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.
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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.