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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 09-19-11, 11:28 AM   #1
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Show Your Handcycles!

I post mainly in the C&V sub-forum and occasionally in the Mechanics sub-forum. But, I would like to voice my support for this sub-forum and hope that it serves as a helpful resource for cycling enthusiasts.

On a recent trip to Idaho I visited with my friends Mike and Tammy. They live in Sun Valley near the Sawtooth sub range of the Rocky Mountains. The scenery there is fantastic and both road and mountain biking are very popular. There is lots of climbing as you'd expect.

Mike and Tammy are both very hard-working, outgoing people who have always been very active. Tammy has done all sorts of "extreme" sports, even before there was such a term, and used to race the very long motocross races (enduro?). It was in one of these races about 20 years ago in which she crashed and, as a result, was paralyzed from the waist down. Like so many, she has played the hand she was dealt to win. She is very inspirational.

She showed me both of her handbikes recently and I took several photos with my cell phone as I'm a gear head and thought these machines were so cool!

This is her first handbike. I'm not sure of the vintage, but a quick look at the components indicates it's 20 years old or more. Phil and Suntour are there to get the job done. I love the butterfly shifters.















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Old 09-19-11, 11:35 AM   #2
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And here is Tammy's newest bike. She and Mike researched a lot of the components and built it up from the frame. Mike told me who the frame builder is, but I can't recall. I gather he has not built a great deal. One of the coolest features of this bike is the Bionx power assist. I thought this bike was so interesting and lament the fact that I didn't take it for a spin.



















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Old 09-19-11, 11:36 AM   #3
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Old 09-19-11, 11:58 AM   #4
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Wow.

They're both front wheel drive. Both rear wheels are just there for the ride.

I've seen some hot new racing tricycle, with regular leg-cranks. It's rear wheel drive and has two wheels in front and one in back. Both of these designs have the drivetrain powering only one drive wheel, as things always are on bicycles. Seems more efficient than two-wheel drive on a tricycle, no?

But with a front wheel drive recumbent tricycle, hand- or leg-cranked, is there a problem with traction going uphill?
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Old 09-19-11, 12:01 PM   #5
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I'm not sure, Tom. I'd suppose it'd be a question of weight distribution regarding the traction.

I have a lot more questions than answers regarding these bikes and I'm looking forward to hearing from posters who have experience with handcycles because I find them so cool.
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Old 09-19-11, 12:21 PM   #6
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Here's mine. Invacare XLT Pro. Purchased in 2005.


I've never had trouble with traction uphill. Steepest climb was about 11% over maybe 200 yds. Cranking very hard, no loss of grip.
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Old 09-19-11, 03:49 PM   #7
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Wow.

They're both front wheel drive. Both rear wheels are just there for the ride.

I've seen some hot new racing tricycle, with regular leg-cranks. It's rear wheel drive and has two wheels in front and one in back. Both of these designs have the drivetrain powering only one drive wheel, as things always are on bicycles. Seems more efficient than two-wheel drive on a tricycle, no?

But with a front wheel drive recumbent tricycle, hand- or leg-cranked, is there a problem with traction going uphill?
Most old style trikes don't actually power both rear wheels. The"reverse" trike is called a tadpole, they're becoming very popular, I'm working on building one myself. And yes, the single drive wheel usually has plenty enough traction on pavement. A lot of non-disabled people ride them just for fun.

Handcycles are something I have no experience with, though. How do they steer? How well does regular gearing work with them?
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Old 09-19-11, 06:48 PM   #8
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The front fork, wheel, handle bar and crank assembly pivot just like the fork on a DF.
Mine has mountain bike gearing. Climbing is still not easy.
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Old 09-19-11, 10:20 PM   #9
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Not mine. But this guy beat me in the Dutch Country Bicycle Race in Hamburg, PA.





This guy beat me in the race too, but not on the handcycle:

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Old 09-19-11, 10:24 PM   #10
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From the French Creek Iron Tour, June 2010, the toughest rider on the century route:



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Old 09-21-11, 04:29 AM   #11
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Can you use standard bike hubs in rear wheels, or do you need something specifically designed for the one side support?
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Old 09-21-11, 05:23 AM   #12
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Can you use standard bike hubs in rear wheels, or do you need something specifically designed for the one side support?
Most front hubs use 9mm axles, which aren't strong enough. If you were building them yourself, you could use BMX hubs with 14mm axles and re thread them to one side. They use wheelchair hubs a lot of times, there are very few specific trike hubs.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:53 PM   #13
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I don't want this to come off "wrong" because I have no disability except for a bit of judgement impairment from time to time, but I've wanted a handcycle for so many years. I can't stand to exercise for the sake of exercise. I love to ride bikes, but I get very little upper body workout. I'm sure I'd ride the heck out of a handcycle just for a nice time on a different kind of bike...the byproduct being a good workout. One day I plan to have one.

I was talking with a gentleman tonight about this on a MUP. He was on one and I was totally fascinated.

Props to him for having polio and still riding. For having CHF and COPD and still riding. For riding while wearing oxygen cannula. I was pretty inspired.

I wouldn't think so, but would some think it "taboo" to ride one even if your legs work just fine?
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Old 09-23-11, 05:40 AM   #14
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I wouldn't think so, but would some think it "taboo" to ride one even if your legs work just fine?
I'm sure there's a few people who would make an issue of it, but I imagine it would be rare. I'm fascinated by alternative cycles too.
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Old 09-23-11, 07:33 AM   #15
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I wouldn't think so. You might get some flack from the able-bodied who might feel "duped" that you're not disabled or you're trying to "pass" for some reason.
You will get a LOT of attention while riding along with the assumption that you're a paraplegic.
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Old 10-18-11, 08:48 PM   #16
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my arms are getting tired reading this thread some awesome trikes in here.
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Old 10-18-11, 09:22 PM   #17
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I wouldn't think so. You might get some flack from the able-bodied who might feel "duped" that you're not disabled or you're trying to "pass" for some reason.
You will get a LOT of attention while riding along with the assumption that you're a paraplegic.
When I was offered the chance to ride a handcycle, I turned it down. I've become someone skittish about them since so many people here on Bike Forums seem to think I need one for some reason or another.
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Old 10-23-11, 09:52 AM   #18
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I don't want this to come off "wrong" because I have no disability except for a bit of judgement impairment from time to time, but I've wanted a handcycle for so many years. I can't stand to exercise for the sake of exercise. I love to ride bikes, but I get very little upper body workout. I'm sure I'd ride the heck out of a handcycle just for a nice time on a different kind of bike...the byproduct being a good workout. One day I plan to have one.

I was talking with a gentleman tonight about this on a MUP. He was on one and I was totally fascinated.

Props to him for having polio and still riding. For having CHF and COPD and still riding. For riding while wearing oxygen cannula. I was pretty inspired.

I wouldn't think so, but would some think it "taboo" to ride one even if your legs work just fine?
Make its drive like a rowing machine and foot steered.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:49 AM   #19
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When I was offered the chance to ride a handcycle, I turned it down. I've become someone skittish about them since so many people here on Bike Forums seem to think I need one for some reason or another.
WTF????
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Old 10-27-11, 09:02 PM   #20
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Why do the rear wheels have a sharp caster angle instead of being upright? What sort of gearing do you aim for with these?
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Old 10-27-11, 09:17 PM   #21
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my arms are getting tired reading this thread some awesome trikes in here.
the bike is very nice out look,so cool you are.haha
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