Frequently Asked Questions
The bicycle should have a conventional rigid frame with two tubes coming away from the middle of the rear wheel - one (the seatstay) diagonally upwards towards the saddle and the other (the chainstay) horizontally towards the pedals. Avoid fancy, unusual and particularly sprung frames. Also avoid any bike with unusually large diameter chainstays and seatstays. Tubes up to 19mm in diameter can be fitted and they cover the majority of bicycles. If the plate clamps screws are replaced with 50 mm long ones they have (just) been fitted to up to 22 mm diameter tubed rear frame, but it was much more difficult, time consuming and fiddly.
In general yes. Try cautiously with the stabiliser wheels at the outer setting and with the standard gap of 12mm under the stabiliser wheels. Use the temporary spacer clips provided in the kit. If the rider still feels nervous and the practice area is reasonably even it may be possible to reduce the gap under the stabiliser wheels without causing a significant amount of skidding. Try and use books or similar as spacers to get the same gap under the stabiliser wheels on both sides of the bicycle. We think that the gap under the stabiliser wheels should be at least 6mm.
127mm (5") from the outside of the bicycle frame. The width of the bicycle frame near the rear wheel axle varies. This stabiliser wheel position should be far enough out for virtually all riders who can walk reasonably well. (see also question 2 and its answer)
Yes to both questions. We can provide (for £15 extra per set) L-bars with longer horizontal legs which allow the stabiliser wheels to be placed 100mm (4") further out.(If that full extra length is retained and used the maximum rider weight is reduced to 8 stone (53kg)). In this situation the advantages and disadvantages of these longer legged Large Adjustabilisers need to be compared with those of tricycles. The longer large adjustabilisers plus an ordinary bicycle are a lot less expensive than a tricycle and less conspicuous. That may be an important factor, particularly for older children who don't want to advertise their disability by riding a tricycle and could possibly be jeered by unkind children. The advantages of a tricycle are (a)that the wheels would last longer (particularly important if a lot of cycling is anticipated or the rider is heavy) and (b) that both back tricycle wheels are permanently on the ground (not usually a big factor as longer large Adjustabilisers also provide a lot of stability). Neither they nor tricycles are suitable for strongly cross cambered surfaces which need to be avoided.
This is a very bad habit to get into because (a) the rider is not getting used to maintaining the generally near upright riding position that he or she will need for riding without stabilisers and (b) particularly if the rider is heavy and leaning strongly to one side the average weight on outside stabiliser wheel will be high and the rate of wheel wear will therefore be relatively rapid. This problem is most likely, and should be watched for particularly, with hemiplegic riders. The possible solutions are (a) keep diplomatically reminding the rider to try and ride in an upright position as much as possible (b) if you have a reasonably level and even area to practice on, reduce the gap under both the stabiliser wheels (see also answer to question 2). (c) as the stabiliser wheels are moved in for balance training, keep the stabiliser wheel on the "lean" side always a little closer to the rear wheel of the bicycle than the stabiliser wheel on the "non lean" side. Tell the rider about this, pointing out that a greater degree of support is available on the "non lean" side. With riders with this learning problem, inspect the stabiliser wheels regularly for signs of wear. If significant wear occurs remove both wheel assemblies and reinstall on opposite sides of the bicycle to even out wheel wear.
Because the adjustabilisers main support ( the L-bar) is a steel box section we were able to keep it not only relatively narrow, and therefore fairly inconspicuous, but also very strong. The stabiliser wheels are grey which also helps to reduce visual impact when viewed against the usually grey surfaces that the bicycle is likely to be ridden on. Minimising visual impact may well be important particularly for older children who may well be sensitive about not yet having learned to ride an unstabilised bicycle.
It is definitely best to buy the stabilisers first and take at least one support with you when you go to buy the bicycle. You can then ensure that the particular model will be suitable for the stabilisers. Plenty of models will be.
If you think the child is very likely to learn quickly then buy the Standard Adjustabilisers. If you think that is unlikely or have any doubts buy a set of the Large Adjustabilisers. If necessary they will then be able to cope with the riders increasing weight and be fixable to the larger diameter wheeled bicycles the child will need in the future.
The instructions are well illustrated and the installer can follow numbered steps which makes it as easy as possible to install on the bicycle. The Adjustabiliser installation process is made even easier by the maximum helpful degree of partial pre- assembly of parts and by spacing clips which make it much easier to set accurate gaps under the stabiliser wheels. All this means that Adjustabiliser installation is perfectly feasible and reasonably easy for the vast majority of people.
Removal and the re-installation take a fair bit of time and causes some wear on the clamps and so we would definitely not recommend that it should be done for a day trip. If possible take the stabiliser fitted bicycle with you by car or train. That is probably best for longer holidays too.
We do supply spare parts for the Adjustabilisers but as they last pretty well we don't get much call for them. Unsurprisingly the most common parts requested are wheels.