2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Twin Drive" Bicycle Powered By Both Hands And Feet
“I can pedal with either my hands or feet, or use both together so both wheels are powered,” says Fratzke. “It’s a lot of fun to ride and is a big hit when I appear in parades, where people holler and wave. Some of them ask me, ‘Why do you want a 2-wheel drive bike?’ My answer is always, ‘Why not? You’ve got 2 arms and 2 legs, so you might as well use them.”
He started with a 26-in. bike equipped with a 3-speed transmission. He removed the handlebars and replaced the front wheel with the rear drive wheel off another bike. He made a bracket to extend the front fork and mounted a pair of bike pedals and a drive sprocket off another bike on it. The rider rotates the pedals to chain-drive the front wheel and also uses them to steer the bike. To stop, he pedals backward on the rear wheel.
To shift gears the rider pulls on a knob connected to a lever that’s attached to the front wheel hub. “It’s a 3-speed hub but I use only 2 of the speeds,” says Fratzke. “I pull on the knob to shift into low gear, and push down to go into high gear.
“Pedaling with both your hands and feet may seem strange, but it doesn’t take any time at all to catch onto it. If I want, I can keep pedaling with my hands while I make turns. The hand-operated front wheel drive provides extra torque and really comes in handy when going uphill. If I want to pedal just the rear wheel, I adjust the bike pedal handlebars down to their lowest level for more comfort. I even made a bracket that lets me fasten an umbrella to the bike.”
Fratzke also made a pair of attachments that let him use the bike indoors for exercise. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold Fratzke, 234 Shoreview Dr., Cottonwood, Minn. 56229 (ph 507 423-6341; cell 507 530-6090).
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