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NEED ADVICE: trainer help

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I am having ACL reconstruction in March in steamboat. I will be ridng a bike every day, as soon as possible. Here's my question

 

I was consdiering a stationary bike machine like a recumbent with built in programs and such but I doubt I will use the bike much after rehab's done since I will try to get on my mtn bike ASAP. We also have a nice 14 mile flat trail that I can ride on.

 

My other thought is to buy a nice urban/utility bike that I know I will eventually buy this summer for around town and running errands and such and buy a trainer stand.  I do need it to be sturdy; falling over would not be a good option

 

thoughts?  Suggestions are appreciated

post #2 of 22

 

Go trainer.   

 

You'll have higher mobility at the hip, a broader range of fit adjustments, a more controllable resistance level, and, depending on the exact stationary bike you're comparing to, chances are that on the trainer you'll be able to spin at faster cadences or change which part of the stroke you train (e.g. hamstring pull up) + you will be able to use it standing out of the saddle.  

 

Trainer downside is that, unless you get a power meter fitted to the bike, you won't have wattage and calorie feedback; you can of course still do HR- based training.

 

I am assuming you'll use cleated shoes on either choice, otherwise the trainer is a no-brainer win.

 

 

Consider a bike with road bars or tri bars.    That can up to triple the number of possible hand positions over a flat bar and thereby enhance long term comfort.    FWIW, a spindly road bike will be just as sturdy as a hybrid once you clamp it in the trainer- there are no potholes or curbs in your living room.

 

 

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

good advice, I don't think cleated is going to be a good option for a while. A fixed stroke that doens't give for much lateral movement and new acl grafts is probably not a good idea but I will follow dr orders.  Any idea on what to look for in a trainer?  Seems like there a ton out there.

post #4 of 22

Get pedals + cleats with more float?   Mine have 9 degrees, I believe you can get more than that.    Certainly do listen to your body though - if it's calling for flats or cages then icon14.gif

 

trainers:   

magnetic - cheap but noisy, can have quite unrealistic feel.   Some like the stepped resistance; I kind of hate it.

wind-type - noisy also, more realistic and progressive feel.

hydraulic - much quieter, realistic feel but can also have overheating + leakage problems.

 

Cycleops fluid 2 is the Honda Accord of trainers.    I've a Blackburn hydraulic that packs easily (rep for leaking but I haven't had it happen), and a Kurt Kinetic that stays home.  

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

MUCH appreciated. 

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

good advice, I don't think cleated is going to be a good option for a while. A fixed stroke that doens't give for much lateral movement and new acl grafts is probably not a good idea but I will follow dr orders.  Any idea on what to look for in a trainer?  Seems like there a ton out there.



Yeah... Kurt Kinetic.... preferably the "rock & roll" configuration......  or, even better.... Kreitler Aluminium Rollers...... 

 

post #7 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouD-Reno View Post



Yeah... Kurt Kinetic.... preferably the "rock & roll" configuration......  or, even better.... Kreitler Aluminium Rollers...... 

 

I'd ignore this advice.  Great if you were training for cycling, not so much for rehabbing an ACL.

 

When my wife was rehabbing hers she couldn't even do a full rotation of the cranks for a couple of weeks.  She could just swing from 3 o'clock to 9 and back.  Heard her scream in pain once, when she accidentally went all the way around.

 

For rehab I'd get a magnetic trainer with adjustable resistance. You'll probably have to start with zero resistance, just to build back your range of motion,  Not easy to do with a fluid trainer.
 

If it's just going to be used for a short time, any one will do.  Blackburn Mag's are good bang for the buck.  If you need on in NJ, let me know.
 

 

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

I will be in CO.  

 

appreciate the offer. I have a nice recumbent stationary at home. 

post #9 of 22

Ron,

 

Here's the deal.  You will NOT be allowed to ride outdoors or with cleats for some time.  My PT is also an avid cyclist who blew her ACL the week before mine, so we went through rehab together (well, kinda -- at least she was in the same boat).  She knew that my goal was to be able to ride the Bicycle Tour of Colorado at the end of June; my surgery was in mid-March.  I didn't make that goal.  In fact, I wasn't allowed to ride outdoors until the 3rd week of April, and then only with platform pedals.  I was not allowed to use clips before the beginning of June.

 

That being said, I did a lot of training on the stationary bike.  I was on the stationary bike 4 days after surgery.  Of course, they wanted the power output pretty middling, and only 20 minutes to start.  I built about 5 minutes a workout, and was up to an hour after about 2.5 weeks.  The key thing here is not to overdo it.  I was constantly riding the line between overdoing it (resulting in swelling) and just enough.

 

At 6 weeks, I was able to start riding outdoors.  At 10 weeks, I rode my first metric century.  I wasn't able to ride beyond that (and probably shouldn't have done it in the first place) as I was getting a fair amount of swelling.

 

You just have to play it by ear and, most importantly, listen to your body.  Don't overdo it.  You can crash and destroy the surgery.  The ACL is weakest 3 months after surgery.  And setting yourself back by getting the knee inflamed just means that your recovery is delayed.

 

It will come.  Patience.

 

Mike

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Mike, No worries, I wasn't thinking I would be riding outdoors anytime soon. I want a town/urban bike anyway.  I think I am going to get a GIANT SEEK O and a good trainer. Can put some pannier's or a milk crate on it for hauling stuff later. 

post #11 of 22

OTOH, your other leg will get *huge* from one-legged spinning.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

just left dr office and then rehab center.  the rehab folks said stationary bike over trainer. hands down.....

post #13 of 22

On the grounds that you can't pull backwards on a stationary bike?

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

no; stability.  Why can't you pull backwards on a stationary bike? 

post #15 of 22


 

 

 

Quote:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

no; stability. 

 

Really?    Not sure I understand that.     I've never once thought   that a gym-type stationary bike is more stable than a bike clamped in a trainer.     Hunh.    Maybe they're concerned with how easy it is to mount for someone with a bad leg?     confused.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

no; stability.  Why can't you pull backwards on a stationary bike? 



The overwhelming majority of stationary bike users doesn't have the straps tight enough to do the "scraping gum off your shoe" move between 5 and 9 o'clock without scraping their foot clean off the pedal.  

 

I thought your rehab guys might have been thinking the stationary bike would put fewer open-chain loads on your knee - the sort of load one finds when using cleats  and pedaling the whole way around the circle.

post #16 of 22

Ron, the concern is that you tip over or the bike falls off of the trainer and you wind up twisting the knee tearing the repair.  You shouldn't be putting much load on your leg immediately.  I was able to pedal circles from the get go -- most people are not.  Start on a stationary bike, build your flexibility, don't worry about the power, and get the knee moving.  Training will come (later).

 

Don't use cleats for at least 8 weeks.  I wasn't allowed to do so for 10.

 

Mike

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 


yeah, I know!  that's what I meant by the stationary being more stable.  Yes, no cleats!  that would be a huge no!  No cleats for a long time.  I am going to get that bike ^ for riding around town this summer, will be great. When given the Go-ahead by doc, we'll look at other options but no rush no worries.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Ron, the concern is that you tip over or the bike falls off of the trainer and you wind up twisting the knee tearing the repair.  You shouldn't be putting much load on your leg immediately.  I was able to pedal circles from the get go -- most people are not.  Start on a stationary bike, build your flexibility, don't worry about the power, and get the knee moving.  Training will come (later).

 

Don't use cleats for at least 8 weeks.  I wasn't allowed to do so for 10.

 

Mike



 

post #18 of 22

Finn,

 

I have a Blackburn Trackstand Ultra with some sort of mysterious inertial resistance device that automatically increases load along with effort. It's wide and solid and you won't tip it over but the resistance is a little odd. Everyone on line loves the Kurt Kinetic but it's pricey. I got the Blackburn at the T-Town flea from a shop for a little over $100. IMHO none of these comes close to a good spinning bike with a big flywheel for roadlike feel. With my trainer, if I use a really low gear there's almost no resistance - like a spinning bike with the brake off - if that's a concern. I had my ACL surgery in late Feb and was on my road bike with floaty cleats by the end of April. Don't see why your PT thinks stationary bike instead of trainer. If I had the dough I'd get one of those cool TDF trainers they advertise on TV with the bike races.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver View Post

Finn,

 

I have a Blackburn Trackstand Ultra with some sort of mysterious inertial resistance device that automatically increases load along with effort. It's wide and solid and you won't tip it over but the resistance is a little odd.



The resistance on those Blackburns increases as the unit warms up; once you're past the first 20-30 minute warmup (10-12 miles)  the hydraulics have reached proper operating temp and the load tends to stay proportional to gearing.   Does that help explain the mystery?

 

Agreed, they're quite difficult to tip over.  

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post



The resistance on those Blackburns increases as the unit warms up; once you're past the first 20-30 minute warmup (10-12 miles)  the hydraulics have reached proper operating temp and the load tends to stay proportional to gearing.   Does that help explain the mystery?

 

Agreed, they're quite difficult to tip over.  


Yes, but after 30 min on a trainer, I can only stand it for another 10 minutes.

 

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

Consider a bike with road bars or tri bars.    That can up to triple the number of possible hand positions over a flat bar and thereby enhance long term comfort.    FWIW, a spindly road bike will be just as sturdy as a hybrid once you clamp it in the trainer- there are no potholes or curbs in your living room.

 

On the other hand a wide flat bar adds stablity.

 

 

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeee View Post

On the other hand a wide flat bar adds stablity.

 

 


 

One of the things about wide flat bars is that the /control/ they add is much greater than the /stability/ they add.        

 

Which is fine for someone who has surgeon's hands during a ride ... but...   Someone who is at the back of the pack at a century event, for example, is likely to be wobblier with a wide flat bar than with narrower drops - because their fatigue makes their hand inputs erratic and the width of the flat bar amplifies the erratic inputs.       For them wide flat bars are the cycling equivalent of really tall binding lifters.

IOW, I do not agree that your statement is true for all cases.    jk.gifwink.gif

 

 

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