right, it is now a twist shifter and the location of the e-controls.
It's not perfect of course, as the buttons are on the left side of the screen, but she's not going to be doing a lot of assist level changes on the go, nor changing the screens on the fly.


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I wrapped the new controller and wiring with a neoprene knee brace to keep it organised - it's going to be a "Fair weather" cycle.

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You may notice a weird pedal on the left.
It's something needed for my wife's "drop foot" - as it doesn't want to stay on the pedal, but we certainly don't want it locked in.

Here's how it works:
Rare earth magnets embedded in shoe:
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Pedal (cheap takeoff from my Intrigue) with knubbies ground down and metal construction plates attached with pop rivets.
The front toe stopper helps position the foot on the pedal.

I built the one side for fit - then replicated it on the other side for convenience.
Lessons learned from a previous installation on a Townie dictated dual sided pedal - the weighting or the metal would always have the heavy side down (can't fight physics!)

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Feedback from current setup after a brief local ride yesterday evening:
  • Need more tweaking of seat (move it back and tilt nose up)
  • Brake cutouts are an imperative on a bike with a throttle - disabled rider or not
  • Loads of assist! She was riding on level 3 of 5 and she felt she wasn't adding any power herself.
    • moved down to 1 for level riding
  • Custom pedal is pretty close - may need to adjust toe bumper to allow more twist for release scenarios
  • Will be a while before she'll use the front end unlocked - hasn't ridden for 5 or 6 years
  • Trikes don't handle cambered surfaces like bikes do - it takes some getting used to when riding with front end locked
    • I am of the opinion that once she get's confident enough to use the front end un-locked, she'll be more confident (this will be the tricky one to achieve)
  • "I can do this - but I'd feel more confident with elbow pads on!"
Just so we are clear - there won't be any pictures with her on the trike - she is very private in that regard.

On another note - we will want to be able to transport the trike to more interesting locations to ride - like @Prairie Dog posted lately.
I purchased a hitch mounted cargo carrier for when I can't borrow a pickup - it's rated for 500 lbs.
It's not fancy but it was REALLY reasonably priced ($70) at Princess Auto (Canadian)

My bike can go in the back and her trike can go on the carrier.

This is obviously NOT a finished build!


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I considered getting trays for the 3 wheels, but the front end sits solidly on my temporary cork blocks.
With proper cargo straps and some permeant blocking, it should work fine.
The orange bungies were to keep wheels straight.

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I hope some of these ideas help some of you out with ways to make riding enjoyable and safe for any disabled friends or family who want to get out there and enjoy cycling.
 

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You provided a lot of good info in general for those of us with unique cycling/fit reqts--thanks!

The bike concept and design ideas are so interesting and I hope she's comfortable actually using it. I think it's easy to talk yourself out of trying new things when not feeling well or overwhelmed.

Many happy trails for you both!!
 
Finished the carrier with some spare lumber and paint (and some reflectors), and the trike is loaded to go for a test ride.

I reconsidered my original layout as I had the front on the exhaust side of the car.
As the wheels hang over the side of the carrier, I decided to reverse the layout and put the single rear tire at that end instead.

Rear end:
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Front end - I had some dense foam pads I used for the trike to rest on:
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Loaded - test drove it around the neighborhood and nothing budged.
Blue strap is to stop the wheels whipping back and forth.

Loading was easy - with rear tire against the front end side of the carrier, I pick it up the tire and roll the trike onto platform.
Then go to front end and pick up by the two front tires and walk the trike into position. No heavy lifting - as it's not a light trike.
Unloading would simply be the reverse...

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I am still tweaking my strap down plans, but it's going to be pretty secure before it goes on the road!

Last but not least - a locking "anti-rattle" hitch pin.
Coming back from an extended ride to a missing carrier would not be optimal!

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@Keith Johnston - feedback is it works for her well.
Still dealing with the left leg that wants to turn in when she pedals, but that would be on any bike/trike.
It's likely going to be one of those things that she'll have to work on over time.

But the functionality of the device fits the bill - stable on flat surfaces and she'll just have to get more confident on other terrain.
That will come with getting out there and riding - it will never be very fast I don't think, but it's doable again.

Stay vertical!
 
@RandallS - You’ve really accomplished so much with regards to customizing the trike for your wife. Kudos!! 👏

Having a safe and secure manner to transport it so that she can ride outside of the local area is icing on the cake.
 
Randall,
Pretty great customizing and improvising. I suggest you share all this with Mastretta so they can potentially help others, and who knows, maybe they'll give you a little something for you input and business.... I really hope it all works well for your wife and I'm quite confident she appreciates all the effort! Keep moving forward!
 
After 20 years of MS treated from 2000 to 2006 with Rebif(efficient to that year) and then Avonex(not efficient to calm down my lesions’ number increase) i found this website ( Health Herbs Clinic ) on google just 8 months ago, and their current natural health tech to help curb/manage it. It has made a tremendous difference for me I had improved walking balance, muscle stre
 
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