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Thread: Handcycle recommendations?

  1. #1

    Handcycle recommendations?

    Been looking @ handcycles and really liking the Freedom Ryder Frh-1R. Looking for a bike that is good for recreation, camping, general working out.

    anyone have any experience on a freedom Ryder? I prefer a slightly reclined position

  2. #2
    lasher or top end cross rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  3. #3
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I've had a Freedom Ryder LC-1 for over 20 years and I love the lean-steer. If you're a para you should look into a lean-steer. I'm a t4 with no trunk control and I ride it just fine. Leaning into turns feels like I'm back on a bike. I've been on a couple headset-steer bikes and it feels like I'm pedaling a chair, relatively.

    I think Freedom Ryder is a good company. I visited them a number of years back and it's just a couple guys working out of a garage and a small warehouse space. If you're into the idea of a independently-owned, small output brand, Freedom Ryder is it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    North Brittany, France
    if you're looking for big off-road abilities, you may consider the new Hase Kettweisel (Kross or Evo)
    Easy transfer (high, slightly reclined seat) Very good grip due to the backwheel transmission, huge ground clearance, independant suspension on each wheel, hydraulic disc brakes… a serious bike for sure.
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    illinois, and no, chicago is not anywhere near where i live
    Reactive Adaptions Nuke is great for getting around campgrounds and has become my "city" bike because it is so much easier to get on and much better handling around town because it turns better. Being rear wheel drive makes it great when you get off pavement.

  6. #6
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    All good recommendations. A handcycle is a major purchase and you should do everything you can to try as many models as you can before you purchase.

    Call and email companies - many will try and connect you with known users in your area (if there are any). Reach out to local rehab centers and adaptive sports programs. Do everything you can to actually SIT IN the bikes you're looking at.

  7. #7
    I got the FRH-1 and really enjoy it. Wish i would have gotten the FRH-1R from beginning because i really want to lean back more. Would be nice if they had better options for the cranks, didn't really care for the style that comes with it. Thinking i was going to just use it for exercise, but the better I got the more i contemplated racing and started looking at the topend/carbon high-end "lay flat" bikes, but never pulled the trigger.
    Last edited by Myles30; 02-10-2017 at 05:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    One thing you need to consider is visibility. It's important to be able to see and be seen, especially with trucks, SUVs, and CUVs being so popular. Drivers are having a more difficult time seeing what's beneath them, in front of them, and ahead of them the higher and bigger their cars get.

    I commute and ride in heavy traffic every day. I would never buy a low-laying bike for riding in the street and traffic.

    But if you're only using it on bike paths and off-street areas, a low reclined position may be preferable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    NB, Canada
    I went with the Varna Speedcycle, which I like very much. The design is simple, functional, adjustable and utilizes strong high quality components. The "neck" is the pivot point of the entire handcycle, so you can get the hand cranks as close as possible for comfort before locking them in place. As you push the neck forward to get it out of the way to transfer in and out of the bike, the seat naturally raises and reclines slightly backwards making transfers so much easier. Turn radius is great. (I can pull U-turns easily on the small country roads where I live.) It uses a Shimano 24 speed megarange for gearing. It offers the flexibility to make it up some very steep paved inclines while still being able to hit some impressive high speeds--enough that the vicious dogs that people refuse to tie up can't catch me and trust me they are very fast. (Remember, I live in the country.) The "S" shape of the frame is ever so slightly "springy" and able to absorb impacts making it less hard on the back for long rides. The 20" mountain bike type tires that come with the bike have way more meat on them them than the thin race tires you usually see on handcycles for long durability and preventing punctures.

    By pulling two bolts, the entire handcrank/front wheel assembly separates from the rest of the body quickly for transport in the hatchback of a compact car (2008 VW R32/GTI). I added two small brackets I had made out of billet aluminium to the rear axle so that I can bring my wheelchair with me when I go for bike rides. I also have an indoor mag trainer which allows me to use my handcycle indoors.

  10. #10
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    I have the freedom ryder FRH.

    Do everything you can to try before you buy. Trying just a couple will really make you think about what you need.

    I'm not the person to do this .. but 'WE' should make up a flow chart of all the possible decisions and choices you should think about and how it would drive you to certain specific hand cycles.

    You really need to think about where you are going to be using your handcycle and how serious you're going to be.
    If you are just going to be using it from a home base or breaking it down and putting it in the car etc to use it at other locations.
    Is it just for fun, or are your goals to enter competitions ?

    My major grip with the FRH is it pretty much is only useful on paved surfaces, if you end up on the grass and dirt you kind of get stuck.. they are after all road wheels, but it would be nice to be able to swap a set of mountain bike wheels on. The rear wheels would be easy, but you're limited at the front because of the narrowness of the forks and brakes etc.

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