How to Connect a Bike to a Wheelchair

Written by jan radder
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How to Connect a Bike to a Wheelchair
Wheelchair-towing allows more mobility for bike riders who need them. (bike lane image by Barcabloo from

While many people with neurological disorders are able to ride bicycles, some still need mobility equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs when they are not on their bikes. This presents a problem when a person goes for a bike ride, and then wants move around in a place that doesn't allow bicycles. The solution is to tow the wheelchair with the bike. Two commercially available tow bars -- the Dumb Stick, for towing kayaks, and the Trail-Gator, for towing children's bikes -- work for towing wheelchairs.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bike
  • Wheelchair
  • Dumb Stick or Trail-Gator
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • 2 adjustable wrenches
  • Set of hex keys (if needed)

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    The Dumb Stick

  1. 1

    Remove the seat post from the bike frame using either a hex key or wrench, depending on your bike's hardware.

  2. 2

    Attach the Dumb Stick to the bike's seat post by sliding the seat post through the appropriate hole in the Dumb Stick.

  3. 3

    Return the seat post, with the Dumb Stick now attached, to the bike frame. Make sure the seat is at the proper height before tightening the hardware to fix it in place.

  4. 4

    Connect the wheelchair by either its front rigging or footplate to the carabiner at the end of the Dumb Stick (the carabiner is the clip that comes with the Dumb Stick to clip onto the front of a kayak).

    The Trail-Gator

  1. 1

    Follow Steps 1 and 2 of the directions for attaching the Dumb Stick.

  2. 2

    Position the Trail-Gator tow bar so that it clears the back wheel. Fix it in place on the seat post by tightening the hardware.

  3. 3

    Extend the tow bar to the 14- to 16-inch child bike setting.

  4. 4

    Attach the tow bar receiver to either the left or right front rigging on the wheelchair.

  5. 5

    Connect the tow bar to the tow bar receiver.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure the front wheels of the wheelchair sit high enough so that they do not touch the ground.
  • If your wheelchair has anti-tip casters, you may need to remove them before towing the wheelchair to ensure that the chair can tip back far enough to connect it to the tow bar.
  • You may need to remove the wheelchair's seat cushion and fold the back of the wheelchair down when towing the chair, so that the back does not accidentally drag along the ground.
  • You can make a pair of crutch holders by attaching two four-foot lengths of five-inch electrical conduit to either side of the bike using hose clamps.
  • To avoid injury, do not tow an occupied wheelchair, which is too much weight for the tow bar.

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