Evaluation of the Alinker Walking Bike: My world just got bigger!

Since the arrival of the Alinker walking bike, my ‘world’ has expanded. Prior, a short walk outside, and trips to the shop, were almost impossible. Now these are a breeze. 

Invented by Barbara Alink, a Dutch designer who acted on her ageing mother’s proclamation when walking past several elderly people using a walker and scooter, “Over my dead boy will I ever use one of those!” 

Barbara set her innovative self free and the Alinker is the result. It’s more than just a mobility aid, it’s a ‘paradigm shifter’ in how people view ageing, disablement, and being in the world.  

Transformative Mobility

Previously –  I needed people to ‘do things’ for me. Now, not only can I do these things for myself, but also others.

Before – the only way I could join people standing for a chat was to ask someone to pull up a chair and try to participate from way down low, straining to look up from their naval level.

Prior – I was a liability and source of annoyance trying to join my wife while she walked our dog. Now, we do it together, just like we used to. 

Not long ago – a walk in the park with my wife was impossible, now it’s a source of pleasure for us both.

And travel – that was inconceivable. Now, I have a pipeline of trips lined up.

My first trip to the supermarket in 4 years

My assessment of the Alinker

Practical and User-Friendly

One of the standout features of the Alinker is its practical design. It takes just 30 seconds to a minute to collapse, making it convenient to fit into the boot of a car.  It is so easy to disassemble and so lightweight, I can have it in the back of a car in around a minute, on my own. It fits easily into the back of a SUV or boot of a sedan.

Real-World Usage

My experience in our gently sloping Adelaide East neighbourhood has involved navigating a variety of surfaces, from smooth paths to cracked and uneven pavements. The Alinker performs well in these conditions. I am currently using the ‘small frame’,  which is slightly under-size for me. The result is that my centre of gravity is slightly higher than intended.

The bike is easy to steer and manoeuvre, which is a testament to its thoughtful construction. The seat level can be quickly adjusted with the quick release clamp, either slightly up or down which changes the walking gait subtly.   

Enhanced Health and Well-being

The Alinker offers numerous health benefits that align with the positive effects highlighted by:

  • Independent Mobility: The bike allows me to go out by myself, restoring a sense of independence that was previously compromised.

  • Eye-Level Interaction: Functioning at eye level has not only improved my social engagement but also bolstered my confidence.

  • Muscle Strength and Endurance: Regular use of the Alinker has been instrumental in building muscle strength and increasing my periods of activity with reduced fatigue.

  • Reduced Physical Strain: The design reduces strain on my lower limbs, allowing for longer periods of activity without discomfort.

  • Social Engagement: Being able to participate in community activities more easily has greatly improved my social life.

  • Reduced Medical Visits: By facilitating regular physical activity, the Alinker helps in preventing conditions known to be caused by inactivity, potentially reducing the need for doctor and hospital visits.

My first trip to the local park (1 km up slight incline) since 2019

Who Else Can Benefit?

The Alinker is incredibly versatile and serves a wide range of individuals with various health conditions. It is particularly beneficial for people with Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spinal cord injuries (SCI), general arthritis, diabetes, neuropathy, and those undergoing stroke recovery or post-surgery rehabilitation. It is also suitable for amputees. The Alinker isn’t just about physical ability; it’s about a mindset. Users typically share a common desire to remain active and engaged, acknowledging that while maintaining activity requires effort, the resultant health and well-being are worth it.

For safe and effective use, potential users should meet certain physical criteria:

  • Leg Control: They should have some command over their legs.

  • Balance Capability: They need to be able to lift one leg while standing on the other.

  • Environmental Awareness: Users must be aware of their surroundings.

  • Self-Knowledge: It’s crucial for users to know their limitations to avoid overexertion or unsafe practices.

Safety and Comfort

While the Alinker offers good visibility due to its yellow frame and the upright positioning of the rider, there are safety concerns. On steeper slopes, braking requires attention. As the brake is designed to integrate into the frame (so as not to interfere with the walking stride), it does not pull up as quickly as a disc or rim brake on a bike might.

I found that adopting a technique similar to cross-country skiing for propulsion and using my legs for additional braking helped mitigate this issue.

Easy handling 


The bike’s design also shines in terms of transportability. After familiarising myself with the process, I can easily dismantle and load it into my SUV in under a minute—a convenience that extends to taxi rides as well.


I realised there was a need for carrying items, such as a water bottle, walking sticks, shopping etc. The Alinker comes with several fixing points. After looking at what was available ready made, I approached the folk at TADS (Technology for Ageing and Disability (SA) Inc). Together, we came up with a very simple fixing mechanism which can be used for any accessories. At the moment, we’ve fixed a basket (which was literally the first thing we could find) and in time, as needs become known, we’ll adapt more accessories. I have panniers (bike bags) and a picnic basket in mind. 

TADS bracket for accessories and basket 


People’s responses have been overwhelmingly positive. From those whose curiosity has been aroused while I’m out and about, to others who’ve had more time to ‘touch and feel’, Appreciation of the Alinker’s true potential really comes from ‘getting on and having a go’. 

After ‘playing’ with the Alinker for a couple of days, staff (physiotherapists and exercise physiologists) and clients at Enable Fitness Centre, came to fully appreciate its benefits.


Quite simply, the Alinker is a ‘winner’. For me, I feel like I am alive again. It’s superbly engineered and yet just so simple.

For those who have the physical ‘strength’ to get on and the ‘will’ to go somewhere, it has no peers.

Next challenges

Now that I’ve fully tested the Alinker’s capacities (and my own), my next targets are:

  • A day out in the city  on public transport

  • Air travel for a trip to Perth

  • The City to Bay later in the year  

Interested in a try?

I believe this may be the only Alinker in Adelaide. 

I have partnered with the Australian supplier, The Care Kiosk, to make the Alinker available for people to trial.

I am also available to do demonstrations (either 1:1 or to groups).

If you like to  learn more contact me via email grahamlewisconsulting@gmail.com

Or  visit the official Alinker website – 



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