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Thread: question: attached or standalone handcycle?

  1. #1

    question: attached or standalone handcycle?

    my husband (t6) got a grant that will partially pay for a handcycle
    so we were trying to decide whether it would be better for him to get one that attaches to his wheelchair, or one that stands alone.

    so i wanted to ask other hand cyclers for their preference......which do you think is better?

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. #2
    Senior Member StevieP's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    Winter Park / Fraser, CO
    What is his level of injury
    How much do you have to spend

  3. #3
    Senior Member StevieP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Winter Park / Fraser, CO
    I just saw your info.

    He does not need one that attach's to his chair, I have one and just got a bike that is a three wheel and is low to the ground.

    The one that attcheese to the front of the chair is not efficient, it takes a lot more effort to pedal, they do not have enough gears.

    When you say "got a grant that will partially pay for a hand cycle" How much did he get?

    Freedom Ryder just came out with a new pivot steer bike that has disc brakes and is a great bike.

    Were do you live?

  4. #4
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Alpine, TX USA male T4complete
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    there are a bunch of good european manufacturers of handcycles. Shop around, it is a MUCH bigger sport there than here in the land of the couch potato, lol.
    Definitely get a stand-alone hc, not an attachment!
    Last edited by CapnGimp; 09-03-2007 at 12:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GoTWHeeLs's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Oklahoma City
    I just got mine put together for me this morning and its bad tto the bone. Here's the link.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    SW Florida
    I just spent quite a bit of time reseaching handcycles. I don't think an attachable handcycle like the Dragonfly($349.99) at is suitable for most users, at least not serious users. You usually get what you pay for. If you have a very limited budget and will use the bike only occasionally for a little light excercise, and you have little room to transport a more serious cycle, then get the attachment. Some of the better attachables like the Quickie Cyclone at about $1200 aren't worth the cost. You can get a real full-frame cycle for a few hundred dollars more.

    I tried the Invacare XLT and liked it a lot. It's smooth and quiet to ride and shift. It has 7 speeds with a 27 speed option. I first thought this would be enough for the flat lands of Florida, but my wife likes to ride her 21 speed, so I knew I would need something more, and I already believed it when Andy at told me as a para I would quickly get bored with only 7 speeds.
    There are lots of fine choices out there and a wide range of options and prices--even custom jobs. I ordered a 27 speed Quickie Shark. Sure looks cool. It takes 6-8 weeks to come by boat from Germany though. By then the temperature here in Florida should be just right. We have spectacular winter weather here. Dry 70-85 degree days, 50-70 degree nights.

    Whatever you decided I hope the best for you both. Word of advice though: Make a commitment to actually use your handcycle. Don't waste your money if you can't commit and enjoy. We all have lots of junk around that we don't actually use. I have leg braces, a standing box, crutches, Elecro Stim, sex aids, and a walker in my SCI Graveyard of Dreams.
    Last edited by ala; 09-03-2007 at 07:20 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Apex, NC
    I had a detachable handcycle that I bought 15 years ago and now own a standalone. I don't really know how good the detachable units are nowadays but I think if this is something he wants to be fairly serious about I'd get a standalone and I agree with StevieP's assessment. I believe the performance would be much better and if he wanted to get into some races, tours, etc. that would be the way to go. But even if he is going to do this occassionally I go with the standalone because it will be much easier to ride and a better performing unit. I think you need to determine how and where you want to use it.

    Think about transfers also. This should not be an issue with your husband's level of injury but I don't know your husband's abilities and maybe it would not be an issue either way but there is a tradeoff between getting into a low standalone and trying to attach a unit to your chair which could be a hassle. Try it before you buy it.

    The pros to the detachable one are that you could go for a ride and if you want to stop somewhere and grab lunch or something like that (grocery store, etc.) all you have to do is detach the handcycle and lock it up outside. Kind of hard getting a standalone inside a restaurant and eating while in it. The other potential advantage to a detachable unit is space and where you will be riding. If you have a small car and he wants to drive to a bike path he will have to take along his everyday wheelchair and standalone unit which is much larger than a detachable unit.

    My choice would be a standalone by far but I'd really think about how and where you are going to use it.

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