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  1. #1
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    osteoarthritis, cycling and MB recommendations

    Good day all. This is my first post on this forum so firstly let me wish you all a belated happy new year.

    I have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (knees) although I'm waiting confirmation. I'd like to start cycling again but wonder how this might effect on my knees. Not looking for competitive cycling more just recreational.
    Anyone have or know of cyclists with a similar affliction?

    My Trek 820 is 5000 miles away so I would have to purchase a new MB here (Kuwait). It's also 12 - 15 years old so time to replace anyway. Obviously there's lots of sand around (!) but the going is mostly flat and mildly rocky off-road. Would disc or V brakes handle the sand better (i.e. wear and tear)?

    Bike choices are limited and not all models from a particular manufacturer are available here. So far choices seem to be Trek 3700 ($528), 4300 ($821) or Giant Yukon ($521) although I'm still looking. Looking at the specs the Yukon seems the best deal but I would have to bring in from Dubai, mind you I could probably bring it back on one of my business trips there. Recommendations?

    Prices seem to be around 2 times US, especially the local Trek dealer, so I'm also wondering if any one knows of a supplier that is willing to export here?

    Sorry for the length and the number of topics but I thought better to post this one thread than flood the forum.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I have bad arthritis and have for years. As I grew older, running became increasingly difficult and painful, so I picked up biking as a way to keep myself in shape. So long as my seat height is set a bit lower, ~1/2", than what has been recommended by the bike shop and my seat nose leans a hair, 1/4" down from level, I don't really notice. It did take a while to adjust how I fit on the bike to feel comfortable, but now I found the positioning that works for me. Add a little ibprofen afterward and I'm good to go.

    Anyways, with sand and since I'm guessing it is dry, I'd go with the v-brake. I find sand is sometimes hard to clean out of my disc brakes. However, I'm sure someone on here has more experience with disc brakes and sand than I.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.
    Too much running, football, tennis, squash etc in my younger days probably didn't do my knees a lot of good.
    Doc has put me on some tabs that are realy helping with the thigh muscle tightness which was my main worry.

    As for brakes, I thought that discs, being further away from the sand, might have been better but take your point about having to clean them.
    The other problem would be abrassion of the disc I imagine.

  4. #4
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    Sand and mud will grind down the sides of your rims, which will be a more expensive replacement then discs, which do tend to stay cleaner since they stay further from the ground.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    A doctor might have an opinion on what sort of exercise is "safe" for you....

    IMO, bike fit is way more important than spec details. Can you test ride some of the bikes that you are considering?

    The kind of sand that I encounter does not stick to things when dry. It is the wet stuff that causes nasty sounds in my V brakes.

  6. #6
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    My guess too but thanks for the confirmation. 10 months of the year it's dry with temperatures up to 50C in summer. However we do get some thundershowers during the winter months.

  7. #7
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    Doctor's never want to committ themselves!
    I was doing gym up to around 9 months ago and riding the bikes there for about 1/2 hour with no discomfort other than the 'taughtness' in my thighs just above the knee cap (which my doc said was due to 'muscle compensation' for the weak ligaments).

    No, unfortunately one doesn't get to 'try' bikes here other than sit on them in the shops (with duress!). Therefore I have too rely on recommendations like this forum.
    I found that with my Trek 820 I was somewhat too upright (high?) and found a fair amount of pressure on my palms when riding. If not using gloves (like last month when I was home for Xmas) it becomes quite painful in around 30 minutes riding on the flat. My wrists are also quite 'cocked' which increases strain on them too. I would prefer a bike that one can sit comfortably and doesn't have to lean forward much (like a racing bike). I suppose the old style 'chopper' with the high handle bars would have suited me better :-)

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Appreciated!

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    At least try to get to sit on the bike before you buy. Sizing is everything. A different bar and/or stem can be used to adjust the riding position.

    Generally, biking is a "low impact" activity, meaning that you do not get a lot of sudden jolts like in running. You just need to keep your gearing low enough, not to torque your knees.

  9. #9
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    If you are putting too much pressure on your hands, I'd guess that you might need a larger framed bike. That way, you don't have to jack the seat up as high to get good leg extension and you have better hand positioning. When you check out the bikes in the shop, someone should hold you up or maybe put you on a trainer so you can get a feel for how you fit on the bike.

  10. #10
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    Just a quick note of thanks to all those who took the time out to help.

    All I have to do know is chose the bike.
    Choices are:
    Trek 3700/4300 vs. Giant Yukon Disc
    or
    Trek 6000 vs. Giant Iguana Disc

    Later choice depends on whether we get a year-end bonus or not .....

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