In anticipation of biking season, I contacted Scott Pellet of Bike-on.com recently. Scott and his wife Lynn are specialists in adaptive bikes. Their business, located in Rhode Island, is a global distributorship of many brands and styles. The bulk of their sales are of handcycles, but foot-pedal bikes, recumbent bikes, kids bikes, tandems, other specialty bikes, wheelchairs, and many types of accessories are all available.
Scott told me that handcycle racing has really taken off in Europe, and that a major race was taking place in Dubai even as we were speaking. Although not as popular in the U.S., handcycle racing is a growing sport overall. Performance handcycles have seen lots of design advancements in recent years that make for an increasingly faster ride. If you like bikes described as "missiles", the Top End K Force shown above and the Quickie Shark S are two of the extreme high end handcycles for those who are serious competitors with over $5000 to spend. More affordable quality recreation handcycles include the XLT, a performance design, and the Excelerator, an upright touring model. Handcyclists can keep up to speed on the latest trends and techniques and connect with others via the Bike-on Community organized on Scott's website.
For handcyclists who are quadriplegic or have difficulty with grip, Scott recommends interchangeable grips for the hands. The C5 grip is a glove which clips into the headset crank - no wrenches needed. We use these in our adaptive cycling program and they are a fantastic advantage for those who need them. If your hands are different in ability, there are some basic styles that can be mixed and matched to best suit your needs.
I asked Scott about innovations in kid's bikes. He is seeing more and more families getting their kids out riding. The challenge is finding the right bikes so that all members can equally enjoy biking without being held back by the slowest rider. He recommended the Hase Trets Trike - an versatile foot-pedaled kid's bike that can be ridden independently but also attached to an adult's bike as needed and pedaled as a tandem. With this unique combination, families can ride for miles together. The Trets Trike works especially well with the Hase Pino Tour bike as shown in this picture from the Bike-on.com website, but can be attached to other Hase bikes and even bikes of other brands using a coupler.
You can find some extended info on handcycles and other equipment mentioned here in the comment section below. This is just the beginning of what Bike-on.com can offer. To get recommendations for your own cycling needs, visit the website to get started, then contact Scott or Lynn at 888-424-5866.