Does anyone have experience of getting back riding a road bike after fracturing wrist?

I am 3 weeks away from my cast being taken off.

I am wondering how much time I should wait before going back fo a ride?

  • It's not clear what your problem is - is it that you can't put your weight on your wrist and you're asking for ways to compensate? Or that you want to learn how to ride one-handed: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/42450/…
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 7:03
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    Sorry, I edited my question.
    – Atul
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 7:06
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    @Criggie some of it is, but we have a few "how do I start riding again after an injury?" questions, with answers varying based on the specific injury.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 9:25
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    The main danger is not the recovering injury, but re-injuring the same area of the body. Personally I'd give it 1-6 months before riding again. And don't fall on your wrist! Check with the people taking off your cast, if nothing else.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 9:44
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    After the cast is off, you probably should see a therapist and get some exercises for the wrist, to keep it from losing strength, and to maintain it's flexibility. And when the cast comes off, ask the doc when you can start applying full force to the wrist. Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


All but the most gentle rides on smooth surfaces can put quite a lot of stress on your wrists. Listen to your doctors on how long you should rest it because in general there's still healing to be done when the cast comes off. Not only is the bone still fragile but the muscles will be very weak. I was a teenager when I broke my wrist so timings may be different, but the length of recovery after the cast was removed was equal to the length of time it was on.

Do any physio exercises you're given, which will help you retain strength and movement. Then start in benign conditions - good roads when they're quiet - until your bike handling is back to normal. When you first get back on, you really don't want to fall off, and wrist-jarring potholes should be avoided (you may not have the grip strength to maintain control, in addition to avoiding the shock). This is likely to be worse on a road bike than on flat bars. Everyone is different and everyone's injuries are different, but if you plan on a cautious approach and take advice from the medical professionals you shouldn't go wrong.

  • +1 Very sensible answer, as opposed to what I'd say "When I got home after I broke my leg skiing my physio ripped the plaster off immediately, and just said walk, but don't hurt it too much! I was skiing again (gently) the next week."
    – andy256
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 7:32
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    Yes, you'll notice I've only commented, not answered. I think what you've said is exactly what we should be advising, since we aren't his physios :-)
    – andy256
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 9:03
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    @andy256 - A lot depends on the nature of the break. With a leg fracture, where the bone is not completely broken, putting weight on it right away will often help it heal faster. But if the bone is completely broken, or is in a spot where too much stress is apt to be placed on the crack, then more care is required. Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 12:41
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    In addition to this wonderful answer, once the healing is complete and your ready to ride again, i would recommend wearing some sort of brace or wrap. I shattered one bone in my leg near the ankle and dislocated the other, that was a couple years ago and still to this day if I'm going trail riding i wear my brace. Not that i have to but i find it helps that joint be a lot less sore afterwards. A little extra support really helps to take the pressure off that joint.
    – Nate W
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 15:45
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    A swap to a more upright bike or position will likely help too - I switched from straight bars to quite deeply swept-back ones when I had a minor back injury from aikido, which gave me a more upright position and made my back happier. Also much more air resistance and much less pressure on my wrists/hands.
    – Móż
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 23:43

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