Often referred to as “Para Cycling” or “Adaptive Cycling” or “Handcycling”

Adaptive cycling, or handcycling, is one of the most common adaptive sports, with many different configurations, adaptations, and styles suitable to any injury or disability. Find the right equipment, where to try it, and how to get grant funding to purchase your own here on the Active Project.

The Basics

Equipment Options

Equipment depends on aggressiveness, comfort, and function. How you pedal is the first question, followed by how fast you want to go and thus how low to the ground you want to be.

Injury Level Considerations

There’s a solution for every disability – from custom configurations based on body type, to add-ons like “quad grips” that allow people with limited hand function to pedal more efficiently.

Ease of Access

Adaptive biking is probably the most common adaptive activity offered in the US, with bikes of all kinds across the country. Once you own your own bike, it can also become a truly independent sport.

Traditional Bikes & Trikes

For some, a bike with e-assist to provide momentum is all that’s needed. Or possibly a three-wheeler that otherwise feels just like a bike. These solutions are great for people with minor balance issues or very low injuries.

Recumbent Foot Pedal Trikes

Very popular among low-level paras and incompletes, these allow for a more comfortable, balanced seating position. This category includes the combination hand- and foot-pedal “berkel” bike.

Leisure Handcycles

Think of these as the handcycle equivalent of a leisure cruiser bike. Comfortable, easy transfers, great balance, but not designed for speed or aerodynamics. Perfect for a ride around the neighborhood.

Performance Handcycles

These bikes are built for speed and efficiency. Transfers can be complex, comfort can be compromised, and route choice needs to account for ground clearance, but in return you get distance and performance.

Equipment Info

Each type of bike has its pros and cons, but there’s something for everyone. Whether you want the bike to cruise around the neighborhood (did you know they make baby trailers so you can bring kids in tow?), or an all carbon fiber competition bike, it all comes down to your preference and individual needs.

Instructional Videos

Check out a few videos from people in the KBF community to learn the basics of equipment, transfers, and a few tips and tricks to help you hit the road. A huge thank you to Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports for helping us create these. Think we’re missing something? Email to help us fill the gaps.

Tips Transfers Equipment Transport

Tips: Road Safety

Tips: What to Bring

Recumbent Bike: Tips & Gear - Meredith (L1)

Turning in a Handcycle - Brandon

Recumbent Bike: Transfer In - Meredith (L1)

Force G Transfer - Brandon

Carbonbike USA Transfer - Adam

Force RX - Transfer - Jordan (T4)

Force RX Transfer - Greg (T4)

Freedom Ryder Transfer In - Billie

Freedom Ryder Transfer - Naomi (T7)

Maddiline Race-X Transfer & Ride - Elliot

Force 3 Transfer Out - Steve (T12)

Force RX Transfer In - Kelly (T7)

Force RX Transfer Out - Kelly (T7)

Beginner vs. Pro Handcycles

Recumbent Bike Intro - Meredith (L1)

Top End Handcycle Comparison

Carbonbike USA Racing Handcycle - Adam

Force RX Loading - Greg (T4)

Force RX Unloading - Greg (T4)

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