While browsing through the Bike-On website a few years ago, I noticed a new lineup of Maddiline handcycles that caught my attention. The bike had the looks and design of an elite racing bike. I had been riding the Force G for several years but after seeing the Maddiline handcycle I was ready for a change. The only issue that concerned me was transferring in and out of the Maddiline bike. I mentioned my concerns to Scott Pellett who had set me up with my last two handcycles. He thought it might be a challenge for me to get into the bike. I have a spinal cord injury at level c-7 so the tone in my legs can make transfers into the Force G a bit of work but I manage.
Several months had passed when I had been scrolling through the Maddiline website and noticed the Maddiline Race PRO EVO which was less reclined than the other bikes on their website. I sent a screenshot over to Scott and told him I was really interested in the Maddiline Pro. We met at his shop in Rhode Island where he took measurements of me that would give me the best fit for the Maddiline Pro. I also did a transfer into the Force RX which has a similar reclining position to the Maddiline Pro. After the transfer I had even more confidence that I would be able to transfer into the Maddiline Pro.
The bike would take several months to be delivered which I anticipated since it was coming from Italy. When it arrived in the beginning of 2020 it was worth the wait. It was winter time, so the bike would sit in my garage for now. It gave me time to figure out how to add padding to the bike frame so my right leg which spasms at times would not hit the bike chain. I eventually was able to add the padding to the frame and now the only thing to do was to test it out when the weather got better.
In the beginning of June, I finally got to take the bike for a test run down the Cape Cod Canal bike path. The transfer into the bike was a little tough but I managed to do it. I had my brother who was helping me raise the backrest to the Maddiline so it would be more in line with the Force G I had been riding. While riding I didn’t feel I was in the right position to get the maximum potential out of the bike. When I returned, I told my brother it felt like my arms weren’t getting the full extension it needed to maintain power and speed. So, we moved the hand cranks forward, adjusted the seat backwards a few inches, moved the foot rest forward and reclined the back rest.
The only other issue was transferring out of the bike and into my wheelchair which was a lot tougher than getting into the bike. After a few weeks of tweaking my position in the bike, I was finally able to find my sweet spot. I also figured out an easier way to transfer out of the bike and into my wheelchair. Using a slide board, I was able to slide the board along the bike frame and underneath my bottom. I now had a solid level surface to push off and into my wheelchair. I was good to go now.
The first-time riding after all the adjustments was like riding downhill with the wind. I was moving now. Right from the start I noticed my whole body was relaxed in the bike. Unlike the Force G, where my legs and back would spasm for about the first mile before it would relax or spasm occasionally if I hit a bump or joint on the path. My legs and back never spasmed in the Maddiline Pro from start to finish. Another big change from the Force G to the Maddiline Pro was that I was pulling more with the Maddiline instead of pushing out with the Force G. The difference was huge for me. I had more power and speed up hills.
My shoulders and chest weren’t as fatigued as it was with the Force g and my endurance was so much better. The shifting and braking were smooth while turns and corners were much easier with no spasms in my legs or back. As a result, my speed has increased and I’ve knocked several minutes off my riding times. I usually do 20 miles a day Monday – Friday and since riding the Maddiline Pro I have dropped (10-15) minutes compared to the Force G depending on weather. I feel like I will get even faster.
After riding the Force G for several years, I am glad I switched to the Maddiline Pro! The bike has performed beyond my expectations. I would definitely recommend the Maddiline bike to anyone looking to improve their performance.