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Tips on Bicycle Riding for Lower Limb Amputees
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Ramo Ghosh
 
By Ramo Ghosh
Published on December 17, 2008
 
Cycling is an alternative form of exercise for lower limb amputees because it involves the use of all lower limbs despite of residual limb length. There are few considerations to keep in mind whether you are riding a lightweight road bike or mountain bike.

Cycling is an alternative form of exercise for lower limb amputees because it involves the use of all lower limbs despite of residual limb length. There are few considerations to keep in mind whether you are riding a lightweight road bike or mountain bike.

 Use Prosthesis or Not

Use of a prosthesis in bike riding depends on you amputation level. All lower limb amps except the short ones should use it. The lower limb amputees who do not have physical strength to contemplate riding without prosthesis are the only ones who do not get any benefit by using a prosthetic limb.

Balance and Confidence

As you are discovered as a recent amputee, you will have to do revision of former motor skills. So, re-establish yourself for swimming and different physical activities. Cycling is not different from riding a bike. Your balance on bike will be different from the time you had two full limbs and higher amputation level. Setting yourself up on bike is similar to when you set up the bike before limb loss.

Frame Size

Be sure that the frame size of your bike should be according to your high. You might feel little awkward on the smaller size frame, but that is ok. Everybody has different frame proportion because of difference in the height and body structure. Since the proportion of women is different, they are recommended to avoid open frame and purchase seat/ saddles that are specifically designed for them.

Seat Height

It varies on the basis of your height, amputation level and the type of shoes you are wearing. You should always consider that the height of the seat has major effect on your ability to ride well. If your seat is adjusted higher, you will feel like being pulled down and if it is low, there are chances that it might hit your chest.

To Prevent Prosthetic Limbs from Falling off the Pedals

  • Use conventional methods like regular toe clips, straps or riding shoes.
  • Using serrated metal pedal with the serrated sole of a decent running show, will also prevent limbs from falling off the pedals.