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hand bikers

Development of optimized sportswear for hand bikers

“Hand it!” – this is the name of the collection of optimized sportswear for hand cyclists, the 13 students of the Textile and Garment Management Master’s Program at the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences in the winter semester 2012/13 as part of an industrial and research project The project is inspired by the research project (AiF No. 17377 N) “Development of sports clothing for wheelchair users taking into account physiological and skin-sensory influencing factors” of the Hohenstein Institute for Textile Innovation In small groups, the students designed and produced four pieces of clothing: a summer shirt, a summer pants, a jacket for the winter season and matching pants.

The target group are hand bikers whose legs are paralyzed. They ride while lying down and crank their handbikes with their arms. From an apparel-technical point of view, the challenge was to adapt the cut design to the body proportions of the athletes. The upper body muscles are more pronounced, while the leg muscles are hardly or not at all. In addition, the students had to pay attention to the sport-specific movements. They modified the crossing seam under the armpits to minimize friction points. In addition, they optimized the model design of conventional bicycle shirts and for example changed the position of the pockets to the front.

When selecting the material, clothing physiological requirements had to be taken into account in order to best support the thermoregulation of the handbikers. Due to the paralysis, the legs cool faster. Protection, on the other hand, offers heat-insulating and windproof material. For the upper body cooling material is useful because the athletes come here by the swift arm movements in a sweat. In the winter jacket, students used mesh inserts to ensure breathability.