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Thread: Freedom Ryder FRH 1A

  1. #1
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Freedom Ryder FRH 1A

    There is a Freedom Ryder FRH 1A for sale in my area. I am wondering what I should look for when I check it out. It will be my first Handcycle. Its being offered for $1400 and I have no idea if this is a decent price or not. It looks like Freedom Ryder is no longer selling this model. Does anyone know if there were issues with it? Also, is this a more general riding bike vs a racing bike. I would eventually like to participate in local 5k races, more for supporting whatever is going on, not really racing. (At least not at this point ) Any information on this handcycle would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I rode a Freedom Ryder for a long time and think they are a great choice. I believe the FRH is a "head" steer trike versus a "lean" steer trike. The lean steer trike is what sets Freedom Ryder apart from other handcycles. It's a much more natural way to steer a trike but you do need some upper body strength to really take advantage of the system. Head steer is more like a kid's tricycle where you turn the bars to turn the bike. This type of handcycle can require a surprising amount of arm strength, in my humble opinion. A new Freedom Ryder of any flavor is pushing $4K (and up), so if the one you are looking at is in decent shape, it sounds like a good deal. A few things you can look at are sprocket and chainwheel wear (look for sharp teeth as this indicates that the sprocket will require replacement fairly soon along with the chain), frayed cables, and out-of-round wheels. One spot to look at is the frame directly under the seat as this is where the load is greatest. Mike builds a great product and as long as the thing hasn't been run over by a dump truck, I think you will be fine. Make sure and take a test ride!

  3. #3
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Thank you for responding. Its difficult to get all the info. on this bike. A shop has it, and is selling for someone, so they really have no idea what they are looking at. He was unsure of the year but when looking at the gears he thinks less than 5 years old. Has 24" crank This is the FRH 1A. I think it went for $3000 new. They said it looks well taken care of. They have it on hold for me, I will go Tues to take a look at it. I have been waiting for several years to find something I could afford. I have good upper body strength. I kayak. And I also strength train weekly. I have been working on arms, lats, shoulders, chest, in hopes of getting a handcycle. Again thank you for responding with the information of what to look for, I really appreciate it.

  4. #4
    I remember that Handcycle, that was the cheaper version of the FRH and used a slightly different style frame and less expensive components. The bike was indeed $2995 when new, so if it's in decent shape I'd say the 1400 is a good deal. I'm still really liking my FRH and just did a Marathon on it today. Heres a review I wrote quite some time ago. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthr...dom-Ryder-FRH1
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 05-30-2016 at 12:23 AM.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  5. #5
    I purchased a Freedom Ryder in around 1996 and loved it from the start. The lean steer was perfect for me - I'm Polio paralyzed. I used a seat belt to stabilize my hip area and it only took a slight "lean" to steer it. One issue for me was it had a big turning around radius, however that was only a problem when I used it on our dead end road and had to turn around on the narrow road. I did not race, I used it recreationally for about 5 years mostly on a paved 8 mile trail. Previous to the biking I used a race chair to do over a hundred races and 12 marathons, over a 12 year period. When I sold it for about $800 it was about 5 years old.

    Give some thought to transporting it to where you will train, if you do need to travel with it. Hubby is paralyzed too, so it was a workout to load both handcycles in our van, along with two wheelchairs.
    I don't see why there would be any problems racing this handcycle. Keep in mind that once you get into this sport you may see and test other bikes and decide to change.
    When I was into race chairs I went through about 8 of them - they kept drastically improving designs so I would sell one and buy another.
    Best of luck with your plans!

  6. #6
    Just to add, you would be much faster on a hand cycle like a top end Force but there are also disadvantages like ease of getting on and off and comfort. I don't like being in the lay down position myself, I find it very uncomfortable and I don't feel as safe as far as visibility goes. But I do get beat by those guys on those bikes all the time, but winning is not everything, it is all about enjoying the ride for me. Freedom Ryder makes a great bike, it's just not a fast bike but can still be raced. If you do build up to being real fast on that bike, that is a accomplishment. The guys on the lay down bikes are exerting a lot less effort and gliding along where on these bikes you have to really work for it.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  7. #7
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    I figure this is an entry level handcycle. Not top of the line but a solid handcycle to begin with. Will get to know the ins and outs of it. What I like, what I don't like. If I can handle being in the seated position for longer lengths of time, if I am fit enough to handcycle. Mainly right now I want it to supplement my fitness routine. I go to the gym daily for strength training and do 40 min of cardio. Sometimes later in the day I really want to get out and do something fun and relaxing, but do not want to go back to the gym. Since I can't walk, hike, or use a regular bike, I figure this will give me an option to be out and about. Right now from my home I have access to a park I can ride, and a bike trail that I can ride to also. Transporting it will need to be figured out eventually. Right now I do have a small trailer it will fit on no problem. Hopefully tonight, after 13 years of not being on a bike, I can go for my first ride!

  8. #8
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    Congrats....I am sure you will love it

  9. #9
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Ok, so a bit bummed. Drove over two hours one way to take a look at this handcycle. Is definately not what was posted. It is a Freedom Ryder. However it is eight years old. Looked in decent condition. I am not sure what model though. It had freedom ryder and I think, Victoria decal on it. Anyway, I offered $1000 for it and the shop agreed. I said I wanted to take if for a ride, he said they would get it tuned up first, give them 20 min. So, after almost two hours of working on the bike the owner of the shop informed me there is something wrong with it. They can't figure it out. He said he doesnt want to sell me something that isnt working right and thought the customer who brought it in had said it was working properly. Needless to say the owner of the shop was not happy and very apologetic that it was not working. He was really great about it. He said he is going to call the owner of the bike and let them know what is going on with it. He said he would call Freedom Ryder and make sure he is doing everything appropriately and if it can be fixed it will be. He even offered to drive it up to my location if it is fixable. Other than a whole day wasted and a tank of gas, I still wasn't able to get the bike. So now I am waiting to see if it is fixable. So, $1000 for an 8 year old freedom ryder, fully tuned up and ready to go. Still a good deal?

    My next question is that a Invacare Top End just came up for sale in my area also. The handcycle is a couple years old and was never used. (the gentleman who had it rode it around the parking lot a couple times and then became ill after purchase and passed. The wife is selling it, it has been stored in the garage.) Was purchased for $3,500. I dont know the exact model of it, from the pictures I can see its invacare and has top end written on it, but that is all I can make out. She is asking $1,500. Would this be a better deal than the freedom ryder? The invacare looks like the Top End xlt.
    Last edited by medic1; 06-01-2016 at 08:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Well, that wasn't much fun, was it? I'm trying to figure out what could be wrong with the Freedom Ryder that a good bike shop couldn't fix. If you get a test ride on it and it suits you, I think $1000 is still a good deal, eight years old or not. As far as the XLT goes, I wrote a review of it here: http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthr...ndcycle-review . I bought an XLT after I sold my 20 year old (!) Freedom Ryder. The review is pretty self-explanatory. In my opinion, you will have to do something about the gearing on a stock XLT to make it really useful. Otherwise, you'll be riding around in the bottom two gears and the other 5 are essentially useless. I have a fairly short but steep driveway and it was a chore to get back to my garage in 1st gear with the stock gearing. Anyway, take a look at the review and post any questions here and I'll try to answer them.

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