With many cyclists going on longer rides this year, hand soreness and/or numbness can be an issue. Here are some tips to help prevent it from occurring.
- Relax your grip and your shoulders.
- Bend your elbows and engage your core. Practice taking your hands off the bar.
- Bike set up
- Ensure that your bike is set up right for you.
- If you’re having issues, raise the handle bars. This will transfer some weight to the seat.
- Hand position
- You have 3 places to place your hands, the tops, the flats and the drops.
- Periodically move your hands between these positions.
- New bars
- If you’re still having issues, perhaps you need new bars.
- Aero bladed bars give you more surface area and can help reduce soreness.
- Double wrap your bars
- Wrap tape on top of your bar tape. This will give you more of a cushion.
- It will also increase the diameter of the bar and thus give you more surface area to grip.
- Tire width
- Wider tires allow you to ride at lower air pressures.
- This helps you absorb the bumps and reduces the vibration.
Personally, I almost never used the drops because it was uncomfortable. However after training for triathlons, it’s now become my preference. I wish they still had brakes for the tops like they did when I was a kid. You can’t really use that position when you’re in a group or in traffic.
Here is a video which demonstrates these tips:
Quote of the week: “As a kid I had a dream — I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.” — John Lennon