//Trail Status mouse over Java // Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions

Author Topic: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions  (Read 2983 times)

gottabeoutdoors

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Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« on: February 22, 2017, 01:40:33 PM »
Hello!


Two years ago I had to undergo some serious amputations - right lower leg, left toes, and parts of 9 of my fingers.


I have mostly adapted to riding, but my biggest remaining challenge is brakes.  My right hand only has finger nubs halfway up to the first knuckles and two knuckles of my thumb.  My left has fully up to the first knuckle for most of them and my entire thumb.


My right hand is fine for gripping the bar - I have developed significant strength there.  But, I don't have the reach for activating a brake lever without rotating my hand out and grabbing the lever with my pinky "nub" while staying hooked on the bar with my thumb remains.


My left hand can deal with a brake lever much better.


I have tried a set of Hope brakes with the lever reach dialed all the way in.  That didn't help my right hand situation much.


I have tried both brake levers on the left, but with the amputations there, both levers AND the bar are just a bit too much for me to juggle.


So, after spending lots of hours researching on Google without any significant "ah-ha" moments, I figured I'd reach out to my beloved HMBA community!


If you have thoughts, suggestions, questions, or even someone you'd recommend I talk to, I am all ears!


Thank you all - I miss being out there on the trail with you!  (I tried TRTP last fall, but I went from being a fairly advanced rider to being scared sh!tless due to complete lack of being "at one with my bike".)  Man, I miss my fingers!!


Thanks in advance!
Mick

LazyBeerNutz

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 01:52:46 PM »
What about something like this:  https://paulcomp.com/shop/components/duplex-lever/

Allows you to actuate both brakes with just one hand.

gottabeoutdoors

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 01:59:37 PM »
Ah, thanks!  That makes me realize that I forgot some details:


I have hydraulics right now on my three bikes (a HT, a FS, and a HT 29er).  I'd prefer to stick with hydraulic unless I don't have a better option.


I'd also prefer dual controls so I can control modulation and distribution, if at all possible.  However, just like with hydraulics, I understand if sacrifices must be made...


I appreciate the quick response, LazyBeerNutz!


Mick

Unfit Nitwit

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 07:20:56 PM »
Is it workable to orient the levers to the thumb side of the bar and use the thumb area? Might need to have the lever modified, and not sure if it will play well with the shifters.


Mount the lever for the rear on the chainstay and use your heel and the front with the left hand?


It would cost, but you could use your Hopes with a lever like the Paul or like the Double MT here [size=78%]http://www.tandemseast.com/parts/brakes.html[/size] to drive a Hope V Twin [/size][size=78%]http://www.hopetech.com/product/v-twin-brake/[/size] but I don't know if the cable pull is tweakable enough.


The was a user on MTBR who went by "man with one hand" that may still be active and could give you some tips.

gottabeoutdoors

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 08:15:13 AM »
Thank you, Ed!


I'll experiment with orientation and I'll look into the links you posted.  The Hope V-Twin looks really interesting!


I'll also look for that user on MTBR.


I appreciate the tips!
Mick

Otter

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 09:03:44 AM »
Like Ed mentioned, check out MTBR and look for the poster "man with one hand", or something like that.  If I remember correctly though, he had a prosthetic arm.

I would also reach out to the brake companies and see if they have any ideas for you.  Many companies love to turn some of their engineers loose on special projects like this.  SRAM has quite a few resources in Indy.  You could possibly start there.

Also, try reaching out to the Wounded Warrior group.  I rode in Leadville a couple of years ago with some of their athletes.  Many had very very severe injuries and it amazed me how adaptive they had been to get back on the bike.  I would almost guarantee some of them had adaptations made that might be just the ticket for you. 

Good luck and hope to see you out on the trails soon!

4mula1

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:52:30 AM »
I can't find the video/article detailing his bike setup, but there's a gentleman by the name of Charles McDonald and he races with a prosthetic arm.  You may wish to search for him and see if you can find what he uses for a bike setup.


I remembered him as being last of the Mohicans at the Mohican 100 last year.

Willyjaybob

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 01:29:09 PM »
There is an outfit in Crested Butte, CO that specializes in adaptive technologies for outdoor sports. They are called the Adaptive Sports Center. Here is their website.

Just a thought, but maybe you could give them a call to see if there is something they can do for your situation. I'm sure with a willing engineer they could figure something out. That would be my first path.

Also, this could be an excellent engineering design challenge for any of the many biotechnical engineering schools out there--this is a really hot area right now and with some luck, maybe you could get the work done for you at little to no cost in the name of R & D. Send me a PM with your # and perhaps we can dialogue about this. I teach engineering and design, by the way, so I may have some contacts out there that could point you in the right direction.   
Willyjaybob
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gottabeoutdoors

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 08:35:01 PM »
Thank you all for the great suggestions!  I now have some really good homework to do!


See you all out on the trails this summer!


Mick


p.s. I'll really know that I've made it "back" when I can get back to givin' Nebo (my personal favorite) all it can handle!    ;)

Unfit Nitwit

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 10:15:35 PM »
Single speed coaster brake Klunker build if all else fails!

mbeaver

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 03:05:45 PM »
I don't know if it was suggested yet, but how about modifying a twist grip shifter for you brake on the back.  All you would really have to do is run the shifter cable to your brakes.  I don't know if you have full power but some is better than nothing at all.
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bobbydale

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 03:16:01 PM »
If you are braking with your pinky - could you move the grips inboard and mount the brake outboard - so that the lever is closer to the pinky?

gottabeoutdoors

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 03:56:58 PM »
mbeaver - that is definitely something I'm considering - trying to figure out if I'd be inclined to accidentally twist the grip when the trail is gnarly and trying to rip the bars out of my hand.    Definitely sounds like a good possibility - thanks!


bobbydale - I see what you're suggesting in my head - as long as the cabling wouldn't be an issue, I can definitely give that a try!


Thank you both!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 03:58:55 PM by gottabeoutdoors »

bobbydale

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 10:53:14 AM »
I was worried about cables too - the one option to reduce that issue is going with a Magura or Hayes brake where the hose comes out more forward versus to the side.  The Shimano & Sram/Avid come straight out - and that would be a bad thing in this configuration.


Also - you could get an extra long set of bars - or alt bars (jones,etc) that might move the hoses out of the way...

bobbydale

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Re: Finger amputations - need adaptive suggestions
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2017, 05:56:41 PM »
Saw these new Time Trial hydros from TRP - would be a pretty complicated/custom set up - since you would need a spot for the cable to exit and the ID of a road bar is different than a mtb bar.  But it is good to know they are there.


EDIT:  I forgot to include the link...
https://www.bikerumor.com/2017/03/25/tpe17-trp-puts-a-proper-hydraulic-disc-brake-system-on-tttriathlon-bikes-and-more/
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 03:28:10 PM by bobbydale »

 

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