Tag Archives: Perennial Cycle

How an e-bike can help the post-rehab process after hip or knee surgery

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Recovering from hip or knee surgery can actually be fun when adding an electric-assist bike to the post-rehab process. After my second hip replacement and talking to others with hip or knee procedures, an e-bike can make the rehab process easier. Helping to achieve full-joint motion and an active lifestyle after surgery. 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 around, I used an e-bike from Tern Bicycles that helped me keep a comfortable cadence regardless of the terrain. A huge 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 (PT) if it is right for your specific condition. Then, once you have full movement on a stationary bike, add some light resistance with an e-bike outdoors. Usually, within four to six weeks, 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 start feeling a sharp 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 had the opportunity to talk 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. Especially after a total knee replacement, some procedures may take a bit longer before starting to ride outdoors.

After two to six weeks of using a stationary bike and a regular walking regimen, you should be cleared to start riding your bike outside.

Advancing to the 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 level of assistance 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 sports

As you can see in this video, riding an e-bike after knee replacement surgery provides the perfect balance in making 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 a normal cadence level to heal faster.

Finding the perfect gear for cadence

Selecting the right e-bike, there are many to choose

Finding the perfect e-bicycle that allows you to pedal comfortably after surgery can be a challenge. 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 with an e-bike is to allow you to shift gears and motor speed to allow you to pedal at a steady 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 normal 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, there were very few e-bikes available on the market. At the time, they either came with a front or rear hub motor. Like the Curry I-zip I used on back then.

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. Making the Tern HSD E-bike with a class 1 Bosch motor system perfect for my recent left 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 post-rehab process, here are a few more suggestions when looking for an e-bike that fits your needs and budget:

  1. Look for a pedal-assist motor – Class 1 system – stay away from throttle bikes
  2. Avoid rear bub motors – the off-balance weight and throttle will kill your progress
  3. Make sure the e-bike has a dropper seat post (especially for knees), as adjustments will need to be made through the rehab process
  4. Also recommended, riser or adjustable handlebars, so you sit upright instead of leaning forward
  5. Use a non-slip pedal – a Chester pedal with pins works great and still 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.

Planning a casual doughnut ride for you and your friends

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

Recently I spent some time in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was 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 few weeks 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 face 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 this ride works

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 than 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., Perennial Cycle in Minneapolis does a great job with these types of rides and has a lot of them. Watch for the upcoming events there this season.