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Thread: Handcycle Question

  1. #1

    Handcycle Question

    So I am trying to beg a handcycle from this organization. But I am trying to find out which handcycles will actually work for my situation.

    I live in an apartment, which is going to make storing the cycle difficult. I would need to get it into a smallish elevator as well to get it up to my apartment. And once I get it up here I have a grand total of 300sq ft to live/sleep/cook/etc in, so storing it is going to be an issue, so I am thinking about storing it in my car.

    I am looking at a quickie shark type cycle (or similar), would I be able to get it into my trunk? My back seat? I have a 2004 toyota camry 4-dr, and I am not afraid to dedicate the entire backseat to storing the cycle, but I'd rather be able to fit it in the trunk.

    Any advice from people who ride handcycles would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Contact the folks at Bike-On. They know about all the bikes and might have some suggestions. Your best bet might be with one that comes apart easily. Assembled most are pretty bulky and I doubt they would fit in your car.

    http://bike-on.com/

  3. #3
    I have seen a couple of bike carriers which I believe were for 2 bikes that look like they would accommodate a handcycle. I agree with the recommendation that Bike-on may be able to help, they are very customer friendly and may identify a bike carrier that would work. Re your apartment is there any safe place on ground floor where your bike could be chained with mgt approval.

  4. #4
    Have you tried a handcycle yet. Where do you plan on riding? Are you in a big city live in the country. Do you plan on racing or just cruise and possibly do the odd 25 mile bike run. If the bike isn't suited to your tastes, you won't ride it.

    Low recumbents like the Shark, Top End Force R and Schmickling are basically designed for riding on paved streets and racing. The turning radius on them is very wide. Chris Peterson from Top End used to say his bikes were built to go straight and fast not turn sharply.

    As a handcyclist for 34 years, I strongly suggest you do your research and try other bikes if possible. The newer Top Ends and Quickies are very very low to the ground and for me were not suitable for the roads I ride.

    Storage can be a problem for those with little room. I doubt a person could easily get a recumbent into an elevator. I doubt it very much that you could get a recmbent into the back seat. Course if you took off the wheels a person may get one into a hatchback with the seats down. I use a rack from Top End. I figured that if I am going to ride a 4 thousand dollar bike, A proper bike rack is worth it.

    Any chance of trying out a few bikes first. I agree with the former suggestions of calling Bike-On. Scott and Andy are pretty good at figuring out what is proper. Course they want to sell bike too.

    If you do get into handcycling, it is so worth it. Getting out on the road without your chair and feeling the breeze is fantastic. I don't know what I would do without mine.

    IF you speak with Scott or Andy give them my regards.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Have you tried a handcycle yet. Where do you plan on riding? Are you in a big city live in the country. Do you plan on racing or just cruise and possibly do the odd 25 mile bike run. If the bike isn't suited to your tastes, you won't ride it.
    When I was in rehab I tried a couple (as in exactly 2) handcycles. One was an upright type bike, basically as high as a wheelchair with a straight back like a wheelchair. I would never ride that.

    If I remember right the other was a quickie shark, or at least something similar enough that that is the way I remember it. It seemed pretty decent, and while turning radius was definitely large, I dont think it would be a problem on the streets.

    I used to do triathlons and a time trial at the speedway every once in a while. I want a bike that I can ride from my house (which means getting down a fairly serious curb) and that I can take to go race in events. I also want to participate in my city's Critical Mass that some of my friends ride in.

    I live in the city, not a big city, but a real city, two blocks away is a 47 story sky scraper. No suburbs for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    As a handcyclist for 34 years, I strongly suggest you do your research and try other bikes if possible. The newer Top Ends and Quickies are very very low to the ground and for me were not suitable for the roads I ride.
    How low are they? If I can't go up a curb cutout or a pothole, I am going to be in trouble.

    I would like to try some bikes, but I don't know how to go about that. I don't think there is anyone near me who sells them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Storage can be a problem for those with little room. I doubt a person could easily get a recumbent into an elevator. I doubt it very much that you could get a recmbent into the back seat. Course if you took off the wheels a person may get one into a hatchback with the seats down. I use a rack from Top End. I figured that if I am going to ride a 4 thousand dollar bike, A proper bike rack is worth it.
    A bike rack would not really suit my purposes, because it needs to be secure. I really need to store it in the car, because that's the only way it would be reasonably accessible to me, and if its a pain in the ass to get the bike out, there's no way I would ride it.

    Reading up on some of the bikes, I see you can get the quick release rear wheels. Do you think If I took off the wheels, I could put the bike into the trunk, with either the rear axel or the front wheel sticking thru the folded down rear seat?



    I sent an email to the bike-on people, so hopefully I will hear back from them soon.

  6. #6
    I want a bike that can go down stairs like this one.


  7. #7
    Go to the bike-on website and check on the Varna bikes. You could remove the rear wheels and maybe get it in your car with your car being your permanent storage site. The Varnas have smaller front and rear wheels and may fit better. Obviously, get the dimensions of frame with front wheel attached then compare measurements to door opening on car and space on rear seat.

  8. #8
    The Varna is a nice bike. Georgio the designer is a world renown in the ab world for his HPV(human powered vehicles). I think his shop is still on Gabriola Island off Vancouver Canada. I know he holds many world records.

    For me, I'd stay with the screw on wheels rather than the quick release. They have to be looser so you can push in the release button which in turn makes them less efficient. I don't like the idea of my rear wheels being held on by two bb's in the axle going 35 down a hill. It only takes a minute to put the wheels on and off with a hex wrentch.

    the shark, Force, Schmickling have a 4" and less ground clearance from the bottom of the frame. I think the top seat cushion height is around 6 inches off the ground. These bikes are primarily designed for racing and paved roads.

    Others you can look at is the Freedom Ryder FRH-1 and the Intrepid. The FRH-1 is costly but handles really nice. It's one I'm riding now along with an old Top End Gold. The INtrepid is around 1600.00 I think. I've never ridden one but from what I've heard, they make a good recreational bike and seem to have a good rep. for taking care of their customers. Both are around 10-14" off the ground. I agree stay away from the uprights. I think you would over power the bike in no time.

    You want a bike that is somewhat adjustable for sure. Once you get dialed in and know you want in a fit want to ride; take the next step up and compete again, you could go for a more specialised bike.

    Check out the bikes and let us know what you are thinking. There are some great handcyclists here who can give some pointers when ordering. I think there may be some triathletes here also so you can get back into that if you wish. The sky's the limit, its a great time to be a disabled athlete with all the new equipment and training techniques coming out.

  9. #9
    If the back seat folds down like a hatchback, you may get the bike in with the wheels off.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    I don't like the idea of my rear wheels being held on by two bb's in the axle going 35 down a hill. It only takes a minute to put the wheels on and off with a hex wrentch.
    Is that how quick release wheels work on a handcycle? Like a wheelchair (if so that gives me a crazy idea), or do they work like quick release on a bicycle, where you screw it in and then flip the lever over to get it real tight?

    Either way, quick release wheels would be very important to me, because I am pretty sure that is the only way I would be able to fit it into the car.

    I am waiting to hear back from Andy so I can discuss it with him.

    Anyone else got an opinion?

    Anyone transport their handcycle inside a 4dr car?

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