E-biking and MS

elizilla

Member
I was a hardcore bicyclist in my 20s, and a hardcore motorcyclist in my 30s. But in my 40s I started to have weird issues. First the peculiar awkwardness, then the numb feet, and then poor heat/cold tolerance and then the weakness and fatigue. I felt like a raging hypochondriac for years before I finally got a diagnosis of MS.
Anyways, e-bikes (or variations thereof) have been great for me. First I had a Prodeco Stride, but it was hard to lift my left foot onto the pedal, due to peripheral neuropathy. Next I had the Razor Ecosmart Metro, which has a wide skateboard deck instead of pedals. Unlike some other MS sufferers my balance is decent enough, and it was easier to get my foot up onto that deck, so it worked pretty well for several years. Then, due to increasing fatigue and weakness I decided I wanted three wheels, so now I have a Liberty Trike, which is also working out great.

The e-bikes have been the best thing I have found, for maintaining my quality of life despite MS. I find them more helpful than any of the medical treatments I have had. Without them I would be a shut-in. Also I was always a gearhead and e-bikes provide an outlet for that. I used to farkle* my motorcycles and now I farkle my e-bikes. I suppose I will always be looking at what comes out, and getting new ones now and then, to play with new technology and enjoy another round of farkling.

*Farkling is when you install all kinds of mods/accessories to your bike. I don't know who coined the term but this is the word they use for it in all the motorcycle forums I have belonged to over the years.
 
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LimboJim

Well-Known Member
Your story inspires me - ride on, right on!

I'm 55 and not very athletic, but started riding bikes in my adolescence, and have been mountain biking recreationally since 1991. Unfortunately, I'm also an insect magnet and have battled bug-borne illnesses a few times too many this past decade. Thanks to aging and Lyme Disease (at least twice), I only rode my old Stumpjumper a handful of times after turning 50, and never on the hilly trails I once enjoyed.

I got my first ebike in 2015. It got me cycling again, but I'm not too fond of road riding. Pedelec MTBs have since been my saving grace, and I farkle them like crazy now, too :cool:
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
elizilla, thank you for sharing your story here! Ebiking is all about quality of life and increasing transportation and recreational freedom for all of us, and your story that shows how different kinds of ebikes have helped you to continue to cycle as well as to slow the progression of MS, is amazing.

Your post will attract more stories! And, I have a colleague with MS with whom I will share your story. :)

And, golly, I learned a new word! "Farkle!!!"
 

Drahuber

New Member
I love the word farkle!
All my life I've been a keen cycler so when I became disabled with a chronic pain syndrome in my right knee 8 years ago, my whole life changed dramatically. It has been severe, so have lost job and many other things. Ebikes have really helped me, I'd almost say they saved my life! For the first few years I could peddle a standard ebike, however my leg has got weaker and weaker, so 2 main issues have come up.
Firstly, hills and torque. My left leg is almost useless now and so a lot of hills are not possible with most ebikes. I needed a lot of torque, easy gear changing and a throttle. High torque usually means midrive motor, so usually no throttle. Only bike I found was the Evelo delta. A hill climbing monster! A 750 w bfang mid drive motor, 48 v battery, devinci variable transmission gears and a throttle. This bike goes up most hills with throttle only if you need it. So for people with disabilities, this is good to know.
Problem is the limit for motors in Canada is 500w. This I assume was put into place to limit speed, but now with speed limiters on, this no longer applies. The 750w makes all the difference for a disabled person getting up hills with minimal or no peddling. I wrote the various authorities here in Canada , making this point about torque without more speed, but they would not make an exception.
So seeing that this bike was the only one of its type that I needed to keep me riding, I found a way to bring it here.
It really is fantastic and has kept me riding.
The second issue that I have not solved, is how to cycle with one leg. I have a loose open cage on my good side and then put a peg on the horizontal back tube to rest my foot on, but this makes me unbalanced. Just letting my leg dangle puts me at risk of my foot hitting the ground. I need to be able somehow to disengage the crank on my bad side but don't know if this is possible.
Does anyone have an idea for me?
Thanks, I look forward to replies and I hope my suggestion on a bike to get up hills for disabled people line me is helpful.
 

PDXzap

Well-Known Member
@Drahuber
Which side is your "good side"?

What I'm thinking of is removing the crank arm on the bad side and replacing it with a "peg" that's sized appropriately on which you could attach a pedal. The "peg" would be more along the lines of something like this pedal extender:
I would think a competent machine shop could easily fabricate such a piece fairly inexpensively.
 

Drahuber

New Member
Thanks PDXzap. I didn't know such things existed . My bad leg is my left one. Is this kind of modification easily reversed if my leg improved or I went to sell the bike ?
 

PDXzap

Well-Known Member
I didn't know such things existed
I don't know that it actually exists, I didn't do an exhaustive search. If you need a clearer description of what I'm thinking of I would probably have to draw a picture of the part.