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Old 05-20-06, 06:07 AM   #1
Cuddles
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one-handed modifications?

ok folks, been a while since i posted, and from the looks of things, going to be a while before i can ride again...

just under a month ago i had a minor non-biking-related accident, which has cost me the use of my right hand [i have limited movement/feeling in the ring and pinky fingers left, but that's about it].

now that i suddenly find myself one-handed, i fear that i can't use my bike anymore.

does anyone know of a way to modify my bike so all the shifting [21 speed] and braking can be done left-handed?

thanks in advance, and ride on.
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Old 05-20-06, 07:26 AM   #2
eddy m
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You could use a bar end shifter or a Sun Tour Command shifter (that's the on ethat looked like a big wing nou and attacehd near the brake lever) to shift the rear derailer. You would probably need to use friction mode. Ther's also a bracket called a Kelly Take Off that mounts a downtube lever near the brake lever. Aslo, try this link: http://www.campyonly.com/howto/lefthandshifting.html.
Brakes are a harder issue. I would not try to work both brakes with one lever because I am afraid that the rear wheel would skid under hard braking. I would put a rear lever on the top part of the bar to use on long downhills or as a back up. I knew a guy who rode tandems who put a third brake attached to a friction shift lever so that he could descend with both hands on the bars and just a little drag to control his speed. If you ride a lot of hills you might try that.
I have a Sun Tour command shifter in my tool box. I'll mail them to you for the postage if you e-mail your address.
Sorry about your disability. I hope you are living well with it.

em

Last edited by eddy m; 05-20-06 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 05-20-06, 07:41 AM   #3
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I don't know what kind of riding you do, but there are many options if you want to give up some gears. I converted a crappy bike into a singlespeed for urban riding with only a front brake. But then again, I'm not trying to go fast on that one. I've got another road bike with bar end shifters in the aerobars. When I'm cruising around, I can easily shift both sides with one hand. Otherwise, I agree with eddy. you can have one regular shifter and one bar end shifter

For the braking, did you want to use both brakes at the same time with one hand? If not, then you could probably mount a cyclocross for the rear on the left bar, though it'll take some funky wire routing. I haven't tried it, but I think it could work. I haven't tried it, but I'm just tossing that out there.
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Old 05-20-06, 07:51 AM   #4
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There is a guy around here with the same problem. He rides almost every day.
I saw him yesterday.
The solution is very simple and easy. Skip derailleurs, the end result is not that good.

The LBS set him up with an internally geared coaster brake hub bike.
It could also cost more to modify your bike than buy a new bike with an internally geared coaster brake hub.

Rear brake...backpedal.
Front brake..left hand
Shift ..turn left grip.

He has an artificial right hand that looks like it is holding a stick. The LBS put a short straight bar end on the right grip for him to put the artificial hand over.

There are rear hubs with 8 and 14 speeds. Not sure if the Rolhoff 14 speed hub comes in coaster brake. Try googling it. If you want to get on the road soon and keep it simple do this.
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Old 05-20-06, 10:14 AM   #5
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What kind of bike? What kind of riding do you picture yourself doing?

I wouldn't worry excessively about connecting both brakes to the same lever. There are cable pull devices that make that relatively easily to do.

Good luck.
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Old 05-20-06, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuddles
ok folks, been a while since i posted, and from the looks of things, going to be a while before i can ride again...

just under a month ago i had a minor non-biking-related accident, which has cost me the use of my right hand [i have limited movement/feeling in the ring and pinky fingers left, but that's about it].

now that i suddenly find myself one-handed, i fear that i can't use my bike anymore.

does anyone know of a way to modify my bike so all the shifting [21 speed] and braking can be done left-handed?

thanks in advance, and ride on.
I'd suggest, for shiftin you will want to get some of the old stem shifters or downtube shifters (I'm not sure what kind of bike you have) or maybe bar-end style road shifters.

for braking, see this site:

http://www.boxwoodbicyclepolo.com/brakes.html

They're designed for bike polo and both front and back brake cables attach to the same lever.

Good luck. Kudos for the ambition to keep riding.

I broke my arm about 9 years back, and I stopped riding while it was in a cast. That was mostly because I didn't want my arm to smell reallllllly bad after a few days of sweating in the cast, but also because it was awkward pressure on my shoulder, since I didn't bother to modify or change my bike.

You may want to modify you're stem height or whole bike so there's less pressure on your one that supports weight, providing you can't actually put weight on your other arm, if you can, then forget this suggestion.

Ride on!
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Old 05-20-06, 10:43 PM   #7
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You'll find plenty of ideas to modify your bike for one-handed cycling here:

http://www.mtb-amputee.com/bikemodifications.htm
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Old 05-20-06, 11:26 PM   #8
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You could also get a fixie.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:51 PM   #9
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Sorry about your loss. On brakes, I would use two different length levers so you can maintain independant control over both tires. Short lever on top, activated by index and middle. Long lever on bottom, activated by ring and pinky. You can find a way. I'm pullin for ya!
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Old 05-21-06, 12:19 AM   #10
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Ah man, I read your site (managed to figure the URL out, too bad the filter bleeped it out: http://flowerseat $ H 1 t.com/index.php?m=20060508), really sorry about the accident. I have to say I really admire you for being pretty much positive and not wanting to give up on riding. And by all means, don't. There's definitely going to be a way you can make do.

For now, I guess what you would want to do would be to mount rear shifters somehow on the left side - look at bar enders or downtubes - there are even some kits to mount a downtube shifter on the handlebar. you could even just remove the front derailleur temporarily and keep the chain on a nice, comfortably moderate gear, say a 42t; you won't have to shift with your right hand. You might also want to reroute the rear brake to the left side. I'm not sure how, but I bet a LBS might be able to come up with a way to route both brakes to one lever. Somehow.

Good luck, man. Keep riding!
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Old 05-21-06, 10:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the beef
... You might also want to reroute the rear brake to the left side.
Only if the FRONT brake is still available on the left. You do not want to ride without a front brake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by the beef
... I'm not sure how, but I bet a LBS might be able to come up with a way to route both brakes to one lever. Somehow.
As others noted, one lever / two caliper y-adaptors are used all the time in bike polo and in tandems. The trick is to monitor brake pad wear and cable stretch to maintain a good front-rear balance.

My only argument against single control of both brakes is that my braking style differs situationally. For most riding on dry pavement, I use just the front brake. However, on wet or gravelly roads, or on steep descents, I use both brakes together, to avoid a front wheel skid, which is VERY bad news (don't ask me how I know ).
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