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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 05-25-14, 02:28 AM   #1
Hermespan
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osteoarthritis solutions?

Biking along today, saddened that stopping or drastically reducing biking and swimming almost eliminates sensation in left knee, I gad the idea - Who needs both legs? And instead of some exotic mechanical solution, why not just switch to pedals that grip one foot, and use left leg only periodically?

Will this wear the bike down or cause steering problems?
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Old 05-25-14, 07:08 PM   #2
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Will this wear the bike down or cause steering problems?
So you want to eliminate one pedal? The bike can handle it but you'd need a retention mechanism for the other foot and it will put twice as much stress on the good knee.
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Old 06-13-14, 09:04 PM   #3
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So you want to eliminate one pedal? The bike can handle it but you'd need a retention mechanism for the other foot and it will put twice as much stress on the good knee.
Correct. If not *eliminate* one pedal to drastically reduce the work load of one leg/knee. Isee that here in Bangkok one can buy clips that bolt onto my Welco aluminum pedals that one can pop on and off. ut as I read that part of the source of knee problem could be that my problem knee would be better if angled a cording to the natural way of walking (not straight like an aboriginal American or runway model but instead at a 30 degree or so angle) the question is whether clips are made where they are customizable/tweakable. Will enquire and post my findings.
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Old 06-14-14, 09:30 AM   #4
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I think Bezalel is correct about possibly overstressing the good knee, and in the long run you will have 2 bad knees.
If you are anxious for biking, how about considering hand crank bikes? That might be a good alternative, and can give your knees a break?
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Old 06-14-14, 06:46 PM   #5
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I also have osteoarthritis in my right knee, Learning to spin a granny gear that does not put pressure on the joint works well for me,instead of pushing down a higher gear.From time to time you will have to apply the weight on the knee joint but you can deal with it if you don't over do it.Have also met people who have had surgery to replace part of the cartilage between the knee joint with teflon,etc.They report it works almost as good as the original.I am thinking of trying that next.
Have heard also about some folks who mountain bike using a biopace elliptical chain wheel that reduces the pressure at the point you are applying the most pressure,the best I can explain it is that at that point the gearing suddenly drops into a much lower gear reduceing the amount of pushing needed.Can't say if it works or not but I am going to look into it.
Also,depending on how much damage you have to the knee,you might try some of the yoga stretches just before you ride this seems to help me well.I am 72 and will keep on riding till I drop.

Edit: I took a ride later and was thinking over your idea to find a way to use one pedal,letting the one good leg do the work.Then had a thought about just apply most of the power with my left foot and just ease off the pressure with my right( my bad knee) but still keeping some pressure on the right pedal.It felt rather awkward at first but after a few moments seemed to work well as long as I concentrated on it.After a bit it started seeming very natural, like mashing with the left, spinning with the right with both feet contributing to the power input. How useful it maybe I won't know until I have ridden awhile like that.
I don't think it would be a technique to use all the time but may have it's uses.Only time will tell.

Last edited by sdwphoto; 06-15-14 at 12:29 AM. Reason: additional information
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Old 06-19-14, 11:43 AM   #6
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I have moderate osteo in both knees and I've found using short cranks has really helped (155's and a 6 footer). Going to lower gearing also helps reduce pressure on the meniscus.
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