Pro downhill mountain biker Brian Bartlett has come up with an innovative replacement knee built around the Rock Shox Monarch 4.2 Air Shock. According to the tech manual, “the Bartlett Tendon System is a muscle driven system that increases feedback, and will always be under some tension.” Unlike most prosthetic knees, the Bartlett is designed for unconventional applications and extreme activities like mountain biking and climbing.
Taking a cue from high end mountain bike components, the Bartlett Knee is made from 6061T aircraft aluminum, cold rolled steel, and R6 sealed bearings. There are even carbon fiber connectors on the top of the unit to limit damage to the rider’s clothing. The shock can be tuned and adjusted just like on a bike so the athlete can maximize his or her performance on the fly.
Perhaps the coolest part about the Bartlett Knee is seeing what Brian has been able to do with it on the trail. Check out the video below (one of many I found on YouTube) and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Plenty of riders with two good knees would love to be able to ride like that but just don’t have the skills or the guts.