Author Topic: Touring after knee replacement  (Read 5234 times)

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Offline eghaley

Touring after knee replacement
« on: March 20, 2007, 06:51:08 pm »
This winter was knee replacement time.  One at the end of November and the other at the end of February.  According to many reports, the artificial joints in no way hindered biking and in fact made them better bikers.  These bikers used upright bikes.  I'd like to use a recumbent and haven't heard about anyone taking a long tour with a recumbent after total knee replacement.

Is there anyone who could offer some advice?  I'm 64 and had to go thru 4 back surgeries to get the back right and now I have the knees working again.  I know I have to train ahead of time, but I just don't want to start out by buying the wrong bike. :blush:  

thanks.


Offline ptaylor

Touring after knee replacement
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 03:00:44 pm »
Gosh EG. I'm impressed. Four back surgeries, 2 knee replacements, and then a long tour. Yep - I'm impressed.

I don't know anyone who has biked after knee replacements, but I had a friend who biked coast to coast after a hip replacement. He made it OK. (A SAG supported ride)

I have some experience with long tours and recumbents. I don't think the recumbent will reduce stress on the knee, but it certainly is comfortable. The most important thing with recumbents, in my opinion, is to remember to gear down as you are slowing to a stop. If you stop at a stoplight in a high gear, it will be tough to get going again, which is stressful on the knees.

Paul
Paul

Offline eghaley

Touring after knee replacement
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 03:33:30 pm »
Paul:
Thanks for the info.  It may end up that a long tour is just a pipe dream.  I've really been wanting to do one across the Southern Tier.  It may never happen but, God willing, I'd sure like to try.  Might even have to do it on a scooter just to be on the road.  We'll see.

Thanks again.


Offline MrBent

Touring after knee replacement
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 07:19:33 pm »
Hey, EG:  I ride recumbents almost exclusively.  There's no reason why they should be harder on the knees than a conventional bike.  For what it's worth, though I ride a high bottom bracket design (HP Velotechnik Street Machine) my knees were a bit happier with a lower bottom bracket design like the Tour Easy.  I got pretty bad recumbent butt (sore ass muscles) on that one and ended up selling it.  Many people don't, however, and Tour Easy's are among the best of touring machines!  Get underseat panniers for sure.

In general, recumbents, when you get them stock, are geared way too high.  You need low, low gears to take it easy on your knees.  If you get one with a 26" rear wheel, make sure the cassette is an 11/34 and that the front chainrings go down to 24t at least.  Mtb cranks--22/34/44--are great for touring, and paired with the suggested cassette will give you a fine, low gear for almost any hill.  

With recumbents, when in doubt (and when not in doubt) SHIFT DOWN.  Keep the pressure light and the cadence high.  Because it's possible to push so hard against the seat, knee damage is a possibility if you are not careful.   Also, ease into the design and give your muscles and joints time to adjust to the new position.  Many new 'bent riders get too enthusiastic (I'm guilty) and injure themselves.  Park the ego and take it easy--and enjoy!  I would not be a long distance tourer without these bikes.

Cheers,

Scott


Offline freerider

Touring after knee replacement
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 09:26:26 pm »
Paul:
I was wondering if you had any more info about your friend who had hip surgery: like how long they waited after their surgery to do their tour, and how old they were.
I had hip surgery a couple months ago and I am itching to tour again. And I would like to supplement the info my doc is giving me with other people's experiences. Thanks.
Dani


Offline ptaylor

Touring after knee replacement
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2007, 05:44:53 pm »
Dani. I wish I could give you more info.

At the time, we were both bike activists, but went about our separate ways just after his coast-to-coast return. He was in his 40's.

Thinking back 15 years, I know he had his surgery and left on his trip less than 12 months later; it may have been as little as 3 months - I just don't remember the time frame.

Good luck!



Paul
Paul