One of Alex Zanardi’s big dreams has realized itself. The Z-Bike, an innovative hand bike model developed by the automotive manufacturer Dallara and strongly wanted by Alex Zanardi, has been unveiled at the Tre Fontante sports center in Rome. The work behind this project started many years ago, from the first successes Alex Zanardi had with his own Dallara handbike. The strong relationship between Alex and Dallara then brought Alex to propose this idea of a new type of handbike that would allow a variety of different athletes to increase their performance and simultaneously make this sport more accessible to aspiring athletes. The creation of this vehicle took various months of experimentation, with Dallara technicians studying what the market already had to offer to find new innovative solutions that would not reduce the handling and performance of a handbike. This process created a handbike model which is unique for its ergonomics, dimensions, versatility and weight in a world where each individual athlete has different needs and strengths.
The Z-Bike was created for the Recumbent categories (H1 to H4). The carbon fiber frame allows maximum performance levels matched with maximized levels of stiffness. he handbike was studied to be customizable. The variety of setup choices, like in racing cars, allow users to modify the bike based on the track or route it will be ridden on. Additionally, the adjustable backrest, footrest, bottom bracket placement and fork position allow the user to fit their bike to their needs. Various test sessions with established para-athletes allowed us to make the handbike more comfortable, allowing the riders to feel as one with the bike, especially thanks to the grips’ shape and dimensions which ensure riders can hold them better and for longer periods of time.
The Z-Bike was unveiled at the Tre Fontane sports center in Rome. The Dallara team, led by CEO Andrea Pontremoli, were hosted by Obiettivo Tricolore, the Paralympic relay which is crossing Italy in these days and will arrive in Catania on Sunday the 25th of July to spread Alex’s message. “This project was born from the friendship and admiration we have for a fantastic character such as Alex Zanardi. “This project was born from the friendship and admiration we have for a fantastic character such as Alex Zanardi. A character which we learned to know as a great racing driver but that with time proved himself to be a great person and athlete too”, Pontremoli said. “Alex Zanardi’s enthusiasm captivated us from the day he proposed the project to us a year and a half ago. He led the team, pushed us all to overcome obstacles and set more challenging goals every day. Today we decided to unveil this handbike to realize Alex’s dream: to put a smile on the face of people who had to overcome big challenges, and in general, to every sportsperson who wants to try out a new discipline. We cannot wait to have Alex alongside us to watch some Z-Bikes racing together”. Daniela Manni, Alex Zanardi’s wife was also satisfied: “The Z-Bike project was born from Alex’s wish to create a highly competitive handbike at an accessible price point for Paralympic athletes. Not only did the Dallara friends immediately made themselves available, but they collaborated with Alex with the same enthusiasm and passion. Last year the project was already set to be unveiled but the dramatic accident that involved Alex made us all stop and think. Now, a year away from the accident, it’s nice to see that the Z-Bike becomes accessible to those who want one, it’s Alex’s project, that he created with a lot of passion and to which he dedicated a lot of his time. The presentation video that was filmed last year, just before his accident, is testimony of this”.