Easy Access Systems

Swivel Saddle System

For those who find transfers difficult; saddle swivels to allow rider to access from the side, then swivels through 90 degrees to the correct riding position. This method reduces manual handling and means that hoist users can onto a trike this way. Often used in conjunction with the Tomcat Transfer Step. The Swivel Saddle System can be used with any saddle.

Swivel Saddle and Transfer Step  

tomcatspecialneeds_easyaccess_swivelsaddlesystems2Bob Griffin designed the tricycle swivel saddle and transfer step for a girl called Carly at Paternoster school in Cirencester .

At that time it was necessary for a user, whether, ambulant or semi ambulant, to lift one leg across the frame, re-stabilise their posture then lift their bottom up onto the saddle.  That’s a tough call if you have, balance, co-ordination, anxiety or visual problems and it’s not the job of staff to be lifting either, so the common outcome for users in that situation, was to be excluded from cycling on safety grounds.

The solution seemed to be:

  • A means to avoid passing the leg over the frame
  • Elevating the user so they could  “sit down” onto the saddle
  • Having stable and easily gripped arms to hold throughout the process
  • Doing it in easy, managed stages

StepBob’s solution was a step with arms at waist height that fitted close to the trike and over one pedal.  The rider steps up onto this with guidance from carers, whilst gripping the arms.  The platform is stable and wide enough for them to turn – again whilst holding the arms – then sit down sideways onto the swivel saddle.Once seated, the step is removed, the saddle swivelled from sideways to midline and the user’s leg passes over the frame.  Both feet are then put on the pedals and you’re off.  It’s safe, requires only guidance from the carers and takes all the stress and effort away from the user.

It was a great success for Carly who used it during her entire time at Paternoster and the system has helped many children and adults since.  The step seems to have taken a life of its own however, and I understand people use it for all sorts of reasons like restricted growth issues or getting in or out of a car.

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