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Handcycles

Old 04-19-09, 11:27 PM
  #1  
nebrider
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Handcycles

I know this doesn't technically pertain to road cycling but whatever.

Do any of you guys ride with people who ride handcycles? One of my best friends was injured last May in a rollover collision and is now a paraplegic(SP?).

He wants to know if they are as fast or faster than a regular road bike. I wouldn't object to riding whatever speed he wants, but that isn't what he asked me.
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Old 04-20-09, 02:15 AM
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Looks like 15mph is roughly the max. At least, on on this page it is.

Looks like hand cycles are a subject in themselves. Read up, and probably send him the link.
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Old 04-20-09, 04:17 AM
  #3  
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Not related to speed but as I was coming down Ventoux a guy was using a handcycle to go up....cant remember the exact setup of it i.e recumbant, upright..but he was making good headway...I would say that the recumbant versions would be plenty fast....if they come with zipps pace must be pretty good
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Old 04-20-09, 04:42 AM
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I did a TT with a go using a handcycle. They're slower, but can still move at a decent clip.

Also, I figure that low to the ground, it probably feels faster too
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Old 04-20-09, 04:52 AM
  #5  
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I've seen several people on them at charity rides. I always see them at things that the VFW/POW-type organizations support.

I would say they seem to be going about 10-12 mph. Those dudes are HUGE. Shoulders like a weightlifter. My hat is off to them.
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Old 04-20-09, 05:55 AM
  #6  
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...do they wear clipless gloves?
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Old 04-20-09, 06:14 AM
  #7  
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I assume they're slower because you have so much more musle in your legs than in your arms. It would help if you had your arms/chest built up really well. Difference should be more pronounced on hills.
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Old 04-20-09, 06:23 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I assume they're slower because you have so much more musle in your legs than in your arms. It would help if you had your arms/chest built up really well. Difference should be more pronounced on hills.
Agreed. I saw a guy rowing on the steepest part of the MS150 yesterday. Several hills in the 10+ degree range.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:54 AM
  #9  
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I've been on centuries and even double centuries where some riders rode handcycles. The riders are not particularly fast because arms are not as strong as legs. However, they'll have plenty of respect from the other riders.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:58 AM
  #10  
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There was a guy who rode a handcycle on the first 24-hour ride I did. He rode the whole 24 hours, while others on regular upright bicycles were taking naps etc. He was slower and I don't know what his finishing time was, but I was impressed!!

My father worked for a company that supplied various medical things, like wheelchairs, but also supplied handcycles. He set one up for a girl who raced them, I believe, in Europe and other parts of the world.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:58 AM
  #11  
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Jacksonville crit a few years ago had a hand cycle division. I'd estimate those guys were hitting 20mph.
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Old 04-20-09, 10:29 AM
  #12  
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Check out Alejandro Albor. I rode part of a century with him. We rode together up the Coleman valley climb and north along PCH.

If you want to see how fast handcyclists can be, check out the BORP Revolution Ride.

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Old 10-05-09, 09:01 AM
  #13  
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Average handcycle speed

New to the forum so I just saw your post. On a fairly straight run 15 is the upper end for an average. I can hit 20 for short distances.

Another factor that slows handcyclists down relative to bicyclists is the road grade. If the road has a high crown and and then slopes down a two wheeled cyclist is not affected by that; however, a handcycle will want to turn downhill. This happens on the side of the road or sidewalks that are sloped sideways. This forces the handcyclist to lean towards the uphill direction or shift their butt over to create a small amount of uphill lean to compensate.

If you are always, or almost always, riding on a sloped road you can possibly adjust the centering springs on the cycle to accomplish this so that you can remain sitting directly behind the crank.
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Old 10-05-09, 10:26 AM
  #14  
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I did the sound reinforcement for the tunnels to towers run in NYC last week, and a couple of handcycles went through at the start (injured firefighters) and they were pacing the harleys at an easy 25-30mph through the tunnel when I saw them. I didn't get a good look, but it appeared that they had multiple gears ala a road bike.
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Old 10-05-09, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by APKjuniorFL View Post
...do they wear clipless gloves?
Do they wear toeless socks

Chris
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Old 10-05-09, 03:38 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by APKjuniorFL View Post
...do they wear clipless gloves?
bad form...

i see this guy on every ride that is coming up the backside of the mountain that i climb. he is a freakin stud and i have the utmost respect for him. on the descent i hit speeds of about 40mph but he cruises down them at around 20 or so but i think by choice.

i think it all comes down to strength, im sure he could go as fast as he wants with the right gearing.

Last edited by hopsing08; 10-05-09 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 10-05-09, 03:43 PM
  #17  
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I ride frequently with a handcyclist that I have trouble keeping up with. He set a record a couple of years ago doing over 400 miles on the 24 hour race.
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Old 04-25-10, 06:09 PM
  #18  
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I have tryed one and looking to buy one soon. They can be as fast to a point, but for how long. You are using your arms which are smaller muscles than your legs. So you can last as long or go up hills as fast. So it all comes down to how strong your arms are.
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Old 04-25-10, 06:13 PM
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SHOULD READ'''' Can't go uphill as fast ''''
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Old 04-25-10, 06:24 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Erniemac View Post
I have tryed one and looking to buy one soon. They can be as fast to a point, but for how long. You are using your arms which are smaller muscles than your legs. So you can last as long or go up hills as fast. So it all comes down to how strong your arms are.
I wonder if you could set it up to pull rather than push the pedals. Your back is pretty strong too, however your chest is probably stronger.
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Old 04-25-10, 06:31 PM
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+1

They can go at a decent clip on flats or downhill, but the difference with bicycle really becomes apparent going uphill.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
I've seen several people on them at charity rides. I always see them at things that the VFW/POW-type organizations support.

I would say they seem to be going about 10-12 mph. Those dudes are HUGE. Shoulders like a weightlifter. My hat is off to them.
This!!! I give these guys credit for even being out there let alone competing in their classes in various race events. I'm sure there is someone who can point you in a direction to help your friend.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:08 PM
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Only a bit off topic but my LBS set this guy up with his new bike. He was an absolutely wonderful person to visit with and spent time with everyone that came into the shop during his fitting and set up. May be of at least some inspiration to your friend even though his handicap is different. https://mabiocosta.com/
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