Buddy Bike, LLC manufactures
and distributes The Buddy Bike® an alternative tandem bicycle that provides
safe family fun and therapeutic activity for cyclists with special needs.
Bike for autism, down syndrome, sight impairment and other disabilities.
How and when
was Buddy Bike started?The concept of the
Buddy Bike began over 10 years ago. Robert Gardner of
Willits, California designed a bike which he called The Love
Bike because he needed a way to carry his young son around.
In 2003, Barry Nelson, the father of an autistic child,
purchased a used Love Bike. He was so enthralled by the
opportunity this bike gave him and his son, Jesse, that he
contacted the inventor then created a Trust for Jesse and
used those funds to purchase the patent and remaining
inventory. We work together with Bob to continue producing
and developing what we now call The Buddy Bike. Basically,
Buddy Bike exists today because of the love of two fathers
for their sons.
What is the
mission of Buddy Bike LLC? 1) To promote
cycling and bring the cycling experience to families who
might not otherwise be able to ride a bicycle. 2) To bring
the Buddy Bike to as many special needs families as
possible. 3) To open Buddy Bike shops across the country
where people can rent Buddy Bikes and take guided tours.
Why Should I buy a Buddy Bike?
The Buddy Bike is the
alternative tandem bicycle. If your small child or special
needs child is too big for a child seat or a tag-along
bicycle and you don't feel safe with them riding behind you,
the Buddy Bike offers the safety of having your child ride
in front of you. You will be able to ride more comfortably
with your arms around your child as you can observe what
they are doing and easily give words of encouragement or
talk about the sights around you without having to turn and
shout to them in the wind.
How is the Buddy
Bike different from a regular tandem or tag-along?
A typical tandem bike places
the "captain" in the front seat; the captain steers the bike
and controls the brakes while the "stoker" rides in back.
The Buddy Bike reverses those positions putting the stoker
in the front seat. In our case, the stoker is usually a
special needs child. By placing the child in front, it
creates a more interactive bike riding experience. Parents
can speak right into the ear of the child, rather than
shouting at them in the wind, and the child has an open view
of the world around them rather than just the back of their
parent. On a tag-along, the pedals are not connected and the
child rider may not pedal or receive exercise. They are
merely being dragged along behind. On the Buddy Bike, your
child will love being out in front with only the road
ahead, feeling like they are in charge, but knowing they are
still close enough to receive encouragement and support.
Parents are also thrilled to have their children in front of
them where they can monitor the child's activity and make
sure they are not randomly jumping off the bike!
How will the Buddy Bike
benefit my special needs child? The
innovative features of the Buddy Bike provide the alternative to tandem cycling,
tag-alongs, trikes and infant seats. The Buddy Bike offers
special needs children an opportunity for adaptive outdoor
recreation and therapeutic activity. Special needs children
may benefit from: safe and interactive cycling fun, adult is
close enough to speak words of
encouragement into the child's ear rather than
shouting at a child riding behind, opportunity to work on
child's communication skills while riding, an opportunity for
growth and development and child riders who can pedal will
receive exercise which directly combats obesity. To read
more about the benefits of the Buddy Bike, visit our
Special Needs page or read
the stories and comments of the families that are using
the Buddy Bike at
Customer Comments or our
Buddy Bike Stories pages. The
Buddy Bike has been officially tested, rated and recognized
as a product that is friendly for children of all abilities
AblePlay. Visit our product
to review the report by the
National Lekotek Center
about the Buddy
Bike and its applications and benefits for special needs
children. Parents may find this information to be useful in
their search for funding. The
National Lekotek Center
is the leading authority on play for children with
Who may benefit from riding
the Buddy Bike?Children with Autism,
Down Syndrome, Aspergers, Fragile X, sight impaired,
hearing impaired and children with cognitive
disabilities. Recent studies are showing that riding a
bicycle can reduce tremors in patients with Parkinson's
Disease. Riders with severe physical disabilities may
not be able to ride the Buddy Bike. Riders must have
enough trunk strength to sit upright on a standard
bicycle seat. Adults who have never ridden a bicycle can
also learn to ride on a Buddy Bike. To read more about
the benefits of the Buddy Bike, visit our
Special Needs page.
When will my child outgrow
the Buddy Bike? The Buddy Bike safely
supports a total weight of up to 380 pounds. Two adults can
ride together so you will be able to enjoy the Buddy Bike
for many years to come. There aren't any height restrictions
but it is necessary that the rear rider is able to see over
the front rider's head in order to safely steer the bicycle.
There aren't any specific age ranges either.
Is my child tall enough
and old enough to ride? If your child can
sit upright on a standard bicycle seat, they can ride the
Buddy Bike. Front seat riders must have an inseam of 25" to
be able to pedal. For smaller riders who can't reach the
pedals, fold-out foot pegs provide a place to rest their
feet out of the way of the pedal motion path. Foot pegs are
Can I ride the Buddy
Bike with my spouse? The Buddy Bike
safely supports a total weight of up to 380 pounds. Two
adults can ride the Buddy Bike, making it the ultimate
family bike that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages. It
can be ridden alone but it is much more fun to enjoy the
close intimate ride of the Buddy Bike. The Buddy Bike is
shorter in length than a typical tandem and provides less
leg room for the rear rider but casual riders will enjoy the
cruiser bike ride and being close enough to converse and
give an occasional romantic kiss! The Buddy Bike is also a
great tool for teaching adult riders to ride a bike for the
Are the pedals on the same
drive chain?Yes. There are two bike
chains connected to the same drive chain. The pedals work
together. The front riders cranks are slightly smaller than
the rear set. The benefit is that you will move the pedals
of the front rider and if you can place the feet of the
front rider on the pedals, you will provide physical
activity which directly combats obesity, increases blood
flow and may help to improve leg movement and flexibility.
If the front rider can't keep their feet on the pedals, your
bike shop may be able to provide toe clips, cages or velcro
exerciser pedals to help keep the rider's feet in place. The
Captain (rear rider) should adjust their pedal strokes to
accommodate the front rider's skills. Slow, smooth, even
pedal strokes and patience will help children with
disabilities to become accustomed to riding the Buddy Bike.
Can the front riders
pedals be disconnected? Yes. The front
chain could be removed so that only the rear rider's pedals
will move the bicycle. We do not suggest removing that chain
as the front rider will no longer receive the benefit of
receiving physical exercise. The rear rider will also have a
more difficult ride as the full weight of the Buddy Bike and
both riders will have to be moved entirely by the rear
Where can I buy adaptive
accessories?For adaptive accessories
such as supportive bike seats, pedals that will help
hold your child's foot in place or crank shorteners to
help riders with less than a 25 inch inseam to reach the
pedals, please contact one of the bike shops listed
Adaptive Accessories section. These shops have staff that are knowledgeable
about accessories that will work with the Buddy Bike.
Buddy Bike offers some optional accessories which can be
viewed at our
Products & Pricing page.
Where can I try a Buddy Bike?
FIND A DEALER web page
and look for the dealers marked
RENTALS or DEMO. If there aren't any dealers
with bikes in
your area at this time, please send an e-mail to
to sign up for our e-newsletter
list. Include your city and state to receive information
about Buddy Bikes in your area.
Where will I store the
Buddy Bike? The Buddy Bike is 82 - 84
inches in length depending on the bike model and the
handle bars are 33 inches wide. The aluminum Buddy Bike
weighs up to 56 pounds. It is easiest to store alongside
a car in a garage. It is not too heavy but it is bulky
to lift for storage or to carry up stairs.
How can I transport the
Buddy Bike? At this time Buddy Bike does not
suggest any specific make or model of bike rack for use with
the Buddy Bike. The weight of the Buddy Bike varies by model
and is between 53 and 62 pounds. This weight is well under
that required by most bike racks but due
to the size and dimensions of the Buddy Bike, not all bike racks
could be safely used. The Buddy Bike is a "tandem
bicycle" although it is shorter than the typical tandem.
Some bike racks specify that they are not for use with
tandem bicycles. For safety, read your bike rack Owner's
Manual before mounting the Buddy Bike on any rack. Pick up trucks, SUVs and vans
are by far the best option for transporting Buddy Bikes but
if you don't have this type of vehicle read what other
customers are using at our
Bike Racks page.
What is the return policy?
If a Buddy Bike order is cancelled PRIOR to shipping we
will offer a 100% refund. Due to the expense of shipping
the Buddy Bike, once a Buddy Bike has shipped, we do not
offer a return policy. All sales are final. We encourage
our customers to try a Buddy Bike prior to ordering if
possible. If there aren't any demos in your area, you
may find these web pages to be helpful in deciding if
the Buddy Bike is for you:
FAQs or our
demonstration video at YouTube.
WE DO NOT BUILD THE
SIDE-BY-SIDE SOCIABLE TANDEM ALSO CALLED
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