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Cycling aid

Our client uses a prosthetic right arm to above the elbow, and wanted to ride her bike with confidence.  Her bike brakes are both on the left hand side and are set in such a way that she can operate them with one hand, but resting her prosthetic hand for balance on the other side wasn’t giving her the confidence she needed.  To complicate matters, the prosthetic arm is quite limited in the range of movements and has to be set in position, and any solution would have to cope with the handle bars turning.  The bike is stored outdoors so the solution would also have to be of durable construction too.

Competitive cyclists with one arm tend to have a prosthetic made specifically for riding a bike, and such solutions mostly cater for below the elbow amputees.

The solution

Ian Midgley of the Harrogate & Ripon group made a rotating hand rest which would cope with the various positioning issues.

“Stauff clamps” (normally used to secure hydraulic pipes, and available in a range of sizes) were used to firmly secure the hand rest to the handle bar grips.  Machined PTFE bearings allow rotation of the top plate. The spindle linking top plate to the clamps is plastic and intended to snap if there is an accident. The securing nuts are cross drilled and pinned through so cannot come undone. A polymorph moulding positions the thumb of the prosthetic, and adjustable aluminium pins covered in marine adhesive lined heat-shrink sleeve pinch very lightly around the wrist – but allow the wrist to rise and fall – and importantly, allow the prosthetic arm to lift off the rest easily if needed.

Early stages of construction in the workshop, showing the detail of the Stauff Clamps, and wing nuts to allow the solution to be adjusted for the optimum angle.

The completed solution,

The benefit

Our client has renewed confidence in her ability to ride safely.

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