Maybe I should entitle this “Active Ankles Inactive Brain.”
I got a chance to try out my Active Ankles yesterday. As I wrote in an earlier thread about this safety gear, I purchased it for the armor around the ankle bone, not for bracing. I have suffered from the now infamous KH trials crank injury for a couple of months now and I manage to refind the injury frequently.
I found the Active Ankles to be a bit uncomfortable when I first put them on. They claim to have a break-in or shaping period so I was not so worried. They are a bit awkward to walk in but that is not their intended function. However, I found that with the armor on I could kick my left (tender) ankle with my right foot and not feel the twinge of pain I have been feeling since June.
What disturbed me was that, when I got on the KH trials uni I fell flat on my face during the first pedal revolution. The hinge on the Active Ankles snagged the protrusion on the KH crank and tripped me up. I thought this was going to be a REAL problem. I actually adjusted to it in short order. I NEVER adjusted to busting my ankle bone on the crank before getting the armor. That hurts.
I spent some time at Gasworks Parks systematically decimating Dan Heaton’s former property. I own alot of the “UniVerse” toys now and consequently have taken them home. I did many things in which I banged my ankle into the sharp, unforgiving KH crank and never felt a twinge. It made the entire outing much more enjoyable. By the end of the day I was accustomed to the armor and didn’t even notice that it was there when riding. This is a big plus for me in that it will now allow that ankle to finally heal.
As a bonus, I had a second incident in which a park official wanted to eject me. Tom Jackson will verify that my diplomacy managed to keep me in the park long enough to bring further damage down on my decaying carcass.
I got Ankle Biters and kind of wish I had the Active Ankles, although I have not tried the AA’s. I don’t have the hub-nubbin problem on my muni, but frequently whack my ankle bone on things while flailing around completely out of control. The Ankle Biters are a little more “minimal” than I had hoped and while they seemed comfortable at first, within a couple of hours they had rubbed a blister on the front of my ankle from the stupidly placed (in my opinion) plastic connector for the Velcro strap. This is the same kind of thing 661 did on the MX leg armor I used to wear. They had one of those same kind of connectors right behind my knee. That was the only place they could put it where it wouldn’t work.
Anyway, I think the extra joint protection of the AA’s are probably worth the break-in period… especially for some of us “more experienced” riders.
Edit: David, AA’s are only intended to protect against hyperextending or flexing the ankle, not twisting (from what I understand).
Now that I think about it a little more, I guess AA’s don’t limit the flex and extention of your ankle, but rather protect you from rolling your ankle to the side. But still, not “twisting”, right?
Also, I probably sounded too negative about the Ankle Biters. I think I will like them once I modify the strap attachment, and I may be the only one that is bothered by it.
The very first time I wore them I hit my ankle bone hard on the crank within the first 10 minutes of the ride. It hurt, but I can only imagine how much it would have hurt without them.
I have not tried either Ankle biters or Active ankles, but am considering getting Active ankles. I consider rolling the ankle to the side to be twisting. Last tuesday I sprained my ankle, and I have described it as twisted, sprained and rolled (in different sentences). I don’t know the official medical terms but all of them equal discomfort and inhibit riding time. I think prevention is better than cure for ankle injuries, and Active ankles sound like a wise investment for those with susceptable ankles. It is a bonus if they protect you against the infamous KH Hub sticky-outy part!
I don’t know the medical terms either. I was reffering to “twisting” as your foot rotating around the centerline of your leg bone, and “rolling” as foot rotating around a horizontal axis running fore and aft through the foot. I think the rolling injury is probably the most common. I doubt that anything but taping would have much effect on what I am calling “twisting”.
The only ankle joint problem I have had is what I guess would be hyperflexion, when my foot folds up too far when I land a drop with my pedals on the balls of my feet. That leads to a pain in the front of my ankle for a week or so. I am sure that conditioning and technique are the only way to prevent that. It has not happened for a while now, so maybe something is getting stronger.
Note- the protruberance on the KH crank arms that seems to bash some people’s ankle bones has now been removed, so it shouldn’t be a problem on any of the KH unicycles that were recently shipped to the Unicycle.com franchises.
For those that have the uni right now, bigger pedals help a lot, as does indvidual riding style (some people don’t have a problem with this lip for whatever reason). If it’s bothering you then it is possible to grind it off, although you need to be careful not to cut into the weld or heat the crank arm up too much.
I don’t think Kris is suggesting that I am slamming the KH trials uni here and that certainly is not the case. I didn’t ride it 2 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday because it has a stupid crank design and is no fun to ride. Quite the contrary, it’s difficult to stop riding once I start because it’s such a gas and one just can’t break it.
The ankle bone’s afinity for the crank is a problem, as he suggests, that is particular to some people, not all. It was well worth it to me to buy the extra armor so I can continue to ride this unicycle injury free. I don’t want to grind part of the crank off because I don’t think enough of the protrusion can be eliminated without affecting the integrity of the weld in my case. The thread was intended as a review of Active Ankles and not a critique of the KH unicycle.
>Note- the protuberance on the KH crank arms that seems to bash some
>people’s ankle bones has now been removed, so it shouldn’t be a problem
>on any of the KH unicycles that were recently shipped to the
>For those that have the uni right now, bigger pedals help a lot, as
>does individual riding style (some people don’t have a problem with this
>lip for whatever reason). If it’s bothering you then it is possible to
>grind it off, although you need to be careful not to cut into the weld
>or heat the crank arm up too much.
Wet grinding would be the best process to use in removing this
troublesome lip. Wet grinding will remove material without heating up
the object (crank) and thus leaves the hardening of the object (crank)
unchanged. Wet grinding is simply grinding with a wet grinding surface
via the application of water, water and a soluble additive or water and
grains or flakes of a special material.
Since the new cranks are out, when are the new seats coming out with the reinforced seat plate? Do people who snap the original ones qualify for a discount? Good news about the ground off protuberance!
Will Unicycle.com sell the new cranks seperately, without a Unicycle purchase? If so it would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. You could get short cranks for your KH24x3" at the same time as eliminating the protuberance. I like short cranks.
When I lived in Upstate New York I met a guy who had restored an old wet grinding wheel and used it to sharpen knives and the like. The large disk-shaped stone (say, 2.5’ diameter) dipped in water somehow as it turned (I forget exactly how) and was rotated at a low speed to help keep the heat buildup to a minimum.
I rolled my ankle at NAUCC (“log” ) and bought a pair of uni.com’s Active Ankles. I’ve only been wearing one on the ankle that was damaged. It has been great in getting me back on a uni. It does not seem to impede up-and-down flexing at all, and I can point in my toes (rotate) for my 29er which has pedals that are a little small for me. But it does offer a significant amount of protection against another roll.
I tried wearing both one day for freestyle and it seemed a little clumsy because those pedals are also small. But they’d be great for some risky rock hopping or learning unispins and the like.