Cycling with MS on a special needs bike

MS is a disease of the central nervous system. Slight symptoms of MS may include eye problems, clumsiness and numbness or a tingling sensation. Some patients with severe symptoms may experience total or partial loss of vision or motor skills. These symptoms can severely hamper movement and especially cycling. However, cycling with MS is certainly not impossible and a special needs bicycle can help.

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis ( MS ) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. In the Netherlands it occurs in about 1 in 1000 people. The Netherlands therefore has about 17,000 people with MS. Around 3 million people worldwide suffer from this disease.

MS usually reveals itself to people aged between 20 and 40. Around the nerve pathways (myelin), infections and scars develop, causing some nerves to function less well or not at all. As a result, electrical signals can no longer conduct properly, for example to and from the muscles. It often starts with fatigue, clumsiness or a loss of vision. The course of the disease can also vary from person to person. One person eventually needs a wheelchair and another person does not. (Source: Hersenstichting)

Exercise with MS

Exercising keeps you in shape and it's very healthy, even for people with MS. MS reduces your strength, coordination and balance. Exercise trains your muscular strength and can reduce muscle loss. Exercise keeps you healthy, reduces the risk of secondary complications and makes you feel better. In addition to sports, you can also get your physical activity at home, for example by doing housework, walking to appointments or going to the supermarket.

People with MS are often advised to exercise in a 'moderate intensity', which of course varies from person to person. Take your condition into account and respect your own limits. It is wise to always consult with your specialist, such as a physiotherapist, remedial therapist or your doctor.

Movement increases your body temperature, which can worsen your MS symptoms. So move in a cold environment, wear light and thin clothing, take cold drinks and a cold shower before exercising. (Source:

Cycling with MS on a special needs bike from Van Raam
A special needs bike can be pleasant if you have MS

Multiple Sclerosis and cycling

If you have MS and you can ride a bike, it's nice to keep doing this. Cycling is healthy and keeps you in shape. A special needs bike can often make cycling easier. At Van Raam we have several special needs bikes in our assortment, such as:

At Van Raam we also have multi-person bikes, such as side-by-side tandems, tandem bikes, wheelchair bikes and transport bikes.

Cycling with pedal support

With a special needs bike with pedal support, you can  get support with less effort and power. This is a nice solution if you want to ride together with a partner or if you can't assess beforehand whether you are able to ride a bike on your own power. 

The Van Raam Silent System is a pedal assistance system, specially developed for and by Van Raam. Some advantages of this system are:

  • Simple use with the Smart Display
  • 3 supportmodes
  • Starting aid / launch control (the starting aid gets you started, without your own effort)
  • Cycling forwards and backwards with active pedal support
  • Free use of the Van Raam E-Bike App, that allows the bike settings can be changed, can be sent an SOS message, and wherein current cycle data, including speed, distance, battery capacity can be viewed
  • High quality and safe battery and almost noiseles, but very powerful motor

Experiences about cycling with MS on a special needs bike

The following user experiences are from people with MS, who use a special needs bike by Van Raam.

Easy Rider tricycle

"I have been using an Easy Rider tricycle with seat since November 2017. Because of my illness Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I can unfortunately no longer ride on a regular two-wheel bike."

Thea Westra - Stiens

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City Walking aid

" I have MS but can still walk well. Still, I was curious about aids that can ensure that I can walk even further. For this reason I have tested the City walking aid."

Jackie Zimmerman - USA

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Easy Go scooter bike

"When they discovered I have Multiple Sclerosis in 2000, I already had an e-bike for several years. Because my strength and energy continued to decrease, cycling became unsafe and I became insecure."

Ankie van den Bosch - Noord-Holland

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Easy Rider tricycle

"Since 2013 I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and since the end of 2016 I have been a very happy owner of a Van Raam Easy Rider, delivered via the WMO (Social Support Act)."

Jolanda Segers-Geurts - Oss

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Cycling with MS on a Van Raam Easy Rider Small tricycle
(Source: Cycling UK)

Cyclist with MS with tricycle in a magazine

Susan Robertson, a former teacher from Edinburgh, is happy that she's able to cycle again 14 years after she was diagnosed with MS. Her story is published in Cycle Magazine (Cycling UK) in the United Kingdom. She says about cycling: "It feels like I was joining the human race again". The idea of cycling outdoors again seemed impossible to her at first, even after she had heard about the different possibilities and special needs bicycles. Eventually, the Van Raam Easy Rider Small tricycle was the right bike for Susan.

Her mobility has steadily decreased over the years. Nowadays she can walk about 20 meters with the help of two walking sticks and she uses her mobility scooter or car. Within a few months of receiving the tricycle, she was able to cycle for 45 minutes.

Susan tells in the magazine:
“It’s freedom and independence. I just feel as if I’m part of the world again, doing normal things. I’m included. Just simple things like walking through a park, which I can’t really do, but I can now cycle through the park, and that to me is like normality. So mentally it’s a very positive thing. I’m moving my muscles; I’m getting my heart rate up. I am exercising in a way that I cannot (usually) manage."

Read the article here
'Using the trike for the first time was absolute, pure bliss. Pure joy. I was going along the cycle paths, singing at the top of my voice! It was an absolute delight. I was so happy.” - Susan
Easy Rider Small tricycle by Van Raam suitabe for people with MS

Tricycle Easy Rider Small

Susan's tricycle is an Easy Rider Small tricycle. This tricycle is suitable for children aged 4 years and above or older people with a small length. View all information about the Easy Rider Small tricycle on the Easy Rider product page.

View Easy Rider Small
Cycling with MS on a special needs bike by Van Raam

View all Van Raam bikes

Do you have MS and are you curious about the special needs bikes from Van Raam, such as tricycles, low step through bikes, walking aids, mobility scooter bike or multi-person bikes?
Then take a look at all our bikes.

All Van Raam bikes