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Thread: how well do FWD handcycles do offroad?

  1. #1

    how well do FWD handcycles do offroad?

    Has anyone put mountain bike tires on a handcycle & taken it on trails? If so, how'd it work out? Seems like a bad idea, but I'm curious.

    I know about the Ti-Arts / One-Off bike, but it won't work for me w/ a C6/7 injury.

    Yes, also seen the R-One Fourcross, which is basically DH only.

    The Hase Kettwiesel is the closest I've found, but the price is a bit high for something I can't really even demo... and I don't know of anyone who has one.

    I want something I can pedal... offroad... even on mild trails... ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I have a halls handcycle that I ride offroad from mild grade trails to steep trails that were challenging when I rode them on a mountainbike prior to being injured. Once it gets too steep and you lose momentum, the fwd starts to dig holes and I have to use my hand on a rear wheel and the other on the crank to get up and over.

  3. #3
    yeah, that's what I figure... I just can't see a bike driven by the front wheel performing that well... but hey, if it works, I'm game.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    I use 2 front wheel sets, one for tarmac and one for trails, to increase hand cycle usefulness. This requires adjusting the brake caliper width when swapping, but that's easy enough Handling is not that great, front wheel isn't loaded very well and looses traction easily, (less often, but even with the knobs). On the bright side, FWD means it doesn't really matter what tires are mounted on the rear, so long as you've got the "floatation" needed to pass over deep-ish and loose ground without being mired down. I leave my thin tarmac tires on, always, and they work fine over the mild (and very flat) State park trails around VB. I have also used my hands on the ground, from time to time, to get over/through tough stuff (e.g fist sized and up rocks on a sandy base). Works well enough for me. Better than nada!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member WheelieMike's Avatar
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    Scott,
    Have you looked at Varna Handcycles? They have one that is gear extra low and runs the real wide (3 or 4 inch ?) tires. I don't know if you can demo them in your area, but they look pretty cool.
    Stupidity ain't illegal, but it sure is inconvenient.


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  6. #6
    Dale - good points.

    Mike - This one? The company lost credibility with me a while ago when I saw that they used seats like this on bikes costing thousands... I mean, seriously? I sat on chairs that looked almost exactly like this seat back in middle school.

    Concept is good I suppose, but still... not terribly keen on these guys.


  7. #7
    It is a rear wheel drive but I have found a Greenspeed handcycelworks well off road. I have fat tyres on mine and use it frequently off road. The schlumpf mountain drive gives really low gears

  8. #8
    Adrian -

    Right on! Do you like the Greenspeed? Got any photos with you in it? Again, I can't say I've been terribly impressed with photos of it I've seen online, as it looks like an outdated design with outdated components, but I don't know much about it.

    http://www.gstrikes.com/gth.html


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Pruett View Post
    Adrian -

    Right on! Do you like the Greenspeed? Got any photos with you in it? Again, I can't say I've been terribly impressed with photos of it I've seen online, as it looks like an outdated design with outdated components, but I don't know much about it.
    It is quite an old design and it is not a fast bike compared to some others but it is a comfortable tourer with godd off road perfomance. The picture below was taken on an overnight trip in a fairly remote part of Tasmania:




    In my opinion the advantages of the rear wheel drive, two wheels at the fornt include the following:
    • Better grip and less wheel spin on steep wet roads and loose surfaces off road.
    • Easier to reverse as the front wheels are in a convenient place to grab
    • Much tighter turning circle with centre-point steering
    • If the road is wet or muddy the spray goes down either side of you rather than in your face like it does with a single wheel at the front.
    This picture above is a 1998 bike and it is still going strong despite extensive abuse off road. Ian Simms who runs the company is very helpful and takes time to make sure each bike is built to suit you and the build quality is excellent. When I wanted a fast bike for use on the road I opted for another Greenspeed which he custom built to a non-standard design. There are easier bikes to get on and off and the seat is not padded so I wear a J-protector cushion whilst cycling.
    Last edited by Adrian; 05-10-2009 at 04:55 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WheelieMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Pruett View Post
    Dale - good points.

    Mike - This one? The company lost credibility with me a while ago when I saw that they used seats like this on bikes costing thousands... I mean, seriously? I sat on chairs that looked almost exactly like this seat back in middle school.

    Concept is good I suppose, but still... not terribly keen on these guys.

    That was my first thought also, but with the pictures on their site, running through the surf, I can see their use of the retro seating.
    Stupidity ain't illegal, but it sure is inconvenient.


    Help me support the 2010 Bike MS.

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