Who can use the Explorer III Off Road Handcycle

Who can use the Explorer III Off Road Handcycle

May 3, 2016

Quite often I am being asked who can use the Explorer III Off Road Handcycle.  What level of ability is required to be able to ride this handbike?  There is really no single answer to this question, but let me try to shed some light on the issue.

Quite often I am being asked who can use the Explorer III Off Road Handcycle.  What level of ability is required to be able to ride this handbike?  There is really no single answer to this question, but let me try to shed some light on the issue.

 Explorer is a handcycle made mostly for people with paraplegia, so someone with lumbar spine or lower thoracic (T9 – T12) spine injury will have a blast taking it on the trails.  This handbike  is, however, not a good choice for quadriplegics, even the ones with finger dexterity and fairly good upper limb  function.  Upper thoracic spine injuries (T1 – T4) also limit the use of Explorer due to restricted strength and stability of chest and upper back muscles.  Even though this bike can be equipped with power assist, riding off-road and maneuvering around obstacles requires  good torso function and not just the upper body strength.

 So now we come to the grey area of mid thoracic (T5 – T8) spine injuries.  It gets tricky and I am not able to definitely tell at what level of mid thoracic spine injury a person will be able to ride the Explorer, as it is very individual.  Generally speaking, the lower the injury, the better the stability and strength of torso.  Some people with T-8 injury might be challenged, while others with T-6 injury will actually be able to ride this bike without much difficulty.  Definitely being active in different adaptive sports, like riding a mono-ski where maneuvering with torso is important, is a good indicator that riding the Explorer will not be an issue.  That said, the only way to know for sure is to take the Explorer III Off Road Handcycle for a spin on a trail.

Click here for more info about Explorer III.

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