Author Topic: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?  (Read 17328 times)

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Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2010, 10:59:20 pm »
Hi CastAStone,
Your reply was extremely thoughtful & helpful. Thanks very much!!!
Neil
Can you recommend a model & manufacturer to get? I would definitely be into raising the handlebars on my bike. I have a couple questions. If I use spacers, will that make the ride less comfortable due to vibration or weaken the frame? Also are spacers the only way to raise the handlebars?

WTB makes a 60cm bar (traditional drops are 40-46cm) called the "mountain road drop bar", but its a little funky shaped, I'd look it up.

You might learn a lot about your handlebar options at Sheldon Brown's page; http://www.sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html . You might enjoy trekking bars or "mustache" bars as well; if you are unfamiliar with those you can read about them there.

Spacers I can tell you definitively will not weaken the frame if you have a decent headset on your bike. I do not know the answer to the vibration question although I believe that since the spacers go above the headset, vibration is probably minimal. Chances are pretty good that you have at least one spacer on your bike now.

Another way to raise the handle bars is a taller stem (look for higher angle numbers). Also, getting a 31.8mm width handlebar will raise the handlebars a few millimeters. Off the top of my head, they you might also be able to find taller headsets, I'm speculating on this one but well made headsets of special materials may do better to reduce vibration than the combination of spacers and your stock headset. There might be more ways to raise the bars, but I don't know them.

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 11:02:06 pm »
Hi Paddleboy,
This is a lot of good of information. It should help a lot.
Best,
Neil
 
Hi whittierider,
I just want to follow-up on one point you made in your response. You asked why I opted for 165 mm crank arms. First, it took a lot of phone calls just to find a bike store that could even special order crank arms of that size. Also, the LBS stated that, if I were to install a smaller crank arm size, my legs would just spin, rendering the bike difficult to ride. Do you agree with that assessment by the LBS? Please let me know.
Thanks,
Neil

You bike shop is feeding you a load of bovine fecal matter.

I am of French Canadian descent.  My people have the build of a plow horse, long torso, and short stubby legs.  If my legs were proportional to my torso, I would be over 6' tall.  Since I have short stubby legs, I usually end up on a 50CM sized road bikes.  It used to be that the smaller road bike frames came with 165MM crank arms.  The bike manufacturer assume that a small frame like that is being sold to either a female or an adolescent.  The 165MM crank arm is not there because of clearance issues.  The 165MM crank arm is there to take some strain off leg bones of the still growing adolescent.

The smaller crank rides just fine.  With shorter cranks arms, you have less mechanical advantage (the correct technical term), but you also have less bone stress too.  I know at one time Colorado Cyclist carried 165MM road cranks.  There are probably other sources.

Personally, I would consider installing a compact drive mountain bike crank.  These do not come shorter than 170MM crank arms, but you will not be loading up the knees as much.  You will have to learn to spin, but that is probably not a bad idea for you either.  If I spin at a cadence lower than 70, I get knee pain, so I shoot to keep a spin cadence of 80 - 90 revolutions per second.  In my 30's, I had a spin cadence of 105, but I just can't keep that up anymore.

I cannot provide much guidance on your shoulder issues.  A professional fitting my someone you trust might be money well spent.  Perhaps a Serrotta dealer since are trained better than most dealers.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2010, 09:04:06 am »
I have 35,000 miles on my Easy Racer Tour Easy and 5,000 on my Rans StratusXP.

Your fear of riding in traffic or congestion on narrow roads on a 'bent is totally groundless. It's a bike.

Demo some recumbents. It's the coolest engineering challenge in bicycling. You will find a huge variety of frame and bottom bracket heights, wheelbases, riding positions, seat positions, prices, components, and frame materials. You might pay a 10-40% premium for a hand-built niche bike but a recumbent will  revolutionize your ability to ride a bike with your physical issues. Imagine putting 5,000 miles on a bike every year without pain. That's worth repeating: ride without pain.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline John Bailey

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2010, 10:55:15 am »
I would check out the Rivendell Sam Hillborne.  It would seem Rivendell's comfort for performance philosophy would be what you're looking for and the Sam Hillborne is built to promote a more upright and less stressful position.

John

Offline Nightturkey

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2010, 04:46:33 am »
Have you tried looking into a semi-recumbent, like Day6?  Natural riding position, easy on the shoulders and knees, higher seat than a full 'bent, and little or no learning curve.

Offline deniseh

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2010, 04:10:06 am »
About the handlebars.  I previously dislocated my shoulder and can't use the traditional 39 drops however, I have had very good luck with the 44 drops.  That width corresponds to the width of my shoulders.  Next time I will go with a 46 thought because that will put my hands in the same place as on the mountain bike when I am riding in my typical hands on top of the bar position.  I donot hunch over them since I also broke my back and that is a killer.  So I suspect you may be riding in a similar very straight back position.  On the knees, I had nothing but trouble with bikes until I got "fitted" by the certified guy at the bike shop,  this ended the knee bike issues.  Cant  help with short leg issues, mine are absurdly long. This was the cause of this issue, constantly riding bikes that were too small.  Here hoping your issues can be solved as easily. 

Offline mucknort

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2010, 04:30:22 pm »
Your fear of riding in traffic or congestion on narrow roads on a 'bent is totally groundless. It's a bike.

Totally agree! A recumbent would be extremely comfortable for you and would perform great in commuting traffic. I also live and ride in busy "east coast traffic" and have no problem riding in traffic and having drivers see me. In fact, with the "unusual" factor, I find drivers give me a wider berth on my bent than on an upright bike. Yes, some recumbents are designed for speed and are nicknamed, low-racers, but many recumbents are higher off the ground and make terrific commuters, especially since you are facing forward rather than down.

Offline justbarb

Re: Bike Fit for Person with Bad Shoulders/Knees?
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2010, 09:05:48 am »
Have you checked out a Bike Friday?  Each one is custom made and the nearest dealer to you should have one to test ride. Lots of options with a BF to make bicycling a great experience.