Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Good news ... and then not so good.

The good news: Yesterday I was at the Top End factory to be fitted for the handcycle that the VA had approved. The technician felt that the Force RX
would be the best fit for me, and made all the measurements after I went for a test ride - WOW, what a thrill! I was flying on the test run!

The not so good news: While I was on the way back home, I received a call from the VA ...

The VA would not approve that model unless I was a diagnosed quad or paraplegic.  They had discussed it with the technician, and settled on the Force 2 - with a few modifications.

 Not as sexy; not as many tweaks for speed ... but still a nice ride.  One thing I give up - being able to chose a color - mine will be blue. I have thought of a few tweaks I can add ... and may do so as things move along.

What kind of tweaks am I considering?

1. A gear hub. Why a gear hub? With a 3 speed hub, I will have a direct drive that wouldn't change the current gearing - BUT, it would add an underdrive for an extra low granny gear to climb those @#$% hills. It would also add an overdrive for screaming down the other side of those hills.

How fast was he going? 75 KPH (over 45MPH)!  Pretty fast when you're only sitting a few inches off the road! That was without an overdrive, so I might end up a good deal faster if I wanted to push it on the right hill ...

2. Upgraded wheels. There are some VERY nice carbon fiber wheels that have much better aerodynamics than standard wheels. I particularly like the specs on the Zipp 303 wheels - especially since you can get those with disc brakes.

3. Tires. The Continental Grand Prix 4000 tires on that Zipp wheel would be my choice.

What the hell is that? It's NOT round!  THEORETICALLY, it takes some of the load off of your legs (arms in the case of a handcycle) when you are at the weakest point of your stroke and adds extra power when you are at the strongest point.  The judges are out,  but it seems to be a personal choice. Some people love them - some hate them. There are other companies that make oval rings (and these aren't a true oval), but this company has addressed some of the issues people had with the oval rings. Will I love them - or hate them? I don't know, but I WOULD like to try them out.

5. Who knows! There will always be something you want to tweak.