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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-27-14, 09:39 PM   #1
Browntabby
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Ow, my freakin' hands (grips or gloves)

Hello all, I ride over some bumpy streets that make my handlebars rattle and has caused my some soreness in my hands/pisiform?triquetrum? The little bone at bottom of your palm it feels round. I bought some pearl izumi elite gel gloves, but only two of the gel pads make contact with my flat handlebars are these gloves made for drop handlebars only? I am thinking of returning them to rei and getting some ergon gp1 grips. I think the grips can help more than gloves. What can I do about the bad roads? Most of the road is fine with some small potholes that I avoid or coast over with one foot on pedal. Its not Terrible pain but I do feel it. Advice please.
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Old 03-28-14, 02:38 AM   #2
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Keep the gloves and get some padded grips. You should have both.
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Old 03-28-14, 03:14 AM   #3
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Make sure your shoulders are loose and your grip is loose. Lots of bumps can intuitively tighten your grip. But you can hold the bike steady while giving it some freedom to recover from shocks naturally without man handling it and thus soften the blow to your hands.
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Old 03-28-14, 03:45 AM   #4
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XC ski gloves.

syn leather on the palm

neoprene on the back side

lillsport.com

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Old 03-28-14, 07:08 AM   #5
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Lizard Skins

Discussion over.
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Old 03-28-14, 07:47 AM   #6
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I used to have really thick gel gloves. Don't know how easy it is to find now, but they helped a lot.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:11 AM   #7
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Do you really only have one foot on when you go over bumps and rough pavement?

If so you're putting more pressure on your hands and bike than with both feet on at 9 and 3 o'clock. Then you should be able to keep your butt off the saddle, hands light on the bars for steering and absorb the bumps with your legs in a nice, balanced position.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:11 AM   #8
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Keep the gloves and get some padded grips. You should have both.
+1 ^ This + Your handlebars shouldn't be rattling
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Old 03-28-14, 08:52 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone. I will keep the gloves and get some grips today. I will go over the bumps and pot holes with 9 and 3 o'clock position. Thank you all.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:58 AM   #10
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I am thinking of returning them to rei and getting some ergon gp1 grips.
good Idea , GP 2 through 5 include a bar end as well . integrated design.

palm on a broad surface rather than round.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:33 AM   #11
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Usually when my hands hurt it's because something isn't adjusted right. At the moment all my bikes have drop bars and how the bar is positioned and where the brake levers are on the bar make a huge difference. I've had bars which I could never get comfortable on and had to replace them.

Bigger tires and/or lower pressures can help with the bumps. Coasting over them is fine if you can't go around them but keep both feet on the pedals and get off the saddle a little bit. Keep your arms and legs flexed and use them as shock absorbers.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:38 AM   #12
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Not sure what kind of handlebars you have but FWIW, I found that switching from a straight-bar hybrid to road bikes with drop bars made my wrist pain go away. I think it's the difference between having your wrists in a somewhat unnatural position on a flat bar, and having them pointing inwards on on the hoods of drop bars, which to me feels much more natural, and it allows your elbows and shoulders to absorb more of the pressure. YMMV.

Also, IME, the thicker the pads on gloves, the more uncomfortable they are over longer distances. These days I buy gloves with the least amount of padding possible, preferably none at all.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:50 AM   #13
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This will eventually devolve into a drop-bar vs flat bar argument, before it gets to the insult stage, I will add a thumbs-up for drops. To me, flat bars are just something to hold brake levers until you get proper bars
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Old 03-28-14, 09:59 AM   #14
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Bar ends if you are running flat/riser bars will give some cushioning, as will gloves, lower tire pressure, steel/CF frame/fork, wider tires, better quality tires, loosening your grip, standing on the pedals, and avoiding bumps. Do all of the above, and your problem will go away.
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Old 03-28-14, 10:10 AM   #15
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Another for loosening your grip. It's counter-intuitive, but the rougher the surface, the looser the grip. And make sure to keep everything else that bends nice and loose: wrist, elbow, shoulders, waist.
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Old 03-28-14, 10:21 AM   #16
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I'm not sure how bar ends provide cushioning and I'm also not certain that a flat bar rider needs to wrap the whole bar with tape meant for drops. FWIW, I am also a drop bar convert. It has been costly migrating four bikes to drops, one of them a tandem. I'm even planning to put drops on one of my folders. I am only going to leave one tandem and one folder with flat-bars. There are only two ways to go with flat-bars: 1. a bar placement that is higher than your seat height - 2" minimum difference. 2. A bend like a Northroad bend that brings the grips to you and a bar placement that is higher than your seat height. You'll be comfortable and your hands won't hurt but you will not be in a very dynamic position for trips longer than a couple or few miles. For me and my kind of commuting (~7 - 10mi. rolling terrain) drops have proven to be the better choice.

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Old 03-28-14, 10:51 AM   #17
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Let some air out of your tires like the off-road boys. But no so much that you get snakebites.

Don't use the grip of death on your bars.

Adjust your riding position, so you're using your legs to absorb the shock, instead of leaning on the bars. Think of your legs as the pivot point between your bars and your seat. You want a more neutral pivot.

Stand on the pedals when hitting big bumps.

Buy higher volume tires

Buy a better fork
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Old 03-28-14, 11:25 AM   #18
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I would recommend bar ends for the flat bars...
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Old 03-28-14, 11:29 AM   #19
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well, actually bar ends can provide cushioning by allowing the rider to use the "corners" where the bar end meets the flat bar. this allows for more "bar" area for your hands thereby lessening the force against the palms.
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Old 03-28-14, 12:51 PM   #20
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well, actually bar ends can provide cushioning by allowing the rider to use the "corners" where the bar end meets the flat bar. this allows for more "bar" area for your hands thereby lessening the force against the palms.
In addition to spreading the pressure, bar ends such as Ergon and Cane Creek are made of a cushioning material that helps, along with all the other measures you can take.
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Old 03-28-14, 12:58 PM   #21
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Lower your tire pressure (use fatter tires if needed), and keep your arms flexed at the elbows instead of locking them straight, is excellent advice. You don't need a grip of death if the rest of your body can cushion itself.

I couldn't keep my arms flexed at the elbows, comfortably, until I raised my stem (even though I can touch my toes when standing up). If you scrunch uncomfortably far forward in order to keep your elbows relaxed, maybe you need a taller stem.
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Old 03-28-14, 01:26 PM   #22
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Bigger tires and/or lower pressures can help with the bumps. Coasting over them is fine if you can't go around them but keep both feet on the pedals and get off the saddle a little bit. Keep your arms and legs flexed and use them as shock absorbers.
+1 Tires, tires, tires. A few millimeters of gel in a glove or on your bars can't begin to compare to a couple of inches of air in your tires when it comes to absorbing bumps, and elbows and knees are even better.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:17 PM   #23
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I got the GP1 grips. I rode 5 miles with the gloves and grips. The second half of my ride has worse rodes 4.8 miles. I took the gloves off and riding felt better than with the gloves maybe it was the wind on my hands? The gloves a definitly going back to rei they feel like wasted money when I look at them. I used the 9 and 3 o'clock postion over pot holes and bumps and rode with a loose grip. My hands feel a lot better during and after the ride. Thank you all again, the advice was golden.

Other stuff
I have bmx style handlebars. I have seen other commuters with their drop handlebars and they seem to ride with no pain issues. I really can't afford drop handlebars+bar tape right now. I do think Drops look awesome.

My elbows are not locked when I ride.

My tires are 700x23c, when they wear out I am thinking of 700x28c.

My saddle is height adjusted so that I have only a small bend in knee at bottom of pedal stroke. I can barely touch the floor with tip of my toe.

Last edited by Browntabby; 03-28-14 at 09:19 PM. Reason: mispell
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Old 03-28-14, 11:01 PM   #24
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I got the GP1 grips. I rode 5 miles with the gloves and grips. The second half of my ride has worse rodes 4.8 miles. I took the gloves off and riding felt better than with the gloves maybe it was the wind on my hands? The gloves a definitly going back to rei they feel like wasted money when I look at them.
Are the gloves heavily padded? I have found that fatty bars, or bars with padding or large grips dont work with gloves. Im not a scientist, but I think all the padding forces you to ride with your hands open more---the added 'diameter' is uncomfortable. So in short, there can be an inversely negative effect for too much padding.
If your seat is high above your bars, that is not desirable either. More pressure on your palms, forearms, shoulders etc . . .
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Old 03-29-14, 12:41 AM   #25
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I'd bet dollars to doughnuts this is simply a setup and technique issue, and that OP doesn't need to buy anything additional.

i'd further bet that, following Tjspiel's thought regarding lever position, that the OP is loading up fully flexed wrists.

My suggestion to the OP is to get thee to a shop with a veteran wrench who knows how to setup a bike. How do you find this out? If after explaining your problem they start offering solutions without asking you to demonstrate your grip, go somewhere else.

The other option would be for the OP to fiddle with adjustments themselves; you could post some pics here so that you can increase rhe odds of getting good guidance, but you'll still get plenty more lousy advice, too, the upside of which is that, in the end, you'll be better equipped to understand what works and why.

Bonne chance!
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