Answer: The most commonly used word to describe this sport and activity is Hand-cycling. This is certainly the noun used by the Paralympic sports classification committee.
When referring to the product itself however is where more confusion lies – is it a hand-cycle or a hand-bike? And is it written as one word, hyphenated or as two separate words?
This seems to come down to manufacturer preference. The popular choice is to refer to the products as Hand-cycles, although in the UK this is often written as Hand Cycles.
Answer: In a word, no.
Handcycling was made popular by its arrival at the Paralympic Games of 2008 and subsequently in 2012 where the riders were classified according to their ability. The classifications range through H1 to H5 and are governed by the Union Cyclists International (UCI).
Handcycling is a great sport and activity for people who have disabilities that may prevent the riding of a regular bicycle.
However, the majority of riders using Handcycles here in the UK are able bodied and enjoy the challenge to the upper body, or the more recumbent seating positions possible. Suppliers we recommend have experience in tailoring handbikes to people of varying abilities. Rest assured, whether able or less able-bodied there are handbikes that are perfect for you.
Answer: Operating a handbike is similar to a bike in terms of the power required to progress along a road. However, unlike a bike, handbikes for persons with disabilities can require varying levels of operation with regard to attaching the forward components, or being able to get into the seat.
There are various options available to suit all abilities. A standalone model requires no setting up, while an affix able model may require some core strength or particular fine finger skills to couple the units correctly.
The amount of muscle strength required comes down to the model you choose. A fully manual handbike (non-power assisted) will naturally be more taxing than a hybrid or full electric model.
As with any sport, if you were to attempt handcycling without any prior experience of an upper body activity you may find yourself tiring easily. With regular training you will quickly find your stamina improving and your power output increasing!
Answer: A Handbike being operated on UK Roads is treated the same as a traditional bicycle, regardless of whether you are using a power assisted model or a fully manual model.
As with a shiny new road bike you may feel inclined to cover it under your home insurance, and/or take out additional cover in the event you are involved in an accident.
In terms of the Road Laws you are expected to obey all national laws as you would on a bike.
We recommend that you have appropriate cover for you and your bike
Answer: One of the biggest draws of Handcycling is it’s accommodating nature. There are bikes not only to suit all abilities, but also bikes to suit all interests, aspirations, environments and budgets.
Whether you are completely new to the sport, or looking for a challenge (regardless of any disability you may have) there are handbikes to suit you.
Answer: A common question and one that really depends on the type of pursuit you are intending to do. Our best advice is to check out the individual manufacturers specifications on our bike pages, or alternatively, find your nearest trusted supplier and drop them a message. I guarantee you will not be the first to ask that question.
Answer: If you have a question that you think should be listed and answered here then we want to hear it! Pop across to our Contact Us page and send us a message!