View Full Version : Seat ideas for Special Olympic Athletes

Wild Willys
09-17-2012, 05:58 PM
I am building a Kyoto trike for the local Special Olympics cycling program. This bike would be used for the 'Unified" events, which are events that allow for a fully functioning volunteer to power and steer the bikes while a disabled athlete assists as much as possible, but can also just be a rider. With that said, I am interested in more of a sling/mesh type of seat that will cradle the athletes during the event. If anyone has any plans/photos for this type of seat on Kyoto I would appreciate your help.
I have spent a lot of time searching the forums and have not found enough info that I am comfortable with to build a seat on my own yet.

Much thanks in advance.

09-17-2012, 06:54 PM
Hi Curt!

My son is an SO athlete and I'm planning to build a trike for him to ride also. I wanted to try to locate some official guidelines before starting... have you been able to get hold of any?

Here is a link to a site with plans for building mesh seats that I intend to use as a guide for mine.


Good luck,

Bill and Ethan (8 y.o. with Autism)

Radical Brad
09-17-2012, 07:12 PM
Just a thought...

I was looking at one of our reclining lawn chairs, and its cove seems like a great donor for a sling seat. Very durable stuff for minimal cost.


09-17-2012, 08:20 PM
Here is a link to a site with plans for building mesh seats that I intend to use as a guide for mine.


Link should be:


Wild Willys
09-18-2012, 05:25 PM
My son participates in Iowa with Special Olympics also. I have never seen any rules for bikes, and at the state competitions there are a number of custom built bikes/trikes/quads. All bikes must go through a pre-race inspection, so I would assume as long as you have built a solid and safe ride, all will be good.

09-18-2012, 08:51 PM
Good to know. This was Ethan's first year competing and he competed in swimming at the summer games which was at a different site than the cycling events so we weren't able to watch any of the other events.

09-18-2012, 09:12 PM
Hi Curt
My blog has a link to the Barnett Williams style fabric seat and a picture of it mounted on my DeltaWolf. Not mounted to a Kyoto, but get the idea. I think it could be laced not so tightly as normal and might work for you. Good luck to you both.

09-18-2012, 11:12 PM
BTW, just add TexasTuff's page to your links under "Education" he has a ton of links that go to just about every topic you could want to find something on. I bookmarked his page a while back after quickly figuring out that he did most of the hard work for me...

Thanks TexasTuff!

09-30-2012, 12:37 AM
Wild Willys, came across this today and thought you might be interested: SO Cycling Rules (http://media.specialolympics.org/soi/files/sports/cycling.pdf)

Looks like Zombies would only be legal for Time Trials events which for my son is fine. He wouldn't handle a group race safely anyway.

I was surprised that there wasn't anything about what constituted the age mix in a legal Tandem Team, but they probably didn't envision what would be possible with something like an AZ Viking... :)

Wild Willys
10-01-2012, 06:23 PM
The only competitions I have witnessed in the last three years are the time trials. Alex competes in the 1K and the 250M singles events. I wish I had taken photos of some of the creations I have seen, but I guarentee that the bike that we are building here will fit in perfectly.
In the tandem events it really does not matter who the "volunteer" competator is, their gender or age. As long as he/she is a registered volunteer with SO they can power and navigate the bike.

10-01-2012, 06:38 PM
I thought about (and bought) the Kyoto for the social aspects, but ultimately decided that its width would cut down on its usability so after getting through the learning curve on a single rider model, figure that the Viking will be the tandem of choice.

11-27-2012, 10:34 AM
Hello all, I have a brother with cerebral palsy and is wheel chair bound with no use of hands or legs and unable to sit upright unassisted. I am in the process of building a kyoto as well and an planing on using a kirkey aluminum racing seat and a five point harness. I plan on then building "pads & strapss" to the pedals so his feet will stay on them. I need to dig this back out and work on it again, I will post pics then.

P.S. This would not normally be cost effective as these seats are pricey new. however, I found this at a swap meet, told the guy my plan and got it for $10.00. The harness was donated by a good friend who said " If i give you this you've got to make it happen, It will be the closest thing to a race car he can experience. Well, I accepted it so I'm committed!!!! The est completion date was may 2012 missed so now first ride of 2013.

Another thought is the composite seat sold by jegs racing for 39.00 here is a link http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/KeywordSearchCmd?storeId=10001&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&Nty=1&Ntx=mode+matchboolean&Ntk=PartType_x&N=0&Ntt=^seat^

11-27-2012, 11:40 AM
Be aware that if you plan to use the trike for participating in special olympics, it needs a set of hand holds for both riders. You might want to contact your local SO board for guidance on what is acceptable for those with CP given the unique muscular and motor control limitations.