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All-limb-drive bicycling with Raxibo

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July 5, 2012

Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo gives you a full body workout

Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo gives you a full body workout

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Bicycling can really be a pain in the legs. Your lower limbs pump endlessly to power the bike wheels over miles upon miles of terrain. Meanwhile, your arms just hang there doing little to nothing. The Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo system evens things out, putting both your arms and legs to work toward cycling forward.

Raxibo is essentially a bicycle with a separate, arm-powered drivetrain that works in conjunction with the traditional pedal system. Cyclists use both their arms and legs to pedal forward. The idea of the system is that you can work your entire body during a bicycle ride, instead of just your legs. The system gets your arm, shoulder, chest and back muscles involved.

The specific mechanical details are a bit fuzzy, but it's clear that the hand crank uses a series of chains and pulleys. A derailleur system channels both pedal and hand torque to the rear wheel. The system is adjustable and can be set to different arm lengths and preferences. The hand crank has a tilting action that steers the front wheel.

At first blush, we'd expect the extra oomph from the hand crank to add speed and climbing power. However, the system also adds some weight and repositions the rider in a more upright, less aerodynamic riding stance, so any benefit in terms of speed and pedaling power might be minimized or negated. The company doesn't appear to make any claims about increased speed or power, so we'll assume the main benefit is in the increased scope of exercise.

The Raxibo comes in five different frame colors and retails for 2,500 Swiss francs (US$2,617 as of publishing). The base version sits on 26-inch wheels, while an upgraded model with a 26-inch front wheel and 29-inch rear wheel costs 2,800 francs ($2,930).

You can see Raxibo in action, more action and even more action in the video below.

Source: Raxibo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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14 Comments

That thing is going to kill some one. At the very least the hand cranks should be set so both are receiving the energy in the same direction.

Slowburn
5th July, 2012 @ 03:16 pm PDT

Anyone else notice that they don't show any scenes of this thing going around any corners? Probably because steering control is marginal at best.

Fact is that anyone can hit his or her anaerobic threshold on a regular bicycle. You're not going to get a better workout by involving more muscles. Just get some dumbbells if you want to build up your arms.

Gadgeteer
5th July, 2012 @ 03:58 pm PDT

I agree with Gadgeteer, your legs have the strength to go up hill for a while before you get winded, but by using your arms also you aren't going to be less winded.

For performance you are probably better off using clip peddles so you can pull the pedals up with the leg you aren't pushing down with.

The other thing I didn't see in the video is what happens if you take your hands off the hand pedals and hold the regular bars? It looks like the hand pedals stay linked and would hit you in the face if you pedal.

It doesn't look like it supports gear shifting on the front derailleur either which is expected but another hindrance in performance vs a standard bike.

It isn't a bad concept though as long as you view it in the context of more of a mobile exercise machine and not really as a potential bicycle improvement.

Daishi
5th July, 2012 @ 09:28 pm PDT

I would expect no extra 'ooomph'. When I'm really putting the power to the pedals I am also using my arms (bracing against the handlebars) to keep my body in alignment with the pedals. I could not do this with my hands so close together, especially on a revolving handlebar.

But I can see this having some potential for those with weaker legs who want to ride along flat ground.

jonoxn
6th July, 2012 @ 02:32 am PDT

It be a little less stupid if they used the hand power to drive the front wheel independently of the rear wheel, and yes it would need it's own shifting stuff. Ditto Slowburn, when you see video of wheelchair users using hand cranks, the hands move in the same direction as each other, a little like rowing. Also whole body bike thing has been done way better for a long time by these guys:

http://rowingbike.com/site/EN/Home/Introduction/

Dave B13
6th July, 2012 @ 08:02 am PDT

First crash will loose someone a bunch of teeth. And apparently you steer by leaning, because I didn't see the handlebars get used at all.

". Meanwhile, your arms just hang there doing little to nothing." really? I use mine quite a bit. and if I happened to be pedaling then need the brakes in a hurry, I need to stop action, shift to a different grip, (without missing) and work the brakes all in the half second I have before I hit that car door opening before me? Very bad idea. The words "Death Trap" come to mind.

kellory
6th July, 2012 @ 03:12 pm PDT

When I'm in the drops in my road bike, especially when I'm pounding, I'm using my arms. When I'm on the tops, I'm supporting my upper body weight with my arms. No drops on the mountain bike, but I still have to support myself. Then there is hopping curbs. And having to go up stairs. And all the other times I have to carry the bike.

There are days after a ride when I'm trying to remember when the h#ll I did all those pushups...

So. Yeah. Depends on the set up.

C. Walker Jr.
6th July, 2012 @ 07:00 pm PDT

Well i am just imagining the bike trying to get over a pothole that comes as a surprise on the road !!! The whole contraption will be in the rider's face and if the rider is planing to go for brakes then he is more screwed!

SumoDes
6th July, 2012 @ 10:44 pm PDT

That's crazy.

> your arms just hang there doing little to nothing

I think that can only be supposed by someone who never rides a bike on a road.

> That thing is going to kill some one.

I completely agree with this comment. And in case if the bike is used on a road with some cars on it, it can create an accident and thus kill not only the biker, I think.

Hands are for holding handlebars, for always being ready to press the brakes. And hands also do their hard work when you are pushing pedals with big effort (going up a hill, or gaining speed), when you need to jump up a curb, when you go through a uneven relief. And even if you go straight forward on a smooth road, on most bikes some part of your weight rests on your hands (because you lean forward a little to put hands on the handlebars). My bike gives good exercise to my hands.

This bike with special pedals for hands looks completely inconvenient and dangerous.

Such crazy machine is suitable only for a fitness hall where you just sit on one place and rotate pedals.

Ulyana Bashkina
7th July, 2012 @ 12:15 am PDT

Looks very awkward too use, a opposing dual lever system would be much better and keep the hand to foot ratio the same... ie like a strider exersize machine

Paul Harris
7th July, 2012 @ 04:27 am PDT

OMG, $3,000 for Gym equipment to ride on the street . Go to Walmart and get a 29er bike for $219 and save $2,800.

joe1946
7th July, 2012 @ 11:00 am PDT

I think this would work better in a recumbent bike.

Racqia Dvorak
8th July, 2012 @ 11:42 am PDT

Going over the handlebars is plenty painful without the danger of impalement by a crank arm into the sternum. I do see its utility as a advertisement of coordination. Look Ma, I can turn and brake and shift all while cranking up hill! Version 2.0 should also come with several drums, a harmonica and a banjo. Version 3.0 should take away useless undriven front wheel and add some bowling clubs and a chainsaw.

sk8dad
9th July, 2012 @ 01:48 pm PDT

Good to see people thinking outside the square.

This kind of system would work better on recumbents as hands would be supported better by the back of the seat.

Another thing I noticed that riders cadence slowed down on uphills. It is hard to put gear change levers on the rotating hand cranks. So the rider used slower and inefficient cadence. What about brakes!

Kääriäinen Heikki Haykey
11th July, 2012 @ 02:39 am PDT
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