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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 07-03-12, 10:15 PM   #1
Bob/FLA
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Injured!

I wanted to share my story with my fellow bent riders.
I've ridden a DF all my life, but switched over to bents due to physical issues. I ride a solo and tandem bent, the makes do not matter. I trained hard on the tandem and completed a strenuous tour on it. I then went on an 86 mile ride on the solo the following week.

Now the problem...
I strained my left ankle. STRAINED, not broken, not torn, not ripped, it just hurt. The short story is 3 months in a walking cast and 5 additional months not on my bike.

The cause...
Over extension of my foot caused a repetative motion injury. My pedals were too far from my seat. Are you kidding? I have NEVER been injured on a bike, until now. 8 months off my bike! It seems that the most comfortable position (I thought) was NOT GOOD! I recently began riding again and adjusted the seat PROPERLY and have no issues with over extending.

I did a lot of research on bent injuries and only found a couple of entries addressing this issue. I hope my experience helps identify a potential problem before it becomes a real problem.

Best regards
Bob
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Old 07-04-12, 11:42 AM   #2
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Eight months! Ouch!

You are not the only one to make that mistake. I too started my bent riding with a position that encouraged excessive ankling but was fortunate enough to correct it before doing any apparent damage.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:05 PM   #3
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I'm sorry you got injured and hope you heal quickly. For those new to bents or considering one, please be aware that correct leg extension in the recumbent position will usually not be the same as on a DF. In my case, my legs are a bit more bent at the knee (i.e. closer to the body).


And are you experiencing knee pain? A small change (like 1/8") in seat/boom distance can make a big difference.
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Old 07-04-12, 07:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
I'm sorry you got injured and hope you heal quickly. For those new to bents or considering one, please be aware that correct leg extension in the recumbent position will usually not be the same as on a DF. In my case, my legs are a bit more bent at the knee (i.e. closer to the body).
Oh, I think it should be pretty close with either platform. The upright platform seems to be a bit more forgiving for some reason. Easier to rock your hips a little bit?
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Old 07-04-12, 09:52 PM   #5
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Rocking hips taking up the slack?
Probably, but the big issue for me was that I never felt a bit of discomfortuntil I finished my last ride, then it only felt a little "tight."The next day I worked 12 hours walking on a concrete floor. The next morning after that Ihad a Flexeril for breakfast, call off work, and called my doctor. I knew I washurt...BAD.

The thousand miles of training rides didn't do it. The tour didn't do it. The 83 mile ride didn't do it. I think it was a time bomb, a cumulative injury that finally surfaced after a long ride. Motrin is now my friend, but it still hurts.

I have a tour planned for October focusing on easy miles and enjoying riding with a friend, and November will find me on a cross state ride...Florida isn't that wide. Still, a pretty ambitious plan considering how slowly I have healed. Ride smart and stay healthy is my plan right now.

Best regards to all
Bob


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Old 07-07-12, 10:54 PM   #6
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All of my recumbents make me feel like my knees are coming back closer to me than on my upright. Since I'm sitting in a more closed position on my bents, I have to be careful to adjust my seat for the proper leg extension, not the knee bend.
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Old 07-08-12, 06:02 AM   #7
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Do you think that shorter cranks might help? Lots of recumbent riders use cranks that are significantly shorter than is common on DF bikes.

If you're finding yourself making the choice between over extending on the far side or over flexing your knee on the near side, a crankset with shorter crankarms might be the solution.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys.
Grouch...I don't think shorter cranks would help. Both bikes fit me very well, I just over extended the reach. I have put a few thousand miles on each, but for some reason put them out of adjustment.

Best to all
Bob
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Old 08-15-12, 07:02 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear that.

My wife rode her trike into a drainage culvert in April; 5 fractures in the lower leg. The fibula has a 1" gap filled with bone putty.

Last week she took her first ride, 20 miles. Less then a month ago she was still on a walker.

Recovery is part willpower, part diet, part therapy.

Wish you the best.

BTW, had she been on a DF, she either would have suffered severe head trauma or death.
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Old 08-17-12, 02:34 PM   #10
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One of the tricks I've heard mentioned for setting up for leg length was to adjust the seat so that your leg is straight when your HEEL is on the pedal. This way when your foot is on the pedal in its regular position your leg will be slightly bent at full extension as it should be.

Here's Bacchetta's page on rider setup for their bikes, your manufacturer should probably have one for yours if yours varies. http://bacchettabikes.com/support/fi...ider_setup.php
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Old 08-17-12, 08:04 PM   #11
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I can empathize with you. A few years back I hurt one of my Achilles tendons on a 4-day tour. I had a week-long tour scheduled for a few weeks later. In spite of resting it as hard as I could, it was still visibly swollen as I was riding the hills of Tennessee. I did what I could -- I shortened up the pedal distance and kept to lower gears as much as possible. And I gulped lots of aspirin and motrin. It took a couple of months to heal.

Having the pedal extension a bit too long can feel powerful, but it makes the Achilles tendon too tight; and a tight tendon is one that's susceptible to injury. You're luck you didn't hurt it worse. I had a co-worker that was on crutches for 6 months with a torn Achilles.
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Old 08-17-12, 08:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Oh, I think it should be pretty close with either platform. The upright platform seems to be a bit more forgiving for some reason. Easier to rock your hips a little bit?
I also think that basic ballpark positioning for both formats is the same: Leg straight with heel on pedal, slightly bent with ball of foot over pedal axle, then adjust as needed.

Wondering if the strain was preceded by pain or discomfort?
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