The hand bike (even hand cycle ) is a vehicle similar to a bike or recumbent bike, but that is driven solely by the arms.


There are two basic types: the adaptive bike, which can be mounted on almost any standard wheelchair, and the pure race bike that does not need a wheelchair.

The adaptive bike is suitable for everyday use and for medium- long tours, while the racing bike is really only suitable for racing or training.


The first one Handbike similar vehicle was approximately 1655 by the then 22 -year-old Stephan Farfler ( 1633-1689 ), a disabled and technically skillful watchmaker from Altdorf near Nuremberg, invented and built.

The modern hand bike was first built in 1983 in the United States. Individual pioneers dealt with handcycle designs, such as 1988, the Swabian inventor Hans Olpp. As of 1989, appeared with Reinhold and Edgar Stricker 's first commercial provider of Adaptivbikes, soon to be followed by others. 1990 Cycle One came from Shadow to Europe. First pure sports equipment developed Chris Petersen, Top End (USA) in 1991 and in Europe around 1993 Kees van Breukelen (NL) and Gregor Golombek (D). 1992 brought Alois Praschberger be adaptive bike on the market, which was already suitable for racing derailleur and a solid connection to the wheelchair.


The first race took place in the context of Human -Powered Vehicles scene instead ( recumbents ) where there at the European Championships in Switzerland for the first time was an " arm - powered " class of 1993. Since about 1998, most races will take place in the context of city marathons and cycling events. In the meantime, however, also own racing series have established, for example, the hand Bike Trophy, NHC or the EHC. The handbiking is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and at the Summer Paralympics in Athens in 2004, the hand cyclists were the first time at the start.

Term " handcycle "

The term hand bike will start from the English word for hand and of the English word together bike. Bike is the short form of bicycle to German two-wheeler. Since hand bikes are equipped with three wheels, the concept is wrong. In English, handwheels Cycle are called. Hand bike is used as Scheinanglizismus in the German scene and essentially due to the inappropriate translation of bicycle in Bicycle / Bike.


As a fun bike, a normal bike can be relatively easily converted to a hand bike. These front and rear to be replaced, the bottom bracket instead of a handlebar on the stem welded ( front wheel drive ) and a footrest with brake mounted. The cranks are screwed in parallel rather than offset.