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2015 S-Works Tarmac No Use of Left Hand

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

2015 S-Works Tarmac No Use of Left Hand

Old 05-27-14, 02:11 PM
  #1  
rberriz
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2015 S-Works Tarmac No Use of Left Hand

Background
I was shot back in college, 2008, and took heavy damage to my brachial plexus, as well as severing my coratid and subclavian artery. This left my whole left arm without movement until surgery 2 years later. I had several procedures at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where they reconfigured the musculature of the left arm. My biceps control finger flexion, triceps control thumb opposition. A miracle I survived, I know, but I pretty much sat sedentary for the next several years. I got up to my heaviest point on around Jan 1st 2014 and have since lost about 50 lbs and signed up for a century (the seagull century). I started riding my bike (cheap road bike from amazon) everyday to and from work and riding every evening as well. I am currently planning on buying a new bike (2015 Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc) as a reward for the weight loss but have several concerns.

First since I can't use the fingers on my left hand I need to do all braking with my right. I have never tested the Shimano R785 disc brakes but I am hoping this is sufficient.

Second Since I can not use the left side shifter I was hoping I could use something like Shimano SW-R671. My question about these is with a di2 system can I only use one set of the shifter buttons and place them at the end of my drop bars in place of the cap that holds in the bar tape? If this set up works I am hoping I could remove the entire left handlebar brake and shifter housing, as well as the front brake (since I cant use them) to save on weight.

Third on the left side of my drops since I can't control my hand like I'd like the curvature of the bar can get uncomfortable on long rides. Is there anyone who make ergonomic grip inserts for drop bars?

Thanks for any responses or any other ideas!
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Old 05-27-14, 02:29 PM
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Personally from whom ever,{bike shop** you buy the Specialized S works from i would have the shop do all of the configuring of the brakes and shifters, etc di2 system.. a few years back riding in the Hotter n hell 100 i talked to a man that was an amputee, his right arm above th elbow.
he used a straight type bar set-up and the brakes and shifters were located on the left side. Find a knowledgeable pro shop that can help you with this.
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Old 05-27-14, 02:43 PM
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Perhaps using two SW-R610 sprint switches might work more ergonomically than a tri bar switch?
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Old 05-27-14, 02:48 PM
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Don't remove the front brake. If you can have only one make it the front!
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Old 05-27-14, 02:50 PM
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Delete the rear brakes, not the front. Should be no problem for your shop to set it up that way (right-front, left-rear) when you buy the bike. Motorcycle guys request this all the time.

For the shifter, see if you can use one of Shimano's Climbing shifters for the DI2 system to shift the FD from the right side.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by popeye View Post
Don't remove the front brake. If you can have only one make it the front!
Really?
I am a road bike newbie but I figured exactly the opposite. Wouldn't relying solely on the front brake increase the chances of me going over the bars in an emergency stop?
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Old 05-27-14, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nebby10 View Post
Perhaps using two SW-R610 sprint switches might work more ergonomically than a tri bar switch?
I hadn't seen those, those look better than the tri buttons.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:05 PM
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Try posting this in the Adaptive Cycling sub-forum. You'll get far more knowledgeable responses there.

I can only echo the statements others have made - keep the front brake instead of the rear if you absolutely find you can only run one. I'm pretty sure there are solutions however to run 2 brakes from one lever.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-14, 03:17 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by rberriz View Post
Really?
I am a road bike newbie but I figured exactly the opposite. Wouldn't relying solely on the front brake increase the chances of me going over the bars in an emergency stop?
Relying solely on the back brake increases the chance of your back wheel going out from udner you in a turn, or even better, going over the cliff when you overshoot a switchback, but totally your call.

Rear brakes are for trimming speed on the straightaway. Fronts are for actually slowing down and stopping.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rberriz View Post
Really?
I am a road bike newbie but I figured exactly the opposite. Wouldn't relying solely on the front brake increase the chances of me going over the bars in an emergency stop?
Relying solely on the back brake will increase the chances of hitting stuff you're trying to avoid in an emergency stop. The closer you get to stopping at the full limit of your brakes and the traction of your tires the closer you get to 100% of your stopping power being provided by the front. The back just doesn't have enough traction to stop you quickly.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:40 PM
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There's a guy over on RBR that set a di2 bike up for one armed use. You might want to PM him over on RBR.

Post your carbon Trek bikes here - Page 38
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Old 05-27-14, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
There's a guy over on RBR that set a di2 bike up for one armed use. You might want to PM him over on RBR.

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Cool thanks!
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Old 05-27-14, 03:48 PM
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Only comment I can make once you sort out your braking set up...likely a linked braking design where you can create your best valve proportion of front to rear brake bias so both brakes can be applied with a single shift brake lever....

Maybe electric shifting would be your best option...where all shifting could be on one shifter...work out an algorithm for a progressive shift of front and rear derailleurs. Believe this has been done if you dig into it and perform a broad search.

Choice of bike based upon your issue: A Tarmac has an aggressive geometry natively and only a suggestion is consider a frameset with a taller headtube like the Roubaix. What this will do is take pressure off both hands and put a bit more on the saddle. This may help your fatigue if most of weight it controlled by your unaffected hand/arm.

All the best as you sort through the above. I believe both your braking...perhaps hydraulic braking would be your best opportunity for linked braking aka Honda VFR motorcycle...and electric shifting for a rapid fire progressive shifter. You can also forgo some complexity by running 1 X 11 driveline with electric rear derailleur in back only. I am quite sure there is one armed rider on the forum that has worked through the linked braking issue...if you perform a search.

Choice of frame is key. As great a bike as the Tarmac SL5 is...I personally suggest you consider the Roubaix SL4. Btw, I ride a Roubaix as well.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:55 PM
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You should also check out this thread

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...nd-wonder.html

There are two different posters with modified controls that might give you some ideas or, at least, someone to talk with.

-- mike
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Old 05-27-14, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
I believe both your braking...perhaps hydraulic braking would be your best opportunity for linked braking aka Honda VFR motorcycle...
I was planning on going the Di2 route, but with the shimano r785 hydraulic disc brakes, can they be jury-rigged to actuate both front and back calipers off of one lever?
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Old 05-27-14, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rberriz View Post
I was planning on going the Di2 route, but with the shimano r785 hydraulic disc brakes, can they be jury-rigged to actuate both front and back calipers off of one lever?
The user that Dunbar referenced over on RBR has a single lever hooked to front and rear sram hydro rim brakes, so I would assume that something similar could be done with the R785 brakes since they're both hydro's.
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Old 05-27-14, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by nebby10 View Post
the user that dunbar referenced over on rbr has a single lever hooked to front and rear sram hydro rim brakes, so i would assume that something similar could be done with the r785 brakes since they're both hydro's.
so excited!
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Old 05-27-14, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rberriz View Post
so excited!
As mentioned the benefit of hydraulic braking is you can proportion amount of front/rear braking bias with a single shifter. What happens in braking is as the bike stops, the majority of bike/rider weight shifts the the front tire contact patch. This requires a higher proportion of braking pressure to the front caliper because if the same pressure is applied in back, the rear tire will skid due to over braking because the rear contact patch is unweighted. I suggest you contact the one handed rider for his perspective.
Good luck.
PS: if you can't combine hydraulic braking with electric shifting then I would consider 1 X 11 with a single rear mechanical derailleur which you can shift with one hand. Or...you could also use a remote shifter with electronic derailleurs.
You have many options and with the will, should be able to come up with a good setup.

Last edited by Campag4life; 05-27-14 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 05-27-14, 07:04 PM
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i can't say for sure about shimano disc brakes, but i know that my motorcycle has two front disc brake calipers and both are run from the same lever. the brake line has a simple "T" in it. one goes to one caliper the other to the other caliper. no fancy stuff at all. can't see why it couldn't be worked out on a hydraulic bicycle brake. of course there is intentionally no bias in favor of one disc over the other.

as far as shifting is concerned. i'd minimize the problem by either going with a single speed or electronic and with a RD only.
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Old 05-27-14, 09:48 PM
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There are brake levers that will pull both brakes. Not sure if it works with disc ...and I think disc is overrated for road bikes

Problem Solvers

And maybe consider downtube shifters, should be easy enough to get to both shifters with one hand.

Anything you get is going to take some customizing but it should be doeable
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Old 05-27-14, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i can't say for sure about shimano disc brakes, but i know that my motorcycle has two front disc brake calipers and both are run from the same lever. the brake line has a simple "T" in it. one goes to one caliper the other to the other caliper. no fancy stuff at all. can't see why it couldn't be worked out on a hydraulic bicycle brake. of course there is intentionally no bias in favor of one disc over the other.

as far as shifting is concerned. i'd minimize the problem by either going with a single speed or electronic and with a RD only.
Right, a 1 x set up would also be good. One chain ring in the front, multigear in the back. All depend on the riding. If he's doing a century a single speed might be too much
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Old 05-27-14, 10:10 PM
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Similar situation.
For 40 years I've used only the front brake on my road bike. Going over the bars when stopping would be a weight transfer issue, not a front brake issue. Trust me, you need the front brake.

I do have a rear brake, but it's hooked to a cross lever on my right side. I never use it. It's there only in the extreamly unlikely situation my front brake cable or brake has a problem. (eggs, baskets, etc.)

I can push my left shifter, but it admit it's awkward. I dream of DI2, with the left shifter as a button shifter controlling the front shifting. It's very doable. It just costs money.

Good luck. Let me know if I can help you.
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Old 05-27-14, 10:12 PM
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Oh, BTW, good caliper brakes are fine. Ultegra or better. You'll be fine. No need for discs.
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Old 05-27-14, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Should be no problem for your shop to set it up that way (right-front, left-rear) when you buy the bike.
Or come to Australia where all the bikes are set up like this!
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Old 05-28-14, 05:29 AM
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Thanks for all the responses, I've learned a quite a lot from these replies and am looking forward to starting my new setup. Going to purchase at the beginning of august when I get back stateside.
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