Returning to Riding after Bicep Tendon Repair

Nic Cowley

Cannon Fodder
Hey everyone,

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever torn their bicep tendon and had it surgically repaired. Just wondering what the path to recovery is to getting back on the bike. After full strength has returned which I believe to be about 4-5 months, have you returned to riding and what type of riding. I'd imagine, a bit of road riding to start and then back to XC trails. If anyone rides GE or DH how long after that did you return to the move aggressive trails and did you experience any issues.

Thanks in advance, just trying to get some info for my better half who is on the road to recovery from his surgery. Cheers and happy riding :)

The Reverend

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Let me know how you get on with this as I'm going through the same thing myself. Currently at 7 weeks post surgery and range of motion is returning. Repairing the rupture was reasonably straightforward but I had other damage to fix.

It's still so very weak, and I'm constantly concerned about re-tearing the repair. Only now am I at a point where I could ride a bike but the surgeon has been very specific about not riding MTB as it'll just rupture and I'm back to square one. Could do road I'm sure but certainly won't risk it.

Was there any other damage? I reckon it's 4-5 months post surgery before I'm riding trails happily. Never realised one injury could be that problematic.
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XC Enthusiast
Did you tear the distal (at the forearm) or one of the head tendons (at your shoulder)?
Maybe not the answer you're looking for , but I had a bicep tenodesis as part of a full shoulder reconstruction (so the long head tendon was reattached). I originally went in to have the tenodesis alone, but the surgeon found major damage to the other structure of the rotator cuff.

I was told, prior to surgery, that the tenodesis recovery was a lot less demanding than a full cuff repair. Unfortunately I had the full reconstruction to deal with.

Either way, I was back on the trainer within 2 months, light fire road/trail riding in 4 months and full unconditional riding in 8 months. I'm sure the recovery from a tenodesis is shorter.

One piece of advise i can give. Take your time and do your exercises. Listen to your surgeon and follow their instruction. It frustrating, but its more frustrating if you damage the repair and you're back to square one.


Likes Bikes and Dirt
Riding buddy of mine did his a few years ago. Once back into riding I reckon he was about 3-4 months before he felt fully confident enough to tackle the rough stuff

Nic Cowley

Cannon Fodder
Hey guys, the repair was to the distal bicep tendon, so it has had a button placed under the radius. The bicep tendon has been pulled through a hole drilled in the radius, wrapped around the button and slotted into the bottom of the radius. Currently 6 weeks post op and have been told to continue to life nothing more than a coffee and get dressed for another 4 weeks. At this point they will start loading the tendon for recovery.

We have full range of motion since the day after surgery which was really lucky. Advice is so varying from road riding at 3 months and I have seen others back on the trails in 6 months, although the advice of my vary conservative physio no explosive sports like Martial Arts or Downhill for 12 months. We are hoping to take on Whitler in July next year.

It would be great to hear of other peoples recovery.


The Reverend

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Different healing for everyone it seems. And definitely distal appears to be more convenient if that's the right word than proximal.

Great to hear that people have recovered fully from it though as it's pretty challenging to live with whilst recovering.