Bella, a 9 year old from Zionsville, Indiana, has Cerebral Palsy. The right side of her body is weak, and she wears a brace on her right leg. These physical challenges affect her ability to ride traditional bicycles generally available to everyone in the market. But just like any other 9 year old, she always wanted to ride around on a bike in her neighborhood.
Bella’s father reached out to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, seeking suggestions on a bicycle for his daughter. With that, the “Bike for Bella” project was born, and five mechanical engineering students worked with Bella and her father to design a bike that would be safe and suitable for her. The students built a bicycle for her that has two wheels in the back to provide stability and safety. They also kept the drivetrain completely inside the frame of the bike because Bella cannot step over very high, and this design ensure that the bike is as low to the ground as possible, and keep things from getting stuck in the chain. The seat bracket has been made completely adjustable so Bella can still use the bike as she grows. The handle bars are also adjustable so she can pivot them forward and back according to her convenience.
Bella feels safer on the bike, and thinks it’s a great bike for kids with physical challenges.
Watch the video below to learn more about Bella’s new bike.