Bike setup following shoulder surgery

I had rotator cuff surgery 6 weeks ago and am eager to start riding again. I’ve searched for different bike set up options that would allow me to be comfortable on the bike and not put too much pressure on my shoulder. As you’ll see in my photo I rigged a device that works great and maybe will be helpful for others in my situation (pardon my redneck engineering :joy:). I flipped my handlebars upside down, then attached two 1” pvc pipes vertically, connected by 90’s to a horizontal pvc pipe. Cheap, easy and sturdy. There are a lot of smart riders on this Forum, so I’m sure someone with a better engineering mind can pitch in.


Creativity finds a way…

I like how one side’s held together with a tri-joint and the other with a quad. :slight_smile:

Hey Vancemh - I recently put off rotator cuff surgery in lieu of PRP therapy, hoping that will resolve the injury. So far so good but I haven’t yet done any heavy upper body lifting. What kind of pain are you dealing with post-surgery, especially when trying to support your torso on the bike? Great engineering set-up - the only thing to add might be some pipe insulation to act as padding for your hands (prolly good idea to wrap plastic wrap around the insulation since the sweat will make it nasty).

Haha. Gotta use what I have.

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Good idea on the padding. I’m sure I could make it nicer. Wearing gloves works for me. I had a full thickness complete supraspinatus tear that was retracted and a bicep tendenosis. PT was not an option. The recovery is not easy I’ll be honest. I slept in a recliner for weeks and the pain was tough at night. Of course there’s soreness and getting used to being one-armed. But I’m out of my sling now and getting much better. It’s a long recovery to say the least but I am thankful and the long term prognosis is good! Riding with normal bars hurts due to all the weight and is not safe at this point. With my modifying my bike to a granny bike I have no pain at all! Best of luck and hope you get feeling better. Btw, I lift weights regularly, just have to be smart and know I’m 55 not 25! :joy:

I saved a picture, this will allow me to get back on the bike sooner after my next shoulder replacement


Just remember to follow your guidelines/restrictions. I always remind my patients, “Just because you’re out of the sling, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to go pull start a lawn mower”. You’ve got 6-8 more weeks before you can start to do semi-normal daily things, and another 3-6 months after that to even approach recreational/athletic stuff. It’s a long haul, and there is a relatively high rate of failure for repairs. Good luck with your recovery!


I 100% agree! That’s my number one goal - to not retear. I hear it’s a long slow recovery. What I’ve heard is it’s most common to retear after several months when one might feel better and then pushes it too far. Thanks for the advice and I’ll be patient.

yep. around 12 weeks it feels “normal” for everyday stuff (getting a jersey on/off, reaching for a top shelf, pain is diminished), makes people over-confident. so they go out and start yard projects, doing recreational stuff, lifting luggage etc. this is my life :laughing:

Job security as a PT :joy:. I appreciate the advice and encouragement!

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