handbike experience?

zill
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handbike experience?

Postby zill » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:28 am

Anyone ridden them (hand only pedaled bike)? What's the experience like?

Is it hard to go fast or uphill with them?

Is it not possible to go for longer journeys since the arms tire much more easily than the legs?

Is it a very good upper body workout?

John Lewis
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby John Lewis » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:55 pm

I read a book some long time back about a chap who rode one across the Nullabor. Perth to Melbourne or perhaps Sydney. Too long ago for me to recall. He was a disabled chap unable to use a normal bike.

John

Recycler
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby Recycler » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:11 pm

G,Day Zill, Yes i have made two hand cranked trickes for special needs people. They work very well. You may know both handgrips work together.
Both of the people i built the trikes for were wheel chair bound. Therefore they were very strong in the shoulders and upper body , they had no trouble using the cranks. Bob

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Kerosene-Tin
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby Kerosene-Tin » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:30 pm

Recycler wrote:G,Day Zill, Yes i have made two hand cranked trickes for special needs people. They work very well. You may know both handgrips work together.
Both of the people i built the trikes for were wheel chair bound. Therefore they were very strong in the shoulders and upper body , they had no trouble using the cranks. Bob



Sorry to hijack the thread a little but I gather your after the same information as me.. Recycler I tried to contact you by Private Message but from other posts I read it seems that possibly your computer skills dont quite match those of building bikes which your famed for :)

Do you still build handcycles at all or have any on the drawing board?
like the original poster of this thread im looking for some experience myself before jumping in the deep end with a greenspeed model..
sadly the ones on offer from other brands such as pacific handy etc look far too flimsy... and the clip on wheelchair models are just insultingly priced.. I been looking around for months... the prone models look great.. its just.. it seems as though anyone cycling them things on the street would possibly end up. permanently prone.. under a car due to how low they are :)

PatNZ
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby PatNZ » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:30 pm

Also curious about hand cycles for upper body exercise purposes.

How hard are they? Can you climb small hills with them?

If i had the welding and cutting equipment, i'd try to make one but unfortunately I don't.
Image

zebee
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby zebee » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:22 pm

I saw one on the 'Gong ride a couple of years ago.

OK, the guy powering it was built like a masonry convenience but he was going up some pretty impressive hills.

just4tehhalibut
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby just4tehhalibut » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:47 am

John Lewis wrote:I read a book some long time back about a chap who rode one across the Nullabor. Perth to Melbourne or perhaps Sydney. Too long ago for me to recall. He was a disabled chap unable to use a normal bike.


There were some newspaper articles about him late '90's when he did it and then a followup. He lived in Kalamunda and his first trike was built by Milton Jones, very heavy but it got the job done. 'Spike' had a photo album of his builds, what I saw had to be one of the first recumbents in WA. There was a book mentioning him too but I can't recall it, I'll keep looking. Kalamunda Cycles knew him.

PS there's a handtrike cheap on Gumnut. Certainly nothing like the tank he pedalled.

just4tehhalibut
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby just4tehhalibut » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:41 pm

Oops, the trike was built by Karl Wetton, not Milton Jones. I bumped into Karl today, he recalled that it was John Perkins who had the trike built. Because John had a powerful but assymetrical (or 'angry') pedal stroke the trike had to be built not to bend, the main tube was built out of a 'propellor shaft' from a car, the rest from chrome moly.

And now I have to figure out who Milton built his trike for, certainly it was before Karl's effort.

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Kerosene-Tin
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby Kerosene-Tin » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:10 pm

Not a Necro-thread revival but a rather a re-visiting of this 3-3/4 years on

Handcycle experience.. Ive been there.. Owned one.. And can give honest opinion on it

My weapon of choice after an exhaustive search eventually settled on a Rehatri Upright Handcycle. im happy I made the choice as I was gathering pace on dropping over 4000 dollars for a custom built one venturing into the 6000 dollar territory quotes for one that had everything.. more of a handcycle velomobile at the time in all honesty

Almost ready to drop the money onto the project and I realised id never driven a handcycle before.. so I opted for the 1300 off the shelf model a Rehatri upright handcycle

Stock standard features was a 3 speed Sturmy Archer Hub - Coaster brake, massive basket on the rear..
she was an impressive looking machine, safe too.. never crashed never even got close due to the front forks being connected to a very strong spring that limited steering deflection. even with hands off

Image

Im an adverage wheelchair user id say, Cerebral Palsy with effects on my legs only.. I can walk but not very good.. I can walk on buses and trains but once I get to where I am its back in my chair.. im dead without my wheelchair.. id have a heart attack if I tried walking more than a block not to mention my hip would lock up and hurt for days.. my wheelchair is my lifeboat in the world

Decently fit and capable, known to go for long treks on cycletracks around 15km in my wheelchair alone. not much stops me.. I use my arms all the time.. had a stint where I owned mobility scooters but all they did was make me fat, got rid of them... the handcycle represented the best of the scooters with the mobility of a wheelchair.. Transport, fitness, capability.. so I went for it

This is where things take the unexpected turn

The Handcycle was a BAD IDEA
it wasnt the brand of the handcycle or the style..I geared down the crank sprocket to a 22 tooth smaller wheel..this gave me unlimited climbing ability where 3rd gear was the cruise gear at around 17-20 kph

having a handcycle is totally different from a wheelchair if your not built like an axe shaped implement..
each ride would start off the same.. well meaning. fast and enjoyable.. before coming home showered in sweat where nothing was dry..

The propulsion method of a handcycle even in the easiest gear where the cranks turn featherlight is 10x what youd ever expect
I endured this for around 6 months with regular runs around the block after work at night, semi regular weekend runs around 5km along the mostly flat cycletrack but the visions of taking it shopping and using it for transport all was down right impossible

another problem was fear of a puncture, its design ment that the front drive wheel using an internal gear hub had no tensioner on the chain.. each puncture required the chain to be released from the quick links, unscrewed from the gear cables and taken out.. chain tension was held by how high the handlebar stalk was deployed only

she was a ghastly heavy machine to deal with.. I carried around a portable seat incase the situation came about id need to change the front drive wheel

After less than a year.. id lost the interest despite several attempts to mold myself into a trike pilot to adapt to this machine..

she sat in my house for 3 years almost only going out maybe 30 times in its whole life..

Eventually I gave it back to the seller I brought it from free of charge where its living a new life as a trial machine, giving new hopeful owners of custom machines some experience of the nature of these machines.. eventually she'll find a home somewhere.. a full waste of 1300 dollars.. but a learning experience none the less

Now: Present Day..

After having an idle thought about wheather my legs were strong enough to ride a bike and being inspired by someone in a similar situation who went the tricycle route vs the wheelchair and mobility scooter route in life.. I managed to buy a used somewhat run down custom built recumbent tricycle.. foot powered

Image

With slight modifications such as pedal straps (bunnings), modified pedals slightly and soon to have shorter cranks for more comfort
I'm happy to say that im having more success with this recumbent tricycle than ive ever had with the handcycle.. so im putting it out there that if your legs do work.. or could work enough for a bike and your looking for handcycle as a good step.. possibly consider using your foot power first. ..its been an unexpected surprise that things work as well as they do

im amazed at just how much foot power I do have with proper straps - the recumbent seating means my hip isnt locking up and ive cycled for hours with no ill effects - now regaining mobility id lost through thinking life is easier with wheelchairs only and resigning my legs to the too hard basket..

Just wanted to put this out there :)

skyblot
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby skyblot » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:48 am

That's an excellent end result!
And if needed, you could put a 200 watt e-assist kit on very easily - simple front wheel replacement.

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RonK
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:15 pm

A rider in my social cycling group uses a recumbent e-handtrike. He originally had a fully-prone machine but has since replaced it with a somewhat more upright version. He keeps up with the group quite well.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

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Kerosene-Tin
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Re: handbike experience?

Postby Kerosene-Tin » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:24 pm

Ive got the absolute highest respect for anyone whos able to conquer and use a handcycle, group rides were once my dream in that way. Not to say its impossibly hard but just speaking of experience. What may be a bad idea for myself might fully work for another :)

On the pedal bike front, id like to pass on likewise a simple modification thats as of lastnight enabled me to apply full power to the pedals .

shift gears rear casette and large front chain ring alike.. Reaching a high speed that felt too quick. Enough to hit my brakes on flat level..

Climb hills full recumbent style in 3rd pushing on the seat back

All the while keeping "duck foot" at bay.. No pain and a quick and easy escape without being locked into the pedals with straps



May it benefit others


The shoe-pedal :)

Comfortable, super easy to get out of and mounting is as easy as getting my foot in 1/4 way and pedaling one revolution..at the end of which my feet are now fully seated in the shoes

Feather light foam plastic shoes with handy internal holes for straps/bolts

Its a simple system of target fishing shoes and bunnings toolstraps (inside and outside)

With adjustable float

Image
Works for me :)

Downside.. I remembered bindi's exist on grass with bare feet while checking the mailbox

Havent felt that pain in 30 years.. Kind of a familiar memory hurt and reality check in a new found life :shock:

Keep socks on...


About the 200-250w motor.. Id recomend one as an "escape" life preserver.

To get home if for any reason mechanical or physical breakdown occurs.. Its not like we can simply walk home

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