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Old 09-20-09, 11:47 AM   #1
Yen
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Trainer vs. stationery bike for post-joint replacement rehab

My husband is scheduled for total shoulder replacement surgery on Oct. 21. He had his left shoulder done 3 years ago, with excellent results -- however, he wasn't riding at that time. Now, he rides 3-5 days/week and participates in our group's long weekend ride events.

We're discussing the best option for maintaining his muscle and aerobic fitness during the recovery/re-hab period. I suggested an indoor trainer; he wants a stationery bike. Going to a gym will be out of the question until he can safely drive (to further complicate that, our cars have manual transmissions).

One advantage (for him) of a stationery bike is that he can just sit on it and use his left hand to change the settings. On a trainer, he'd need to reach the gears to shift with his right hand in order to simulate the tension changes on a stationery bike (true? Please correct me if not). An advantage of the trainer is that we can set one of the bikes on it -- a bike that is already taking up space in the house (we have 5 bikes and a treadmill inside the house) AND it would be my solution for night riding in winter -- just get on, put in a DVD, and away I go without a care about weather, bad/drunk/sleepy drivers, weak headlight battery, etc. And, doesn't a trainer provide a more real-world cycling experience than a stationery bike can provide?

I'd appreciate any feedback before we fork out the $$ for either one. The immediate goal is not to improve his hill climbing ability or speed, but to maintain his leg muscles and aerobic fitness while his shoulder recovers.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:12 PM   #2
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I hate to say it but the upright position on a stationary might be less train on the shoulder. Why not just get a month membership in a gym and use theirs? Then get a trainer.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:29 PM   #3
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... Why not just get a month membership in a gym and use theirs?
Because he won't be able to use his arm to drive to the gym... both of our cars have manual transmissions, and controlling the stick shift with his right arm will be virtually impossible for at least the first month, not to mention very dangerous. If he's in a wreck --- even if not his own fault -- and gets out of the car with a poorly-functioning right arm, all the blame will be put on him.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:48 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about Jim's problem but he only has a short while before he can get back to normal.

I would go for the trainer. He does not have to change gear that often on one and the main thing for him to do initially is maintan body mobility and just start moving the arm when he has to. Plus when he is recovered- It can be N+1 to get a bike permanently set on the trainer.

You both cycle now- and you will both be cycling again shortly. A Stationary bike would not get used once mobilty comes back as there are more interesting things to do like Hoover the house- Rake the leaves off the lawn- or anything else to stay off that bike. A Trainer would get used on those long winter evenings when there is nothing on the tele and the weather is foul.

And to get Jim fitter- give him a choice- Cleanout the freezer or 1 hour on the trainer. He can clean out the freezer in 6 months time.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:54 PM   #5
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stap, you are so funny. I sure wish we could have met you in GWS.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:15 PM   #6
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some trainers have a resistance knob, some don't. Mine does not but it increases the resisitance on a curve that simulates riding, i.e. it is steeper than a linear progression. I find I need to shift on my trainer, I don't need to change from big to little chain ring but I do need to shift depending where I am in the workout. So depending on the shoulder (or the trainer) you may need to move the shifter to the side he can use.
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Old 09-21-09, 09:17 AM   #7
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The Schwinn AirDyne uses air resistance. The faster you pedal...the harder it gets. I use mine in the winter months and it not only keeps my heart, lungs, and legs conditioned....I loose weight when I use it (not implying that either of you need to loose any weight).
They've got hand grips and arms that move in conjunction with the crank, but one can use just the cranks alone... (or if a leg is injured you can use the footpegs and work just the arms).

If you're at a loss for alternative methods of maintaining fitness; beg, borrow, rent or steal (just kidding) an AirDyne. No hands needed, just sit up and pedal.

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Old 09-21-09, 01:51 PM   #8
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Sounds like an excuse for N+1. Get a cheap recumbent and a trainer. My wife has a recumbent exercise machine (Schwinn,) and it doesn't require the right hand at all.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:02 PM   #9
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IMHO, the exercise bikes are totally BS compared to riding on a road bike on a trainer. However, on a road bike on a trainer, one must be able to support some weight with at least one arm. All too many times, I have seen riders with broken collarbones in the gym with their arm in a sling riding one arm on the trainer. They do not seem to have a problem shifting. If he has too much pain, the exercise bike may be a better alternative as long as it allows him to sit upright. I see people at our regular gym on the recumbent trainers cycling and reading books using both hands. So it really depends. If he can use a trainer, then you will have one that will serve a more useful purpose after he recovers.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:53 PM   #10
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... However, on a road bike on a trainer, one must be able to support some weight with at least one arm. ...the exercise bike may be a better alternative as long as it allows him to sit upright. ... If he can use a trainer, then you will have one that will serve a more useful purpose after he recovers.

As far as $$ go, one may spend a lot on either one, since they are both available with video and power hook-ups to give a more" realistic" experience.

It seems to me that if he can safely mount and dismount the road bike/trainer, it is a much better (and cheaper) alternative. If not, then an exercise bike (bent or upright) is better than nothing.
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Old 09-21-09, 10:22 PM   #11
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Heh, well, while I was at work, he bought a trainer on sale. Sounds like a great deal. Looks like my "cold" winter night rides are over.
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Old 09-22-09, 04:35 PM   #12
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Too late for me to ask if stationary bikes are available to rent.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:14 PM   #13
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I'm just trying to figure out how a stationery bike is used for writing tasks. Does it function as paper or pen? Or envelope?
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