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Thread: Upper Body Workout for Hancycle

  1. #1
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA

    Upper Body Workout for Hancycle

    I am looking at purchasing a handcycle soon. More than likely it will be a Feedom Ryder handcycle FRH-1. I have been working out for close to two years. My regular upper body workouts include:
    Dumbbell bench press
    Incline Bench press
    Cable crossover
    Push ups
    Lying tricep extension
    Wide Grip Pull up (assisted)
    Close grip Pulldown with v bar
    Cable row with v bar
    Dumbbell Pull over
    Barbell Curl
    INline bench barbell curl
    Dumbell preacher curl
    Shoulder press
    Dumbell lat raise
    Cable reverse fly

    I am wondering what i should change or tweak in order to be strong enough and have enough stamina for my handcycle. Any Suggestions? changes in exercises or additions?

  2. #2
    Cardio. Anything that gets the heartrate up. I've got the FRH-1 and love it. I ride roads and trails so being higher has it's advantages; one is to be seen and not having to worry about bottoming out on speed bumps and potholes. When you're ready to order the bike, I can give you what I ordered to make it more efficient. You're going to love handcycling, I'm on my 39th year of riding and feel grateful for it every time I go out.

  3. #3
    I live in Oregon so in the Winter months the gym is a big part of things but I found the more outdoor riding I get to do the less gym work I need. Might go for Hr and Half 3/4 days a week to the gym down to 2 days at maybe 45 min a time in the Summer. If you have a Indoor Trainer that helps a tremendous amount in the winter.
    Watch your shoulders and your tendons because you will be overloading them doing weights and riding.
    Having fun is the best advice.

  4. #4
    Junior Member OwlQC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Quebec, Canada
    I am using a Mini Bike exerciser like this one with the optional ergonomic pedals:

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    Not too expensive and it gives you a good cardio while indoors, lost over 85 pounds with it during last year

  5. #5
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    I do 40 min a day 5/6 days a week for cardio right now. I don't have access to a trainer at my gym so I can only work on strength and cardio. I will cut back on some of the lifting once I can start on the hand cycle. Which is fine cause my PT wants me to incorporate more lower body exercise. Right now I only work lower body 1 day a week, my legs are just too weak and it wipes me out. She wants three days a week at lighter exercises and reps. Wintersbwill be hard and long. I know I'm going to love it. I want to train for a year and then maybebenterba race. We shall see.

  6. #6
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    Question, I initially plan on training for 12-24 months before entering any type of handcycle race. So, given that I initially want to train and ride recreationally, but eventually want to start racing, if I can, which bike should I go with. I am looking between the FRH 1 $3995
    FRH 1R $4295
    FRH 1A $2995
    the FRH 1R is at the top of my price limit. Any suggestions?

  7. #7
    Boy, being an L1, you may want to look at the Leansteers. They are so much fun and give a greater workout to the lower back and ab's. The turning radius is smaller and feels like you are in a jet cockpit in the turns because the whole front end turns rather than just the front wheel. If I had my lower abs, I'd still be riding a leansteer. I did own one back in the early '80's and loved it. Don't bother with the FRH1R.

    If you decide to go with the FRH1 ask Mike to replace the rear axle with a lean steer one as they are 5" shorter than the FRH's. If he questions you about it, tell you spoke with me. He seems to think the wider axle on the FRH is safer. It may be but it also stops a lot of people from riding narrower trails and also puts the bike 5" further out on the road surface. I nor any of the guys who have the shorter axle on their FRH have remotely come close to flipping the bike in a tighter turn.

    I like upgrading my bikes as rewards for the miles I put in. On the FRH, I've changed to a Rotor chainring setup (Mike does that as an upgrade), changed out the steel chain, and built a 559 wheel set for bullet proof tires on the roads I ride. I've done a few other things to the bike but not important enough to mention. The best upgrade was to add the Rotor chainrings and narrower axle.

    As mentioned earlier, I'm going on 39 years riding. My first was in '76 with a hand built, in '81 or '82 a first generation twist shift Freedom Ryder then at least a dozen Top Ends from the first generation to the G. Of all the bikes I've owned, the two I liked best was the Lean steer and the FRH1. They were both hassle free and a joy to ride. The Top Ends were good too, but I was always working on them to make them more efficient and fit better. After they came out with the rubber steering dampner, I was continually ripping them apart in the turns and decided to try a Freedom Ryder again.

    Seriously look at the lean steers; either one is exceptional. The FRH1 continues to be my favorite and am glad I'm riding it still. If there is another new one in my future, I may look at Oracing or Lasher just for a change of something different. I'm really satisfied with what I have now.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 03-26-2015 at 01:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    I really wish I had access to being able to try before I buy. I didn't think it would be this difficult to find a handcyle. handcyle this is a lot of money to spend to get something that isn't right. Is anyone aware of any places near Green Bay, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Madison, Wisconsin areas that may have a hand cycle to try or demo? I will have to look into the lean steer .

  9. #9
    Get hold of Brain at He's in Milwaukee and should know someone that has a bike you can try or where there is a race to check out. His number should be on the web site or PM me I'll give you his number.
    You could also give UW Whitewater a call and see if they have any racers going to school there.

    I think with your rowing and all the other stuff you're doing, you should be able to do a 5 or 10 K pretty easy right off the bat. Then by fall one of the marathons. If you train up there in the Kettle Moraine anywhere else will be a breeze. Milwaukee is easy, Chicago bumpy, Minn has the big crowd.

  10. #10
    I know for Recreational riding and small local Races a FR is fine but if you think or have idea's of getting into serious Racing the up right HC is a think of the past. Im not saying they are not a good bike for cruising and recreational rides and local Races.
    It just depends on what you want to do with it.

    And yes I know I will probably here it from all the FR riders (:

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