Although it is possible to cycle on standard prostheses whether it is road, mountain or static cycling, some users require a more specialised prosthesis. This is especially true for mountain biking as they may require more advanced componentry to absorb the uneven terrain whilst riding. For the day to day user a secondary specialist prosthesis would not be required unless they are looking at competing at a higher level.
Cycling is possible for amputees with lower limb amputations as well upper limb amputations. A limiting factor in in Below Knee (TT) amputees might be the socket design, the posterior wall can limit the amount of flexion of the knee at the top of the pedal stroke. However modifications to the socket brim design can help in increasing flexion. Through Knee (KD) and Above Knee (TF) amputees require may require some initial training.
The prosthesis can be either suspended by a vacuum system with a silicone liner or with silicone liner depending on the level of amputation.
Cycling prosthesis for Above Knee (TF) amputees as well as Through Knee (KD) amputees would require a prosthetic knee joint that has a cycling mode to allow for cycling. There are many prosthetic knees on the market that offer a cycling mode (also called free mode) for day to day cycling. These prosthetic knees do not allow you to cycle uphill standing up.
For upper limb amputees the obvious dilemma is holding onto the bars of the bike. Special sporting specific components, however, are available for this task. As the demand increases from upper limb amputees for these components the more companies and individuals are coming to the party and are creating some very innovative designs. These components are normally able to be used with your current depending on your terminal devices attachment to your socket. It would be advised to contact one of our prosthetists to discuss this further.
For Above Knee (TF) and Through Knee (KD) amputees that would like to participate in mountain biking or compete professionally in cycling there are numerous options available.
Most serious mountain bikers opt for the CrossOver Extensible Knee, touted as the World’s First Extensible Knee, which has a unit for shock absorption similar to what you would get on the rear suspension of your bike. It also has “tendons” that assist in extension of the knee that may allow you to cycle uphill standing up.
For serious road cyclists, weight is always an issue and thus we make every effort to ensuring that your prosthesis is as light as possible by only using Carbon fiber in the design and manufacture of the prosthesis.
The ARM-XR is one of the heavy duty Above Elbow (TH) prosthetic Elbow joints available for both mountain biking and motocross.