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Thread: Handcycle and shoulders question?

  1. #1

    Handcycle and shoulders question?

    Anyone have any knowledge on what sitting position, crank position, pedal length/width etc etc is easiest on the shoulders? I have had and used most riding positions over the years and wondered if there had been any studies or knowledge out there that points at a certain bike or riding position that's least harmful to the shoulders. I'm at P.T. twice a week for a shoulder injury, not caused directly by cycling but just from many years of being in a chair and being active and getting old . I know it might be a long shot but hey?!?! Anyone with input, much appreciated

    roller

  2. #2
    Really depends on the type of bike you're riding; recumbent upright like a Freedom Ryder FRH or low like an RX. You may want to try looking at past threads; there's plenty here on positioning. I think Look at the a Roadrace Powerpod also if your shoulders are starting to wear. It's terrific for rehabbing a shoulder as you can still get out there for the cardio and not worry about too much stress on the injury. It dis engages from the bike in a matter of seconds and you are full manual unlike an electric wheel on the front.

    If you're riding an upright recumbent I can help with your positioning.

  3. #3
    agreed with Pat and each rider is different. which bike. on my Quad Elite RX I run 170 x shoulder width but im a quad. most of my para customers like narrow cranks.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  4. #4
    Been riding an RX for past couple years. Perhaps I didn't explain my question to clearly... I had and XLT pro then the XLT Gold then the original force and now the RX.
    I'm not interested in beating my best time or anything, just wondered if there is an optimal sitting position with correct crank height and width for a tall boy with a T4 injury? A particular bike that gets you a workout but with less impact on the joints. My shoulders don't hurt while riding but they do hurt some afterwards later in the day.

    thanks
    roller

  5. #5
    theres no right or wrong position. biggest thing is having a slight bend in elbows. have you played with back position, that's what i'd do first. bring it up a notch and see how it feels. trial and error. the RX is very easy to adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by roller View Post
    Been riding an RX for past couple years. Perhaps I didn't explain my question to clearly... I had and XLT pro then the XLT Gold then the original force and now the RX.
    I'm not interested in beating my best time or anything, just wondered if there is an optimal sitting position with correct crank height and width for a tall boy with a T4 injury? A particular bike that gets you a workout but with less impact on the joints. My shoulders don't hurt while riding but they do hurt some afterwards later in the day.

    thanks
    roller
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    theres no right or wrong position. biggest thing is having a slight bend in elbows. have you played with back position, that's what i'd do first. bring it up a notch and see how it feels. trial and error. the RX is very easy to adjust.
    Yes, I have made many adjustments and of course keep a slight bend in elbows and do find the RX quite comfortable. My biggest problem with RX is leg setup?! If I bring the feet/leg supports back towards me to get bend at the knees, my legs kinda roll... and lack stability?! Do you have advice for that John??? Also, do you still sell the supracor seat for the RX?

  7. #7
    Are you transferring yourself out of the bike? The low transfers are what got my shoulders eventually. If you're not racing and don't need to be that low; go for a higher up bike like the FRH. I started before handcycles were even built. Well, the 1st edition Jansen may have been.We built my first bike from the ground up, then a Freedom Ryder when they were still built in Texas and once Top End started building i had one of the first built up to the Gold decades later. Well over a dozen bikes.

    Best bike I've had for no leg lifting up in the turns is the FRH1. I was continually working on positioning with the Top Ends; never seemed to end. I loved my Top Ends but this FRH1 is the best for my later years of riding. It's comfortable, no hastle adjustments and no legs lifting up in the turns. I'm not sure if the RX's are doing that but the T/E's up to my last Gold did. I can also ride trails or the street with no worry of the bike being too low and hitting stuff underneath.

    Also saving the shoulders a bit by the high transfers , I dug a small trench by my workshop. I can transfer down no problem; getting out now is a no go due to the damage I've done to them. I put my chair in the trench which is level lowering the chair seat height to the same level as the bike seat. Makes for a same level transfer, saving the shoulders bigtime. You could do that also for your RX.

    The Powerpod is so much fun. No stress on the shoulders yet can travel at 25mph and still get a great cardio. I also found that the PP trained me to use a faster cadence when not using it. Very little, if any, drag when having it attached and shut off.

    If I was young and still had great shoulders, I'd probably be in an RX. I'm not and the shoulders aren't; so to continue riding, I had to make adjustments in my thinking and equipment. I want to ride for at least 40 years coming up next May. The changes are what's allowing me to do it.

    You're doing the right thing about questioning the positioning; course you've been riding a while now. If anyone can help with an RX, it's John.

  8. #8
    Hey Patrick

    I always transferred straight in and out my other bikes but with the RX being so low and awkward and having long legs, I just transfer onto a cushion on the deck and then slide on. I actually prefer the higher bikes for clearance and visibility but I have a wedge fracture at L1 that hurts like crazy on the "sit up" bikes.
    I have the same issue with the T/E's regarding my legs/knees and essentially I end up with a locked out knee which I know is not good!
    I would love one of Mark's power pods but it just isn't in my budget right now, deffo in the future!
    I will continue to speak with John, anything to stay on the bike and keep riding

  9. #9
    ah, never use the footrest to bend your knee imo. im 6'2, I build up the front edge of the cushion, to create a natural bend in the knee so my feet just rest in the footrests. TE makes knee supports as well. I prefer my setup. I also use a click strap low on my thighs. keeps everything tight and together. try the front edge buildup trick. matt updike came up with it. yes, I sell the custom RX cushions. love them, my back cushion is supracor as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by roller View Post
    Yes, I have made many adjustments and of course keep a slight bend in elbows and do find the RX quite comfortable. My biggest problem with RX is leg setup?! If I bring the feet/leg supports back towards me to get bend at the knees, my legs kinda roll... and lack stability?! Do you have advice for that John??? Also, do you still sell the supracor seat for the RX?
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  10. #10
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    So why do you need to keep some bend in the knees and how much?

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