Handcycling is a relatively new and developing Paralympic sport. Athletes compete in highly specialised handbikes that are made up of many individual components such as the seat, cranks, pedals, wheels and gears.

Each of these individual components can be configured in a variety of different settings and athletes are currently making decisions on how to configure their handbikes on trial and error or mimicking another athlete’s set-up.

It is unlikely that this sort of approach will optimise the performance of athletes who can differ quite dramatically in terms of their physical impairment and characteristics such as height, weight, strength.

This project sets out to systematically investigate what are the key handcyle configuration parameters that influence performance.

Institutions / organisations and researchers

Loughborough University

University of Southampton

  • Dr Martin Warner

University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

  • Dr Riemer Vegter


  • An adjustable handbike rig has been produced via collaboration with Schmicking.