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Thread: First handcycle ride...how do I get up hills!!

  1. #11
    R, sent you John's email address in a pm. He's the man when it comes to setting up a Force R for a person with no triceps and very little handgrip.

  2. #12
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Modifying your gearing setup may help as well. According to Top End's website, the lowest ratio you have is a 24t chainring and a 32t cassette. You could go even lower to a 22t chainring and a 36t cassette. That would make it a lot easier to pedal anywhere, especially up hills. Just take it to a bike shop and ask them about improving your gearing ratios. They may need to order the parts, though.

    The Force R is designed and set up for racing so it's not surprising to have to adjust it to your needs.

    I agree with the others that proper setup to maximize your arm length and strength can benefit, too.
    Last edited by brian; 05-01-2012 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #13

    Qudgrips.com for handles and advice

    Got an email from John Squires on what handgrips to use. He also suggested changing over to XTR Shifters. Here's the address for inquires on shifters etc. James would also be a great resource for setting up a h/c for higher level riders.


    Hey man. Quadgrips.com tell the owner james I referred her. Great guy. These handles are the best by far I’ve ever seen. She will need xtr shifters too, he has those as well.
    jamestammywatson@cox.net

  4. #14
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    It's your first "real" ride, it doesn't come like you're a pro. You have to build up strength and endurance. 4 miles is good for your first ride out.

  5. #15
    Here are the grips I have and I loooove them http://bike-on.com/product/bike-on-c...-grips-733.htm. It's the one thing on that bike I'm pretty sure of. Everything has only been used once so I'd rather not replace parts. Adding is totally an option. I guess I'm looking to be educated about cycling in general because I didn't cycle before. I know nothing about gears. I know press up when going down hill because it gives you something to push against to get momentum and press down for up because it makes it easier. I didn't even mess with that one big gear sorry to be so ignorant about it all!

  6. #16
    Senior Member trekker6's Avatar
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    Rachelle,
    most of the incomplete quads on here use regular bikes, we have stronger leg muscles and our triceps are very weak, if you look in the "what work out did you do today" thread, you'll see all the bikes the paras and quads use. If you can't use the regular bikes, the electric booster they were talking about would be a great way to enjoy your rides while still getting a workout, I have some tris and biceps, but wouldn't consider a handbike, I'm a c4 incomplete.
    "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

  7. #17
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    Shifting isn't rocket science, you want to choose a gear that's easy to pedal and shift as you increase speed. The smaller the sprocket on the drive wheel, the harder to pedal/faster you can go. The biggest sprocket on the crank with the smallest on the drive wheel is the top gear, hardest to pedal, but fastest. The smallest on the crank and biggest on the drive wheel is the easiest/slowest gear. What you want is a steady cadance while pedaling, meaning your turning the pedals at a constant rate. Practice shifting gears, I wouldn't worry about upgrading any parts, the R doesn't come with the crappiest parts. Not sure about how many hills or how tall they are in N.C., but even on flat roads, shifting is often neccessary, so it's something you need to practice. Maybe not so much on your gear on the cranks(middle sprocket you probably do most of what you need), but definitely need to be able to shift the gears on the drive wheel(cassette), this is the lever moost likely on the pedal. They also makes twist shifters and some have both shifters mounted on frame. There are also shifters that you can actually shift while not pedaling, which may be something you will nedd to look into if you get seriuos about riding. Upgrading cpmponents is expensive, so try and work with what you got for now.

  8. #18
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECUrach85 View Post
    I know nothing about gears. I know press up when going down hill because it gives you something to push against to get momentum and press down for up because it makes it easier. I didn't even mess with that one big gear sorry to be so ignorant about it all!
    No problem. Gearing is the most complicated part of the bike, but understanding how it works can allow you to maximize your effort and allow you to choose the right gear for the terrain you're on and make your ride more fun.




    Your bike has two important gears: the chainring and the cassette. The chainring is the gear you pedal and the cassette is the gear that is fixed to the drive wheel.

    These are things that can be added and removed fairly easily and you keep all your parts if you want to restore the bike to its original condition.

    When going up a steep hill, you'll want your chain on the far inside gear on both the chainring k and the cassette. If that's still difficult for you, below is a way to change those gears to make it easier.



    Gears are measured in teeth. For example a 42t gear has 42 teeth and is larger than a 24t gear which has 24 teeth.

    The rest is basic physics.

    If your chainring (drive gear) has 30 teeth and your cassette gear has 30 teeth, your wheel is moving one revolution each time you push your crank around. That's a 1:1 ratio. Modifying this ratio is what you do when you change gears.

    Increasing the ratio will cause you to go faster, but with greater effort. For example, a 60t chainring with a 30t cassette will result in a 2:1 ratio (or "2.0"). This means that your drive wheel will turn twice every time you push your crank around.

    Decreasing the ratio will cause you to go slower, but with much less effort. For example, a 15t chainring with a 30t cassette will result in a 1:2 ratio (or "0.5"). This means that your drive wheel will turn a half revolution every time you push your crank around. Every time you lower the ratio, it will be easier to pedal up a hill.

    Your lowest gear is a 24t chainring and a 32t cassette. That's a ratio of 0.75.
    If you got a 22t chainring and a 36t cassette, that would be a ratio of 0.61.
    That looks like a small difference, but trust me, you'll be able to feel it.

    There might even be options to allow a lower ratio than that. Your bike shop should have a fat catalog of thousands of parts and once they identify what brand of components you have, they should be able to provide you with a few options that fit your bike's hardware.



    All that being said, this is an option that can take a bit of time and money, but if you're really having diffuculty with moderate inclines it may be something you'll want to consider.

    Let us know if you have more questions. We're here to help!




    Quote Originally Posted by jschism View Post
    I wouldn't worry about upgrading any parts, the R doesn't come with the crappiest parts.
    True. SRAM is a company that makes great components. What we're talking about here, though, isn't an upgrade to someting better - it's a lateral change to improve gearing ratios.
    Last edited by brian; 05-01-2012 at 04:35 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jschism View Post
    It's your first "real" ride, it doesn't come like you're a pro. You have to build up strength and endurance. 4 miles is good for your first ride out.

    Totally agree....with the build up strength and endurance!

    I've been riding for 2 years now. First few rides were around 6 miles, and I was pooped out completely. We don't have any "hills" where I live in FL, but we do have overpasses for the highways

    I had completely relied on just riding to build up strength and endurance, and then added weight training this past Dec. I hadn't been over one of the overpasses since the end of January, and when I did, I was going about 2 1/2 mph (small ring & 1st gear).

    This past Sunday I went out for a 12 mile ride and hit 2 overpasses (miles 5 & mile 8) and noticed I was doing 4 1/2 mph at the first. At halfway up I even changed to 3rd gear. That's a major difference, and I believe it all has to do with the weight training.

    Give it some time, and don't give up!
    C5 Incomplete - 25 years of experience!

  10. #20
    Way to go JD. Sure feels good to see improvement. Yeah, I agree, going up a hill slowly can be grueling. I'm not any faster on a lot of hills; love the pump I feel at the top.

    Craig Blanchette gave a clinic at one of Mike Utleys runs. He said anticipation of the hill is a factor,proper gear at the bottom, and to get as much spin going before going up the hill and gearing up to keep up the cadence as much as possible.

    We're rec riders. Going up a hill at 2 1/2mph is great. Riding only 4 miles is terrific. If you need a powerpod cause of limitations, go for it. The main thing to do is get out there. If it takes a change of parts or even a bike; if it is more efficient for me and keeps me in the saddle that much longer; it's worth it. I don't know what I would do with out my bike. Never quit

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