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Bringing the Joy of Triking to Everyone: The HP Velotechnik Gekko FX Hand Cycle

Bringing the Joy of Triking to Everyone: The HP Velotechnik Gekko FX Hand Cycle

Recumbent trikes are an ever growing market for a range of reasons. The general appeal to trikes is wide and demand is found with the necessity to suit a variety of different needs: some people simply find upright biking uncomfortable, some people have had injuries or procedures which inhibit them from riding an upright bike, and some find the riding experience of trikes to suit their body better.

But what about those who take interest in triking for themselves, but have further complications preventing them from operating a standard trike? What are they left to do? Well, turns out, a humble group of people in Germany who go by the name HP Velotechnik have been thinking about this question for quite some time now, and they might have one of the best answers yet.

HP Velotechnik first unveiled their new "Hands on Cycle" in 2022 at the Rehacare Trade Fair, and in March of 2024, Hostel Shoppe became one of, if not the first bike shop in the United States to get our hands on one. Based off of the U.S spec Gekko FX, the Gekko FX Hand Cycle received a refresh in design to better suit individuals with disabilities or motor loss in their lower ligaments. Consisting of a handheld crank attached to a adjustable boom, integrated plush foot and leg wrests, and a pivoting steering rack to ensure seamless operation of the trike, the hand cycle is one of the first trikes to come with these accommodations from the factory. With included straps to hold your legs in place, you no longer need to worry about your leg slipping off the footrests while traveling over bumps or uneven terrain. Because of it's Gekko heritage, the hand cycle is one of the first of it's kind built for tour/endurance riding, rather than for racing like most other hand cycles currently available.

The Hand Cycle was designed, built, and tested with the intention to help get every day people who aren't able to operate a normal trike back to cycling, rather than serving as a purpose built race trike for able-bodied athletes. Being built on the Gekko base, the trike has a smooth ride and is an overall very comfortable experience, sporting the HPV Cloud Nine plush seat pad for those longer rides. The hand-cranking movement is smooth and uninterrupted, with the adjustable arm making sure you have all the room needed to pedal in a position that's suited to fit you. The arm can also swivel up and out of the way to make entry and exit easier, and even with the extra accessories, the trike can still be folded down for easy storage and transportation.

We recently sat down with a long time Hostel Shoppe customers Martha & Susan. Martha, who is paralyzed from the waist down, had been riding tandem with Susan on a Hase trike modified with leg rests for Martha on the front. During her interview, Martha mentioned the struggle of finding standalone trikes on the market to suit her needs, saying: "Many of the hand cycles were really designed for people who ultimately wanted to race a hand cycle, and I wanted to tour. Prior to my wheelchair use, I rode long distances on an upright bike, and I'm used to riding long distances. I love being out in nature and being on long bike trails, and that's what I wanted to get back to." 

We had an opportunity to let Martha try out the Hand Cycle in order to get some direct feedback on the trike. Martha got into the trike and road it around for a bit before we sat down, and she had some input to give to us about the trike. "It has a lot of adjustability, which I appreciate. It was a super comfortable ride, very smooth, and the footplates up in the front allow for the ability to really drive through your full stroke, which is very helpful."

The HPV Gekko Hand Cycle will be made available at our upcoming Spokes Fighting Strokes adaptive cycling clinics for test rides, and is available to order at Hostel Shoppe. If you are interested in test driving it, stop in store, or show up to one of the two adaptive cycling clinics coming up in July. 

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