Playgrounds always have a fence or a wall. The TRETS has no such borders: and children of all ages are welcome. With the infant carrier, even the tiniest passengers can sit safely in the TRETS Jogger, Buggy, or Trailer. Later, from a height of about 3’3” (100 cm), they can pedal along – or even zoom around the block on their own three wheels. And the fun goes on until about 4’11” (1.50 m).
But with truly functional versatility, it all comes down to details. Like adaptability: the handlebar length can be adjusted to the arms of the young pilot, and in the Buggy or Jogger version, it doubles as a push bar with fully functional brakes.
Or transportability: just pop off the front wheel and steering column, fold down the seatback – and the TRETS fits easily into any trunk. Because you’ll never want to leave the trike at home!
And usability: young TRETS pilots shift like the pros. The gear system – either 7-speed SRAM derailleur or 8-speed gear hub – turns the trike into a turbo, and the twist shifter makes shifting as easy as do-re-mi.
And most importantly: whether hitched or freestyle, the TRETS’ low center of gravity and ingenious geometry make it so safe to ride that every young adventurer will feel secure on the adjustable mesh seat.
The special model TRETS REH supports children with disabilities or in rehabilitation. Furthermore it’s now officially recognized as a medical aid in Germany, which makes it more affordable for parents.
Konrad Ulbrich is riding his TRETS with gusto! Confidently, he zooms past pedestrians and our photo team in the market square – full throttle but always navigating with great care. It’s obvious he’s got his vehicle under control. But this is a recent development.
The bright-eyed five-year-old with a wild mop of flaxen hair under his colorful helmet has osteopathia striata. This rare disease caused by a genetic defect is often associated with secondary conditions that can delay mental development and lead to an array of other disorders.
Konrad doesn’t have much feeling in his legs; his shoes with special orthopedic supports are held securely in the toe clips so that his feet can’t slip off. He occasionally needs a ventilator to help him breathe. “Which is another reason for the TRETS says his mother, Cordula Ulbrich. “We can keep the ventilator in the bag behind the seat.”
As an engineer, she did extensive research into the various options for shared mobility. “I, myself, have always been a huge bike fan,” she says, “and I didn’t want to give up being able to cycle as a family.” In the beginning, this was only possible with a trailer.
Which is how they got around with Konrad’s brother, Marvin, who is now 25 years old and shares the same disorder. Then a year ago, they bought a TRETS. “At first, we either pushed the trike or used it as a trailer in which he could also help with the pedaling,” she explains. This is how Konrad became familiar with almost all variations of the TRETS.
Since the end of 2012, Konrad has been “flying solo” on the trike. And he’s made huge progress in his development: the ventilator – which connects directly to his windpipe below the voice box – is now only needed sporadically. As a result, he’s also finding it easier to speak and, in many areas, is now on the same level as his peers in kindergarten.
“They think my TRETS is cool!” says Konrad when he talks about his friends there. The fair-haired bundle of energy is slowly discovering a whole new world and even more of his independence – especially in the time when he’s not on the ventilator. After all, he also has various other activities and interests: right beside his playground is the “Athlete’s Hall” – Konrad spends time in this sport’s club working on his strength and endurance. And before the workout, they always stop in town for his favorite ice cream: a “Blue Smurf.”
When we arrive, the kids at the ice cream parlor marvel at his TRETS, and the magic word can be heard: cool! Konrad is unfazed, taking it all in stride. He’s used to the attention he gets in public. But he can’t resist showing off his keen riding skills, coming to a screeching halt just inches from the steps to the ice parlor.
He’s now able to do just about everything the other kids can do and is having fun exploring his world. The TRETS helps him do this. The ability to be independent on wheels comes with a huge dose of joy – which he always shares generously with others.