Our client had limited use of her right leg. She uses a Dutch Cargo Trike with pedal assist (an eTrike) to transport children and/or musical instruments and also for shopping etc. Her right leg has recently become very sensitive to touch and she can no longer use it to pedal or walk. She now uses a wheelchair. She wanted to continue to use the eTrike and carry a wheelchair. Her husband also uses the eTrike so modifications could not impact his use.

Various changes were discussed and the following were agreed:

  1. Support the right thigh with a detachable support
  2. Remove the right pedal so it was clear of the supported leg
  3. Provide a means to complete a full pedal rotation using only the left foot

A detachable thigh support was made (see photo below) which is adjustable for height, horizontal and vertical angle. It has a pop button to hold it in place and is easily removed when her husband uses the trike.

Thigh Support

The right pedal was removed, but the client said she would get a commercial folding pedal (as often seen on folding bikes) so that the trike can be used by her husband without change.

A pedal toe cage with strap was trialled for the left foot. It enabled the client to do a full rotation and prove she could pedal with one leg. Her husband had clip-on shoes on his bike and these were trialled. The client decided she would buy a matching system for the trike.

In addition we investigated the provision of a motor assisted reverse and motor assist for forward from a standing start (in addition to existing pedal assist which acts after the pedal is rotating). The freewheel function means the existing motors will not drive the trike in reverse. The components for an independent reverse were gathered :

  • a 12v DC brushed motor from a golf buggy
  • a switch with centre “off” and able to reverse the polarity (to provide Forward / Off / Reverse)
  • a brake lever and cable to draw the drive on to the front wheels and release it when not required

This was not completed due to concern that it added about 8kg of additional weight. The client is able to manoeuvre the trike over short distances while standing on one leg, but Tadvic may revisit this later.

A future modification may be to provide a side door in the cargo bay for the client to load her wheelchair without lifting it over the side. She is currently in the process of acquiring a lighter wheelchair.