A trailer in just a few seconds
The Tomcat Trailer Trike is a Tomcat Trike that converts into a trailer in just a few seconds. Trikes and trailers do very different jobs however; so it’s like having two different products in one and that saves money and space.
When set up as a trike it’s a great way for riders to develop their personal skills, perhaps using Tomcat’s Carer Control system to keep them safe, but when converted to a trailer and connected to a towing bike (usually dad’s!) then the whole family can go cycling together. read James’ testimonial below
The Tomcat Trailer trike is a further development of the very successful Tomcat Trike and shares all its accessories, features and benefits. So if a Tomcat Trike is suitable, then a Trailer Trike is usually suitable too.
Tomcat invented the Trailer Trike in for Kieth McCaig who wanted both a trike and a trailer for his son, so he was pleased when we built a single system that did both. Despite its potential, the Trailer Trike stayed low key until a re-design of the complex Quick Frame Release Mechanisms and Dual Axle™ systems brought costs down and made production far easier. The Tomcat Trailer Trike™ has been a favourite ever since.
Almost everyone can enjoy a trailer trike, regardless of their disability, including mild to severe learning difficulties and almost any physical difficulty. As an example, we have built trailers for four limb amputees and for hoist users using the Tamara as the base trike.
A trailer may not be suitable for certain behaviour disorders such as compulsive rocking or certain unpredictable behaviour issues.
The Tomcat Trailer Trike evolved from the Tomcat trike to enable families who enjoyed cycling to include the child with special needs in family activities. It was an instant success because it brought the whole family together in an outdoor leisure activity whilst keeping the disabled child completely safe. Many charities with family inclusivity at the heart of their philosophy will fund a Tomcat Trailer trike for that very reason.
Two different Tools in one
People rarely appreciate that a trike and a trailer can be two very different tools depending upon the riders abilities. The trike is the tool best suited to improving the users, strength, co-ordination, spacial awareness and decision making skills whilst the trailer is a fantastic tool for family life and general social interaction. Here’s what makes them different.
A trailer must have a freewheeling drive like a bicycle, where you don’t have to pedal if you don’t want to and that’s because trailers can go very fast! However, this feature is often a step too far for those with learning or co-ordination difficulties because they may not have the skill to keep the pedals turning. Of course wind in the face and being together as a family is still great fun, and most people love the trailer for that reason, but if it’s co-ordination, personal achievement and physiotherapy we want, then the trike set up is the answer.
Personal development and Physiotherapy
When you change from trailer to trike, the drive can be changed from freewheel to fixed wheel. (With a fixed wheel drive, the wheels and pedals always move together). This is far simpler for riders with learning or co-ordination problems to cope with. To provide a Trailer Trike with both kinds of drive we have another of Tomcat’s innovation called a Dual Axle™. This is a system where the drive can be changed from fixed to freewheeling at the press of a button.
When learning or co-ordination difficulties are present
Simplicity is the key to success where there are co-ordination or learning difficulties and even those with profound disability can achieve great things with a fixed wheel drive.
What happens is that trike and rider work together as a team even though the rider might not know it. What happens is this:
When the rider pushes a pedal the trike moves forward. Because a Tomcat is light and well engineered, it keeps rolling for enough time to bring the other foot around and thus into the pushing position. Another push with the other foot keeps the process going and hey presto, you have a cyclist. As engineers we try to keep the weight as low as possible and gearing as high as possible because by doing so, a push moves the trike faster and the pedals further. Heavy trikes need lower gearing to get them to move but they can’t then build up the momentum needed for fluid motion and cycling success.
Good trikes and successful riders don’t happen by accident, they’re by design.
When Learning difficulties are mild and co-ordination is good
When a rider does have the skill to cope with a freewheeling arrangement, the Tomcat Trailer Trike with multi-geared drive is fantastic. Whether trike or trailer the rider can tackle hills or dales in a gear that suits their ability and far greater distances can be covered in comfort. Bear in mind that gear changing ability isn’t as important as freewheeling ability because whoever is near can help with gear selection.
Advanced Technology makes life easy
A multi geared system on an interchangeable system like the Trailer Trike is clever technology because with the gear change mechanism on the handlebars and the gear hub on the back axle – what happens to the control cable when you swap from trike to trailer or vice versa?
The answer is a Tomcat invention called Make and Break™. In effect, when you split the frame to change from trike to trailer, you automatically “Break” the cable. Fit the trailer section and it automatically “Makes” again, but this time mating with the gear change mechanism of the trailer bar. Sophisticated technology – simple operation! It’s just another feature that makes the Trailer Trike a joy to use.
Accessories and special provisions
Any trike accessory can be used on the trailer too, but we sometimes increase the safety provision or degree of support for the trailer. For example a pommel is often a good idea on the trailer for security, or to prevent forward sliding when braking from high speed. Needless to say, if any special provision is required such as bottle carriers then we can engineer accordingly.
Available in Yellow and Green to special order: