Not sure if it's "on-topic" .
But it sure is interesting and uplifting !
I never thought about how odd it is that there are so many bicycles ( devices commonly powered by legs ) which have been specially built for people who can't use their legs .
Yet it's much more difficult to build a bicycle for someone who can't use their arms !
> A friend of mine lost both arms at the shoulder in a accident at a young
> age. I was able to get him riding on a road bike, using a very long stem
> with padded bars that curve around his chest, by which he steers and
> supports himself. The shifting and braking are done with his feet, the
> modified levers being mounted on the down tube. This fellow is a
> professional artist, sketching with his feet, and painting with a brush held
> in his teeth. Needless to say, his dexterity with his feet is most
> advanced, and his legs are very powerful. On the downgrades he is quite a
> terror, and I usually ride behind him being very paranoid that he is going
> to go crashing off the road. On the upgrades, not having the pull with his
> arms is a big disadvantage, but I am always spurring him on to new heights.
> Recently he has switched to a mountain bike, the wider tire stability and
> more rigid frame being a advantage for a safer and more comfortable ride he
> says, but I notice that the distance he can ride before getting pooped out
> is much reduced. It is a lot of work modifying parts to provide a ridable
> bike for a person of such circumstances, but especially for those who don't
> drive a car, once accomplished, it is a wonderful advantage. Has anyone
> ever seen such special components being manufactured I wonder? Probably
> many folks have never considered it possible to cycle with such impairment,
> but with some parts adjustment, it can be very successfully done.
> Dennis Young
> Hotaka, Japan
> > I read with interest the Alenax postings here. First the inventor and
> > principal of the company is from right here in the Garden State. I have
> > owned several of the road bike versions and still have a nice clean one
> > today. About 3 years ago there was a posting in our local paper of this
> > gentleman now making MTB versions of the Alenax and I believe he still
> > used that name. Like its road predecessor, it did not go very far. If you
> > have ever ridden one, it is a real trip. First it does have a shifting
> > capability that does seem to work. The real downfall is that the
> > efficiency of circular cycling drive train is lost. As soon as I hit any
> > hills this thing became a boat anchor. No matter how low I shifted it (I
> > cannot say "gear it" as there are no gears shifting) the thing just
> > offered too much resistance to effectivly climb. It is really not
> > geometrically set up to ride out of the saddle. As for the quality, I
> > think it was first rate. The bike looked great and the componentry, even
> > the trans bar looked very well built and crafted. The rear hub sounds like
> > a fishing reel when you pedal. There are two sprockets engaged one each
> > side of the hub that alternately drive the bike forward. It is an
> > interesting machine that I find collectible. They used an old technology
> > of the transbar and just updated the materials and look. Unfortunatly it
> > is more a novelty bike than a serious machine for riding. If anyone has a
> > copy of the book by Pryor Dodge "The Bicycle" on the cover is a trans bar
> > bike mechanism from the 1890s so it is not a modern innovation. Here is a
> > link to the cover of that book
> > http://users.aol.com/
> > I do believe it has one use that I am saving my bike for. I have a
> > neighborhood girl who is about 12 years old now and was born with deformed
> > or no knee joints. She wants to ride a bike and I have concocted some
> > strange machines to at least give her a chance at riding. When she is big
> > enough, I will give her this bike to try as you really do not need knees
> > to ride one. Well that is my belief anyway.
> > Ray Homiski
> > Elizabeth, NJ