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1st time handcycler

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    1st time handcycler

    Just got back from my first time handcycling and i have to say I have new found respect for those of you who clock up the big miles.Fortunately i had my nephews there on their bikes as riding partners as i needed a push up the inclined dirt driveway .
    Well it was hot as buggery out there and I now smell like Mr T's armpit but man I had fun .
    Just thought I would share.

    That's cool lurchk,Welcome to the club.
    Be yourself!!!
    BMF Sports & LiftWithoutLimits
    Sponsored Athlete


      While I was on the topic ,I have a question, while cycling I noticed that riding on a piece of the road that cants horizontally can be a real pain.
      Does the "freedomryder" with the hinged seat and cranks overcome this problem by compensating for the angle?


        Hi Lurch, Yes the FR does a nice job accounting for a sideways sloping surface. You just lean a little. That is an advantage of the design. Pat


          Thanks for the reply pat.
          Another question,as a t4 would you say that my stability would be too poor for a freedom rider? or can higher injuries use them without tipping out?


            Ahhh, the BEST question out there. I'm T4 also. I WISH I could find a leansteer bike to try out, preferrably for a few days/week or so to see if it is 'learnable".
            Have you gotten to do enough riding yet that you are in shape and can enjoy longer rides and the hills don't kill ya anymore?



              I haven't done much recently Cap as I have moved and don't have anywhere to store the bike. What I have learnt is mountain drive is a must for any bike I purchase in the future, some of the dodgy dirt hills I have conqured would have been impossible without it.


                holy smoke, look at the YEAR dates on our post!
                5, 6, 5 ,3, 5 4, 5 and all the months are different too
                is it just me or u see it too



                  I rode my new bike for the third time today, still trying to fiqure out the gearing system. The orginally bike I tried only has 7 gears, and now my invacare xlt pro has 27 --very confusing. Manual isn't much help either--anyone got some advice.

                  I love my bike--it's so fun and I can't wait to work up the energy and stamina for those long rides. Today my puggle Maddie ran along side me up and down the road many many times until she got tired layed down in the driveway and watched me --gotta wonder what she was thinking " stupid human".

                  Congradulations on getting out and riding !


                    sure can help
                    basically., the 3 sprockets/gears on the cranks are called chainrings
                    the 9 gears on the wheel collectively are known as the cassette
                    .................................................. .................................................
                    the larger the chainring= the harder to pedal= more revolutions of the driven wheel
                    conversely the smaller= easier to pedal= less revs per driven wheel

                    use the smaller for hills, the larger for speed GENERALLY speaking

                    __________________________________________________ _____________

                    on the cassette, the larger diameter/ the less revolutions/ used for hill climbing/ easier to pedal

                    conversely the smaller diameter/ the more revs/used for speed/ harder to pedal
                    .................................................. .............................................

                    there are some gear combinations that overlap or are similar in ratio of crank turns to wheel revolutions and use the same effort to turn
                    it is the nature of the beast
                    to make it simple for your self until u become familiar with it :
                    start out with the largest chainring and the large gear on the cassette
                    You can climb and get good speed with the bigger chainring.
                    < < < < <
                    IF IT IS HILLY where you are, use the MIDDLE chainring and the large gear on the cassette starting out

                    as you get up to speed you will find it necessary to shift gears so you aren't pedaling fast shift the cassette gears and leave the chainring where you started out at

                    you are using 9 gears this way almost the same as your old bike's 7 gear setup

                    the smaller chainring you should only need on very steep hills(generally)

                    whichever chainring you decide to use, leave it there and change gears on the cassette

                    IF you find that OVERALL during your ride, the gearing is wrong
                    switch to a different chainring gear
                    Your 7 speed bike probably had a chainring CLOSE in size to the middle one

                    the shifters are simple when you get used to them the brake lever moves the chain in one direction, the little black lever inside, moves the chain in the other direction.
                    when properly adjusted, it will move the chain ONE gear per 'click' you can move up to 3 gears/clicks at a time
                    it is BEST to only change gears when moving and when rotating the cranks
                    you CAN shift while NOT rotating the cranks such as downhill, BUT the chain does not move until the cranks are rotated
                    ALWAYS be careful not to hit/bend or force the derailler(left out the U, I am not FRENCH)
                    It is a pricey little booger it is the chain tensioner that sticks out at the front wheel
                    do not let it become trapped in the spokes or get to close to the bottom gears, this happens when it is impropoerly adjusted

                    This is to get ya started, when you are ready for the advanced class, holler
                    I'll explain more in depth, and give you some suggestions
                    Some folks like to drive with high crank speed, others, like myself, like to drive with low crank speed
                    there are advantages to each
                    any specific question you have, ask
                    I'll not confuse you with anymore for now ride and get comfortable.
                    adjust the seat position, crank height and distance from you for best comfort/efficiency
                    Keep the chain and gears grit free.
                    careful when backing it up, as that is when you can CRASH the derailler into the spokes or gears themselves it is most likey to occur on the XLT PRO when you back up and turn the wheel to the right causing the chain to rub the frame.
                    It will bend the derailler and at least misadjust the changing ability, possibly bending/warping or ruining it
                    KEEP an eye on this.



                      Freedom Ryder has a new cycle (pivot steer)

                      I just orderd the new Freedom Ryder bike that is a pivot steer bike not a lean and steer. I am a T3/T4 and the lean and steer was not impossable, but it was not easy. This new bike also comes with a disc brake included, and the way that it is designed keeps your legs out of the wheel when you turn. Here is the website to check out

                      Try to ride as many as you can to see what is the best for you.


                        Lean Steer No Problem for T-4

                        I have been riding a Freedom Ryder lean steer for 5 years with no difficulty whatsoever, and I am T-4 complete. Remember that you are holding onto the bike with both hands while turning and at all times. You control the lean and your balance not only with your head but also both hands and arms. My hands are on the cranks on virtually every turn, the only variant being that sometimes I put one hand on the handlebars. I can lean into a turn at close to 20 mph and feel perfectly secure--and why not, as both hands and arms are controlling lean and balance. Lean steering is exhilarating!


                          A question on the "top end" range of handcycles:
                          I have been told that the "mountain drive" feature is only available on the "xlt" (which I belive has the cassette gearing system) and not on the "xlt pro" and xlt gold" which use a derailer system. Is this true?
                          I realize the derailer gearing system would be fine for 90% of use but I don't want to get stuck on a hill somewhere.


                            A comment on the freedom ryder - the most difficult time to be on the freedom ryder is when stopped or going less than 2-3 MPH - after that, it is incredibly easy to use. Centripetal force returns you to upright after any turn, and it is very natural to turn.... When above 3 MPH.

                            For the first several rides, it is difficult when stopped or very slow, but you get used to it.

                            -- JB