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Category: Mert hand

Stel Orthopedie Freelock - first test riding modified 1981 Gerber race bike

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Stel Orthopedie Freelock - first test riding modified 1981 Gerber race bike; published April 28, 2016, 10:14; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5867.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229413, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Stel Orthopedie Freelock - first test riding modified 1981 Gerber race bike}}, month = {April},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5867}}


I ordered a bike adapter termed "Freelock" from Stel Orthopedie in the Netherlands.

The device is a socket-mount only piece; there are no required handle bar mounts (as the Mert hand essentially is a two-piece adapter).

The Freelock metal adapter goes on the arm, obviously. But it ships with a hard plastic grip to put on the bike handle bar, that appears to be specially crafted, but due to that hard plastic grip's smooth and hard surface I figured better to use normal soft rubber handle bar covers - better angulation, softer shocks, better dampening, easier overall also with shifting use across several bikes. The Mert hand is great as it works so well, but it is a bitch to always reposition the handle bar side part of the quick release adapter.

The Freelock also has a quick release mechanism. The "thumb" pulls out and the spring (black plastic button to turn screw) can be set from anywhere between totally light weight to insanely tight.

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Bimanual activities beyond comfort zone - bike tour over Stelvio Pass [yoo hoo]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bimanual activities beyond comfort zone - bike tour over Stelvio Pass [yoo hoo]; published July 5, 2015, 10:27; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5030.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229413, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bimanual activities beyond comfort zone - bike tour over Stelvio Pass [yoo hoo]}}, month = {July},year = {2015}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5030}}


Usually, the simple and bare if not almost violent beauty of hard work gets forgotten. This is, when one focuses only on "bionic" arms which seems to be a current societal and academic obsession.

Prosthetic arms are only really needed, however, and that is if one does a truly bimanual activity. That is something one can not really do that well with one arm. Given that other bikers bike one armed, my aging body does a lot better with posture correction on the bike (link) and a more rather than less symmetric posture. With that I use a Mert arm (link) to ride my bike(s) (link) which I do entirely recreationally (link). Recreationally does not mean this is easy, or easy to accomplish, or, mild, or boring, or in any other way accessible for the average pansy boy equipped with the average myo arm. Just so we got that out of the way.

So, last week, I biked up, from Prad (South Tyrolia / Alto Adige, Italy), to the Stelvio Pass (from Wikipedia: the Stelvio Pass (Italian: Passo dello Stelvio; German: Stilfser Joch) is a mountain pass in northern Italy, at an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft) above sea level. It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, just 13 m (43 ft) below France's Col de l'Iseran (2,770 m (9,088 ft)), over the Umbrail Pass, via Santa Maria, Mustair and Glurns back to Prad, where we then attended the swimming pool.

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Mountain bike riding [why not, why, where]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mountain bike riding [why not, why, where]; published November 23, 2014, 23:28; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3728.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571229413, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mountain bike riding [why not, why, where]}}, month = {November},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3728}}


As it appears, I do consider what they call modern prosthetic arms - and I do wonder: what do these manufacturers consider "a life", what do they consider liveable, important, what are goals for them, how do they go about activities? Do they believe I, as the arm amputee they seem to see me as, am but a doll to them? Is becoming a doll what all research tries to achieve these days?

Hans Georg Näder, CEO of Otto Bock - one of the really big prosthetic component manufacturers and one of the biggest companies to technically (as well as in terms of customer service) discouraging people to wear body powered arms - himself is not into motored powered ships. He is not so much into electronic gadgets as in computerized solar powered vehicles or anything like that. He is not into remote controlled helicopters. He is not into new cell phones. Nothing similarly unnerving as the gadgets he tries to promote for us. No. Far from that. Get that: he is into yachts. The manual craft of sailing. That is probably also as close as body powered gets for a person like him, with a somewhat increased body mass index. Now, why would I regard things any differently? Why would Otto Bock not embrace that I see things just as their CEO?

Because one thing is for sure - no one with an osseointegrated or myoelectric bionic hand  is fit for that type of thing. Criss-crossing the country side. Full pull, full push, full vibration, full sweat, all temperatures, full bangs.

Note: you will not get the juicy bits on camera here. Either I hold the camera while riding. Or I really ride the bike also using brakes and all. But for fast riding and downhill rides, I cannot at the same time record the events.

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