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Wheelchair Cycletouring

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A guy in a wheelchair goes into a bike shop and... it sounds like a joke. But Sean is serious, he wants to go cycletouring using a handcycle. So Dan from Wooleys Wheels gave him my number, and I got him round to Megan's workshop so we could have a look. Basically he just needs to be able to tow his chair behind the cycle, and was getting all excited about using a bike trailer. I pointed out that he already had most of the trailer right there. So we rigged up a quick and dirty prototype out of mild steel and sent him off to test it and see how it goes. He rang Megan to say he likes it, but he hasn't come back to demand a proper one yet... so maybe we have to wait 'til it breaks. Photos mostly by Phuong, thinking and metalwork by Megan and Moz, feedback from Sean.


Drill press set up to make headset hole in load bike main tube. Two of these cuts and the holesaw is just about done for... anyone still wonder why large-scale manufacturers prefer aluminium? The plan! Some tubing off a scrap bike, some square tube from the scrap bin... And it's supposed to go under here. We didn't want to cut up Sean's titanium toy, so it all has to strap on not bolt through. Put the file down and step away from the chair... Moz removing the sharp edges off our creation. Like this? Sean does not look convinced. Megan doing the actual work. Hose clamps holding it onto the chair. And a cable tie. Not exactly the right size but it'll do as a prototype. You can see the short bolt through the tube that locks the towing bar in place, but Sean couldn't get the nut under it on properly, so we've gine for a long (100mm) bolt dropped in with no nut instead. The handcycle. Note the negative trail on the front wheel - a line through the steering axis hits the groud behind the contact patch. This makes the steering very unstable. The front wheel also has very little weight on it, so going up steep or slippery hills might not be possbile. Every job has to involve Duct Tape. So we don't scratch the paint. The hitch on the back of the handcycle. The hitch on the back of the handcycle. Rounding off the corners on the hitch so it pivots freely. Doing up  a locknut or two nuts is a bit tricky for Sean, so we've gone with the traditional nut and pin. This doesn't have to be tight, it just has to not fall off. In practice, Sean will be on the handcycle, but this is how it will work when he's on the road.