Andrew recently outgrew the small big wheel style tricycle that he has had since he was a preschooler. He was very sad that he could no longer use his bike since it is something that he enjoys doing tremendously. We know that he cannot use a regular bike because of lack of balance and lack of the ability to catch himself. It just plain isn't safe. Plus, he has to have his feet strapped in so that he can pedal. Special needs bikes are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and he is too small for the adaptive kits that you can buy online. So, the search for the perfect "bike" was on.
After researching like crazy, talking to other parents, and discussing it with his PT, we decided on the Mobito tricycle. It is a low to the ground tricycle and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It is meant for typical kids and looks super cool, which is something that is very important for my self-conscience 8-year old. It EVEN has flame stickers on it (it's the little things that count).
The huge box was delivered to our house and our son was incredibly excited as he waited for Daddy to get home from work to put it together. Assembly was fairly smooth and took about an hour or so, even with Andrew "helping." We put Andrew on it, strapped his feet in, and away he went!
Andrew LOVES his new bike. It is easy enough for him to pedal with his reduced leg strength and is easy for him to turn and stop. The turning radius is wide, so there has been some learning that he has had to do. He does occasionally get stuck because he forgets that he can't pedal backward like he could on his other tricycle (it is like a traditional bike that coasts when the pedals are stopped or pushed backward). Most excitingly is that he can finally ride a bike around, including riding in the street (under supervision of course) and up the sidewalks in our neighborhood.
We have had the bike for about 2 months now and Andrew is still in love with it. He works with his PT on it and also rides it fairly regularly with me. Where he used to get stuck on even the smallest incline, he can now ride up large hills and driveways. Where he used to only be able to go up about 5 houses away from our house (up a fairly steep hill), he just yesterday rode .6 miles to the entrance of our community. He is working hard at it and loves that he has a way to get further distances. He is also working out those legs and gaining some much needed muscle.
I had looked at other tricycles that are similar in style to this one, but I have read that they are all much harder to pedal and control. Also, they are only slightly cheaper and are a lot more cheaply made. This one is easy to pedal and I can tell it will last a long time. It has real bike tires on it (the back ones are 12 inch, the front is 16 inch) that can be inflated and even replaced if need be. It isn't cheap, but it is a whole lot cheaper than the special needs trikes we had been looking at.
Overall, this is a great bike for a special needs child who has reduced strength or balance issues. It still requires them to do the pedaling and navigation on their own, so it would not be good for a child who is not capable of doing that. There is no parent handle. Luckily, we no longer really need that, but the first couple of weeks I was wishing that it had every time that he got stuck. Now, he rarely gets stuck and rarely needs help, so it is no longer an issue.