Cycling with Down syndrome on a special needs bike

For people with Down's syndrome, movement is not always easy. They often have less coordination and the muscles are not that strong. Nevertheless, movement is very important, and so is cycling. As a manufacturer of unique special needs bikes, Van Raam offers various possibilities and solutions for cycling with Down's syndrome, both for people who can cycle independently and for people who can't (or no longer) do so.

Cycling with Down syndrome special needs bike
Steven Boers and his father on the Kivo child parent tandem of Van Raam

Down syndrome riding a bike

By practicing a lot, it turns out that a lot of people with Down's syndrome can learn to ride a bike, although it often goes a bit slower than with others. It is also easier if you learn to ride a bike at a young age. Incidentally, being able to cycle does not apply to every person with Down's syndrome. Every person has his or her individual talents. Some, for example, can ride a bike but cannot read, while others can read but cannot ride a bike. According to the study by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) on Living with Down's syndrome, approximately half of the young people can cycle independently if they are accompanied, and approximately 20% of the young people can cycle unaccompanied.

Why Cycling with Down's syndrome?

Movement, and so cycling too, is very important. As a result, people with Down's syndrome develop more muscle strength, stamina and are less likely to be overweight. It is also good for their independence, self-confidence and it is fun. Cycling with the family is often an important activity to be able to do something together and it is a fun social activity. Cycling is healthy, for body and mind and it is an accessible way of moving. Read more about why cycling is healthy in the article 10 reasons why cycling is healthy.

Martine Boers: "Steven is a boy with Down's syndrome. He can't cycle independently, but with Van Raam's Kivo tandem he gets back in motion."

Video: Cycling with Down's syndrome, customer experience of the Boers family

See in the video below what the Kivo tandem has brought the Boers family.

Tip: Dutch is spoken in this video. Feel free to turn on the subtitles for accompanying text and explanations.

Which bike should I choose?

Van Raam regularly receives customers with Down's syndrome and as a manufacturer of unique special needs bikes Van Raam offers various possibilities and solutions for cycling with Down's syndrome, both for people who can cycle independently and for people who can't (or no longer) do so. It is possible to look individually at which bike is most suitable for each person. This depends on what the person is capable of, but also on what the person feels safest with, both main driver and co-driver. For cycling independently, a tricycle is often a good start. For people who can't cycle completely independent (anymore), a tandem or a duo bike is usally choosen.

Custom children's tricycle bikes Van Raam


When someone can't cycle on a two-wheeler, but can cycle independently, a tricycle can be a good solution. A tricycle bike offers extra support and stability while cycling. Van Raam offers different tricycles for both adults and children.

View all tricycles
Kivo tandem and Kivo Plus tandem Van Raam


When cycling independently is not possible, a tandem can offer a solution. Van Raam's tandems have a low entry or even no entry, two or even three wheels and can be extended with various options. This way you can enjoy cycling together.

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Duo bike with motor pedal assistance

Duo bike

Would you rather sit next to each other? Then the Fun2Go duo bike is an option. With this bike you have a one main driver, but both persons can pedal. The Fun2Go is so adjustable that people with a small leg length can also ride it.

View Fun2Go duo bike

Van Raam special needs bike with extra options

Van Raam's bicycles can be completely adjusted to your own wishes, including various options. For example, you can choose a custom bike with backrest support, foot fixation to secure the feet or a (switchable) freewheel hub so that the main driver can adjust the way of cycling of the co-driver; cycle at the pace of the main driver, cycle at your own pace or not cycle at all. It is also possible to equip the bike with electric pedal assistance.

View options

Customer experiences of cycling with Down's syndrome

Van Raam regularly receives nice messages from customers who are happy with their special needs bike. Curious about the stories of customers with Down syndrome riding a bike? Check out the experiences of Eugène and Koen te Wildt on the Twinny two-wheel tandem, Tessel and Mieke Klinkenberg on the Twinny Plus tricycle tandem and the Boers family on the Kivo child parent tandem.

Twinny tandem

"Participate is the magic word. Also in traffic. Koen has Down's syndrome and very low muscle tension, which is why we have been using Van Raam's bicycles for years."

Eugène te Wildt - ‘s-Heerenberg

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Twinny Plus tandem

"Tessel Klinkenberg (22) has Down's syndrome and therefore cannot cycle independently. With the Twinny Plus tricycle tandem, Tessel has the feeling that she really cycles."

Tessel Klinkenberg - Santpoort-Noord

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Kivo tandem

"Steven Boers (15) has down syndrome and lives in Zwolle, together with his parents and brothers. The Boers family is very active and they like to go out with the Kivo child parent tandem."

Family Boers - Zwolle

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Come to Van Raam or a dealer to make a free test ride

Make a test ride

Would you like to try cycling with Down's syndrome on one of our special needs bikes? Our technical advisors are here to help you. Plan your own test ride online at Van Raam in Varsseveld and make a test ride on our bike test track, or contact Van Raam or a Van Raam dealer near you.

Plan a test ride