Well-Known Member
A wonderful thing about ebiking is how it augments a person's ability to ride a bike, making MORE possible than what was possible before. This enables ebiking to have a positive impact on the lives of people whose mobility has been limited by physical problems, autism, developmental disability, intellectual disability or mental health challenges.

I have a strong interest in disability and mental illness, based in my experience as mom of an autistic child and thus my experiences with so many different kinds of disability. Ebiking has made a tremendous positive difference in our family's life by increasing our son's mobility and venturesomeness and reducing his anxiety about new places and experiences. This has had a strong positive impact on him, as a person, and on our family.

The purpose of this space is to share and collect resources and stories related to disability and ebiking, not only to create a supportive community but also to more broadly share ebiking, more strongly advocate for people with disabilities and mental health challenges, and to influence ebike makers to make their products more useful for a broader range of riders.

Feel free to introduce yourself, and to make your own threads specific to your disability-related interests and experiences. I will also start new threads as people share their related experiences.

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Perfect. I introduced myself earlier this year. I purchased 2 full suspension Sedona ebikes from Eric at Farbike and I have opened up my world to something I love to do. I am 50 years old and have Muscular Dystrophy. I have always been able to ride a bike but as years have worn on its gotten tougher. I've always had a problem with hills but we live near the Erie Canal trail and Also a nearby railroad trail. Now we are back to riding like kids and we average about 25-30 miles on almost every ride now! I no longer have to walk the bike uphills or anywhere with difficult terrain. Hills are now conquered! When I first put the bikes together and rode it around our yard I came in the house and broke down and cried. Riding a bike like this was something I had to dream about my whole life. To be like everyone else and pedal up hills or keep up with your fellow riders instead of always helplessly falling behind. I am amazed and cannot express enough in words what a game changer this is! We ride whenever we can and are hoping to reach a goal of 1000 miles on our bikes before our riding season is over. We are almost halfway now so it may be obtainable! I cannot believe how excited this has made us and we are like two young kids again. Since my wife doesn't have Muscular Dystrophy her battery doesn't draw down quite as fast (although no complaints there we have gone close to 40 miles on off pavement runs and haven't lost power) anyhow, since she had more battery power we decided to get a small children's trailer to bring our dogs along! This is something new but it has worked out very well! Now my wife uses slightly more power than I do lol. We have done 2 26 mile runs so far with the dogs, 3 of them lol. These bikes are nothing short of miraculous to me and I am so happy I pulled the trigger!
Perfect. I introduced myself earlier this year. I purchased 2 full suspension Sedona ebikes from Eric at Farbike and I have opened up my world @ebikemom :D

I'm so glad you are here! We are opening up our worlds. It must be amazing to fly up hills on an ebike and feel the restrictions melt away. I'm so happy for you and for you and your wife to be enjoying this adventure together! :) I love that the dogs are part of the equation, too, broadening the fun for everyone!
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This is wonderful! I stickied your post and appreciate you sharing some of your own experiences with ebikes and family members with different challenges. Your other posts here in the forums have been great too. Thank you so much @ebikemom :D

Thanks, Court!
Hi again! I wanted to let you all know that posting here about disability and ebiking will provide helpful search engine results for folks interested in this topic, such as those who are investigating how ebiking can help them or a loved one, manufacturers interested in accessibility, health service providers, etc.

This thread has been up a very short time. I googled "autism" and "ebike", and here's what came up--A thread from this EBR section is the second hit.

So, posting here is a way to gain gain visibility by your disability area of interest, and can function as a form of advocacy both for disability and ebiking. Let's spread the ebike love!

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Old age is also happy to find e-bikes. When you suddenly find you have a rare heart issue that inhibits extended biking, to try your first e-bike is a revelation. Thanks for your post about your son.
I'd say most of the ebikes I sell are sold to people with some form of disability or another, to be honest. As an ebike dealer I work with riders with disabilities regularly and it's both challenging and rewarding to do so. Some are long term. Others short term due to an accident or sickness. Some are physical disabilities and others are psychological in nature, like anxiety or even depression.

But I also notice that ebikes are about enabling people whether they have what society actually labels as a "disability" or wether they are just "not able". I'm talking about people who haven't been very physically active for 30 years or more because they have been putting their business and family first and not taking time regularly to care for their bodies. Or they may smoke or use alcohol. They are possibly not even diagnosed with anything yet, but have high blood pressure, could be over weight and are not able to pedal a bike for a mile though they may be able to get up and go to work every day and be very productive. I call it "recovering from life" and I would guess it's one of the largest disabilities out there.

And this concept is why some insurance companies will actually pay for your ebike. If you haven't asked you can check with your doctor and your insurance to see if they will fund your ebike.

Over the years, I've worked with people with heart conditions, collapsed lungs, missing limbs, bad spines, obesity, countless knee and hip injuries / replacements, vertigo and just plain old age.

In general, they are also all people who do not want to be limited by their abilities and want to ride a bike even when they think they can't.

I am happy to see this forum. My husband and our best friends all rode bikes and I found it painful due to having a dislocated s.i. joint for 20 years. In addition, I have narcolepsy and always feared being stranded if I rode for a while and didn't have the energy to make it back. My ebike has changed my life!
I'm so glad! Ebiking has made assistive technology so widely available. How amazing that you can bike even if experiencing weakness from narcolepsy! I started a new thread called "Narcolepsy and ebiking" as a place folks can share stories about this. No obligation, of course. :) I think the new thread will draw attention to this issue! This forum is publicly available, so if folks google <disability/medical issue name> with "ebiking", it will pop right up. :)

We're glad you are here, @annot !
Hi, new to the forum, wanted to chime in and also ask a question. Pulmonary hypertension (a disease that causes a loss of lung capability ) left me unable to ride until I bought an e-bike. Now I’m hooked! There is a little 6 year old in my area with the same disease and she can only ride her bike a few feet before she runs out of breath. My question regards pedal assist bikes for children - do they exist? I haven’t been able to find anything online and I can understand why. Kids need exercise and they outgrow bikes pretty quick (thus it would be tough to justify the extra cost of an ebike), so in reality there is probably no market or at best a very limited one. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask, so if anyone is aware of anything like this I would love to hear from you
Hi @Pierre C , and welcome!

I do not know about ebikes for children who are smaller than small adults--my very short daughter can ride a 24" wheel ebike, but what about littler kids? I agree that children with disabilities who can pedal but lack stamina, lung capacity, or have other physical limitations would certainly benefit so much from ebikes. Pedal assist means pedaling, and that's great for everyone!

It would be great to start a thread on the main forum with this question "are there pedal-assist bikes for children" to draw attention to your question--I can do that, or you can. :)

Also, shall we have a thread in this disabilities section on Pulmonary Hypertension and ebiking? Thoughts?

I'm glad you are here, and even gladder that you are ebiking!!!
I would appreciate it if you could post that, just to make sure it is in the right area. As far as a separate thread for Pulmonary Hypertension it’s a rare disease (only 1-2 new cases per million each year in the USA), so I don’t think that would get much attention. This original thread may be fine to address the subject of pulmonary and cardiac disease and ebikes. Thanks for the quick response! And in the meantime I’ll keep looking and also thinking over the best approach to build one.
I don't think I have seen any ebikes for small children. My LBS doesn't have anything like that. It seems though that it should be possible to add a kit to a kid's non ebike, especially one with at least 20' rims.
Yeah, the more I think about this, the more I think building/converting a bike is going to be the solution. Thanks for the feedback
Happy New Year to all whose lives are transformed by the amazing assistive technology of ebikes! :)