A handcycle is a human powered land vehicle ideal for people with spinal cord injuries and paralysis as they are propelled by hand cranking pedals rather than using the feet or legs. Most handcycles are tricycle in form, with two coasting rear wheels and one steerable powered front wheel. Utilizing modern technology manufacturers have designed specialized handcycles for athletes competing in professional sporting competitions. While standard general use handcycles are becoming more prevalent on our bikeways footpaths and streets, but there is a new type of cycling sport that has been getting more popular and it takes place off road.
Off road handcycles are quickly gaining in popularity amongst adventurous wheelchair thrill seekers with spinal cord injury. 4×4 off road or “all terrain” handcycles are often distinguished by four wheels, like a go-kart. Mountain climbing wheelchairs and handcycles are also distinctive with two wheels in front and one behind. These both have a higher gear ratio range to tackle steep slopes and sturdy construction to endure mountain biking. Their fatter tires with suitable tread also make pushing over grass, snow, sand, mud and gravel easier.