Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs - best handcycle for distance
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07-08-12, 03:31 PM
I am getting into distance handcycling so I can compete in an Ironman competition. I am currently renting a Quickie Shark form my disabled sports club. My question is what would be the best handcycle for me in the quest. I am looking at uprite, lay down and kneeling. I am a paraplegic due to MS. I have function from the belly button up. Balance is fairly good. I am looking for the most efficient use of the limited energy I have. Any information would be helpfull.
07-08-12, 07:05 PM
My guess is the kneeler would be best if you have the abdominal strength. You can put your weight on the pedals similar to standing on a DF. The recliner will have better aerodynamics.
I ride a standard upright. (http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w197/runnerpat/handcyclesmall.jpg) Plenty of room for a large water/storage bag behind the seat but the aerodynamics aren't as good.
One thing to consider is re-gearing the bike if needed. Sheldon Brown' Gear Calculator (http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/)
07-09-12, 10:18 AM
I was actualy looking at the kneelers. My abbs and back are quite strong. Only small concern I can see is it may be more dificult to get in and out of at the transision point of a tri. I think I may have found one made in Germany that looks promising.
07-17-12, 02:10 PM
I think a kneeler is going to be difficult for distance. The lay-down types assist you with distance and speed by being more aerodynamic. If I were looking to race, I'd get one of those.
07-20-12, 09:39 AM
I actualy looked into a full lay down version. I found the pressure exerted on my bad sholder to be to much. Even the uprite one is agrivating at times. I did an experement where I removed the back completly and went riding. What a difference. I was able to use my core more and the strain on the shoulder was significantly less. I may make a mock up seat and test in a kneeling position.
07-20-12, 10:13 AM
One of the advantages of the taller seatback is not only do you have something to push against (which I prefer) but it also provides a place to sling a hydration system. Mine has extra pockets for spare tubes, tools, pump, jacket, etc.
I realize with your shoulder, that will be a problem but you do need to think about carrying water and supplies for long rides.
07-20-12, 11:45 AM
A lay-down type gives you speed, but if that would bother your shoulder, then that won't work for you. I still say a kneeler would be tough for long distance, so since a lay-down would not work for you, I would say go with an upright with cranks that can be adjusted for height. Set the height to a low enough position so that you can "get on top of it." That's what I do with my LC-1, and if you want to work your core, the LC-1 may be the handcycle for you -- it is a lean steer, but based on your low injury and balance, it should work perfectly for yoiu. Oh, and have I mentioned how much fun it is to ride a lean steer?
07-30-12, 07:35 PM
I have been working closely with my PT and OT to come up with the correct position for me. We will be going with a kneeler and all of the angles are designed specificaly to alow me to get the most out of my body but not hurt myself. They said that all of the sports that I participated in before have helped strengthen all of the joints, so even since I can't use them, they are better than the average person in preventing injury.
I have also found a bike builder that is going to take on the chalenge of a one off bike. We found that all of the mass produced bikes would not accomidate the angles that I need. Here is the link to the builder and there is a special section on me on his page. I will keep everyone updated and you can follow long on this site as well.
09-21-12, 02:24 PM
Well I have been measured and have had a cast made so my seatpan can be made. Most of the bike has been figured out and a full scale drawing has been started. Parts are starting to roll in. First was a Rohloff hub. I saw it when I was casted. That thing is awesome. We have come up some interesting things ta I cant wait to see and us. I will let you know how things are progressing. This is going to be a long build.
10-30-12, 11:38 AM
Not much to update. The full scale drawing is complete. I am having a custom made lap belt mad to my specks. It should be good to go under the rules. We have chosen the lugs we are going to use and the tubes are on order. I can't wait for this to start coming together.
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