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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-09-08, 07:49 PM   #1
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My grips are killing my hands...

Well, I just made my first 10mi trip since getting back in to cycling this year. Everything went great, I found a more comfortable saddle (generic Bell, off a old Walmart bike..it was free..what ever works right); this had been what was holding me back. The only thing that was bothering me on this trip was the grips on my bike (stock no thrill MTB grips) where killing my hands about 6mi into the ride. I know I could easily have gone another 3-5mi at least if the palms of my hands weren't throbbing. I don't have any problems with my hands like arthritis or anything so I know its my grips. I am running a standard flat MTB handle bar. I have a pair or MTB bar ends I'm thinking of putting on to be able to change my grip but when in the 'business' location I need something better. I'm sure this has something to do with me being a Clyde and there is more weight involved so that is why I am asking here.

What do you guys/gals use that makes things a little easier on your hands?
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Old 02-09-08, 08:04 PM   #2
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Maybe you're using a DEATH GRIP. Relax your hands when you ride, if this is the case. Should get better with more tike in the saddle. Plus if it's the first ride, sure it's gonna hurt cause you aint used to it.

Onething I don't understand is why people ride with straight bars. Yours is an mtb of course but with the road bars, there are so many more positions for the hands. I have an mtb but installed bar ends. Helps bigtime and when riding, cranking or climbing, I prefer the bar ends.

You do use gloves, right?
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Old 02-09-08, 08:06 PM   #3
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I got these after I changed out my shifters on my hybrid. I love these.

http://www.ergon-bike.com/en/grips/gc2.html

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Old 02-09-08, 08:23 PM   #4
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Maybe you're using a DEATH GRIP.
Nope. I actually keep my fingers loose most of the time.
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Onething I don't understand is why people ride with straight bars.
Came with the bike. Upgrading one thing at a time. When I get my weight down I plan on building a proper road bike.
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You do use gloves, right?
I usually do but thats not going to help much. The grips that are on the bike now are maybe 3/8 inch at the thickest and there is extremely little give in the rubber. Its almost like holding the bare bar.

jaxgtr: I saw some of those on Performance and the looked comfortable. Nice to here a good review of them.

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Old 02-09-08, 08:39 PM   #5
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I typically ride with my hands on the "horns", but they are pretty soft and absorb shock pretty good.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:16 PM   #6
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These are my favorites.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:18 PM   #7
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I had the same issue when I started and I realized I needed to move my hands to different locations. I was a little paranoid about moving my hands away from the brakes, but as I got more comfortable with my abilities, I found that i moved my hands without even thinking about it.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:55 PM   #8
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Wear gloves, loosen your grip, and maybe tip the nose of the saddle up ever so little.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:27 PM   #9
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These are my favorites.
+1000,000,000,000

OURY's are awesome! I have them on my FLAT BAR singlespeed road bike. There on the thick side, sticky, and dampen road vibes well. There also on my MTB too!
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Old 02-09-08, 10:31 PM   #10
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Another bonus to the Ergon's are they are open on the end, which was nice when I decided to put a bar end mirror on the bike. I've ridden on a bike with the Oury's are you are right, they are nice.
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Old 02-09-08, 11:16 PM   #11
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If you are putting too much weight on your hands you may need to adjust your fit. That could include raising the handlebars slightly if you can, getting a shorter stem so you aren't leaning as far forward, tipping the seat up a bit (as someone pointed out) so you aren't sliding forward and having to push back, or, paradoxically, moving your saddle a tiny bit backwards, on it's rails, so your body weight is more centred over your feet. Also your hands support a larger weight when you coast. As you get fitter and pedal more continuously, the constant downstrokes of your legs tend to push your torso upwards and lighten the load on your hands. In fact, during a sprint, this effect is so strong racers may actually have to pull hard on the bars, instead of leaning on them, to counteract it.
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Old 02-10-08, 12:05 AM   #12
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My cruiser-type bike came with cruiser-type handlebars, which I didn't much care for. I went to the local bike store and got some where the handle part is about 3" higher than the center, otherwise fairly straight. I don't know what they call them or what they're used for- they're just cheap steel handlebars. Anyway, they work for me. In normal riding, I am putting some weight on them, but I can raise up just a tad and take the weight off the handlebars, and just touch them with my hands to steer. Anyway, I would consider the riding posture, rather than the grip itself, as the major possibility.
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Old 02-10-08, 05:20 AM   #13
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If you are putting too much weight on your hands you may need to adjust your fit. That could include raising the handlebars slightly if you can, getting a shorter stem so you aren't leaning as far forward, tipping the seat up a bit (as someone pointed out) so you aren't sliding forward and having to push back, or, paradoxically, moving your saddle a tiny bit backwards, on it's rails, so your body weight is more centred over your feet. Also your hands support a larger weight when you coast. As you get fitter and pedal more continuously, the constant downstrokes of your legs tend to push your torso upwards and lighten the load on your hands. In fact, during a sprint, this effect is so strong racers may actually have to pull hard on the bars, instead of leaning on them, to counteract it.

+1

and from personal experiance, I found that keeping the slack (but NOT clenched) out of my gut helps. Your core muscles can do alot for you and as things progress and you get stronger you'll feel it. If your feeling really adventurous, 'feel' your muscles in your gut and the small of your back. Constantly stomping but letting those muscles relax does you more harm then good. When my legs start feeling burnt out, I focus what my back/gut are doing. For me, if I use the muscles in the small of my back as if I was walking up stairs, I feel a great improvement in efficiency and smoothness. Seriously! Walk UP somestairs and just pay attention to what your back feels like and try to do it on the bike when pedaling. Worked for me anyway. Now I can pedal longer and faster. Took me few months to figure that one out!

oh! Are you hooking your thumb under the bars all the time? If your comfortable trying it, lay your thumbs alongside your other fingers on top of the bars and occasionally roll your wrists forward so they are flat on the bar with no angle between arm/wrist.

I'm long winded sometimes.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:50 AM   #14
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I got these after I changed out my shifters on my hybrid. I love these.

http://www.ergon-bike.com/en/grips/gc2.html

+1
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Old 02-10-08, 08:07 AM   #15
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Specialized Comfort Grips. Check them out.
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqS...EquipGripsTape
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Old 02-10-08, 08:16 AM   #16
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It might not be your grips at all. Back in the day, I used unpadded cloth bartape on my century bike.

It could be your gloves. Do you have thick padded, or gel padded gloves with lots of padding in the palms? That padding compresses the soft tissue of the palm and causes throbbing hot-spots after very short amounts of time.
You might want to try a less padded glove.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
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If you are putting too much weight on your hands you may need to adjust your fit. That could include raising the handlebars slightly if you can, getting a shorter stem so you aren't leaning as far forward, tipping the seat up a bit (as someone pointed out) so you aren't sliding forward and having to push back, or, paradoxically, moving your saddle a tiny bit backwards, on it's rails, so your body weight is more centred over your feet. Also your hands support a larger weight when you coast. As you get fitter and pedal more continuously, the constant downstrokes of your legs tend to push your torso upwards and lighten the load on your hands. In fact, during a sprint, this effect is so strong racers may actually have to pull hard on the bars, instead of leaning on them, to counteract it.
I agree, I had the same problem until I bought an adjustable stem. I also picked up some wider bars for more hand positions.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:52 AM   #18
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Well, I just made my first 10mi trip since getting back in to cycling this year. Everything went great, I found a more comfortable saddle (generic Bell, off a old Walmart bike..it was free..what ever works right); this had been what was holding me back. The only thing that was bothering me on this trip was the grips on my bike (stock no thrill MTB grips) where killing my hands about 6mi into the ride. I know I could easily have gone another 3-5mi at least if the palms of my hands weren't throbbing. I don't have any problems with my hands like arthritis or anything so I know its my grips. I am running a standard flat MTB handle bar. I have a pair or MTB bar ends I'm thinking of putting on to be able to change my grip but when in the 'business' location I need something better. I'm sure this has something to do with me being a Clyde and there is more weight involved so that is why I am asking here.

What do you guys/gals use that makes things a little easier on your hands?
The grips may not be the problem, most likely your putting too much weight on your hands, there are a number of reasons for this:

1) Your saddle is not positioned correctly in one or more directions, I would suspect too far back, or tilted too far towards the front.

2) Your bars are too low.....

3) The bike is not the proper size.

4) Your riding form is not what it should be.

5) You have a lack core strength.

What I suggest you do, is have someone take some photos of you riding your bike, or make a short video and post it somewhere (photobucket, flikr or youtube) so we can have a look.....
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Old 02-10-08, 09:10 AM   #19
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I think getting a set of bar ends and a little bar tape would help. There was a similar suggestion above that would work I'm sure. Bar ends can be had cheap enough. I have a home built understeering recumbent and when I got it, it had a straight bar on it. It was difficult to reach properly, so I borrowed the curved bar ends off my old Huffy mtb, put the shifters and brakes higher up, put new cables in and wrapped the whole mess up with bar tape. Wa la, I now have bars I can reach and multiple hand positions. In your case multiple hand positions is what you need. Your locked into one right now. Think about it. Even when your sitting in a chair watching tv you need to shift occasionally to be more comfortable. With your hands on the handle bars it's the same thing. You need to shift positions from time to time. A good set of gloves also helps and you say you are wearing them, thats great. Gloves also protect you hands from road rash should you go down. An important consideration. On a final note, bike fit is very important and may be contributing to your problems. I would suggest a trip to your local library and checking out what they have in the way of bicycling encyclopedias. Read up on bike fit. It's free. I like free. ha. Then if adjustments need to be made you'll have a better idea how to go about it. If nothing else, you'll be able to explain what needs to be done to the wrench at the bike shop. Information is a good thing.
I know your just starting out and a ten mile ride is a darn good one. I would keep doing that until your comfortable with it for a couple rides, then increase you mileage in three to five mile steps. Once you are able to do about twenty five mile rides stay with that but try a forty miler once in a while. Eventully you do a metric century, 63 miles. Check out the local rides. We have several in my area during the season. Most cater to all skill levels and have loops as short as ten miles up to a hundred. These are alot of fun and a good way to meet people. Most of all have fun and you'll stick to it.

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Old 02-10-08, 10:57 AM   #20
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I got these after I changed out my shifters on my hybrid. I love these.

http://www.ergon-bike.com/en/grips/gc2.html

I have these exact same grips - love them! Numbness and pain are GONE!
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Old 02-10-08, 01:06 PM   #21
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There where so many points since my last reading of this thread so I'm just going to hit some of the points that where brought up rather then juggling [quote ] codes for an hour.

- The gloves I have been using are thin leather/nylon fingerless gloves like what some would use for weight lifting. I find them comfortable for weight lifting, and they feel good while riding (I was not wearing them during the ride in question - could be part of the problem)

- I did just swap my seat out. I thought I set the new seat the same as the one I changed from. Its more comfortable but I will play around with the adjustments and see what I can do.

- core strength was brought up, I know I am a little weak there. Before the beginning of the year I lived a very stationary life. I am 100 times more active then I have been in over 4 years so I know I need to build core strength back. Like was brought up I do keep my abs and back muscles slightly tight. I can feel myself getting stronger.

- I haven't tried riding with my thumb over the bar but I will give that a try.

- I'm finally up to 10 miles in a ride. Just as was suggested I am going to make the same ride a couple more times before moving on. I have mapped out several more stages with the biggest one being 29.9mi the next step is going to be 14mi.

-Also I'm thinking about seeing what I have out in the garage as far as handle bars and see if I have one thats a little longer and put some bar ends (that I already have) on it to add more grip options.

Thanks for all the good advice. I will be putting some of these things to use before I put out the money for new grips. Thanks again.
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Old 02-10-08, 01:26 PM   #22
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Those Ergon grips look excellent. Now maybe I'll have to get some for myself.

Some other things to try:
  • Are you wearing gloves? Try some gel gloves.
  • I consider barends to be a must. I just got a new mountain bike and tried to do without barends. After one long ride I decided I had to have them.
  • Raising the level of the bars puts less stress on the hands. Tourers like their bars about level with their saddles. Racers like their bars quite a bit lower. Are you more like a racer or a tourer? Think about raising your bars.
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Old 02-10-08, 02:09 PM   #23
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The Ergon horn adjust position separately from grip by the way so you can get the positioning just right.
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Old 02-10-08, 11:14 PM   #24
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+1 on the Ergon grips. If I were to get them again, I'd get the version with bar ends (the "horns") to give me an alternate position. You'd need to set the grips at just the right angle; they'll still hurt if they're a little off. Once you find the right setting, though, they're great.

Also, +1 on trying gloves with minimal padding. I've got three pairs of gloves with funky pads on the palms (including some Specialized Body Geometry Comp gloves with a big pad under the outer heel of the hand), and they all hurt within about fifteen minutes -- especially the fancy Specialized gloves. I later got some basic Fuji gloves with some simple, thin padding, and they've been comfortable on both the hybrid and the road bike.
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Old 02-11-08, 12:41 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=Trucker_JDub;6140118]
- The gloves I have been using are thin leather/nylon fingerless gloves like what some would use for weight lifting. I find them comfortable for weight lifting, and they feel good while riding (I was not wearing them during the ride in question - could be part of the problem)

Go down to the bike shop and get yourself some proper biking gloves with some good padding in them. Good gloves make a big difference, they reduce pressure on nerves in the hands.

-Also I'm thinking about seeing what I have out in the garage as far as handle bars and see if I have one thats a little longer and put some bar ends (that I already have) on it to add more grip options.

Bar ends do help, and since you already have some, why not!

Good luck! Some of the aches and pains we encounter early in cycling get better as we become better conditioned or tougher.
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