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Thread: handbike modification + crank width and length

  1. #1

    handbike modification + crank width and length

    hey folks.
    am looking at improving my handbiking speed and efficiency, and i see that many of you ride with narrow and short cranks...
    is that better? is that faster?
    here is a pic of my bike, with the standard cranks i got when i ordered from bike-on
    any additional advise on improving my bike for better speed, and any advice on training would be highly appreciated.

    i just did the beirut marathon and finished at an abysmal 2:14
    i promised myself that i will never allow myself to finish at such an embarassing time again.
    next event in 4 weeks... so bring it on!!


  2. #2
    depends on if your a cadence rider or a masher. im a quad racer. ive went from 175mm to 165 and now to 155 and 145mm. i prefer shorter crant, it allows me to climb better and hit a better cadence.

  3. #3
    Like Fuentes says...It depends. It looks like your cranks are a little wide for you, but be aware changing your cranks is not going to give you that much of a speed increase. You may see 2 - 3 minutes difference in 26.2 miles, but nothing significant. You probabbly just need to get on a training plan.

    What is the course elevation like at beirut?

  4. #4
    also, the narrower you go you will need to shorten up to clear your gut in most cases.

  5. #5
    I just looked at the results from the race. You should not feel bad at all. It must be a pretty hard course. Some of the big names were about 15 - 20 minutes slower than their typical Marathon times.

  6. #6
    And just in-case you are not aware of it, Renata and Svetlana are both very fast. They would beat most of the guys in the states, so dont feel bad that the girls were ahead of you. They are world class.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ckhouri View Post
    hey folks.
    any additional advise on improving my bike for better speed, and any advice on training would be highly appreciated.
    Going with shorter cranks "might" improve your time by several minutes at most if you can maintain a high cadence. If you want to improve your time significantly, then you must improve the engine by training hard. With only 4 weeks to go, your best bet are high intensity intervals, such as L4 (Lactate Threshold) or L5 (VO2 Max) intervals. If you are not coughing up blood at the end of such interval session, then you are not doing them hard enough. For example, do 5 x 5 x 1 at 110% FTP. If you don't have a power meter, then do them at > 90% max heart rate.

  8. #8
    What is your injury level? That is an important factor to determine the type of training that will suit you best. However, if you're a low para then Richard's tip will probably be most effective for a fast short-term boost.

  9. #9
    Just finished doing a brutal 5x5x1 session (with several more to go) in preparation for the upcoming Seattle Marathon. The 1 minute rest between reps sure went by fast. My tested Functional Threshold Power (FTP) several months ago was 145 watts, so I try to do these intervals between 152W-155W. Here are some graphs from my Garmin Edge 500:

    My max heart rate is 188 bpm, so I did these 10 to 5 beats below it. I think it will be very difficult to do these intervals without using a power meter for pacing.

  10. #10
    nice richard. one thing am i reading that right your resting heartrate was 110 prior to start?

    u must be a very low injury to keep that heart rate up like that.

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