How’s your grip? Can you get a hold of something and give it an almighty squeeze? Wringing out cloths and getting lids off jars no problem. Awesome for you if you can, I can’t, my grip though initially powerful has no staying ability. A strong grip is not necessarily always a good thing mind you. When it comes to riding a bike your hands can cause some problems especially if you are gripping a handlebar like your life depended on it. Some people experience numbness or discomfort in their hands while riding this shouldn’t be your normal.
How to grip your handlebars – lightly
We have talked about the 3 points of contact you have on the bike – handlebars, pedals and seat in other stories. The relationship of these 3 things determines how your weight is carried down into the bike. It is really important that your hand grip is light and relaxed when holding the handlebars. Let me remind you here of Chi Riding – Tip 4 – 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.
Techniques to minimise hand/wrist discomfort
- Loose grip, relaxed, light, can you let go and hold your body position? see Chi Riding – Tip 2 – Core Control
- A relaxed natural wrist position – please read this story on brake lever placement it has a lot of information on where we position our hands while on our bikes and what this does…
- Pump your brakes when you need to brake rather than squeezing them constantly
Natural relaxed hand position
Good gloves & grips will help to minimise compression & absorb vibration
- 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
- Padded gloves. See Why are Bike Gloves Important?
- 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. Bikes with drop bars have a range of hand gripping positions – see the photos below for examples of good, relaxed, straight wrist hand positions.
Keep your wrist as straight as possible
Natural relaxed hand position, ready to brake
Again a straight, natural wrist alignment will help you to avoid numbness and discomfort
get Better and goRide – How to Grip your Handlebars
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