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Mechanical Engineering

Creating a bike that works for all kids

August 26, 2015

In late 2014, Design Concepts worked with No Limits Kids Fitness to launch an Indiegogo campaign to help us build a prototype of an adjustable hand cycle that grows with kids with physical disabilities.

Many kind and generous people stepped forward to help us reach our goal with the Lend a Handcycle campaign. While we are donating all the time and resources for the project, the donors helped us buy all the necessary materials including an adult hand cycle that we are modifying. Originally, we had hoped to have a prototype for the kids at No Limits Kids Fitness to test this summer. Resources and scheduling challenges delayed us, but a lot of progress has been made.

The goal of our project is to maximize adjustability to make the bike accesible to any many children as possible.

After much exploration, we have settled on three different concepts for our partners at No Limits Kids Fitness to consider. All of them provide considerably more seat adjustability than current hand cycles on the market, and should fit the different body sizes of youth aged 10 to 17. All three concepts allow for adjustment of the seat's vertical position and the angle of both the pan and back. As is true of every design and engineering project, there are trade-offs to be weighed.

Each approach will impact the weight and cost of the hand cycle. Equally important, each design will require a different type of interaction from the staff at No Limits Kids Fitness who will help adjust the hand cycle to accommodate the needs of each child in their summer program.

We will be meeting with the adaptive sports experts at No Limits Kids Fitness soon to choose a design. Then we will start cutting up the the frame of the adult hand cycle we purchased and fabricate all the new parts in our shop. We'll share the selected design and photos of the prototype build on our blog page and through our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

To everyone who contributed and has spent long hours on this project, thank you. We're getting close to making that first prototype. The best reward will be seeing kids enjoying it. Stay tuned for more updates!

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