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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 04-13-17, 09:54 AM   #1
jobtraklite
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Granny gear for Invacare Top End Excelerator XLT

I did an advanced Google search (the search function on most forums is worse than useless) with the term

"Top End Excelerator XLT"

and the domain

Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs - Bike Forums

Only one very general, hello type post appeared. So I concluded that either I am in the wrong sub-forum or there is very little interest in one of the more popular hand cycles. But I'll try my question anyway.

All my life I've used a bicycle for transportation, recreation, and long distance touring. Now, at 75, my legs have given out; and I know how the typical senior citizen feels when their car keys are taken from them: life is over as they once knew it. But then I discovered hand cycling, specifically the Invacare Top End Excelerator XLT; and I am on the road again.

The problem is that the 7 speed internal hub gearing is to high for me. In normal riding I never get above third gear. Even small hills are difficult. I got to thinking that a smaller chain ring (a single crank granny gear) might be what I need. That way I would have a lower gear for hills and might get up to 5th gear on the flats. Does anyone have any advice or links to advice on how to go about making the change. The crank on the Top End Excelerator XLT seems to be a standard cotterless crank.

I live in a small town and I doubt the LBS has ever seen a hand cycle.

Thank you
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Old 04-18-17, 10:38 AM   #2
BobbyG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobtraklite View Post
I did an advanced Google search (the search function on most forums is worse than useless) with the term

"Top End Excelerator XLT"

and the domain

Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs - Bike Forums

Only one very general, hello type post appeared. So I concluded that either I am in the wrong sub-forum or there is very little interest in one of the more popular hand cycles. But I'll try my question anyway.

All my life I've used a bicycle for transportation, recreation, and long distance touring. Now, at 75, my legs have given out; and I know how the typical senior citizen feels when their car keys are taken from them: life is over as they once knew it. But then I discovered hand cycling, specifically the Invacare Top End Excelerator XLT; and I am on the road again.

The problem is that the 7 speed internal hub gearing is to high for me. In normal riding I never get above third gear. Even small hills are difficult. I got to thinking that a smaller chain ring (a single crank granny gear) might be what I need. That way I would have a lower gear for hills and might get up to 5th gear on the flats. Does anyone have any advice or links to advice on how to go about making the change. The crank on the Top End Excelerator XLT seems to be a standard cotterless crank.

I live in a small town and I doubt the LBS has ever seen a hand cycle.

Thank you
I looked up your bike and it looks like a pretty standard drivetrain and components, just arranged differently. I looked up bike shops in Quincy, IL and found two that look to have service departments. Also I would contact the Quincy bike club (quincybikeclub@gmail.com and also https://www.facebook.com/quincybikeclub/) as they should know who can help you in your area.
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Old 04-20-17, 11:02 AM   #3
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I rode that exact bike on Ragbrai last year with a granny gear while a teammate had one without. I was much fresher at the end of the day and was able to tackle the hills with effort but no problems. This bike can be setup with a mountain bike triple up front easily. I don't know if your bike has what would normally be a seat tube to mount a derailer on but if not you could buy the piece from Invacare. Another option is to find an old mountain bike that has a tubing that would slip fit over your fork's steerer tube and cut everything away but the drivetrain stuff. It should clamp on the same way your single ring does now assuming you cut a small slit with grinder.

Last edited by lovemachine; 04-20-17 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 04-21-17, 10:35 AM   #4
jobtraklite
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OP back again. I sold my LBS (Madison and Davis) short. They were able to order and install just what I needed.

@lovemachine: wow, Ragbrai! I did it way back in '85 with a road bike. The most I've been able to do at one stretch with my hand cranked, after about 2 weeks, is 9 mi.
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