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Thread: handbike

  1. #1
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    handbike

    has anyone actually had a DME get a demo handbike to try? i went to the abilities expo schaumburgh last year and they had a couple booths, so i went this year (3 hour drive) specifically to check out some an there was not one there. that expo is a joke as far as i am concerned.

  2. #2
    Never heard of any dme getting a h/c in for anyone to try. I've been hc/ for 35 years. What is it that you need to know. there ar a lot of handcyclists here that could give you some good advice. What's your budget, new or used, level of injury. Do you want to race or just ride for fun? Were you active before injury?

    There's nothing like getting out on the road and trails, out of your chair and getting in shape with a handcycle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    i got a quickie mach 2, but it kinda sucks and is like a sail in the wind. it was easy to get into at the time. i'm ready for something faster and better. Top End claims they have test centers where a person can go and try them out, but the link they sent me doesn't say where. i'm a t-11, rode a cannondale road race before i got hurt, it still hangs in garage as a reminder i need to ride again, somehow. i don't know anything about handcycles.

  4. #4
    I hear you about the Quickie mach 2. Great for higher breaks or those who live in the city. Sounds like you have good balance etc. You might take a look at the leansteer LC-1 from Freedom Ryder. It is a complete different experience than a pivot bike. The turning radius is better and the workout would be that much greater. It feels like you are sitting in a jet cockpit going around the corners. They have a one month trial. period where you only pay for the return shipping if you don't like it.
    The Top End Force G would also be a great bike. It is a pivot type steering.

    The only downer about Top End Bikes for me, and I rode them for over 20 years, is the steering dampner. They do have a tendency to rip off. No big deal just takes a 9/16 wrentch and pair of pliers.

    With your being a T/11, I think the LC or Force G would be great choices to start out with. If you want your dme involved, perhaps if you gave him some models you want to try, he could check it out. I don't recall if h/c companies let reps demo their bikes. It could be an insurance issue.

    I'm sure the other crankheads will chime in. There is a lot to take into consideration when ordering; I'm sure they could provide some input.

    There is no comparison between a Mach 2 and the new recumbents; you're going to be blown away by how fast you are..

  5. #5
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    i am hoping to be blown away, it is hard to keep up with my kids in the MachII and it takes a lot of effort. i am sure the difference will be as noticeable as getting on a huffy as compared to my cannondale. it sucks seeing it hang in my garage, $4500 reminder of what i enjoy, makes me want to get going on handbike.

  6. #6
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    hi i'm new to this site. i signed up because i am interested in buying a handcycle but i have a lot of questions. i am not spinally injured, but i have a permanent leg injury and cannot ride a bicycle. i was an avid cyclist before my injury, and i am itching to get active again. i've been looking at the freedom ryder FRH-1A.

    - is there a way insurance or medicare would pay for any of it?
    - are these custom made to fit each person or could i buy a used one?
    - what are the pros/cons of sitting upright vs. laying back?
    - does it work out core muscles (abs/lower back) very well?
    - would this bike be ideal for long distance riding (in the future after i get in shape)?

    that's all the questions i can think of right now, i'm sure i'll have more later. i appreciate any feedback!

  7. #7
    I had a dme bring me quickie shark to demo for a bit. Fast bike, but I get my lasher sport ATH delivered tomorrow.... Hopefully. Last time I checked it was hung up clearing customs... Usually means more money when it shows up to the door.

  8. #8
    It's going to be worth it K-dog. You made a wise choice not buying a Shark.

    Js, sell the Cannondale. It's better that it gets ridden than be stuck up on a wall rusting away or save it for one of the kids.

    If you were riding a road bike of that caliber; you need to get back riding in a proper bike. The Mach II is a great first recreational bike. It's time to upgrade and get back to really feeling the road again at a good speed. There's nothing like going 20t mph out of the chair and feeling that burn. I bet you miss it bigtime!

    There was a thread posted today of a guy selling two Leansteers at a really good price. With you being a T/11, it would be perfect. You'd be amazed at the shape it would put your lower core in.

  9. #9
    Buying a handcycle (new or used) is almost always going to be a significant investment. One of the first things to do is to define your objectives. If you're just riding around with family, you certainly won't need one of the ultra-aero race bikes that are becoming so popular. The Top End bikes have really come a long way in the last couple years. Although, as Patrick mentioned, there are little things (like the rubber bushings) that can be a bit of a nuisance. If you have one of those bikes, I suggest getting a replacement from a different source (try McMaster-Carr).

    If you're considering a lean-steer bike from Freedom Ryder, I would stick with an LC-1 or a CB-1 (if you can find it used). The older lean-steer Freedom Ryders are notorious for being extremely unstable. I've done quite a bit of handcycling, and I've seen those old FRs fly out of control numerous times (some resulting in significant injury). The LC-1 and CB-1 don't seem to be nearly as prone to instability, but they still aren't quite as stable as a fork-steer bike. They also have a proprietary seating system that can leave some users susceptible to pressure ulcers.

    Intrepid Equipment has inexpensive bikes. Schmicking has some that cost as much as a nice used car. There are LOTS of options out there. Whether you find something used or go with a new one, make sure to get some advice from others before you plunk down any cash. Unfortunately, buying a handcycle will probably always be an expensive proposition.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    this was an old thread
    @snotsnot-sounds like a handcycle would be great for you, since your not a SCI, skip right to low riding bike. You should look into a lean to steer(freedom ryder lc-1) for a fun ride and good workout. the ones that lay back are more aerodynamic and faster, but if you want a good core workout, the lc-1 will be the way to go. I can easily cruise 10 miles at an average speed of 12mph in town with all the stopping and turning(small town).

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