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  1. #1
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Mechanical or Ergonomic Engineers? I need some ideas!

    I have a pet project going. I need to figure out an ergonomic backrest for Lumbar support as a bolt on for a bicycle (DF). I'd post this on Mechanics, but most of the Engineering types hang here on foo! This is to address spinal curvature issues associated with Scoliosis, for a friend.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  2. #2
    Crazy Like a Daisy CycleMagic's Avatar
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    what is DF? is that the type of bike your friend is riding?
    Where am I going?......

    ....and why am I in this handbasket?

  3. #3
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    There's such a thing as "Ergonomic Engineers"?

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    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleMagic
    what is DF? is that the type of bike your friend is riding?
    Diamond Frame, upright bike rather than a 'bent.

    Yep, Ergonomics is a specialized discipline in Mech Engineering, it's how things fit people, or efficiency in operational design.

    Ergonomics also applies in Industrial Engineering in assembly line design, for another example.

    How the design of a car seat is done is another
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    Veeeeeeeggggggggaaaaaaa where aaaaaarrrrrrrrreeeeeee you???
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  6. #6
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    A bananna seat, and a sissy bar. Pad/upholster the sissy bar.
    Check Mega Lowrider, they have such things.

  7. #7
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taerom
    There's such a thing as "Ergonomic Engineers"?
    Absolutely, although ergonomics tends to be an afterthought on many projects. Just think though, as self-centered and righteous as most engineers are, would you trust an average one of us to come up with an ergonomic design that is actually a good compromise for a wide cross-section of a very diverse population.


    Tom, my thought is seldom does an upright rider lean back far enough to be comfortable leaning against something...perhaps on cruisers, but not on typical road or mountain bikes. I know on my bikes I have to ride no hands before I can lean back far enough to pass 90 degrees. I understand this is a special case, but I guess I'm just unclear how you envision this giving support.

    That out of the way, I'm thinking attaching via a tube clamp to the seat post, as many bikes don't have eyes for panniers on the seat stays. That's a far bit of cantilevering, but I don't think you want it too stiff anyways. Bent tubing to form the frame, and pipe insulation or tube padding (I think auto racing specialty stores have some material of this type) to pad it.

    I couldn't make suggestions about geometry without knowing more about what you're trying to accomplish.
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  8. #8
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG
    A bananna seat,
    If the friend is female, there may be a problem with that. I haven't encountered a banana seat I could tolerate for more than a block since puberty. I've looked, too.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  9. #9
    Master Surfer of Curbs glenng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I have a pet project going. I need to figure out an ergonomic backrest for Lumbar support as a bolt on for a bicycle (DF). I'd post this on Mechanics, but most of the Engineering types hang here on foo! This is to address spinal curvature issues associated with Scoliosis, for a friend.
    Rather than wasting time and money on a Rube Goldberg contraption that may or may not work I would suggest going to an established bike shop to see what they think. I would also consult with the doctor to make sure this activity is acceptable. Maybe a recumbant bike is in order or maybe cycling is not the best choice at all. I know this is not the answer your looking for but........This is about spine health and treatment. To much liability...
    Last edited by glenng; 05-07-07 at 11:43 PM.
    Glenn

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenng
    Rather than wasting time and money on a Rube Goldberg contraption that may or may not work I would suggest going to an established bike shop to see what they think. I would also consult with the doctor to make sure this activity is acceptable. Maybe a recumbant bike is in order or maybe cycling is not the best choice at all. I know this is not the answer your looking for but........This is about spine health and treatment. To much liability...
    That's already under consideration (a 'bent), but he wants to continue riding an upright if he can. I'm just looking for some brainstorming for ideas to get my brain cells cooking with the idea.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  11. #11
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Ah, a "he". Banana seats aren't out of the question, then.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    Ah, a "he". Banana seats aren't out of the question, then.
    His bike has no eyelets.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Crumbs.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  14. #14
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13

    Tom, my thought is seldom does an upright rider lean back far enough to be comfortable leaning against something...perhaps on cruisers, but not on typical road or mountain bikes. I know on my bikes I have to ride no hands before I can lean back far enough to pass 90 degrees. I understand this is a special case, but I guess I'm just unclear how you envision this giving support..
    I have to agree with iamlucky13 on this one.

    People typically abandon the DF for a 'bent when their backs aren't comfortable in the bent-over positon.

    Tom; I applaud your quest for a solution to your friend's situation. Let me stew about it a bit...
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  15. #15
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    His bike has no eyelets.
    P-Clamps would be too weak but Tubus/Ortlieb makes a set of rack clamps (top item in the link) that mount on the seat stays, and take the place of eyelets. They are quite sturdy and strong, I believe Wallingford has them for about $8.

    And I don't know you would have to use a banana seat to use a sissy bar. I don't see why one could not be mounted on a regular saddle.

  16. #16
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    That's already under consideration (a 'bent), but he wants to continue riding an upright if he can. I'm just looking for some brainstorming for ideas to get my brain cells cooking with the idea.
    Giant Revive

  17. #17
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Hey Tom! Know who you're talking about

    I'm not an engineer but I'm creative. On first pass thinking if there's a welder around cut out a downtube and seatpost from a junked frame, collect maybe two stems. Use the stems to clamp onto the frame of the bike. Now it's adjustable up and down.

    The trick would be the right kind of backing for above the seat. Could weld an old seat back from an office chair to the seatpost. That might be tricky, but the right office chair should have front to back tilts and hopefully not too heavy - if you're lucky it may even fit in there without welding. Maybe could form something out of industrial foam but I think that would disintegrate. Maybe clamp an old pair of handlebars to the 'new' seatpost and get a sheet of thick plastic to bend in between the handlebars? I'm thinking the kind of plastic you see that's fashioned like corrugated cordboard.

    Thoughts...

  18. #18
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Hey Tom! Know who you're talking about

    I'm not an engineer but I'm creative. On first pass thinking if there's a welder around cut out a downtube and seatpost from a junked frame, collect maybe two stems. Use the stems to clamp onto the frame of the bike. Now it's adjustable up and down.

    The trick would be the right kind of backing for above the seat. Could weld an old seat back from an office chair to the seatpost. That might be tricky, but the right office chair should have front to back tilts and hopefully not too heavy - if you're lucky it may even fit in there without welding. Maybe could form something out of industrial foam but I think that would disintegrate. Maybe clamp an old pair of handlebars to the 'new' seatpost and get a sheet of thick plastic to bend in between the handlebars? I'm thinking the kind of plastic you see that's fashioned like corrugated cordboard.

    Thoughts...
    I'm thinking something like a recumbent seat back in form of a tensioned mesh on a padded frame. All I need to figure out is a secure mounting system. My friend rides a fairly upright position, so that simplifies things a bit. Maybe use a moustache bar to allow an even more 7pright position rather than the hybrid bars? Anyone have any thoughts?
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  19. #19
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    A mustache bar had already occurred to me as a way to get the upright position, but it will be a big change in the way the bike steers (plus they just look goofy). I like the tensioned mesh seat-back idea. I think the actual saddle has to stay or the legs can't stroke properly.
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  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Does he need to ride straight upright? Tilted back?

    Has he/you considered just riding with a hard molded back brace on? It works well for some. I did it for years.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  21. #21
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Does he need to ride straight upright? Tilted back?

    Has he/you considered just riding with a hard molded back brace on? It works well for some. I did it for years.
    He's tried it and has serious breathing issues that way, plus it's a heat collector. He wants to have ventilation, etc if possible.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  22. #22
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13
    A mustache bar had already occurred to me as a way to get the upright position, but it will be a big change in the way the bike steers (plus they just look goofy). I like the tensioned mesh seat-back idea. I think the actual saddle has to stay or the legs can't stroke properly.
    Agreed on the saddle. All I have to do is come up with a design for the clamp on seat back, it looks like.

    As to the bars looking goofy? No issue with that, he's all about function over form!

    Main issue is his posture sags as he fatigues and the curvature of the spine drops one shoulder. With lumbar bracing, he can hold posture better.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  23. #23
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    He's tried it and has serious breathing issues that way, plus it's a heat collector. He wants to have ventilation, etc if possible.
    I can see why it's not the best for him.
    If it is any help in the future, I have done may centuries in 90 degree weather with my molded back brace. It is hot, and sweaty, no question about it.
    But nothing happens, you just get hot and sweaty.

    Keep the back brace away from your family after a ride. (smell)

    All you need to do is get the right size metal tubing. Electrical conduit would be strong enough if you get the right size. Clamp a long enough piece all the way down each seat stay. Determine what angle you want and use a conduit bender to get the angle (easy to find) friendly electrician may help you.
    Then bend to be parallel at the top where needed. clamp on the back of a lawn chair or just the webbing.

    Clamp the long tubes to the seat stays all the way top to bottom with as many high quality stainless steel small screw on hose clamps as will fit on the length of the stay. Same for the chair back. Get the clamps as tight and even as possible. After a ride check them for tightness again. Maybe after every ride!! You may need diagonal supports as you go, just use conduit.
    I would say if he fits one, a recumbent will be all of this ready to go. Just adjust it properly. Look at some of the aluminum welded frame web seat backs on recumbent. Here's my friends new Haluzak (and his dog Chuck visiting Bailey). The seat angle is adjustable.



    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  24. #24
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Agreed on the saddle. All I have to do is come up with a design for the clamp on seat back, it looks like.

    As to the bars looking goofy? No issue with that, he's all about function over form!

    Main issue is his posture sags as he fatigues and the curvature of the spine drops one shoulder. With lumbar bracing, he can hold posture better.

    Now I'm thinking a little different, although perhaps I'm way off here...would something that attaches to the top tube that he could lean forward into be of any benefit? The biggest drawback I can think of is it might restrict his steering motion and ability to shift his weight around (one of the biggest benefits of a diamond frame, IMO).
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Agreed on the saddle. All I have to do is come up with a design for the clamp on seat back, it looks like.

    As to the bars looking goofy? No issue with that, he's all about function over form!

    Main issue is his posture sags as he fatigues and the curvature of the spine drops one shoulder. With lumbar bracing, he can hold posture better.
    Tom tried to sneak this one by me. :-)

    Hi, I'm the rider with scoliosis Tom is writing about. I lost 137 pounds and taught myself to ride a bike at age 41 only to discover that I'm a wreck structurally. As one of my riding buddies put it, if I were a horse I would have been shot long ago.

    Tom's part right, it is one shoulder, however, the problem is that I 'lead' with my right shoulder. Imagine a rider upright on his left and leaning forward on his right, and you have me. Keeping bolt-upright without proper lumbar support is tough for someone with scoliosis. The physical therapists I've seen support the idea of my riding, but they don't like my being in a bad posture for hours at a time. My back and shoulder don't like it either. At this point I can't ride more than about 4-5 miles without discomfort. That despite this problem I logged a 100 mile week shows you my commitment to cycling.

    At this point, I feel I have five options:

    1. Find a way to keep upright on a diamond frame bike;

    2. switch to a recumbent or tricycle;

    3. see if a change to a forward riding position, such as on a road bike, could work for me. Transferring some of the weight to my arms and shoulders might force them to remain level, provided I could keep a flat back.

    4. Try one of the new design bikes like the Giant Revive or the Day Six bicycle.

    5. Give up riding.

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