How do you grip your handlebars?

It is not often something we think about when riding but it is really important. When you ride – think about and get a feel for how you grip your handlebars. You might be surprised what you learn. 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

How should you grip

Your grip needs to be light and relaxed. Think more about connecting with your handlebar grips rather than gripping them. Enough grip to have control of your bike and steering and not strangling the handlebar grips. 

We are wanting you to rely on you core control to maintain your upper body position on the bike rather than propping yourself up by your grip and your arms.

This light relaxed grip needs to be maintained right throughout the duration of the ride….that means when you get tired…when you go up hills. These are times when you often without even noticing you start gripping those grips even harder. When you go riding be conscious of your grip you will amazed at what you start to notice/feel. 

Grpping too hard and pulling on your handlebars can lead to discomfort in your arms shoulders, neck and back.

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How to maintain a light relaxed grip

To have light relaxed grip you need to have good core control when you ride. You can learn more at our Chi Riding stories.  Chi Riding – Core Control and Chi Riding – breathing

In your riding position you should be able to effectively remove your hands from the handlebars. Your arms should not be working to prop you up. If you are leaning heavily on your arms, or the palms of your hands get sore on your handlebar grips, it is a sure sign that your core muscles are not working efficiently.

Having good grips and bike gloves can help

  1. Good grips that promote a natural hand position.  The diameter of what you are gripping needs to fit your hand size and suit the type of riding you are doing (surfaces and time on the bike).  If you have problems in this area we really suggest ergonomic grips that support and relieve pressure points. Read more in our story Features of a Handlebar Grip
  2. Wearing gloves helps maintain connection with your grips. Bike Gloves come with different levels of padding to match the time you spend on the bike.  See Why are Bike Gloves Important?
  3. Changing your hand position.  This is an easy thing to do and it’s important with the longer the amount of time you spend on the bike.

What symptoms feelings can you get from problems with your grip

There are a number of symptoms or areas of discomfort that can suggest your grip needs some attention

Numbness/ pins and needs in your hand

Discomfort through your forearm and elbow

Tension in your upper shoulders and neck. .

Shortness of breath ….though there are many factors that can contribute to shortness or breath having a relaxed grip and upper body when you ride will help your breathing be more efficient on the bike.

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