Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: North Carolina, USA
Bikes: tandem, road bike, hybrid
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I am a left below knee amputee, for a bit over 40 years now.
For strength in thigh muscles on amputated side, I think you need to do exercises to build strength outside of biking. It sounds like your muscles are weak enough that just biking will take a very long time to strengthen them. I have no idea what sort of exercise would build those muscles for an A/K. I have been in that place (as a B/K) where some of my muscles are too weak, and biking does not make them stronger because they are so weak. If you have health insurance, you can ask your primary care doctor about getting some PT to prevent overuse injury in your remaining leg.
Many amputees use some sort of pedal retention system. There is a dead spot in strength when bringing the pedal up on the prosthetic side. Toe clips, Power grips, or clipless pedals work. I started with Power grips about 10 years ago - they are easy to get the prosthetic foot into and out of. I switched to clipless pedals at some point.
I always lean on my non-prosthetic side when I stop. You can practice doing this for a sudden stop. I highly recommend taking a Traffic Safety 101 class from www.bikeleague.org
- this is one of the skills they will teach you. Practice will develop muscle memory, and you will lean on the non-prosthetic side automatically when you are stopping.
There is a very active A/K amputee in my state who bikes and does triathlons. He is a physical therapist. I know people who know him, but I have not met him.