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  1. #1
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    Handicapped cyclists???

    I'm not sure this is the best forum for this question, so please don't hesitate to redirect mer if it isn't.

    As I mentioned in my introductory message, I can no longer ride and acutely miss it due to disability. My right leg will not quite fully extend and the right knee has only about 20 degrees of motion. Attempts to ride both standard bikes and recumbent two wheelers have both failed because I fall before I can get the pedals turning.

    I've been trying without great success to find out about three ideas - I'm not surw the last two even exist.

    1. a recumbent TRIcycle - NOT a granny-tricycle but a true recumbent with the seat in midline ahead of two driver wheels. I've atually seen one abouy town but haven't been able to ask the guy about it.

    2. Hand-cranked bikes. I have hears rumors of such things but nothng solid.

    3. Short-shanked crankset. I THINK I have enough range of motion in my knee to turn such a thing - if it exists at all.

    If anyone knows of such things, it'd sure help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I've seen hand cranked recumbents on the greenway and there's a local group, archilles heel, which may use them in the NYC Marathon.

    Apparently they're sometimes called handcycles
    http://bike-on.com/

    We have a local group The Achilles Track Club which uses bikes like these in the NYC Marathon.

  3. #3
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    There's a man riding the Trans-am acros the US on a handcycle.He's is posting a journal on the Crazyguyonabike web site. Here's the link http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=5525&v=4y

  4. #4
    Senior Member GeorgeBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollamnh View Post
    I'm not sure this is the best forum for this question, so please don't hesitate to redirect mer if it isn't.

    As I mentioned in my introductory message, I can no longer ride and acutely miss it due to disability. My right leg will not quite fully extend and the right knee has only about 20 degrees of motion. Attempts to ride both standard bikes and recumbent two wheelers have both failed because I fall before I can get the pedals turning.

    I've been trying without great success to find out about three ideas - I'm not surw the last two even exist.

    1. a recumbent TRIcycle - NOT a granny-tricycle but a true recumbent with the seat in midline ahead of two driver wheels. I've atually seen one abouy town but haven't been able to ask the guy about it.
    Brand names that come to mind are
    Greenspeed and TerraTrike. It's worth contacting the the manufacturers directly; I'm sure they've had a number of customers with mobility and/or balance issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ollamnh View Post
    2. Hand-cranked bikes. I have hears rumors of such things but nothng solid.
    As mentioned already, a quick google of handcycle turns up lots of matches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ollamnh View Post
    3. Short-shanked crankset. I THINK I have enough range of motion in my knee to turn such a thing - if it exists at all.
    Look at Thorn Crank Shorteners as an example. There's a small discussion at Sheldon Brown's site.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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  6. #6
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    On the Ride the Rockies each year, there is a whole team of hand cyclists, with their own van, etc.

    Hand cycles are very available, and these guys and gals have tremendous upper body development.

    Also, there are some electric-assist bicycles I have seen on rides. I don't know if those would be helpful??

    There is a forum here on electric bicycles. Perhaps a short-crank combined with an electric assist? They are really pretty cool.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  7. #7
    Senior Member runner pat's Avatar
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    I ride a handcycle. If you do that route, hit the gym. The first few strokes from a stop take a lot of power, all endurance after that. Get as many gears as you can, you will need them.

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    Several years ago a non-handicapped friend of mine bought a recumbent tricycle. It was very light, had very high grade components and cost big $'s. He rode it for a few years and sold it --- same with his Eddy Merck bike.

    Possibly you could also experiment with uneven-length cranks and those more oval chain-rings.

    Al

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    In answer to no 3.


    We have an off road rider in our area that has lost a leg just above the knee. He uses different crank lengths- The leg with the amputaion has a very short crank length but he is also a lot younger and stronger than we are. He basically rides one legged- with the other leg just putting in a bit of power.

    but just a suggestion.

    On Tandems- A lot of Family riders use cranks that have had an extra hole drilled into them for the pedals. This effectively will shorten the cranks so a very young short rider can pedal. Think it can put a crank down to about 140 length.

    A quick search found these so it is possible to get a very short crank length- or it may be possible to convert your existing cranks.

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-T...+-110-3079.htm
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  10. #10
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    I admire your determination.

    I am a bi-lateral amputee with a bad right knee and find starting hard also. I will share with you my tips on starting on a bicycle and hopefully you can use them.

    The first thing I did was start with a stationary bike to make sure I could pedal. A trainer may be a good idea to test crank length and styles for your knee. I think a high seat height may reduce knee flexion for you.

    At first it was best for me to start out going downhill and holding yourself up with a street sign post, fence post, etc. with both feet on the pedals.

    My next step was to start with my right leg elevated on a curb. This allowed me to get my foot on the pedal sooner.

    To start on a flat service I started the power stroke with the left leg and pushed the ground with the right foot a couple times to get forward motion. Then I would lift into the seat to pedal.
    P.S. The biggest problem with this method for me was when the release of my prosthetic touched the pedal my leg would fall off. It was a matter of determination over humility.

    When starting out uphill I try to hold onto a post as this is the hardest time to balance while trying to gain enough momemtum.
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  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    I've seen hand cranked recumbents on the greenway and there's a local group, archilles heel, which may use them in the NYC Marathon.

    Apparently they're sometimes called handcycles
    http://bike-on.com/

    We have a local group The Achilles Track Club which uses bikes like these in the NYC Marathon.
    I have seen a local guy around here on our MUPs on a hand cranked trike and he cruises along at a pretty darn good clip, so I can confirm what others have observed.

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    to old age and infirmity. You first.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks to everyone, not just for the links but especially for the ideas. I've picked up more and better information with one message here than I could have gotten on my own.

    I do use a cane - or a walker when distance/time are critical issues. I also work out regularly at the gym with Nautilus, free weights and hand cranks to build upper body strength to compensate for my leg strength losses, so the handcycles don't seem that daunting. Either way, I have a lot to look into. Thanks again.

  13. #13
    too old for bike shorts? cyclehen's Avatar
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  14. #14
    astro
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    Crank shorteners

    Quote Originally Posted by Ollamnh View Post
    I'm not sure this is the best forum for this question, so please don't hesitate to redirect mer if it isn't.

    As I mentioned in my introductory message, I can no longer ride and acutely miss it due to disability. My right leg will not quite fully extend and the right knee has only about 20 degrees of motion. Attempts to ride both standard bikes and recumbent two wheelers have both failed because I fall before I can get the pedals turning.

    I've been trying without great success to find out about three ideas - I'm not surw the last two even exist.

    1. a recumbent TRIcycle - NOT a granny-tricycle but a true recumbent with the seat in midline ahead of two driver wheels. I've atually seen one abouy town but haven't been able to ask the guy about it.

    2. Hand-cranked bikes. I have hears rumors of such things but nothng solid.

    3. Short-shanked crankset. I THINK I have enough range of motion in my knee to turn such a thing - if it exists at all.

    If anyone knows of such things, it'd sure help. Thanks.
    Some of the other replies have directed you to some recumbent trike makers.

    You might still need to have a short right crank. You can get crank shorteners from the hostelshoppe.com (probably other places as well). Last fall my right knee acted up and I couldn't bend it far enough to get over the top of the pedal stroke. With one of these crank shorteners on the right, I was able to ride and gradually improve the range of motion in the knee before finally having surgery.

    My normal cranks are 7 inches (175 mm) and with the shortener, the right was down to 4 inches (99 mm), So my left foot went in a 14 inch circle while the right one went in an 8 inch circle. I was expecting other cyclists to stare or laugh, but I think no one even noticed!

    - Ed

  15. #15
    Senator from Secret Ivandarken's Avatar
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    I don't know much about the other ideas... but if you were to get a trike and had more money than I do... the HPVelotechnik Scorpion is the best thing ever made in the history of the world... or similar.

    If you have enough mobility to straddle one to get to the seated position and can pedal in a recumbent position a trike may be a good option. Getting on one requires a bit of maneuvering. But it rides as smooth as butter.

    I might have bought one with all of the bells and whistles for a about $5,000.00 but I live in Chicago and there is no safe place to ride a low and wide invisible cycle.

    I hope you get the answer that is best for you.

    Cheers

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