Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 40 total)
  • 1 handed controls- ideas?
  • monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    Hi Peeps,

    Can I pick the hive brain please?
    I’m part of a charity that helps people with nerve injuries to their arms. We have an AGM each summer and I’ve been nominated to give a talk/demo on riding bikes 1 handed.
    I spent the first year after my accident 1 armed but after a couple of surgeries and plenty of physio, I’ve now enough strength/movement to go back to 2 hands, but I gained great experience for that 1st year.

    I want to build a bike that I can let people demo at the AGM, it needs to be able to swap from left hand controls to right easily and I want to give it away to some deserving soul at the end.

    I have a medium size donor bike ready to start the build and I’m going to put a dual pull lever on it for the brakes (V brakes), one of these.

    I’m going to run a narrow wide chainring so no front shifter to worry about, BUT my dilemma is what shifter for the rear?

    Personally I’d run single speed but I need to appeal to the masses on this one.

    I’ve got spare 9speed gear, so I could put on a trigger shifter for the right handed lot, but I can only imagine a grip-shifter mounted on the left for the left handies, and that’s not ideal if they’re already gripping with all their might on to the bars.

    It also needs to be cheap to reproduce, as I want to be able to give people links to the parts so that they can have a go at converting their own.

    So please inspire me as I want this to be a success.

    Any advice/tips/input is greatly received.

    Thanks in advance,
    Phill

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Best of luck with this – MrsMC doesn’t have full use of her left hand so I have a little understanding of the problems, but we’ve simply gone 1x and swapped the brakes round.

    Paracycling GB may have ideas, Cycling UK probably can provide suggestions through their inclusive cycling programmes.

    Seem to remember an article in the mag a few years back about a guy at Hope who had come up with a one handed hydraulic brake system.

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    There’s a guy (amongst others) om MTBR called man-w-one-hand , he has a onehanded setup (and a prsthetic arm with an integrated air shock), check out some of his posts, maybe start with this thread:

    https://www.mtbr.com/threads/help-setting-up-a-rig-for-one-hand-control.835034/

    nbt
    Full Member

    Hope do a brake setup that will help

    https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/hope-tech-3-duo-e4-front-and-rear-disc-brake

    swapping easily may be an issue, though, dual brake controls are “-handed” as it were

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Mackem
    Full Member

    Talk to HOPE – pretty sure I’ve seen HOPE one-handed brakes, they might have some more experience they can pass on.

    ( I mean both brakes are activiated with one hand)

    Bruce
    Full Member

    Would it be possible to fit a thumbshifter and run it on top of the bars for right-handed people and under the bars for the left-handed people?

    llama
    Full Member

    https://archercomponents.com/

    you could probably setup dual left/right buttons

    fooman
    Free Member

    Search for Tom Wheeler he’s a downhiller who modified his bike to ride one handed after an accident, quite a few articles online.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I think you’re overthinking it. Ignore your MTBer brain that wants the finest level of control and likes shiny anodised components.

    1) Back pedal brake, then you only need one lever for the front.

    2) 3 speed hubs are easier to shift because they require less coordination (and you shift less often). There’s grip shift or the SA shifters look pretty ambidextrous as the default right hand is over the bar, so just mount it like a trigger shifter on the left.

    Basically this:

    https://bikefair.org/nl/fietsen/60505301-24b8-4e09-b5c0-e213802db52c/funky-small-amigo

    bigdaddy
    Full Member

    I was going to suggest Tom Wheeler – goes by Tom not broken. I’ve met him on the trails at Swinley, he has perfected a very clever one handed control system…

    montgomery
    Full Member

    Met a couple of one handed cyclists. First was cycling nonchalantly through China on a touring bike using this kind of brake lever above, with his withered left arm tucked in his pocket. Other one was mtbing on the Quantocks. Didn’t notice his controls, but his missing hand had a ball joint attached which he smacked into a socket joint mounted where the grips would be (maybe the other way round, I forget).

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    Thanks for the responses so far.
    Bear in mind that most of the people that this will be helping will be people that aren’t into main stream mtb’ing, but people that might have access to a bicycle that probably is sub par and because of their situation, don’t have much spare money to throw at a project.
    So I’m after budget simplicity.
    Tom Wheeler has the nerve injury that the charity helps, so he’s a figure I know of well, he’s had great support from Hope in the mods on his bike and the very fancy splints, his 1 armed talent is a pure inspiration.
    The brake lever suggested is similar to what I have linked to, Tektro also do a single hydro lever that splits into 2 callipers, but again it’s too costly.

    I love the coaster brake and SA hub gear ideas, and the idea of a thumb shifter being flipped from right to left could work.
    I’m sure I have some 6/7 speed shifters I could experiment with.
    Thanks again everyone.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    A lot of the unfashionable and forgotten ideas have potential applications in this area:
    Grip shift, dual control, thumb shifters, Barcons. dual cable pulling brake levers, twin master cylinder hydraulic levers, two levers simply bolted together, most of these things have been done.

    Honestly the best thing to do is probably just Google Image search…

    Ultimately it all depends on each rider’s requirements/capabilities and the specific application, but if you can imagine an alternative to the “Standard” ways of doing gear and/or brake controls, someone will have at least tried to make it at some point.

    edit:

    old but useful article

    and this:

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    You can run 2 hydraulic calipers of one lever – have this setup on the Wife’s mountain trike wheelchair.
    Single SRAM lever connected to a ‘T’ which feeds off to the calipers.
    You could probably get one with a bias valve too.
    Should work with others too – can’t remember which manufacturer it is but their hydraulic levers aren’t side specific – so could easily be used on right or left.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    There was a UK guy that crashed and lost use of his arm. He’s been profiled in Dirt mag and PinkBike I think. I also got smoked in Morzine one year by a guy with one working arm. Can’t remember either of their names but one of them worked with a company to 3D print parts to help him (and others).

    Edit – Tommy Wilkinson.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    https://www.notbroken.co.uk/

    Controls adaptations from about 4:30:

    boriselbrus
    Full Member

    A thumb friction shifter on each side of the bars, both running full length outers to the rear mech. Tape the unused one out of the way, then when you want to swap, just release one cable from the pinch bolt and attach the other one. No indexing to worry about so it should take about 15 seconds and cost a tenner.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    If it weren’t for the budget I’d have suggested AXS or whatever it is for the shifting.

    I like the wide ranging thinking that suggested coaster brakes and limited hub gears.

    5lab
    Full Member

    SRAM used to make an automatic hub geared bike. It might only be a 2 speed though.

    Would another option with wide appeal be a single speed ebike?

    Failing that, m950 xtr had bar end shifters available (9 speed), could they be set up with one set on either end of the bars

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Was going to mention Tommy Wilkinson.

    Cranked #25 has a feature on two riders with adapted bikes, the part about Elsie Hughes mentions she used to run a Problem Solvers adaptor to run both brakes from one lever. Probably this one. It does say it required constant adjustment (for a ten year old racing CX) but for your purposes it probably ticks the boxes for recreational riding. Even the old Shimano XT/XTR all in one lever/shifters would be a pain to run the wrong way (having to ‘push’ the lever upwards would be hard work).

    Honestly, I’d say a grip shift for gears is the least worst option. A thumb shifter flipped is going to be utterly shit and a complete faff to run one handed. No doubt there is probably a way you could swap the internals but that’s not practical for a demo bike (unless you ran two cables and just swapped the ends as necessary)

    At the other end Hope Duo and a custom printed AXS/Di2 button are probably the way to go.

    SRAM used to make an automatic hub geared bike. It might only be a 2 speed though.

    Truvativ HammerSchmidt. Like unicorn poo now, was a great idea, but only 2 speed as you say.

    EDIT: wait, no, I remember what you’re talking about. Automatix and it’s 2 speed.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Sturmey Archer make the 2 speed Duomatic as well which is kick shift rather than automatic. Both options are 120mm and can come with coaster brakes.

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    Wow, the HammerSchmidt, completely forgot about that one!
    All these extravagant ideas are still perfect for me to include in the talk I’m giving, so even if they aren’t practical for the demo bike, they are still just as important for giving people their own ideas in overcoming 1 handed problems, so thanks, great work so far.
    I’m also including advice on body position (raise bars and drop seat) and going down the trike route to alleviate any balance problems.
    There’s also recumbents, (even trikes ones) that certainly would tick the boxes and anyone going down that route would probably be looking at higher end adaptations too.
    I wonder if a friction thumb shifter for the front would have enough travel to operate a rear derailleur?

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    SRAM used to make an automatic hub geared bike. It might only be a 2 speed though.

    Yep, I have one, it’s a SRAM ‘Automatix’ or rather SRAM’s branding slapped on what was a Sachs product before they were bought out.
    I’ve got it fitted to a Retro Raleigh road bike:

    It’s hilarious fun, but probably not an ideal adaptation for people with limited mobility or hand/significant arm injuries, the two ratios basically make a single speed bike into a single speed with a bailout gear, but it’s shifting is controlled by what is essentially a centrifugal shifter Integrated into the hub. I can imagine more range and the ability to properly control shifting being more of a requirement. SRAM discontinued the automatix, no idea why it makes great sense for town bikes (IMO) but was probably being pushed out of the market buy the various Shimano nexus/nexave/Alfine hub gears.

    Sturmey Archer apparently still do an auto shifting 2 speed hub in regular, coaster and disc brake versions, but it’s like rocking horse manure to find and lots of people opt for the cheaper, more common S2 kick shifting hub, which is arguably a better solution…

    doublezero
    Free Member

    I think the solution you have with the dual brake works fine for starters.

    I only have use in my right arm similar accident to Tom Wheeler but on a motorbike. The Hope one handed dual hydraulic brake lever is a fantastic option it’s great to see a company like Hope design an option for a limited market,I’ve not used it though as it’s a little spendy for my budget, I run the both brake levers on one side with the left hand lever mounted upside down and run Euro style so I can feather the front and can have a hand full for the back.

    One by is definitely the way to go for right handers.

    Can you please let me know the name of the charity, I might be able to give some other advice on one handed living

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    The charity is the Trauma Brachial Plexus Injury Group (TBPI group).
    It’s a support network of injured people and professionals (consultants, Drs, Nurses).
    Any input is always greatly received.
    I love seeing the different ways that people have found to overcome daily tasks or unique problems.
    The AGM is an open invitation to anyone with the injury or friend or family member of one.

    doublezero
    Free Member

    TBPI Group is a fantastic resource.

    I’ve sent you a DM

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I wonder if a friction thumb shifter for the front would have enough travel to operate a rear derailleur?

    If you really can’t stomach Gripshift I would consider a Flipped (indexed) Thumbie:

    before a friction shifter. I’m a fan of friction shifters but if the point is to make the bike as simple and intuitive to operate as possible then some sort of indexing makes sense.

    Those twin cable V brake levers all seem to have dual bolt clamps making reversing them easy enough.

    Velo Orange, Paul components and dia-compe all make hinged clamp thumbie mounts which would suit the idea of flipping it over for a Lefty or Righty demonstration, unfortunately they are all disgustingly expensive.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Hang on!

    That’s a solution, put a cut-off stubbie bar-end or one of those mini offset bar jobbies, adjacent to either grip and you can move a the shifter from side to side and position it to suit on those…

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    Ooooh.
    That up there /\ I like!
    Definitely have some of that in my spares too.
    Thank you Cookeaa

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Honestly Google is awash with wacky shifter placement ideas.

    Sorry for getting a bit keyboard happy but I like these sort of things and love a bit of esoteric bicycle drivetrain “hacking”.

    I really hope your demo bike and presentation come together nicely too, do let us know how it all goes.

    nickjb
    Free Member

    Shlumphf make a two speed chain set with a big spread of ratios. There is a crank based gear change with a button on the axle that you tap with your heel to change gear. They aren’t cheap but it’s hands free and another option.

    I also believe that Ben at kinetics in Glasgow was a member on here and did this sort of thing. No idea if he is still around.

    b230ftw
    Free Member

    I made a bike for someone who was born with one arm 6 inches shorter than the other. I had to figure out a way so he could use the dominant arm in the best position but still be able to use the shorter arm as it was still useful (the short arm had a lot of grip strength but no muscle in the arm itself so couldn’t support his weight).
    I ended up using some butterfly bars and a riser/adjustable stem to put the forward grip position on his long arm and the short position on his short arm where he didn’t need to bear weight on that shorter arm but could brake and shift.
    The butterfly bars were great for this and while I had to modify the shifters and brakes to work it ended up looking and more importantly working brilliantly.
    Without doubt the most rewarding bike build I’ve ever done, I love building bikes for people who can’t afford them or aren’t suited to a normal bike and this was both and he did many miles on it until his health means he needs an electric bike now which I’m trying to sort.

    If I were you I’d add something in about bar position as where it is on a standard bike might not work with just one arm so the user will need to think about how much weight they can bear on that arm. Moving the position in or out and forward and back is ok but too extreme and the handling may be so bad it’s difficult to ride safely.

    BTW if the persons bike is a cable brake one then a BMX gyro cable could work very well BUT you’d have to get the custom ones, I’ll try and find a link to one.

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    I didn’t think about different handle bar positions (left and right), I was planning on using an adjustable raising stem or maybe carrying a stem riser so people could try different heights.
    We have some peeps that are similar to your friend in having grip strength but no arm movement so this is a great point, many thanks.
    I looked for the simple 2 into 1 cables that are either side of the BMX gyros but couldn’t find any long enough.
    I like the cheap dual pull brake levers as they have individual barrel adjusters so I easily can have the rear engaging first.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Butterfly bars and an adjustable stem is a great idea, that gives lots of potential adjustment and multiple positions to suit different needs.

    It’s easy to get hung up on “controls” for gears and brakes and forget a useful, comfortable bar position is probably the most important control.

    cakeandcheese
    Full Member

    I can hopefully input a little here.

    In 2017 my girlfriend lost the use of her right arm and hand. Within 6 months she wanted to get back on the bike.

    Initially we set her up on the mtb with a gripshift on the LH side, hope brakes from a single lever and T piece splitter, and her reverb. Her right hand was in a splint and velcroed to the bars. Worked well.

    On her road bike we moved to flat bars, 1x, gripshift, cable discs and a dual pull cable brake lever on trp spyre calipers. Same deal on the right hand, Velcro and a splint.

    As she’s become stronger we’ve upgraded the setup. On the road bike she can brake in drops, so we’ve moved to flared drops, individual brakes and di2 shifting sequentially from the LH shifter.

    On the mtb we’ve simply upgraded to the brakes to the hope dual lever thingy. Works great, as does the gripshift. Don’t let that out you off – it is actually excellent when people just want to ride.

    The LHS of her bars is now a little busy though…

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    Nice set up cakeandcheese.
    So I’m guessing the gripshift works a treat then?
    I’m worried that the people trying the bike may be concentrating so much on hanging on to the bars that they wouldn’t be able to twist as well.
    It’s not going to ridden on trails but some of the people trying may not have been on a bike for a loooong time.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    SRAM used to make an automatic hub geared bike. It might only be a 2 speed though.

    Fairly sure they closed down IGH manufacturing a few years ago.

    monkeyfiend
    Free Member

    scott1
    scott2
    spec
    Thanks to everyone that contributed to this.
    I decided to go with the most basic and low maintenance bike I could jumble together, and then put the emphasis on making it fit the rider perfectly.
    I thought that people would benefit more from making their bike actually fit them right rather than going OTT with bells and whistles, which I saved for the talk later that day, along with some handlebars with different gear shifter and brake setups that I put together 😉
    I also converted a 1×8 bike with SRAM trigger shifter, so people could have a tinker with that, but the single speed was the star of the show.

    I think the whole thing was a success, unfortunately due to everyone’s dire finances at the moment the turn-out wasn’t what it has been the previous years, but I still feel it was well received.
    I couldn’t give either of the bikes away though :(, so the geared bike was converted back to a 2 handed bike and given to a guy at work for his son as he had his stolen a couple of weeks ago, and I think I’ll tinker with the single speed and turn it into a regular at the AGM until someone takes a fancy to it and takes it home.

    Again many thanks to all as collectively there were some great solutions to 1 handed biking!

    Phill

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