Fun (and Therapy) That Lasts: Maintenance and Care of the Rifton Adaptive Tricycle
Congratulations on the purchase of your new Rifton Adaptive Tricycle. Therapy and playtime will now go hand in hand as your child works on lower extremity strengthening, balancing skills, and using visual spatial perception for steering, to name a few benefits of this piece of equipment. All of these benefits are occurring while your child is able to enjoy the outdoors, play with their peers, and create social connections. It’s a win-win situation all around, and one that should last as long as possible. The Rifton Adaptive Tricycle has an expected usable life of 5 years, but provided your child hasn’t grown out of it by then, there are steps you can take to maintain the life of the equipment for even longer than that.
You never want to modify or alter your trike without confirmation of authorization. These unauthorized modifications may cause serious injury or even death. Always check with your provider to make sure any modifications or adjustments are approved and safe, if you’re in doubt. Should your tricycle need spare parts or repairs, please contact your authorized distributor. They will source the items for you, and make the repairs.
On a daily basis, it is wise to do an once-over of the equipment before it gets put to use. This include a visual inspection, as well as a hands-on testing of the stability of the accessories and frame. Should the frame or accessories fail these tests, then do not use the product until the issue has been resolved. These daily inspection tasks include:
- Inspect the frame and accessories for loose or missing screws, metal fatigue, cracks, broken welds, missing attachments, general instability or other signs of excessive wear. Pay attention to the tires and bearings, moving the trike to test for instability and checking the tires for excessive wear.
- Ensure the components and product are not being used for any purpose other than their intended use.
On a weekly basis, it’s recommended to do a more thorough check of the frame and its components, while also cleaning the trike. Wiping the frame and/or accessories between weekly cleanings is advisable if they become soiled – this will make your weekly cleaning much easier.
- Use disinfectant wipes or a solution of up to 10% bleach. Do not use excessive amounts of water. Be cautious with the serial number sticker, as you do not want to wipe off the serial number or remove this sticker.
- The straps with hook and loop closures can be machine washed. Engage the closures before washing, and don’t iron them.
- If the frame is clean, go over it with a dust rag. It will allow you to really get a hands-on look at the frame and components, while also removing dust and debris where it may have accumulated.
On an as-needed basis, you may need to adjust the chain on your Rifton Adaptive Tricycle. You’ll spot any potential issues with the chain well before they become actual problems, and you can adjust them yourself. You’ll find that to spot issues with the chain you’ll have to familiarize yourself with your child’s equipment from the second it arrives. You’ll notice a subtle grinding if the chain needs oiling, or the trike doesn’t move in proportion with the movement of the pedals if the chain needs tightening. In order to be able to spot these subtleties before they become glaring problems you need to take the time to see, hear, and feel the product when it is still new from the factory.
- If the chain needs oiling, remove the pan by pulling upward on the back of the pan, and then remove the screw from the side of the chain guard. Keep the screw handy. Remove the chain guard by pulling upward to release from the axle. After servicing the chain, replace the chain guard and the screw. Snap the pan back into place. Presto, done!
- Should the chain need tightening, the following steps should be taken (use figure 1A as a guide):
- Slightly loosen the two cap screws (A) on top of the crank case using a hex head wrench
- Use the same size wrench to tighten the cap screw (B) at the front of the plate until slack is removed from chain. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN.
- Re-tighten the two cap screws on top of the crank case.
Maintenance of the Rifton Adaptive Tricycle can seem daunting, but the benefits of maintaining your equipment are very much worth the time invested in the tasks outlined above. Prevention is key in ensuring your child can use their trike for years to come without major interruptions, and the physical and emotional benefits of using the trike are undoubtedly worth the maintenance.