How An Adaptive Bike Shop Changed With The Times
When most people think of bike shops, what comes to mind is a simple workshop with a showroom. But RAD Innovations, an adaptive-inclusive bike shop located in Cornwall, Vermont, takes things to a different level with personalized services and adapting to their customers' needs.
RAD Innovations is a company that specializes in providing adaptive bikes for people with disabilities. They are one of the approximately 12 active bike vendors in the United States that cater to this group of individuals. The company was founded by David Black and Anja Wrede, and they offer a wide range of adaptive bikes, including recumbent trikes, hand cycles, and advanced tandems.
One of their unique products is the "running frame," which combines the functionality of a walker and a racing bike. This innovative cycle has been designed to provide a thrilling experience for individuals with severe mobility impairments, such as cerebral palsy.
RAD Innovations' "running frame" combines the functionality of a walker and a racing bike.
RAD Innovations stands out as a unique bike vendor. It operates from a family-owned pastoral estate where Black and Wrede have been raising livestock since 2015. The property is surrounded by tranquil fields and features a traditional Vermont-style farmhouse, a barn, a garden, and an Airbnb cottage.
Enthusiasts of adaptive cycling come from all over the nation to visit the farm, where they receive a personalized adaptive bike after being carefully measured. Wrede, an experienced mechanic, adjusts the new bike to perfection and guides the guest through basic usage on peaceful country roads.
Evolving through the years
Black has observed a significant change in their role as a provider of adaptive bikes over the years. Instead of simply creating and distributing products, they are now invested in mentoring and training individuals who are eager to explore these devices. "This wasn't even on my radar half or a full decade ago. But I thoroughly enjoy it. There is a certain charm in providing different solutions to meet specific needs," Black stated in an interview with Momentum Mag.
The company has been around since 2004 and has kept up with the growth of adaptive cycling. About 20% of RAD's clients are older individuals who appreciate the comfort and ergonomic design of recumbent trikes, allowing them to cycle longer. According to Black, many of their Baby Boomer clients want to stay active but are concerned about the risk of falling. Some take advantage of the opportunity to engage in activities they may not be able to in the future. RAD Innovations aims to provide a solution for customers to stay active and adventurous.
Besides elderly clients, many individuals who use adaptive bikes are dealing with significant mobility limitations caused by balance disorders, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, spinal cord damage, multiple sclerosis, or past amputations. Since RAD started, they have sold almost 15,000 units. The high cost of these models, which can run into thousands of dollars each, highlights the demand for adaptive bicycles.
Most clients order remotely, although some visit the farm briefly. A few have stayed in the guesthouse to gradually adapt to their new customized machine. A lot of effort is put into phone consultations before the client's visit, but an in-person fitting leads to better results.
If you're interested in purchasing a bike from RAD Innovations, please visit their website.