Tag Archives: Perennial Cycle

E-bike assistance after hip or knee surgery

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Recovering from hip or knee surgery can be fun when adding an electric-assist bike to the post-rehab process. After my second hip replacement and talking to others with hip and knee procedures, the e-bike made the rehab process easier. I achieved full-joint motion and an active lifestyle after surgery and physical therapy (PT). Especially with the improvements in electric bike technologies in the last few years.

The Tern HSD p-9 E-bike I used for my rehab.

This time, I used an e-bike from Tern Bicycles that helped me keep a comfortable cadence regardless of the terrain. A massive help in low-impact exercise to aid both the hip and knee rehabilitation process.

Incorporating an e-bike into your post-rehab process

Using an e-bike in the post-rehab process can be a great exercise. Ask your doctor or physical therapist if it is suitable for your specific condition. Then, once you move on a stationary bike, add some light resistance with an outdoor e-bike. Usually, within four to six weeks post, this will help improve the strength around the joint(s) you had replaced. Your therapist can help you determine the right amount of resistance settings when it’s time to convert to an e-bike. Just remember, if you are feeling any abnormal pain, inform your therapist and decrease the resistance or stop.

Going from a stationary bike to an e-bike in the post-rehab process

Using the Tern e-bike in my post-rehab schedule.

During my hip rehabilitation, I talked to several physical therapists at Twin Cities Orthopedics. They all recommended using a stationary bicycle for two to three weeks to help reduce the swelling. For a knee replacement, you may need to wait an additional week or two before starting to ride outdoors.

After six weeks of using a stationary bike and a regular walking regimen, I was able to start riding my bike outside.

From a stationary trainer to an e-bike outdoors

Once your physician clears you to start riding, take it slow and stop if you feel any sharp pain. Most e-bikes allow you to control the amount of electric assistance you use to gain a steady pedal rhythm or cadence. Start with the highest pedal assist level in a low gear and gently spin. This will ensure that you don’t stress your rehabilitated joint. As you progress, you can gradually decrease the level of assistance for a more robust workout.

The advantages of using e-bikes as compared to other activities

As you can see in this video, riding an e-bike after knee replacement surgery provides the perfect balance to make a complete recovery. This is because a bicycle can strengthen your muscles and increase your mobility without putting too much strain on your joints when exercising. With the pedal assist of electric power, the e-bike requires less physical intensity and allows you to retain an average cadence level to heal faster.

Finding the perfect gear for cadence

There are many e-bikes to choose from when selecting the right one.

Finding the perfect e-bicycle that allows you to pedal comfortably after surgery can be challenging. We all have a natural cadence pace, and the body performs best as the bicycle’s crank spins with steady yet comfortable resistance. The goal of an e-bike is to allow you to shift gears and motor speed to allow you to pedal at a stable and comfortable pace even as the topography changes.

Plus, stopping, starting, or accelerating with an e-bike maximizes your chances of a full recovery and a rapid return to regular activity.

Electric bike technologies will improve the post-rehab process.

As I mention above, e-bikes are continuously changing for the better. After replacing my right hip in 2014, very few e-bikes are available on the market. At the time, they either came with a front or rear hub motor.

Look for an e-bike with reputable parts and a 3 to 5-year warranty.

Now, with mid-drive motors mounted directly into the crank, you have a balanced power movement from the pedals to the drivetrain. The Tern HSD E-bike with a class 1 Bosch motor system was perfect for my recent hip post-rehab process. Thanks to Perennial Cycles, in Minneapolis, for their assistance.

Some added e-bike buying tips for the post-rehab process.

After talking to others who have used an e-bike in the post-rehab process, here are a few more suggestions when looking for an e-bike that fits your needs and budget:

  1. Make sure the e-bike has a dropper seat post (especially for knee rehab), as adjustments will need to be made throughout the rehab process
  2. Also recommended is having a riser or adjustable handlebar setup, so you sit upright instead of leaning forward
  3. Use a non-slip pedal – a Chester pedal with pins works excellent and allows you to quickly dismount to move your foot to the ground and stabilize your balance.

    Enjoy the post-rehab process with an e-bike.

 

I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride.

Consider a casual doughnut ride with your friends over 30 Days of Biking

by John Brown

Recently I spent some time in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was the Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride. I was reminded of the joys of simple rides and good company, rather than difficult efforts and a competitive pace. Now with 30 days of Biking a little over a month away here is a fun idea you may want to consider with friends, as warmer weather moves our way.

The Doughnut Ride

We left the shop at 7:30 a.m. with a group of eight. Our bikes were a mishmash of road bikes, commuter rigs, single-speed, and an e-bike. When we departed the shop and headed toward the center city, it was immediately clear the pace would be conversational. Our cruise headed out on the river drive bike path, through Fairmount Park, and toward the center city. Rather than stay on the path, we crossed the falls bridge and onto West River Drive. On the weekends, Philadelphia closes West River Drive so we had our run of the entire roadway. After a bit of riding and a lot of talking, we found ourselves at the end of West River Drive and at the base of the Art Museum.

At the Art Museum, our ride began to slip through the surrounding neighborhoods until we reached our hallowed destination – Federal Doughnuts.

After stuffing our faces with warm doughnuts we hopped back on our bikes. Full of sugar and fat, we made our way back to the bike shop along the same route. Ultimately, the ride took a little under two hours, including the time eating. Everyone had fun, the conversation was great, and we all got the chance to meet new people.

Why does this ride work?

The ride was great because the pace and route are clearly stated in advance. Therefore, everyone knew what to expect and where to go. The route itself was carefully chosen to promote great conversation and a casual pace. By including traffic-free paths and streets and a casual destination, every rider could enjoy the trip stress-free. Additionally, the pace is controlled by the ride’s start time. As an example, a competitive-minded rider has a list of fast-paced rides leaving on Saturday morning, so there would be no need to come to the Doughnut Ride to try and get a killer workout with so many other options. From start to finish, this ride is a winner.

How to plan your own ride

If you already lead rides for a local club or shop, then setting up a casual ride should be easy for you. If this is your first attempt at leading an organized ride then there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, you want people to be at your ride! To make sure you have attendees, start talking about and advertising (if you’re working with a local club or shop) a minimum of two weeks in advance. Also, make sure all your information explains the pace as well as the payoff (in this case doughnuts) for your ride to build interest. Finally, make sure your route is friendly to a group of riders. As an example, I’ve been on a few rides that required riders to be single file almost the entire time due to narrow roadways. in contrast, the Doughnut ride promoted conversation with wide paths and clear roads.

According to Paul T. at Perennial Cycle, Minneapolis does a great job with these types of rides and has a lot of them. Watch for the upcoming events there this season.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that particular fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to a store manager.  Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the bike of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, parts, or just share your latest ride. You can also see more of John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.