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Fit on a 'bent?

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Fit on a 'bent?

Old 10-08-12, 08:05 PM
Juan Foote
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Fit on a 'bent?

Sorry for all the questions in the last two days.

Doing some reading through the forum and I noted a fellow talking about an over extension injury he had sustained after quite a bit of riding. I was at the shop today and set the boom length and corrected the chain length to allow for proper gear operation. I have a prosthesis (LBKA) and have my DF set up in a very specific way in order to allow for that as well as to avoid knee problems on that side. I read in the thread there that many people set up the 'bent to be a bit closer knee position, ie. less extension in the knee. I was noting that very small adjustments in my seating position made pretty extreme differences in my knee extension. I set up where I am between 33-38* knee extension according to where I sit. I cannot come outside of 40* or below that 33* point or my knee starts cracking either at the bend, or full extension. On my DF it is easy to stay within a certain range due to the seat position, but on this it is quite a bit harder especially given the fact I have not ridden one prior to yesterday.

Even with the adjustment I did, a short shakedown ride at the shop was aggravating the inside of my knee on the front.

Is there a significant difference that I should be paying attention to concerning proper leg positioning for a 'bent as related to DF?

I don't anticipate riding this rig too much once the wife recovers from surgery, but am setting it up with the ability for each of us to be able to with a chain tensioner which is on the way. I want to be sure we are both in the best spot for avoiding injury, and especially so since I will be swapping back and forth from my DF to this.

Thanks in advance for any advice or pointing in the right direction you can give. My shop does BG fit, but of course that is a DF fit tech and we don't really do 'bents.
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Old 10-08-12, 08:59 PM
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I haven't found recumbents to be much, if at all, different from uprights wrt extension. You want the legs slightly bent at the far end of the pedal stroke. Looking at some pics of riders at a few HPRA races, this one seems to be fairly representative. (sorry, not the best of views for the extension.)

I'm having a hard time translating what you're trying to say, but I think you're saying that you have some range-of-motion issues that make the adjustments very picky. You may benefit from using shorter cranks, which would decrease the size of your pedal circle and give you a little more leeway in the adjustments you're making.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:25 PM
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One point if I may add? I have had both one knee and one hip replaced, and one point I learned, both from my Ortho, and my PT DR (that races) is besides extension, you really do not want to close the knee or hip past 90 degrees if possible. Neither joint can provide any real power (or speed) past a 90 degree bend. Plus, if you have any knee issues, repetitive bending past 90 degrees *can* create issues that are less likely to occur by staying in the 5 to 90 degree range. The bike (or trike), seat position, length of boom, and crank length all work to create these angles. Sometimes it's simply the ride. Just something else to consider, am not too sure how this info will affect you, and your situation?
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Old 10-10-12, 08:19 AM
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Some bents are far more adjustable than others. My Rans Stratus is one of the most adjustable bents out there. The seat has a great range of fore and aft adjustment, and angle of the back also. Then the "chopper" handlebar is the most adjustable set of bars out there.

BTW IMHO I think a LWB bent is probably the easiest to adjust for medical conditions, and easiest to ride.
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Old 10-29-12, 07:34 AM
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Adustability was also the reason for chosing my TT Cruiser. After buying the appropriate lenght boom the seat is adjustable for and aft. Then the seat can be adjusted to what ever angle you like.

The great thing here is that both my Rans Stratus and TerraTrike Cruiser are both the most adjustable bike and trike sold, but the come at a reasonable price.

Another good reason for total adjustability is if for some reason you want to sell them you have a very large market since they will fit a large number of people.
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Old 10-30-12, 12:39 PM
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A thing to consider,,
Power can be whats hurting you,,
Are you developing 'Spinning' skills' properly ?

There Is a right and a wrong way to do this depending on many factors.

Most of my knee pains,,altho only minor became a non-Issue once
I started the, 'Disipline of Spin'
As my spinning got better my speeds and POWER came up.

I am faster becuase of the 'Spin Discipline'

Also for me pedal distance was criticle,,
My setting:
Buttocks set back into the seat,
heel on the pedal at the farthest extension location,
knee locked straight,,,,,,,,
Then when I placed the ball of my foot on the pedal I had the perfect fit ,,for me...

Working at a shorter pedal distance even if only a very little bit needs even better spinning skills/discipline..

Also consider pedal extenders,,The Hostelshoppe has them In 3 widths I think..
the extenders can vastly alter knee and hip loading points even tho they are quite small...

Next thing,,take another look at Hydration,,this Is more Involved than many people know.
Proper Hydration Is a skill also, consisting of timming, what you eat and how you stretch as well as what you hydrate with.

Knowledge Is power,,,,,,Protect those knee's

Here Endeth The Lesson XD

Last edited by osco53; 10-30-12 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 10-31-12, 07:01 PM
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I say you need a bit more bend at full extension than a DF. On a DF bike, pushing down on the pedals, you can get closer to full extension than on a recumbent. Consider that pushing down, with near or slightly too much extension, where would a problem develop? But, on a recumbent, if your pedal stroke is more horizontal with a slight over extension, gravity is pulling that over extended joint downward. Also on over extension on a DF, you can compensate with your hips. No possible on a recumbent. Your butt and hips are not going to be moving.

My Stratus XP is set up with a little knee bend at full extension. And I have just injured my knee on a 40 mile ride. It started hurting when fully flexed. (it flexes MORE than 90 degrees) So, given the injury, will I extend more? Nope. I am getting shorter cranks.

I am going to replace my 170mm cranks with some 150mm cranks. That way I can maintain my slight bend at extension, but not overflex at the top of the pedal stroke. Bear in mind, I have very troublesome knees. I rode a mountain bike successfully for years probably because it had full suspension. When I ride a rigid mountain bike on the road, I pretty easily was able to irritate my knees without the little cush of my full suspension bike.

In my opinion, if one has knee issues, take a good look at shorter cranks. And maintain a setup with just a bit more knee bend than one might with a DF.

Last edited by rufusprime99; 10-31-12 at 07:05 PM.
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