Fixed/Free Wheel Interchange

Most bikes or trikes operate in what is referred to as “free-wheel” mode. This means that the pedals do not turn until you apply pressure to one side and then the other to complete the action of pedaling.

if you live with a disability which limits your ability to physically complete the process of pedaling, you may need to consider a “fixed-wheel” mode for your trike. In this case, as the trike moves the pedals automatically rotate without the rider applying pressure. Typically combined with a strap pedal, the rider completes what is called “passive range of motion” whereby their legs move even though they are not initiating the movement.

Many people benefit from this passive movement of their limbs as the movement improves blood flow in the affected areas and provides sensory stimulation to your legs. Passive movement can also prevent spasticity from worsening and is often recommended for people recovering from a stroke, injury or operation. Passive range of motion exercises are particularly great for patients with paralysis on one side of the body or stiff, tight muscles after neurological injury or operation.

Passive exercises provide the most effective benefits when they are used consistently over a long period of time. Consistent repetition of therapeutic movements helps spark neuroplasticity: the mechanism the brain uses to rewire itself.

With some riders, the inability to pedal may not be permanent. Where there is a potential for the rider to improve the skills or cognitive function to complete this repetitive task, there is a huge benefit to using a “fixed-wheel/free-wheel interchange hub”. This innovation, developed exclusively by EveryBody eBikes, is designed to enable an attendant to quickly and easily test if the rider can pedal in free-wheel mode and to swap back if they are tired and want a rest or if the skills are not present or consistent enough.

Many of our young riders have benefitted from this innovation and have progressed from fixed-wheel to free-wheel mode through the iterative testing of their skills and capabilities. Please note it is not simply a pin!

This innovative modification can be fitted to many of our range and it is definitely something to consider when choosing a special needs bike. Ask us for more details when you contact the store.

Sources: https://www.flintrehab.com/active-vs-passive-exercises-during-rehab/