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First handcycle do I get up hills!!

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    most of the incomplete quads on here use regular bikes, we have stronger leg muscles and our triceps are very weak, if you look in the "what work out did you do today" thread, you'll see all the bikes the paras and quads use. If you can't use the regular bikes, the electric booster they were talking about would be a great way to enjoy your rides while still getting a workout, I have some tris and biceps, but wouldn't consider a handbike, I'm a c4 incomplete.
    "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"


      Shifting isn't rocket science, you want to choose a gear that's easy to pedal and shift as you increase speed. The smaller the sprocket on the drive wheel, the harder to pedal/faster you can go. The biggest sprocket on the crank with the smallest on the drive wheel is the top gear, hardest to pedal, but fastest. The smallest on the crank and biggest on the drive wheel is the easiest/slowest gear. What you want is a steady cadance while pedaling, meaning your turning the pedals at a constant rate. Practice shifting gears, I wouldn't worry about upgrading any parts, the R doesn't come with the crappiest parts. Not sure about how many hills or how tall they are in N.C., but even on flat roads, shifting is often neccessary, so it's something you need to practice. Maybe not so much on your gear on the cranks(middle sprocket you probably do most of what you need), but definitely need to be able to shift the gears on the drive wheel(cassette), this is the lever moost likely on the pedal. They also makes twist shifters and some have both shifters mounted on frame. There are also shifters that you can actually shift while not pedaling, which may be something you will nedd to look into if you get seriuos about riding. Upgrading cpmponents is expensive, so try and work with what you got for now.


        Originally posted by ECUrach85 View Post
        I know nothing about gears. I know press up when going down hill because it gives you something to push against to get momentum and press down for up because it makes it easier. I didn't even mess with that one big gear sorry to be so ignorant about it all!
        No problem. Gearing is the most complicated part of the bike, but understanding how it works can allow you to maximize your effort and allow you to choose the right gear for the terrain you're on and make your ride more fun.

        Your bike has two important gears: the chainring and the cassette. The chainring is the gear you pedal and the cassette is the gear that is fixed to the drive wheel.

        These are things that can be added and removed fairly easily and you keep all your parts if you want to restore the bike to its original condition.

        When going up a steep hill, you'll want your chain on the far inside gear on both the chainring k and the cassette. If that's still difficult for you, below is a way to change those gears to make it easier.

        Gears are measured in teeth. For example a 42t gear has 42 teeth and is larger than a 24t gear which has 24 teeth.

        The rest is basic physics.

        If your chainring (drive gear) has 30 teeth and your cassette gear has 30 teeth, your wheel is moving one revolution each time you push your crank around. That's a 1:1 ratio. Modifying this ratio is what you do when you change gears.

        Increasing the ratio will cause you to go faster, but with greater effort. For example, a 60t chainring with a 30t cassette will result in a 2:1 ratio (or "2.0"). This means that your drive wheel will turn twice every time you push your crank around.

        Decreasing the ratio will cause you to go slower, but with much less effort. For example, a 15t chainring with a 30t cassette will result in a 1:2 ratio (or "0.5"). This means that your drive wheel will turn a half revolution every time you push your crank around. Every time you lower the ratio, it will be easier to pedal up a hill.

        Your lowest gear is a 24t chainring and a 32t cassette. That's a ratio of 0.75.
        If you got a 22t chainring and a 36t cassette, that would be a ratio of 0.61.
        That looks like a small difference, but trust me, you'll be able to feel it.

        There might even be options to allow a lower ratio than that. Your bike shop should have a fat catalog of thousands of parts and once they identify what brand of components you have, they should be able to provide you with a few options that fit your bike's hardware.

        All that being said, this is an option that can take a bit of time and money, but if you're really having diffuculty with moderate inclines it may be something you'll want to consider.

        Let us know if you have more questions. We're here to help!

        Originally posted by jschism View Post
        I wouldn't worry about upgrading any parts, the R doesn't come with the crappiest parts.
        True. SRAM is a company that makes great components. What we're talking about here, though, isn't an upgrade to someting better - it's a lateral change to improve gearing ratios.
        Last edited by brian; 1 May 2012, 4:35 PM.


          Originally posted by jschism View Post
          It's your first "real" ride, it doesn't come like you're a pro. You have to build up strength and endurance. 4 miles is good for your first ride out.

          Totally agree....with the build up strength and endurance!

          I've been riding for 2 years now. First few rides were around 6 miles, and I was pooped out completely. We don't have any "hills" where I live in FL, but we do have overpasses for the highways

          I had completely relied on just riding to build up strength and endurance, and then added weight training this past Dec. I hadn't been over one of the overpasses since the end of January, and when I did, I was going about 2 1/2 mph (small ring & 1st gear).

          This past Sunday I went out for a 12 mile ride and hit 2 overpasses (miles 5 & mile 8) and noticed I was doing 4 1/2 mph at the first. At halfway up I even changed to 3rd gear. That's a major difference, and I believe it all has to do with the weight training.

          Give it some time, and don't give up!
          C5 Incomplete - 25 years of experience!


            Way to go JD. Sure feels good to see improvement. Yeah, I agree, going up a hill slowly can be grueling. I'm not any faster on a lot of hills; love the pump I feel at the top.

            Craig Blanchette gave a clinic at one of Mike Utleys runs. He said anticipation of the hill is a factor,proper gear at the bottom, and to get as much spin going before going up the hill and gearing up to keep up the cadence as much as possible.

            We're rec riders. Going up a hill at 2 1/2mph is great. Riding only 4 miles is terrific. If you need a powerpod cause of limitations, go for it. The main thing to do is get out there. If it takes a change of parts or even a bike; if it is more efficient for me and keeps me in the saddle that much longer; it's worth it. I don't know what I would do with out my bike. Never quit


              Took me a while to learn that it is OK to actually try and go slow up hills. Like Patrick said, 2-1/2mph is great.

              Just being out there is what it is all about.
              Adaptive Sports
              Non-commercial adaptive sports user community


                Depending on where you are and traffic and if you have someone looking out for you zig zaging back and forth from one side of the road to the other can help you get up the hill. You are chopping it up into smaller hills so to speak. Also paying attention to your speed and anticipating the hill shifting into an easier gear and using the momentum. You will learn when to shift at what speed you need to start cranking after you shift, if you are going along and shift to an easier gear you will coast for a little while before your speed and the cranks are in sync. I have been ridding along time and know what gear I need to put the cycle in and what speed I need to start cranking at when I am on roads that I ride on a regular basis and going up a hill. My first handcycle was an attachment to my wheelchair that has 24 gears and a 2 speed hub so 24 gears each with a high low or 48 gears how ever you want to look at it and I was glad I had/have all of them. Including the attachment I have three cycles now and do not need all those gears, one only has 7 the other 27 and I still use the attachment because it is so convenient but I use about 6 of those gears on a regular basis (13-18). I have been cycling 19 yrs and it is a journey, but a great one. It was a lot of work building up to be able to ride as far as I want to but the satisfaction and enjoyment that came with it are hard to describe. Enjoy the journey....