Handcycling into the sunset

handcycle

You got to love the handcycle. Bikes are no longer monopolized by bi-peds thanks to this awesome invention. As long as you have some arm movement, heck even if you don’t have any, you can use a handcycle. Full-power, power-assist, traditional – handcycles work with any SCI level. Here are three videos showcasing the awesomeness of these bad boys, including one with built-in FES.

In our first video, watch a compilation of three different handcycles from Berkel Bike, a nouveau handcycle company from the Netherlands. They’ve gone and created a super unique handcycle that’s a fusion between a traditional handcycle and a tricycle. Yup a tricycle, and it works quite well for people with spinal cord injuries. What I really love about this design is that your legs move passively as you pedal with your arms, enabling your legs to get in on the exercise-action too. And since it’s a trike, it sits a bit higher from the ground making transfers much, much easier.

In the video, you get an overview of their ‘Classic,’ ‘Home’ and ‘Pro’ handcycles. While the BerkelBike Pro is only available in the US, that bike itself is worth a look. Reason being – it can be equipped with FES and what they call “cycletrainer,” so you can use it as a stationary FES bike (so very cool). A handcycle and FES machine in one? This I know has never been done before. Watch the video

In our second video, a handcycle that’s low to the ground is a must! It shows outdoor adventurer and quadriplegic, Joe Stone, going off-road handcycling with a group of other paralyzed guys at a beautiful park in the suburbs of Minnesota called the Three Rivers Park District. Joe was a big time outdoor guy before his injury so this kind of thing is right up his alley.

In this fun musical montage, you watch the handcycling from Joe’s own view, thanks to a camera on the front of his helmet. The group is using two Lasher ATH handcycles and one Reactive Adaptations Bomber, all high-quality handcycles that do impressively well on dirt trails. Watch the group off-road

And our last video shows a handcycle I want myself, a Stricker Smart Power-Assist Handcycle from Germany, a very slick handbike made for quadriplegics. It can be attached to any manual chair and has an on-board battery, so you don’t have to pedal full-power the entire ride (which lets face, is something not many quads can do after a few hours). And it has those nifty handles w/ straps, so your hands will stay on the handles without any worry.

In the video, Mark Felling, a C4-5 quad and owner of Broadened Horizons (a company that imports handcycles) shows *exactly* how this handcycle works, from getting it set-up to taking it for a spin (and keeping up with his brother like a pro) on local bike trails. Watch his video review

Spring is nearly here. Time to bring out your handcycle, dust it off and get some killer cardio. If you’re not lucky enough to have one, check with your local rehab center for rentals. Rehab facilities have been known to loan them out.

Do you go handcycling? What model do you like? Why?

Watch the videos!

A company in the Netherlands that’s combined a handcycle with FES capabilities

Off-road handcycling at a park in Minnesota

Video review of a power assist handcycle that’s great for quads

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