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What is Adaptive MTB?

What is Adaptive Mountain biking?

Adaptive Mountain Biking (aMTB) encompasses a broad range of events and riders who typically cannot ride a standard mountain bike and require adapted equipment and trails to suit their physical, intellectual, neurological and sensory abilities.

There are varying adaptive mountain bikes available around the world, each designed to meet a riders specific need. Readily established adaptive equipment includes: handcycles, recumbent leg-cycles, and tandem bikes.

 

What is an off-road handcycle?

Off-road handcycles can be classed under the broader category of cyles used in Adaptive MTB, predominantly used by people with disabilities, special needs, or those who are uncomfortable, or unable to ride standard two-wheeled bikes. Due to the varying range of abilities, so to are the types of equipment.

As with mountain bikes, there are also a range of off road handcycles tailored to meet individual needs and the style of riding (XC and DH being the more prominent styles).

Three particular types exists, with many more variations being manufactured around the world and by handcycle enthusiasts. The following information provides a brief snapshot of the common styles of off-road handcycles.

Recumbent
Suitable for cross-country.

The first type of off-road handcycles, and the more preferred type amongst people with disabilities, is the recumbent handcycle. Much like it’s road counterpart, the off road recumbent allows the rider to be seated in a ‘leaning-back’ position with the legs held forward and typically strapped in to supporting leg brackets. The weight is distributed toward the rear of the frame which is supported by two rear wheels.

Main Features

Seating: Full backrest and sitting cushion
Seating Position: Leaning back – legs forward.
Weight Distribution: Middle to Back
Drive Chain: Front Wheel
Pedaling: Parallel hand cranks
Steering: Front wheel pivot (between legs) with hand cranks

Function

The single front wheel pivots between the legs and acts as the primary steering wheel and drive wheel. A back rest allows the rider to strap themselves with belts according to their ability and comfort level. It also allows them to propel the handcycle by pushing simultaneously the hand cranks which is typically positioned around chest height.

Positives

Can be modified to use on-road. Less trunk stability required – Can be adapted to higher quadriplegics.

Negatives

Larger turning circle. Less suspension. Less clearance.

Suppliers

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Kneeling
Suitable for cross-country, technical and downhill.

This is a relatively newer type of handcycles arranged in a ‘tadpole-like’ configuration with one wheel at the rear and two at the front. With the rider positioned on their knees and sitting on a bucket seat, they have less options for strapping their torso and are therefore more suited, although not limited, for people with a higher function and stability.

Main Features

Seating: Carbon bucket seat
Seating Position: Kneeling forward
Weight Distribution: Middle to front
Drive Chain: Rear-wheel
Pedaling: Alternating hand cranks
Steering: Standard bike handlebars

Function

Opposite to the recumbent handcycle, the kneeling handcycle has the drive wheel is at the back, while two front wheels act as the steering and balancing wheels.

A typical bike handle bar group set is common among the kneeling handcycles.

Positives

Good impact absorber. Smaller turning circle. More stable.

Negatives

Weight. More trunk function required. More strain on the back and neck.

Suppliers

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Up-right
Suitable for cross-country, technical and downhill.

The first type of off-road handcycles, and the more preferred type amongst people with disabilities, is the recumbent handcycle. Much like it’s road counterpart, the off road recumbent allows the rider to be seated in a ‘leaning-back’ position with the legs held forward and typically strapped in to supporting leg brackets. The weight is distributed toward the rear of the frame which is supported by two rear wheels.

Main Features

Seating: Full backrest and sitting cushion
Seating Position: Leaning back – legs forward.
Weight Distribution: Middle to Back
Drive Chain: Front Wheel
Pedaling: Parallel hand cranks
Steering: Front wheel pivot (between legs) with hand cranks

Function

The single front wheel pivots between the legs and acts as the primary steering wheel and drive wheel. A back rest allows the rider to strap themselves with belts according to their ability and comfort level. It also allows them to propel the handcycle by pushing simultaneously the hand cranks which is typically positioned around chest height.

Positives

Can be modified to use on-road. Less trunk stability required – Can be adapted to higher quadriplegics.

Negatives

Larger turning circle. Less suspension. Less clearance.

Suppliers

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Leg-trike
Suitable for cross-country, technical and downhill.

The first type of off-road handcycles, and the more preferred type amongst people with disabilities, is the recumbent handcycle. Much like it’s road counterpart, the off road recumbent allows the rider to be seated in a ‘leaning-back’ position with the legs held forward and typically strapped in to supporting leg brackets. The weight is distributed toward the rear of the frame which is supported by two rear wheels.

Main Features

Seating: Full backrest and sitting cushion
Seating Position: Leaning back – legs forward.
Weight Distribution: Middle to Back
Drive Chain: Front Wheel
Pedaling: Parallel hand cranks
Steering: Front wheel pivot (between legs) with hand cranks

Function

The single front wheel pivots between the legs and acts as the primary steering wheel and drive wheel. A back rest allows the rider to strap themselves with belts according to their ability and comfort level. It also allows them to propel the handcycle by pushing simultaneously the hand cranks which is typically positioned around chest height.

Positives

Can be modified to use on-road. Less trunk stability required – Can be adapted to higher quadriplegics.

Negatives

Larger turning circle. Less suspension. Less clearance.

Suppliers

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Gravity Quad
Suitable for cross-country, technical and downhill.

The first type of off-road handcycles, and the more preferred type amongst people with disabilities, is the recumbent handcycle. Much like it’s road counterpart, the off road recumbent allows the rider to be seated in a ‘leaning-back’ position with the legs held forward and typically strapped in to supporting leg brackets. The weight is distributed toward the rear of the frame which is supported by two rear wheels.

Main Features

Seating: Full backrest and sitting cushion
Seating Position: Leaning back – legs forward.
Weight Distribution: Middle to Back
Drive Chain: Front Wheel
Pedaling: Parallel hand cranks
Steering: Front wheel pivot (between legs) with hand cranks

Function

The single front wheel pivots between the legs and acts as the primary steering wheel and drive wheel. A back rest allows the rider to strap themselves with belts according to their ability and comfort level. It also allows them to propel the handcycle by pushing simultaneously the hand cranks which is typically positioned around chest height.

Positives

Can be modified to use on-road. Less trunk stability required – Can be adapted to higher quadriplegics.

Negatives

Larger turning circle. Less suspension. Less clearance.

Suppliers

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.