rosewindust Member Posts: 2
edited 30. Sep 2018, 10:20 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello! I am trying to modify simple bike handle bars for my father for his birthday who is a keen cyclist but unfortunately has arthritis in his fingers. Please could you comment or reply below describing some of the issues you face when cycling due to arthritis, so I know what do do that would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you,
Rose 😊


  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,456
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I cycle, usually about 5 miles, on fairly flat but often windy dual use paths and roads. I have my bars raised so I don't have any extra weight on my shoulders and I have a 'sit up and beg' style. Modern brakes are an advantage, we don't have to use so much hand pressure. Using grips that suit your hand size helps. A comfortable saddle is a must. A secure carrier means I don't have to hold onto items.

    I have a lightweight aliminium frame with 26" wheels, fork and saddle stem suspension to ease the shock of uneven roads, 21 deraileur gears with 'quickfire' gearchange allow me to peddle in a relaxed style with no undue pressure on my joints. Electric assist bikes are good but heavy and expensive.

    I would have thought that a custom made bike would be a good investment with an understanding builder offering good advice? You have to pick your days and weather, cold muscles and joints don't work well!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can no longer ride due to arthritis but wonder if padding the handlebars would make things more comfortable for your father? Something nice, fat and spongy would provide a more comfortable grip and warmth for creaky fingers. He could wear gloves too for grip and warmth. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a sit up and beg too Rose like Airwave. This reduces pressure on my shoulders back and wrists as most of my weight goes through my rear end.

    I also have a padded seat and it is set up low enough so that I don't have to overstretch my legs which hurts my back???

    To be fair I live in a flat area and only do short distances but I love it!

    There are bikes you can sort of lie down to ride I don't know if you've seen them?

    Best of luck

    Toni xx
  • jennand
    jennand Member Posts: 131
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I’ve padded one of my handle grips with foam tubing. The type that you lag pipes with. I got it at the DIY centre. It just makes the handle fatter and is easier to grip. I just wrap duct tape around it to secure it. Ok, it doesn’t look “ professional” but it works.
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I bought a perfectly ordinary mountain bike second-hand about three years ago and I also padded the handlebar grips with foam which works well and is cheap to replace as it gets worn and dirty. (Might need a bit of care to fit it clear of brake and gear levers. Padded gloves are another option.)

    Other modifications are entirely personal as indicated by other arthritic cyclists and usually quite simple to do. It may need some thinking outside the box plus trial and error before your father is able to enjoy his bike rides to the max so hope we've sparked some ideas.

    I wish him many more years of happy outdoor explorations!