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Shifting Gears: Adaptive Bikes for Summer Rides

May 19, 2017

Initially created in the 1980s as an alternative type of human-powered vehicle, the sport of handcycling quickly switched gears and helped change the lives of many in the adaptive community. In its short existence, handcycling has made its way to the international level, becoming an IPC (International Paralympic Committee) cycling program in 1998 and a Paralympic sport in 2004.

The growing popularity is due to how accessible of a sport it is. The advancements and innovations made to adaptive cycling equipment have allowed most people to participate without any limitations. Today, thousands of people, able-bodied and those with disabilities, have turned to handcycling as a means to improve their cardiovascular health, increase upper-body strength, or compete and ride with friends and family on all terrains.

Below are examples of different adaptive bikes to help you get in gear for spring and summer rides, like the Craig Hospital Foundation's Pedal 4 Possible.


Mountain trikes are designed to tackle extreme off-road conditions. Places like mountains, trails and the beach are no longer out of bounds. Mountain trikes an incredible resource for independent exercise, competition and adventures, alike.


All terrain handcycles have the ability to perform both off-road and on the road while allowing the rider to access most terrains including forest trails and muddy or sandy roads. All terrain handcycles are fully loaded for back country action and are a perfect mix between a mountain and road trike.


Racing handcycles are some of the best performing handcycles out there. These fast and aerodynamic handcycles are great for both sports performance and increased health benefits. All handcycles can be individually suited to each riders’ specific needs.


Recreational handcycles are very stable, maneuverable and easy to transfer into bikes that are suitable for those who are looking for a simple and comfortable bike. Recreational handcycles are totally adjustable bikes that open the opportunity to a large variety of riders.


Recumbent bikes are designed so you sit lower to the ground with your legs out in front of you with the steering and hand controls down at your sides. These bicycles are perfect for those who have leg function and/or for those who may struggle with balance. They also have the additional benefits of better safety and more comfort, and they put less stress on your knees and hips. The larger seat is also more comfortable than the traditional small bicycle seat.

Recumbent bikes provide a high level of safety thanks to low a center of gravity and a very maneuverable and smooth ride. These are foot pedal bikes and are great for those who may struggle with balance or those who would like to strengthen their leg function.