Buddy Bike’s purpose is to aid families with special needs and provide an entertaining way to ride a bike with a partner. Communication and connection are prevalent with using this bike, giving room for encouragement or coaching. With Buddy Bike, children who cannot normally feel in control can finally feel empowered. Parents with help from the Buddy Bike now can keep an eye on their children at all times while biking so that they do not risk crashing their bike. Parents can now watch their children, and see the joy the bike gives their child. Not only can parents see the joy on their child’s face without turning around as is the case on a tandem bike, a parent can have a conversation with their child without worrying about whether they were heard. Buddy Bike gives families a sense of togetherness, and a new way to experience life. Exponentially this bike gives back more to the families who purchase them then a tandem bike. The Buddy Bike started as a product of love, and produces love in return for everyone who gets the chance to use it. “Is this much fun from a Buddy Bike normal or legal? The children and I seem to have smiles from ear to ear” (Customer Comments).
The Buddy Bike - The Alternative Tandem Bicycle. The Buddy Bike is an inline tandem bicycle (bicycle for two) that places the stoker in the front seat while the rear rider controls the steering. It is shorter in length than a standard tandem and has a lower front seat so both riders can safely enjoy the view. The Buddy Bike can support up to 380 pounds; making it the ultimate family bike that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages and abilities. Its features make it especially beneficial for special needs children who otherwise would not be able to experience the thrill of riding a bicycle. Utilizing this unique patented design and quality bike parts, the Buddy Bike provides safety and REAL quality time!
Buddy Bike provides safety for child riders. When your child is too big for the baby seat and too small to ride alone, riding with your child behind you on the old-fashioned tandem or tag-along bike can be a risky experience. With the Buddy Bike, your child sits directly in front of you, between your arms. You no longer have to twist around to check on your child, losing your balance and risking an accident.
Buddy Bike provides REAL quality time for the whole family. 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 get verbal encouragement and an occasional kiss! What a great way for a child to learn how to bike safely, get great exercise and enjoy real quality family time! The Buddy Bike can be a useful tool for teaching older riders how to ride a bike. The Buddy Bike is the ultimate family bike that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages and makes a wonderful addition to bike rental fleets.
Special needs...special bike. The Buddy Bike is the alternative tandem bicycle for riders of all abilities. The Buddy Bike's innovative design and safety features provide children with special needs an opportunity for social interaction and physical exercise that would otherwise be unavailable.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQs
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.
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.
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.
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 24" 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 sold separately.
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 first time.
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 rider.
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.
Is there a warranty? Yes. Limited manufacturer's warranty.