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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for gear shifters for arthritic hands

    I have arthritis in my wrists and thumbs. I have difficulty using my Shimano shifter. Can anyone suggest a shifter that is easier to use for someone who has no strength in their hands?

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    Road or hybrid/mountain? If the latter, then maybe grip shifters? Since you are holding the handlebars anyway, all you have to do is twist forward or backward on the grip and you've shifted.

  3. #3
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhcycle
    I have arthritis in my wrists and thumbs. I have difficulty using my Shimano shifter. Can anyone suggest a shifter that is easier to use for someone who has no strength in their hands?
    As much as I personally dislike these ( I can't believe I'm recommending them but they fit your needs) Try a set of these http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/137...or-V-Brake.htm
    They allow you to shift by pushing down and pulling up on the brake lever. You don't have to grip and twist or push with your thumb. Pressure from say two fingers will operate the mechanism.

  4. #4
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    As much as I personally dislike these ( I can't believe I'm recommending them but they fit your needs) Try a set of these http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/137...or-V-Brake.htm
    They allow you to shift by pushing down and pulling up on the brake lever. You don't have to grip and twist or push with your thumb. Pressure from say two fingers will operate the mechanism.
    Still have to use your thumb to go up right? I'd go with grip shifters.
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  5. #5
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PWRDbyTRD
    Still have to use your thumb to go up right? I'd go with grip shifters.
    No back of the fingers. Arthritis makes it hard to grip things

  6. #6
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    No back of the fingers. Arthritis makes it hard to grip things
    oh...ok...well the the only obvious choice...use what's still working, your legs, and go SS
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  7. #7
    EmperorNorton II norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhcycle
    I have arthritis in my wrists and thumbs. I have difficulty using my Shimano shifter. Can anyone suggest a shifter that is easier to use for someone who has no strength in their hands?

    I have partial paralysis of both hands due to arrested Lou Gehrig's Disease....Any movement of thumbs & fingers is only accomplished telegraph-style from weak residual wrist action....My upper arms & shoulders thankfully remain strong.....Unlike arthritis, I experience no pain.....


    My road bike has drop-bars with bar-end shifters mounted sideways....Movement is horizontal instead of the usual vertical....This set-up enables me to move the bar-end shifters using the little-finger-side forearm bone....No wrist, thumb, or fingers necessary! .....

    As you know,from adapting to your arthritis, you may need to practice before it ceases to feel awkward & becomes perfectly natural.....Why doesn't averybody do it this way?!



    Hope this helps......

  8. #8
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    If you have a road bike, would downtube shifters be an option?

  9. #9
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    what if he gets one of those nifty bikes where the bike uses weights on the wheel to change gears.
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PWRDbyTRD
    oh...ok...well the the only obvious choice...use what's still working, your legs, and go SS
    Actually P---T, I like this one best. Depends, of course, on terrain. But if one can dispense with gear-shifts altogether with SS, it's only a case of holding on to the handlebars. I think KIS (leave the other S off because there are enough stupid people here without suggesting everyone join them).

  11. #11
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    SS? Don't you still have to cope with brake levers? Why not a fixie without a front brake? That's even simpler and all in the legs, right?

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    Sachs (now SRAM) used to make some interesting shifters for their 7 speed hub gear. The Speedtronic was an electronically actuated replacement for the cable operated click-box.
    Mavic used to make the Zapp electronic derailleur system.
    This is about the only sensible application of electronic shifting.

  13. #13
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Single speed coaster brake? No hands need to brake or shift.

  14. #14
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I'd have to concur with Bar end shifters (barcons). I believe that
    they are still available for the newer gearing. (have to check on that).

    With all due respect to the SS/FIXIE contingency (and apoliogies to
    nhcycle) unless we are talking a baloon tire cruiser (coaster brake) I don't
    think this is the kind of bike for someone with arthritis that advanced.
    also, ever think the nh in his name might stand for New Hampshire, which
    if I haven't forgotten my geography in a senior moment is pretty hilly/mountainous.

    just my 2 or 3 cents worth.
    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  15. #15
    EmperorNorton II norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    how do you brake?

    Good question.....My brake levers are mounted up-side-down near the stem (handlepost) on the tops of the dropbars.....thus I push on them rather than squeeze them....There's just enough room between the lever & the bar-top for me to rest my hands there.....When my hands are wedged in there, I can get a moderate pulling action when hammering up hill.....Oh, when I'm in a road situation where I suspect I might have to brake quickly & delicately, I ride the top of the brake-lever housing enabling me to feather the brake lever with the little-finger edge of my hands....Full hands on the brake-levers needs to be avoided because the faster you stop the faster you stop!....to the potential point of an endo & faceplant! ...


    By the way, Merton, I've been suspecting that beneath your bravura, you are really a thoughtful & sensitive young person........

  16. #16
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    He can always buy an auto shifting "Landrider" real cheap on Ebay! ;-)

    NOT..

    The Bianchi Auto Milano is an option.

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