buddybike-shelley-riding

Buddy Bike is a tandem bicycle that puts the stoker at the front and is designed with kids in mind.  The kids hold the regular handlebar, but the rear rider controls the steering thanks to the leverage of the wider bar.

While perfect for any family with kids that are just a bit too big for a trailer or rear seat, the real magic of the Buddy Bike is for use with special needs children.After purchasing one to ride with his son, who has autism, Barry Nelson loved the concept so much he purchased the patent and remaining inventory.  Now, they’re developing an updated Sport model to complement the two-bike line.  The models feature the same Aluminum frame that’ll support up to 380lbs, but the Family model is 7-speed and the Sport model is 24-speed.  The frames are shorter than traditional tandem bikes to allow for the steering-from-behind design and improve handling.

Hit ‘more’ for bike photos and pricing…

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The Sport model retails for $1,660 USD and is being revised with new rear gearing for late 2009.  It comes in anodized silver color.

buddy-bike-kids-tandem-bicycleThe Family model comes in metallic burgundy and retails for $1,480.  Both models can be fitted with foot pegs for the front rider to rest their feet if they’re tired of (or unable to) pedal.

Both bikes are available to order from their website and will ship to your local bike shop for assembly.  It’s a great concept that fills a real need.  While I don’t personally know anyone with autistic or major special needs children, everything I’ve read on the matter suggests that the interaction and participation in sports generally improves symptoms, even if only temporarily, and since we’re big cycling nuts, this seems brilliant!

What do you think?