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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 05-08-06, 09:19 PM   #1
edp773
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Touring Bike Dilemma

Last February, I purchashed a Trek 7.3 Fx to use as my touring bike this spring. Riding the bike really hurts the IT Bands in my legs and has postponed my tour. I have tried many adjustments to the bike and cannot find the right setup. I have not done a professional fit and am not sure if they would know how to compensate for my prosthetic legs anyway. I do not have this noticeable problem when riding my Giant Cypress. I am considering selling this bike to find a more comfortable bike to ride.

Does anyone have any suggestions or comments that may help me?

Why not try brainstorming on the forum?
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Old 05-08-06, 09:28 PM   #2
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Yoga?

It really helps my IT band issues.
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Old 05-08-06, 09:39 PM   #3
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Prosthetic legs? Can you say more about that?
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Old 05-08-06, 09:42 PM   #4
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Thanks,I have not tried yoga classes, but am doing some of their stretches. I am also seeing a therapist for this issue.

My biggest concern is why is my new bike causeing so much pain compared to my old bike. I have had over two months to adapt.
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Old 05-08-06, 10:24 PM   #5
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Two good ITB stretches

Does your old bike have a more upright riding position? Start by setting the saddle back from the bottom bracket the same distance as your old bike. Then see if you can change out your stem to match the riding position of your old bike. The Q-factor of your crankarms might have something to do with it but I'd look at getting the right saddle to pedal relationship first, then bars, then see where you stand.

I probably forgot something, as a tough 3 day bout with a nasty stomach virus has left me delirious.

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Old 05-08-06, 11:38 PM   #6
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Well if it only hurts on one bike and not the other then it doesn't sound like stretches are going to fix it and you need to get to the bottom of what's different between the bikes.

The best way to do this is to take some accurate measurements from the bottom bracket. The BB is point 0,0. Set a steel rule from the tip of the saddle nose to the steerer column/stem clamp. Drop a plum bob directly over the centre of the BB and measure the horizontal distance from BB back to the seat nose and forward to the handlebars. Here you have saddle setback and reach. The total distance is useful but its much more important to know these distances in relation to the BB because two different setups could have exactly the same seat to handlebar distance but if one was further infront of the BB than the other then this would make a HUGE difference. Find out what your crank length is as this is rather important and differences here are quite noticeable. Also measure your seat height from the BB to the top of the saddle on the seatpost centreline and consider the cranklength with this measurement.

Anyway measure up the two bikes and see what differences emerge.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 05-09-06, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG
Well if it only hurts on one bike and not the other then it doesn't sound like stretches are going to fix it and you need to get to the bottom of what's different between the bikes.

The best way to do this is to take some accurate measurements from the bottom bracket. The BB is point 0,0. Set a steel rule from the tip of the saddle nose to the steerer column/stem clamp. Drop a plum bob directly over the centre of the BB and measure the horizontal distance from BB back to the seat nose and forward to the handlebars. Here you have saddle setback and reach. The total distance is useful but its much more important to know these distances in relation to the BB because two different setups could have exactly the same seat to handlebar distance but if one was further infront of the BB than the other then this would make a HUGE difference. Find out what your crank length is as this is rather important and differences here are quite noticeable. Also measure your seat height from the BB to the top of the saddle on the seatpost centreline and consider the cranklength with this measurement.

Anyway measure up the two bikes and see what differences emerge.

Regards, Anthony
I used a long carpenters level rather than a plumb bob. There is 1" more seat setback on the Giant. Since I did not have a setback seatpost, I moved the seat forward on the Giant and still did not have the same discomfort in riding. The bikes were lined up beside each other and all settings and measurements matched as close as oossible. I have not physically measured the crankarm lengths, but will give that a try.

The biggest difference I notice is that the Trek takes more effort to pedal up hills. I thought about swapping wheel assemblies to see if it made a difference, but this may be a moot point. I then test rode a 2004 Cypress SX, but the frame felt too small and it had road gearing.

Last edited by edp773; 05-09-06 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 05-09-06, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker
Prosthetic legs? Can you say more about that?
I have the results of bi-lateral (two) below knee amputations. The feet are FlexFeet by Ossur with a suspension pin attachments. The sockects wrap around the front of my knee for support with the back of the knee cutout. This setup allows less twist than with the below knee style sockerts. A common problem when riding with prosthetics is that the toe points out excessively causing heel strike on the crankarms.

The assemblies weigh close to six pounds each. The ankles do not move and calf muscles are not attached to anything at the bottom. My quads and hamstrings are used for pedaling.

This link may explain better:

http://www.amputee-online.com/amputee/onyerbike.html
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Old 05-09-06, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp773
I have the results of bi-lateral (two) below knee amputations. The feet are FlexFeet by Ossur with a suspension pin attachments. The sockects wrap around the front of my knee for support with the back of the knee cutout. This setup allows less twist than with the below knee style sockerts. A common problem when riding with prosthetics is that the toe points out excessively causing heel strike on the crankarms.

The assemblies weigh close to six pounds each. The ankles do not move and calf muscles are not attached to anything at the bottom. My quads and hamstrings are used for pedaling.

This link may explain better:

http://www.amputee-online.com/amputee/onyerbike.html
Incredible. You're amazing.

I had a similar problem on my old Univega hybrid that was very comfortable but created IT band problems. The bike was heavier giving you a plush ride. However, this additional weight ment you had to start the bike in a lower gear or just ride the bike in low gear general. It wasn't so bad getting used to riding in a slightly lower gear than usual for the benefit was a plush ride.

I eventually sold that bike not because of the IT band problems but because I had too many bikes!
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Old 05-09-06, 09:43 PM   #10
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Well check the crank arm length. That's an important factor. You really need to be accurate with your measurements and honestly a 5 mm difference can be a lot when it comes to fit.

I'm in a vaguely similar situation to you in that I'm not an amputee but I have no ankle movement after major operations. In this situation shorter cranks are definitely called for in comparison to those who have ankle movement so check your crank length.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 05-09-06, 10:16 PM   #11
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That is good info Anthony. I have one bad ankle after a plane crash, and I was thinking of moving up one increment in length, but given what you say, I will stay with what seems to be working fine. I just hoped for a little more leverage.

Good luck with the fit problem 773, have you the same exact seat on each bike? Seats can have an effect since your actual focal point on one seat versus another may be different. My feet give me major fit problems and pain problems since my accident so it isn't all good news to be non-mechanical, though I admire what you are attempting all the more.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
The biggest difference I notice is that the Trek takes more effort to pedal up hills. I thought about swapping wheel assemblies to see if it made a difference, but this may be a moot point. I then test rode a 2004 Cypress SX, but the frame felt too small and it had road gearing.
if it takes more effort up hills, it could be:

Gearing is different (check gear ratios: harris cyclery web site has a nice calculator)
BIke is heavier (weigh bikes)
there is some resistance in the drive train/bearings

if the bikes are the same geometry, it has to be something physical
are both bikes the same materials? (aluminum - steel)?
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Old 05-19-06, 07:41 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The cranks are both 170mm. Next, I switched rear wheels between the bikes and the Giant was still easier to climb with and ride. So the 34 and 32 tooth cassette was not the difference.

Today I noticed that when I removed my right hand and raised my shoulder the pressure on the IT Band was reduced. I purchased an ajustable stem and will report how well this works.
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