The handcycle is a human-powered vehicle, operated using the arms, rather than the legs. They are usually a recumbent vehicles. Designed with a front central wheel turned by gears linked to the hand cranks that are used for powering the bike. This front wheel is steerable, with the rear wheels configured for stability.
Handcycles are older than regular bicycles, with the first example being invented in 1655 by Stephan Farffler of Nuremberg. Of course, things have moved on in the last 365+ years, with modern handcycles – particularly the sporting models – being sleek and speedy machines.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at these modern handcycles, discuss their many benefits, and help you decide if they are right for you:
Is a handcycle a good choice for me?
Generally speaking, yes. Like any human-powered device, handcycles need a bit of practice to get used to and to operate safely, but they are a great choice for many disabled users. They do require a certain amount of hand-grip and upper body strength to power effectively and brake safely for slowing down, but modifications can be made to assist you in this area.
If you are an athletic person then a recumbent dedicated handcycle could be ideal for you. Just like regular bike racing, handcycling is a fun sport to get into and provides you with a fantastic form of exercise. There are plenty of local and national handcycling clubs across the country, or you could do it just for the fun of it. There are also off-road handcycles for those that fancy a different kind of challenge.
Handcycling doesn’t have to be a competitive sport – plenty of people do it as an everyday leisure activity. This is great for kids and adults alike, promoting healthy exercise, while also allowing them to take part with their peers who might be on regular pedal cycles as both can manage similar turns of speed.
If you want to use your handcycle for recreation & fitness rather than competition, then we do recommend giving a power-assisted model further consideration, and a hands-on trial. It’s powered mechanism helps you with hills, long rises, and so on, preventing them from becoming a major obstacle. Also, the faster acceleration is a lot of fun, and good for increased safety at road junctions, or merging-in with traffic.
We know that each handcycle user is unique and that many may require their own particular modifications to get the most out of their vehicle. At Bromakin, we supply customised handcycles, including special leg rests, limb supports, and more, for those who need them.
If you’re interested in a high-quality handcycle, visit our online store for our latest models and prices. Alternatively, give us a call on 01509 217569 to arrange a viewing and demonstration at our Loughborough showroom. Rob Wickham is our product expert and has been a keen handcyclist himself for a long time.