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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 09-11-17, 12:14 PM   #1
BenchPressBike
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Is there a market for a push/pull handcycle?

Dear handcycle users,

Please let me know if the handcycle shown here is cool and useful, or just lame and stupid:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkDVxiGC_Ns

Drive power is applied in both push (bench press) and pull (lat pull) directions. This is my first market research to decide whether to "push forward" with development of this idea into something lighter and cooler, possibly a removable wheelchair attachment version, a 2-wheel version, and a version with a sliding seat to incorporate the leg extension component of rowing as well. Though the battering ram on the bow is cool, that'll eventually be covered in a fairing. Technically, this contraption is a rack-and-pinion driven linear handcycle, patent pending.

Thank you.
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Old 09-13-17, 12:03 PM   #2
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Probably a very small one.. so figure out how it can break down to be shipped internationally, one at a time to a lot of countries.

might have to be cheap for the countries with live landmines to continue amputee survivor market .
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Old 09-13-17, 12:44 PM   #3
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Fietsbob, thank you very much for the insight. I'm curious about 2 potential markets: 1) those with a lower body disability as you said, and 2) fitness enthusiasts who want an upper body workout during their commute. Your advice about making it compact for shipping abroad is quite useful for me to consider too.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:19 PM   #4
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fietsbob makes a very good point re: being cheap for the landmine survivors. Your best bet might well to be to pursue 2 different avenues with a shared drivetrain, a high-end version for the western world and a much simpler one for the third world. Both will have to be very reliable mechanically. Think about a failure for a paraplegic far from home, maybe in the woods. Could end up with loss of life. True story I heard from the wheelchair user. He drove the Oregon Coast to wheel up a trail into the Coast Range. Got a late start so people were hiking out as he was wheeling in. Got to his far point and turned around. Now downhill. He lost it on a corner, went off and slid/tumbled down a 50' embankment to the stream below. Landed on a fallen tree only 20' down. Now he was a very experience "hiker" and he had strapped his chair to his ankle for just such an occurrence. With great difficulty, he inched his way up the embankment dragging his chair. Got back to the trail. Now it was dusk. Got back to his car in total darkness.

Wheelchair users will do this and other crazy things with your device because they can. If it isn't reliable, this will come back to haunt you.

The flipside is that a simpler but just as reliable device for the third world could be life changers for a lot of people in the third world where there are millions of landmines claiming victims every day.

Ben
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Old 09-14-17, 01:19 AM   #5
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Ben, thank you much. I hadn't realized the limits wheelchair users might push with a handcycle, but it makes sense if it could enable mobility to such an extent. Reliability is indeed paramount in that case.

Jeremy
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Old 10-13-17, 06:51 PM   #6
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Hi BenchPressBike

I am your very first YouTube Subscriber. I like this idea overall. I think if you can make this work with cables and pulleys that could bring its size down. Or maybe that could be another model.

I like Ben's idea about a high and low end model.

PLEASE offer BOTH models here in the states. Some people can afford the higher end model. Others, will not be able to... Should they do without? Should you limit your market?

I mean say one sells for $5,000 in the states. Yet, a non high end one can sell for $200 to $500 depending on options. So the lower end one is bigger, heavier and less sexy looking. While the $5,000 looks like the front end of a motorcycle or something like that.

Why punish those of us who can not afford the sexy beast here... When we could afford the lower end beast.

Just my input.

Really cool idea you have here.
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Old 10-16-17, 03:10 AM   #7
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i had the same question thank u to help me
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Old 10-16-17, 04:48 AM   #8
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Hi there AbiliTTV, thank you very much for your encouraging words! Indeed, I will start this enterprise with the cheap, heavy, robust beast.

Jeremy
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Old 10-19-17, 05:34 AM   #9
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From talking to hand crank chair athletes the weight factor will be very important. Even if the prototype(s) have to be heavy you are going to need to lower the weight as much as your design parameters will allow. Choices of materials will be the major means of keeping the chair at a usable weight.

If you pursue the model which attaches to an existing chair the overall size is important in the access the total assembly has when out. I don’t see commuting being a viable option even though some chair users will try the commuting just to show they tried it out.

I would contact Paralyzed Veterans of America for getting input from the veterans that use chairs daily and in training and competition. Those guys and gals are most helpful about improving technology in their chairs and prosthesis, I was priviledged to work with a hand bike team for an event here, they were very outgoing and were very up on the cutting edge tech items for the various levels and types of disabilities.

Bill
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Old 10-20-17, 04:13 AM   #10
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Hi Bill,

Thank you for the tips as well as the lead to Paralyzed Veterans of America! I will contact them.

Indeed, the prototype is heavy because I have a lot of industrial steel parts and cut-up bikes and wheelchair parts cobbled together. I'll have to reduce the weight substantially when properly developing and manufacturing this beast (and make it less of a beast).

In the US, I wonder whether handcycles are indeed used for commuting anywhere. Where I live now in Holland, I occasionally see them on the streets, and I use this beast for daily commute. However, I don't remember ever seeing handcycles on the streets in the US, so I wonder what type of environment they're typically used in there. I'll ask the veterans about this too.

Thank you,

Jeremy
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Old 10-24-17, 02:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BenchPressBike View Post
Hi Bill,

Thank you for the tips as well as the lead to Paralyzed Veterans of America! I will contact them.

Indeed, the prototype is heavy because I have a lot of industrial steel parts and cut-up bikes and wheelchair parts cobbled together. I'll have to reduce the weight substantially when properly developing and manufacturing this beast (and make it less of a beast).

In the US, I wonder whether handcycles are indeed used for commuting anywhere. Where I live now in Holland, I occasionally see them on the streets, and I use this beast for daily commute. However, I don't remember ever seeing handcycles on the streets in the US, so I wonder what type of environment they're typically used in there. I'll ask the veterans about this too.

Thank you,

Jeremy
I haven't seen people commuting with handcycles - and I see a lot of bike commuters. I do see a fair number of recreational riders with handcycles, and some of them are powered. There's a video of a fast regular Mount Diablo guy on my blogpost here: Diablo Scott's Bike Blog: 2017 SMR 19 sorry, can't embed.

That bench press configuration looks really tiring... like it would be fun, but not sensible for commuting distances.
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Old 10-24-17, 02:37 PM   #12
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@DiabloScott is right, I too have never seen a handcyclist commuting as they tend towards adaptive vehicles in order to transport their daily use chairs as well as getting their competition chair cycles to training and events. The PVA team membrs were in their own vans or crossover autos with adapted controls, when they attended the races here, last month.

They usually need these types of vehicles to get around with the chairs and other things, especially personal health items. I would suggest contacting the Royal Dutch Army, or Royal Dutch Marines, as well as the UK Helping Heroes organization for direction towards design needs that their warriors have found they needed.

For that matter you could check with NATO/OTAN in Brussels to get in contact with the various rehabilitation organizations and medical engineering specialists in the field. Best of luck on your design efforts and prototypes, these people deserve to have the best that can be offered to overcome their injuries.

Bill
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Old 10-24-17, 11:47 PM   #13
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Hi DiabloScott, that's fantastic to see a handcycle zooming up Mt. D! Wow that guy must be strong, even with a motor to help. It also leads to the question you asked: would the bench press config be more powerful, or just more tiring, than the traditional handcycle configuration? I don't know the answer to that, so am trying to get the wounded veterans' organizations to take a look at the thing, per Bill's advice.

Bill, thanks for the ideas about NATO and the Dutch army as well. Will look into those too.

Jeremy
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