Cycling long distances and climbing hills without knee pain using an electric bike

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Thanks JayVee for the information, yes it is true but the problem is for example my Haibike with the Yamaha PW-System 250W is only with assistance and requires a little 'pressure to activate the electric motor, I want to find a kit in which I can operate pedaling and at the same time resting. But the BBSHD have the trottle??I can use only the assistance and only the trottle?:rolleyes:

p.s thanks for the link in the description :)
Yes it has a throttle normally, but make sure your online dealer includes it (sometimes they remove it from the packing list and try to charge extra :eek:). You can mix the throttle and the assist while you’re riding, you don’t need to choose one or the other when you buy the drive. I think that was your question.

Just make sure that this drive is mountable on your trike though. No idea how that works as I’ve never had a trike...
 

AngeloP

New Member
Yes it has a throttle normally, but make sure your online dealer includes it (sometimes they remove it from the packing list and try to charge extra :eek:). You can mix the throttle and the assist while you’re riding, you don’t need to choose one or the other when you buy the drive. I think that was your question.

Just make sure that this drive is mountable on your trike though. No idea how that works as I’ve never had a trike...
Yep, i check well before order the kit online. ;)
The battery? Which is a good type for a BBSHD kit?:rolleyes:
 
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bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hi guys! This is a special topic for me, and I wanted to share my story here, because I have a physical limitation when it comes to knee health. I grew up in Colorado with a family that would go hiking and skiing frequently. I'm so thankful for those special times and have grown to love the outdoors, but years of strain and some especially hard landings and moguls has left me hurting. Listed below are some of the challenges I face in everyday life and how I deal with them. I hope this helps others and I welcome your feedback and stories as well :)
  • Cycling is fun, but longer rides and jumps can activate my knees. I had knee issues before I began commuting to work, but I figured that cycling was going to be one of the easiest activities for my knees... It wasn't until I was riding 5+ miles each day (up and down some hills) that I began to experience pain. Cycling seems so much smoother and less jarring than walking, running, or hiking... but the repetitive knee bending motion and resulting imbalance of leg muscles can cause a sharp pain in both of my knees. This is actually why I started ElectricBikeReview.com and part of what makes electric bikes so cool and special for me. Even with an ebike, I start slowly or rely on a throttle in some situations. Torque sensors and advanced multi-sensors are my favorite type of motor controller now (compared to cadence sensors) because they don't require me to pedal hard to get the bike going from standstill. Sometimes I get excited and stand up for jumps or bumpy mountain biking sections... but that can also activate my knee, so I almost always prefer a full suspension ebike to a non-suspension. One of my favorite electric bikes to own (for city riding and trail/mountain use) was the Easy Motion Neo Jumper, which did have a throttle as well as torque sensing assist. Most eMTB products now only offer pedal assist so that they can be classified as Class 1 and go on more trails. This is alright in many ways, because companies like Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, and Shimano have created torque sensors that activate near-instantly. I especially like the Bosch Performance Line CX on eMTB mode, the Brose S, and Yamaha PWX. I also prefer the lightest electric bikes I can find because that makes them easier to start and handle (as well as lift). I'm not a really large, heavy, or strong person (even though I work out regularly doing lightweight leg press, leg extension, and calf exercises with machines). Below is a video comparing some of the different electric mountain bike motors back to back. Easy Motion no longer sells the NEO Jumper model and the new EVO Jumper doesn't come with a throttle. One approach to finding a full suspension electric mountain bike is to build your own using an ebike kit.
  • Stairs are difficult for me, I almost always walk backwards and hold onto the railing. If I don't do this, my left knee will start hurting... I used to race up and down stairs, taking two at a time! When I was in middle school, learning how to skateboard, I would ollie off of stairs and sometimes jump and spin down. There were moments that I fell or twisted and experienced pain, but I figured that those hurts would heal like a bruise. Now, I'm one of the people who really appreciates ramps and takes my time with each stair.
  • Hiking is fun, but mostly on the way up, and I always use hiking poles and neoprene knee braces. I used to trail run and be one of the first people in my family to make it back to the car, going down was the easy part! I have found now, due to my knee sensitivity, that climbing or flat sections are the most comfortable. I always wear supportive hiking boots and don't bang my knees when going down slopes like I used to, I've learned how to support my knees by stepping on the pads of my feet vs. heel first.
In closing, one of the other ways that I support my knees is to take Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM daily supplements. This dietary supplement is a joint complex meant to support daily joint use and it seems to reduce my pain. The only downside to my exercises, stretches, avoidance of overuse, and supplement intake is that I start to feel normal and forget that my knees are still vulnerable. Just this morning in fact, an ebike arrived for me to review and hurt my knee trying to lift the box and drag it around a corner into the garage. I've found that walking backwards is easier than forwards when doing stairs or lifting and pulling objects like this... Anyway, I hope that this helps you and I welcome input about foam roller for IT band stiffness or other tips and tricks to deal with knee issues or sensitivity.
Wow Court I had no idea you were dealing with knee issues to this extent. I hope you recover in some way, perhaps with new technology in knee surgery or other devices some genius will develop in this field. I myself have taken some pretty hard falls, but fortunately have recovered with persistent physical therapy techniques and daily exercise regimens that help a lot. I have been cycling for over 40 years and I yet to ever consider getting a professional bike fitting. Every bike purchase since I was 10 yr old was grab and ride right out of the dealership. Well, I have owned countless bikes over the years and have had many of the classic symptoms related to biking (numbness/tingling in the fingers and hands, lower back pain, etc, however my knees seem to be fine. The correct bike gloves helped immensely and an adjustable stem for better positioning as well. I have just purchased a new E-bike, however, I have not been fitted by a professional, however, after reading this thread, I am now considering it.

My question to anyone: Is a fitting really necessary, and if so, how comprehensive does it need to be? What is considered a good and thorough fitting at a qualified shop? Any suggestions deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
My question to anyone: Is a fitting really necessary, and if so, how comprehensive does it need to be? What is considered a good and thorough fitting at a qualified shop? Any suggestions deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Hey, @bob armani , this looks like a great topic for a new thread! :) Interested?
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hey, @bob armani , this looks like a great topic for a new thread! :) Interested?
Sure thing. I thought the same thing as I have not seen too much discussion concerning this topic. I always thought custom fittings were more geared towards cycle enthusiasts that ride in various competitions, etc. Many shops have an apparatus designed for fittings with gauges, etc. I think a great topic to explore on this forum. I have never researched it enough to know how in depth it really all is. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks!
 

Esther

New Member
For Court, sorry to read about your knees. I've had some knee pain (only on the right). Exercises from physical therapy have helped, and put the knee replacement some years into my future.

I have used a roller and had PT on my IT band problems. The PT recommended consultation with an orthopedist who said that my IT band was the tightest he had ever seen, and recommended the "z" release surgery. That did help. I have a supply of ice packs at home for the knee.
 

Esther

New Member
I highly recommend bike fitting. I've had it done on a few bikes.
Some people can use a non-fitting bike for lots of miles without pain. Some cannot.
The basic level bike store fitting sets the pedal to saddle relationship for the rider (height and the 'knee over pedal' forward/backward positioning). Also handlebar height and reach.

I have bought a few bikes that were the wrong size for me, with bike store sizing me only based on leg length. I have shorter torso so those ended up not fitting me. I ended shoulder pain by buying a slightly smaller frame and having the handlebars raised a bit.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I highly recommend bike fitting. I've had it done on a few bikes.
Some people can use a non-fitting bike for lots of miles without pain. Some cannot.
The basic level bike store fitting sets the pedal to saddle relationship for the rider (height and the 'knee over pedal' forward/backward positioning). Also handlebar height and reach.

I have bought a few bikes that were the wrong size for me, with bike store sizing me only based on leg length. I have shorter torso so those ended up not fitting me. I ended shoulder pain by buying a slightly smaller frame and having the handlebars raised a bit.
Esther-Thanks for the tip. I have seen tech about this but never really considered to have it done on any bikes I have owned and rode for many years. I basically did my own minor adjustments to seat height, angles, forward/backward, and purchased adjustable stems to get a comfortable riding position and took it from there with additional minor tweaks in the interim. Many folks have stated that a professional fitting could make a world of difference with riding comfort overall. Looks like it is worth the time and effort to follow through with it...
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
Wow Court I had no idea you were dealing with knee issues to this extent. I hope you recover in some way, perhaps with new technology in knee surgery or other devices some genius will develop in this field. I myself have taken some pretty hard falls, but fortunately have recovered with persistent physical therapy techniques and daily exercise regimens that help a lot. I have been cycling for over 40 years and I yet to ever consider getting a professional bike fitting. Every bike purchase since I was 10 yr old was grab and ride right out of the dealership. Well, I have owned countless bikes over the years and have had many of the classic symptoms related to biking (numbness/tingling in the fingers and hands, lower back pain, etc, however my knees seem to be fine. The correct bike gloves helped immensely and an adjustable stem for better positioning as well. I have just purchased a new E-bike, however, I have not been fitted by a professional, however, after reading this thread, I am now considering it.

My question to anyone: Is a fitting really necessary, and if so, how comprehensive does it need to be? What is considered a good and thorough fitting at a qualified shop? Any suggestions deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Is bike fitting 'necessary' ? That's a tough one to answer. So many variables go into the bike and rider. I paid for a professional fit at the shop where I
purchased my e-Bikes and to me it was worth every dollar. The key to a good bike fitter is someone who has been trained, not " Oh that looks good
enough".... Basic bike fitting is not difficult, there are many YouTube videos etc to 'get pretty close'

A professional fitter brings to the mix is the ability to dial in that last 10-15%, that's the hard part. Also should a cyclist have an existing physical problem
a pro fitter can help to reduce some of the stress introduced by the act of bike riding. ...lower back pain, neck pain, hand numbness etc.

For folks that cruise around town for 30-40 minutes with no physical maladies, a professional fit is perhaps overkill, maybe not ? For someone in the saddle
for multiple hours riding thousands of miles in a season, a pro fit could pay significant dividends.

My fit took about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Below are links, to my LBS and what they offer in fitting services. I'm sure
many competent shops offer similar.....

https://www.bicycleseast.com/about/how-bicycle-fitting-can-help-you-faqs-pg335.htm

https://www.bicycleseast.com/page.cfm?pageid=332

https://www.bicycleseast.com/page.cfm?pageid=480
 

MarkB61

New Member
Hi guys! This is a special topic for me, and I wanted to share my story here, because I have a physical limitation when it comes to knee health. I grew up in Colorado with a family that would go hiking and skiing frequently. I'm so thankful for those special times and have grown to love the outdoors, but years of strain and some especially hard landings and moguls has left me hurting. Listed below are some of the challenges I face in everyday life and how I deal with them. I hope this helps others and I welcome your feedback and stories as well :)
  • Cycling is fun, but longer rides and jumps can activate my knees. I had knee issues before I began commuting to work, but I figured that cycling was going to be one of the easiest activities for my knees... It wasn't until I was riding 5+ miles each day (up and down some hills) that I began to experience pain. Cycling seems so much smoother and less jarring than walking, running, or hiking... but the repetitive knee bending motion and resulting imbalance of leg muscles can cause a sharp pain in both of my knees. This is actually why I started ElectricBikeReview.com and part of what makes electric bikes so cool and special for me. Even with an ebike, I start slowly or rely on a throttle in some situations. Torque sensors and advanced multi-sensors are my favorite type of motor controller now (compared to cadence sensors) because they don't require me to pedal hard to get the bike going from standstill. Sometimes I get excited and stand up for jumps or bumpy mountain biking sections... but that can also activate my knee, so I almost always prefer a full suspension ebike to a non-suspension. One of my favorite electric bikes to own (for city riding and trail/mountain use) was the Easy Motion Neo Jumper, which did have a throttle as well as torque sensing assist. Most eMTB products now only offer pedal assist so that they can be classified as Class 1 and go on more trails. This is alright in many ways, because companies like Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, and Shimano have created torque sensors that activate near-instantly. I especially like the Bosch Performance Line CX on eMTB mode, the Brose S, and Yamaha PWX. I also prefer the lightest electric bikes I can find because that makes them easier to start and handle (as well as lift). I'm not a really large, heavy, or strong person (even though I work out regularly doing lightweight leg press, leg extension, and calf exercises with machines). Below is a video comparing some of the different electric mountain bike motors back to back. Easy Motion no longer sells the NEO Jumper model and the new EVO Jumper doesn't come with a throttle. One approach to finding a full suspension electric mountain bike is to build your own using an ebike kit.
  • Stairs are difficult for me, I almost always walk backwards and hold onto the railing. If I don't do this, my left knee will start hurting... I used to race up and down stairs, taking two at a time! When I was in middle school, learning how to skateboard, I would ollie off of stairs and sometimes jump and spin down. There were moments that I fell or twisted and experienced pain, but I figured that those hurts would heal like a bruise. Now, I'm one of the people who really appreciates ramps and takes my time with each stair.
  • Hiking is fun, but mostly on the way up, and I always use hiking poles and neoprene knee braces. I used to trail run and be one of the first people in my family to make it back to the car, going down was the easy part! I have found now, due to my knee sensitivity, that climbing or flat sections are the most comfortable. I always wear supportive hiking boots and don't bang my knees when going down slopes like I used to, I've learned how to support my knees by stepping on the pads of my feet vs. heel first.
In closing, one of the other ways that I support my knees is to take Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM daily supplements. This dietary supplement is a joint complex meant to support daily joint use and it seems to reduce my pain. The only downside to my exercises, stretches, avoidance of overuse, and supplement intake is that I start to feel normal and forget that my knees are still vulnerable. Just this morning in fact, an ebike arrived for me to review and hurt my knee trying to lift the box and drag it around a corner into the garage. I've found that walking backwards is easier than forwards when doing stairs or lifting and pulling objects like this... Anyway, I hope that this helps you and I welcome input about foam roller for IT band stiffness or other tips and tricks to deal with knee issues or sensitivity.
I'm there, m'friend. All of my major joints are laden with degenerative osteo arthritis, and the latest screamers are my own knees.

Brandon Roy saw the end of his NBA career as a player because of the same condition.

I sidestep down stairs, and go up on all fours.

When I ride, I'm fully a gear ( or two, sometimes) lower and slower than just a couple years ago.

I will be going the conversion route -- handpicked combination of parts that add up to barely over half of what I'd spend on a comparable turnkey.

Glucosamine and braces are old acquaintances, as well.

Keep it going, bud!!
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Lots of folks with knee issues, and I am another one. I ride with a brace as I'm trying to last as long as I can before getting a replacement. I absolutely could not ride without an ebike, other than perhaps a simple roll around the neighbourhood. Anyway, I thought I'd drop in some real world experience in some very effective pain management options.

Every 3 months or so, I get an injection of a product called Cingal. I'm into my third year and it's usually "magic". It's not cheap at $315 (Canadian) a shot but I do have a health care plan that covers 80%. They do the injections with fluoroscopy, so it's targeted to the correct location. I'm trying to get to 70 before I get a new knee, and my knee surgeon is thrilled that I have an ebike.

I also am an avid golfer and although both legs are pretty destroyed, it's my lead leg that's the problem. My usual group I play with will always ask me when I last had a my shot before agreeing to any $$ stakes. :cool:

Roll on!
 

OlePhart

Member
Court,
Please do yourself a Huge favor and Drop What You Are Doing, and go to a Health Store and Buy some 500g of Pantothenic Acid and 50g of B-6 (It Has To Be That Exact Combination) and start out by taking one of each in the morning and one of each in the evening.
After three weeks, drop down to one each morning only.
I believe after 2-3 months you will feel a HUGE difference and relief.
I have always been athletic, lifted weights, played football, ran track, joined and got my Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army (I was an MP, so I practiced and did a Lot of Judo and Karate) but at age 30, I had a hard time picking up my right arm.
I was in a 'vitamin store' picking up some vitamins for my Dad, and the lady behind the counter saw me picking up my right arm to write her a check and said Son, go over to that shelf and pick up a bottle of Pantothenic Acid 100g and a bottle of B-6 50g, and she told me to take them, just like I am telling you.
Well, 50 years later, I am still taking them, and have Never had to lift my right arm to write a check Since, an still get around better than all of my friends and most people in their 60's.
Please Do It.
 

OlePhart

Member
Oh, I failed to say, I got both of my knees replaced 10 years ago (at the same time).
The doctor said all of that Football, Track, Judo and Karate finally got to my knees, but have needed Nothing done to my elbows......
 

Gordon71

Active Member
For what it's worth I had some joint problems in both my knees and right arm from 40+ years of doing carpentry work for a living. There was a time when I had to be careful drinking a cup of coffee as my right hand would start shaking if I held it in the position you would for a coffee mug. Anyway several years ago I started taking a product called Flexcin. It took a while but I don't have any of those problems anymore.
 

GenXrider

Active Member
I've had knee pain, mostly in my right knee, at times. It used to really start hurting when running back in 2000, and I would have to stop running because of the pain. That was a full 20 years ago. I didn't run much after that year and started biking regularly around 2005, then knee pain came on out of the blue doing everyday activities around 2010, but it came on in the off-season, after not riding a bike for months. And it never really went away after that, but it hadn't seemed to get a lot worse over the next 10 years either. I took glucosamine pills for a couple months or so about 10 years back but stopped taking when I felt no definitive improvement. I noticed very recently that I can hear my right knee crackling going up a hill when pushing down on the pedal, even with minimal or no pain. Dropping to a lower gear to increase my cadence helps. I've also noticed my knees popping getting in bed very recently. I'm more likely to notice greater knee pain when going from sitting to standing up at home, more so in the hours/day following a long ride. Anyway, this is on a standard bike, so I think an e-bike will help so that those climbs aren't all on my knees.
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Court,
Please do yourself a Huge favor and Drop What You Are Doing, and go to a Health Store and Buy some 500g of Pantothenic Acid and 50g of B-6
(It Has To Be That Exact Combination) and start out by taking one of each in the morning and one of each in the evening.
After three weeks, drop down to one each morning only. I believe after 2-3 months you will feel a HUGE difference and relief.
I have always been athletic, lifted weights, played football, ran track, joined and got my Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army (I was an MP, so I practiced and did a Lot of Judo and Karate) but at age 30, I had a hard time picking up my right arm.
I was in a 'vitamin store' picking up some vitamins for my Dad, and the lady behind the counter saw me picking up my right arm to write her a check and said Son, go over to that shelf and pick up a bottle of Pantothenic Acid 100g and a bottle of B-6 50g, and she told me to take them, just like I am telling you.
Well, 50 years later, I am still taking them, and have Never had to lift my right arm to write a check Since, an still get around better than all of my friends and most people in their 60's.
Please Do It.
Interesting Rx... have any studies been done on this combination?
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Court,
Please do yourself a Huge favor and Drop What You Are Doing, and go to a Health Store and Buy some 500g of Pantothenic Acid and 50g of B-6 (It Has To Be That Exact Combination) and start out by taking one of each in the morning and one of each in the evening.
After three weeks, drop down to one each morning only.
I believe after 2-3 months you will feel a HUGE difference and relief.
I have always been athletic, lifted weights, played football, ran track, joined and got my Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army (I was an MP, so I practiced and did a Lot of Judo and Karate) but at age 30, I had a hard time picking up my right arm.
I was in a 'vitamin store' picking up some vitamins for my Dad, and the lady behind the counter saw me picking up my right arm to write her a check and said Son, go over to that shelf and pick up a bottle of Pantothenic Acid 100g and a bottle of B-6 50g, and she told me to take them, just like I am telling you.
Well, 50 years later, I am still taking them, and have Never had to lift my right arm to write a check Since, an still get around better than all of my friends and most people in their 60's.
Please Do It.
That dosage seems extremely high. Don't you mean mg?. I am no health professional, but I doubt you'll be taking a quarter pound (100g) of any vitamin... Btw, Pantothenic Acid, according to Google, is vitamin B5.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Knee issues?...nah, they´ve always rattled & popped like that. I should probly try some other suppliments. They´re going
pretty fast. I´ve only been electric for 4 years, but I´ve done 50K+ in the last 15 years & it´s catching up with me real fast.
I´m okay for now on a motor, but i don´t walk so good anymore ´less I use a couple sticks. Itś my shoulders that are really
becoming a hassle. That really bums me out cuz I´ṕlanned going back to a canoe with the legs finally go. I´ve no intention
of winding up deaf, blind, & crippled in some damn home. Lord no, just put me on an ice flow & shove it out to sea. I once
considered livin´ to a 100, but with the current state of affairs that prospect is no longer appealing.
 
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