Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Bartlett Tendon - Settings

I've now been using my new Bartlett Tendon for a good few weeks now so thought I'd write a little more on how things are going.

 Also add a little bit about some of the settings which I got from Brian Bartlett the knees designer.

Well first off I have to say this knee is amazing...No I'm not just saying that as I'm sponsored on the unit. Brian always requests that I be honest with him when trying out his designs as this feedback then goes on to help improve on future models. The knee is amazing in what it allows you to do as an above knee amputee. I'm now trialling the new "cam" top end on my knee and have found things have just got even better.

A lot of time and hard work has gone into making the knee work and feel something like a leg someone has lost. By work and feel I mean in it's action. With the new "cam" the movement is now smoother, with a more progressive feel (the further you flex the knee the more resistance can be felt). Instead of using a combo of hard and soft tendons, you can now leave the 2 soft tendons in place and choose how much resistance you would like by removing the "cam" locking pins and placing them in positions 1 to 3 on each "cam". Or even leaving the locking pin out completely giving you the least amount of resistance.

Here's an idea of the settings... 

The new knee is basically the same knee but with a cam instead of a wheel for the Tendons.  This will give you a softer engagement feel  to the start of your knee bend but start to ramp up into a stiffer feel towards the deeper part of the bend in the knee, this feel is also adjustable as you have four positions on each side of the knee to adjust the cam into. 
Here is how it works: As described by Brian Bartlett the designer of the Bartlett Tendon.
Position 1)  No locking pin inserted leaves the cam in the least amount of flex for the tendon and does not engage the tendon as you flex the knee because you have disengaged the locking pin; great position for road riding, snorkeling/ diving or just about anything you want to have as little tension as you can but still have something there in the end.
Position 2)  Top hole engaged with locking pin inserted will give you cam engagement into the tendon as the knee bends but not a lot of cam effect as for sports or applications you want to have some more tension but not enough to work against you; sports like XC skiing, road biking, XC mountain biking, SUP and any others that feel good to the users.
Position 3)  Middle hole in the cam engaged by locking pin inserted allowing the cam to come into the tendon more putting more pressure against it giving the user a stiffer feel at the deeper part of the knee bend;  I like this position for XC mountain biking as I have my seat up high in that application and the stiffness comes on right where I want it to as I am biking in about the 90 degree knee bend position as if I had my seat lower on the bike it might be a tad to much tension; again a lot of the same sports can apply here just depending on the users preference due to limb length and tension desired for application; Alpine skiing, snow boarding, Ice hockey, etc.
Position 4)  Bottom hole in the cam engaged by locking pin inserted will give you the most cam effect of Tendon tension as the knee bends moving the cam into the tendon, this will be great for DH riding, motocross, things where you want to really bend into the knee with a lot of pressure in the bottom half of the bend.
Here is the kicker though because you get an incredible feel to all these adjustments in the cam but these have all been tested with no air in the shock in which you'll find by just adjusting the shock a bit gives you even more tension if desired.  The next part is also that the cam is adjustable independently on each side allowing a user to adjust the cam on the right side say to hole position four and then on the left side put the cam into hole position 2 which gives a combination of tension that gives you the most natural feel for that have more than twenty different ways to configure this cam for a desired cam effect.....crazy huh.
Also if you change the stop bushing diameter this will adjust the cam feel also as the knee will come back further in its neutral position as I like the big(15 degree) bushing in when I am utilizing the knee.

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