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drosen
11-15-2008, 03:46 PM
Hi there, I am a teacher in the area and have a student (11 years old) who has no legs below the knee. He has a huge interest in biking and his parents are at a loss to find a bike that meets his needs. He uses prosthetics for walking and is adept and well balanced. He would like a bike that is "normal". He has problems getting going and his parents are at a loss as to what to do about pedals. He uses artificial feet and keeping them on a pedal is a challenge. His parents are leery about clipping in his shoes. Can anyone give me an idea on how to help them? They're not looking for a handout, just a direction on where to look for a bike. Thanks

edki
11-15-2008, 05:10 PM
How about strapless toe clips? It might help hold his feet in place but still allow him to easily remove them from the pedals. Beyond that I'd just suggest a ride with fat tires and a low center of gravity.

A quick search turned up http://www.amputee-online.com/amputee/onyerbike.html and http://www.mtb-amputee.com/

seems like a good place to start...

q`Tzal
11-16-2008, 08:44 AM
http://www.greenspeed.com.au/gth.html

Greenspeed is an Autrailian manufacturer of recumbent tricycles. They make a very durable product and the hand bike is not just a prototype.

A little research to support my highly biased support of Greenspeed turned up: The HandCycle Store (http://bike-on.com) which has a wide selection of products to support the need you describe.

Wandering around their website proved quickly that there is more available than what I had previously thought.

Ah, my blind obedience to a brand is shaken ...

Jeff Wills
12-01-2008, 08:54 PM
http://www.greenspeed.com.au/gth.html

Greenspeed is an Autrailian manufacturer of recumbent tricycles. They make a very durable product and the hand bike is not just a prototype.

A little research to support my highly biased support of Greenspeed turned up: The HandCycle Store (http://bike-on.com) which has a wide selection of products to support the need you describe.

Wandering around their website proved quickly that there is more available than what I had previously thought.

Ah, my blind obedience to a brand is shaken ...

Coventry Cycles on Hawthorne has a selection of recumbent bikes and trikes. I'd talk to them to see if they're willing to work on an adaptation of a recumbent or something more conventional.

Haven_kd7yct
12-02-2008, 09:05 AM
Handcycles are cool and all, but if he's looking for something a little more "normal" (as in, a road or mountain bike), a handcycle or 'bent might not be what he's into.

If he's got good balance, start off with a cruiser, or a mountain bike. Don't worry about toe clips until he gets used to maneuvering around on it. Work up to toe clips, if he's going to be doing a lot of miles or hills-- let him get comfortable at his own speed.

Kind of bike sort of depends on the terrain he'll be riding it-- if he's doing a hilly route, like the one I get to do to work and back or Vincentpaul's route, he'll want a mountain bike. I don't think a cruiser is very good for our hills-- at least, not for my knees! :) If he's taking routes that are flatter, a cruiser would be a good place to start. Then, when he upgrades, he can give the cruiser to his parents, so there will be at least two bikes in the family right there! :)

I would think that, eventually, he'd be able to work up to something speedier, and clipless pedals might not be out of the question.

Grant
12-02-2008, 07:24 PM
A standard pedal with Power Grips? I found them easier to get out of then clips and they did a good job holding my feet on the pedals.

Philosophography
12-05-2008, 06:08 AM
Hi, I'm a SPED teacher and I'll definitely second the idea for a recumbent. These bikes eliminate a lot of struggle with pedals. Coventry Cycles is great to work with as well and the owner is hip to disability issues and equipment. The only thing that I really hate about recumbents is that I am convinced that they are unsafe in urban environments because they are too low to the ground--that's a big issue.

Power Grips are horrible if you don't have a clear sense of where your feet are and they collapse trying to get into them.

If you are going for an upright, I would get these pedals:

# MKS Grip King (Lambda) Platform Pedals PD532 $54.95

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=24505&category=3259

Philosophography
12-09-2008, 05:49 PM
I recently discovered Rans bikes. They make several crank-forward bikes that you could think of as a compromise between recumbent and upright. Here is one example: http://www.ransbikes.com/07Citi.htm This may be the prefect solution. With the cranks forward, one can easily see where one is putting one's feet, but the upright position makes it safe and "normal." I would get this bike with the the Grip King pedals. :cool:

Philosophography
01-31-2009, 09:09 AM
Hey, if your kiddo thinks lowriders look cool, a lot of these have forward cranks, and they're cheap. You can find them used too. They also feel really fast even when you're going slow--fun, cool, but not quite normal: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdxbike/2301130509/in/pool-pdxworkbikes

OldCog
02-01-2009, 08:12 PM
Boy I don't know a lot about pedaling mechanics but I have a feeling its going to be very important for this kid. And I don't think clips are a good idea until he is much older IMHO.

I don't know how he would keep his "feet" on the pedals of a recumbant - gravity would want to pull his prosthesis down ... or that low rider might put too much strain on his thighs.


If I think about pedaling - I'm using my large thigh muscles to push the pedal down to the 3-4 o'clock position then my calves and foot muscles kick in for the push to the 6 o'clock position. So this kid really has no extra push to get from 3 to 6 o'clock. No wonder he has a hard time getting going. Bottom line is I think hes needs a basic cruiser (properly fitted by a bike shop) AND most importantly it need to have an internal hub shifter.

The reason for internal hub is you can shift it while not moving --- why is that important --- because this kid will always need to start in low gear to get going. With a derailleur you've got to be moving to shift which also means you've always got to be thinking ahead and down shifting before you stop. Kids are kids - keep it simple and give him a bike he can shift in to low speed at any time - even if he is already stopped.

Good luck

Psyfalcon
02-01-2009, 09:44 PM
Clipless would be hard, the twist release is difficult without using your calf. I can get out of my eggbeaters, but its hard (and they're some of the easiest to release).

Loosely fitted clips might still be the best idea.

The internal hub could be a good idea too.

Philosophography
02-02-2009, 03:44 PM
OldCog, he wants the cranks forward so that he can visually coordinate his foot position--a lot of what you are calling mechanics really relies on feeling the position of your foot, something he can't do. You're right that he is going to use his thigh for everything and the internal hub is a great idea. Both clips and clipless are bad. Really he wants the biggest platforms he can get and that's the MKS Grip Kings but there are other BMX pedals that are good. I suggested the lowrider because it's cheap. If you ordered a Rans citi with an internally geared hub, you'd be talking about some serious cash, although, now that I think about it, that would be just about perfect, the Citi with a Rohloff Speedhub, Nitto mustache handlebars, MKS Grip King pedals, maybe a generator hub on the front...

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=24505&category=3259

warloek
02-17-2009, 05:08 PM
I've been an AK amputee since 1956. I too wanted to ride my bike as soon as possible after I had a new leg and could get around. My mother was sure that I needed training wheels to keep me from falling over. They didn't last very long as they were more of a hindrance than a help. I only lost one leg so it wasn't too difficult to learn to ride again. Some ideas for the pedals:

I have used toe clips so that I can slide the toe of my feet into them and feel fairly confident that the foot will tay on the pedal. However, my new leg doesn't bend far enough so the toe clips are no longer usable. I look down occasionally to make sure that my feet are on the pedals. Pedals can be modified so that they are more of a platform with sides and toe so that an artificial foot will stay on the pedal. If his stumps are long then he will have plenty of leverage to keep the pedals turning. Starting and stopping will take some getting used to. Try to start and stop next to a curb. This way the seat can be adjusted to an appropriate height.

I have successfully ridden my road bike many miles over the past 50 years and continue to go on long rides.

Kris Warloe

Philosophography
02-28-2009, 09:49 AM
Right on, Kris! And if we're not talking about kid's bikes and middle-class parents on a budget, of course the ultimate would be a specialized prosthesis like this: http://site.mawebcenters.com/astepaheadllc/ss_lower_extremity/index.htm

http://site.mawebcenters.com/astepaheadllc/ss_lower_extremity/index.htm