FatWheels are designed for children or adults with balance and coordination difficulties who are interested in improving skills needed to ride a regular bicycle. Fatwheels provide increased safety and fluidity, supporting the rider to practice cycling with greater ease and confidence than typical training wheels.
Fat wheels consist of a set of two durable wheels, two brackets, the necessary bolts, and axle extenders to fit a variety bikes on the market. For children that may have difficulty pedaling, FatWheels offers strapped pedals for an additional price. The Wheels come in 4 versions, including Small FatWheels, designed for 16”-20” bikes, Small HD 16”-20” (250lbs), Large FatWheels designed for bikes 24”-29” bikes and up to 150lbs, and the adult version for bikes 24”-29” and up to rider 250lbs. FatWheels offers easy to follow instructions and videos to help throughout the installation process.
- FatWheels promotes the development of motor planning skills, as riders mount the bike and navigate throughout their environment.
- Fatwheels encourages the development of bilateral coordination, as riders learn to simultaneously move both legs to turn the bike pedals (pre-walking skills).
- FatWheels helps develop core strength/trunk control, as riders stand up to pedal and make their way up a steep hill or difficult terrain.
- To develop auditory processing skills/reaction time when engaged in playing the classic game of “Red Light, Green Light”. The facilitator will ask riders to all line up at a starting point; riders will have to try to make their way to the designated finish line as facilitator calls out “red light” (stop) and “green light” (go).
- To promote hand-eye coordination, the facilitator will set up a basket in the middle of the driveway. Rider will receive one water balloon and attempt to toss into the basket as he or she rides past it.
- To assist in core strength development, create an obstacle course making the Fat Wheels a portion of the competition. To increase core strength engagement have rider drive bike up a hill, through the grass/alternating terrain, and/or around large obstacles.
- For a rider that has grown comfortable in using FatWheels, the facilitator may raise the FatWheels slightly, so they do not make full contact with the ground surface. This will provide the rider with the sensation of what it feels like to balance on a bike, while maintaining confidence knowing that their FatWheels are there to support them.
- Swap out the standard bike seat with a wider one that may provide more support to the rider.
- FatWheels fosters the development of visual processing and self-regulation, as the rider has to practice awareness of their environment (utilizing all sensations) and when and where they need to stop riding (e.g. at the end of the driveway, if there are others in their path, etc).
- FatWheels promotes understanding of directionality, as the rider operates the handlebars to the left, right, center, forward, or backward.
- To promote understanding of directionality, the facilitator will create an obstacle course using chalk to draw arrows around cone displaying in which direction the rider must go.
- To enhance sensory play, set up a sprinkler in the yard and have the biker ride in and out of the water, For an extra challenge, using an oscillating sparkler have the biker try to ride down and back, trying to avoid getting wet.
- To enhance sensory play and creativity, the facilitator will sprinkle washable chalk paint onto the driveway. Riders will then drive over the paint covering their tires with the paint, thus creating their masterpiece as the pavement becomes their canvas! At the end of play, riders can rinse off their bike by spraying with water or creating a little, “carwash”.
- FatWheels aids participants in boosting confidence through repetition, practice, and increased independence while riding!
- FatWheels fosters social interaction between family and friends, as riders have the opportunity to join others for a bike ride.
- Fat Wheels promotes confidence and self-esteem, as riders gain a sense of independence and freedom to ride.
- FatWheels develops patience as children learn the mechanics and balance of riding a bike.
- To develop self-confidence, facilitator will outline a race course and time the child each time they complete it. Rider will be encouraged to record their times, as a visual reminder to motivate rider to beat their previous best time.
- To strengthen social interaction skills, each rider will take turns leading the group on their bike adventure, describing what they see, smell, hear, and any “obstacle” that they may encounter (e.g. describing an African bike safari) encouraging riders to use their imagination.
- To promote the development of creative and imaginative play, the facilitator can encourage riders to pretend that their bikes are motorcycles and make the appropriate sounds.
- To enhance practice of directionality, memory, and visual processing skills (e.g. reviewing visual map, reading street signs, using visual land marks, following directions, practicing sidewalk/community safety rules) riders may be encouraged to help navigate to and/or from a nearby goal location (e.g. library, park, ice cream shop) with assistance/supervision from responsible facilitator.