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How do YOU hold it?

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View Poll Results: How Do YOU Hold It?
Da Topz
3
5.08%
Da Curvez
13
22.03%
Da Hoodz
27
45.76%
Da Dropz
7
11.86%
Sumting Else?
9
15.25%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

How do YOU hold it?

Old 06-10-18, 03:21 PM
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How do YOU hold it?

I've always wondered about where I should be holding my handlebars. On modern bikes, the reach is usually determined from the hoods, since that's where you can easily shift from and the bars themselves are designed to accommodate this. On vintage bikes, however, it seems to be common to move around the bars. Should I be looking at reach from the curves of the bars or the hoods? Also, where do you personally hold the bars the most? "I move around" is not an answer, surely everyone has their preference.
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Old 06-10-18, 03:25 PM
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I hold it on the drops and the hoods,.....but strangely, one cannot vote for both on this survey.....
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Old 06-10-18, 03:26 PM
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I recall Eugene Sloan's book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" and how it showed a variety of ways to grip the bars. i.e. on the top of the bar, at the bends, just aft of the hoods, at the hoods, and on the drops. All of these positions should be used, especially if you are on the bike for a long time. The alternative, to just stick in one position, was likely to lead to numb or sore hands.

I do tend to ride on the hoods or just aft of the hoods, but I also move around the bars.


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Old 06-10-18, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious
On vintage bikes, however, it seems to be common to move around the bars.
True. Sorry but there really isn't one neutral position that you should adjust to. "I move around" actually is the answer.

I can't really tell you what's standard, but I started riding in the vintage era and my hand positions were pretty much typical, so I can tell you what worked for me:

For the long easy rides: I'd be on the corners much of the time. Occasionally on the hoods, occasionally on the tops. Sometimes in between the corners and the hoods, using the pinch. (look at some old race pics)

For fast rides and paceline riding: about evenly split between the hoods and the drops.

Climbing: out of the saddle - usually on the hoods. in the saddle - often on the tops or sometimes the hoods.

Descending: drops/hooks only, but on the tops in full egg tuck for long straightish sections.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 06-10-18 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 06-10-18, 03:35 PM
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So where should I be measuring reach from? My most common position?
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Old 06-10-18, 03:44 PM
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The old school method of determining reach was as follows:

Bend your arm about 90º and place your elbow against the nose of your saddle. With your hand and fingers straight, your finger tips should just barely graze the back of the handlebars near the stem.

Get your saddle position right before doing this, obviously.

So I guess you could say that the flat tops of the bars were used to gauge position.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 06-10-18 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-10-18, 04:09 PM
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I currently have my brakes and shifters set up to operate without taking my hands off the drops, as that's where I spend most of my time. I only get on the tops and sides when just taking it easy or to get upright to catch some air.
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Old 06-10-18, 04:34 PM
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Most of the time I'm on the hoods and flats, sometimes the tops and drops when I need to get low. I also use a hand position on the tops where I hook my thumb and pinky under the bar and three middle fingers over. I don't see too many folks using that. I have large bony hands and it gives my palms a break.
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Old 06-10-18, 04:38 PM
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I used to spend most of my time on the tops.... as my daily rider was a tad large and riding the tops.... shortened my reach. Changing the stem (shorter) alleviated that. But the bars were still a tad wide.

I now use the hoods mostly... but move around and change position for comfort as well. But as long as I remember to bend at the elbows I can ride the hoods all day long (and have). I rarely drop into the drops... mostly only in high wind.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:18 PM
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Yes,

One of the things I love about good drop bars is the variety of hand positions and for me I like to change around as it makes it less likely for my hands to get numb or shoulders to tighten up etc.. On some bikes I am more of a tops guy and other more of a hoods guy as the default but I try to remember to switch it up
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Old 06-10-18, 07:15 PM
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I usually ride on the corners- but I move around.
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Old 06-10-18, 07:22 PM
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Another vote for "move around" -- that is the whole idea of drops. The only time I am all the way up on top is on an in-saddle climb. Otherwise, mostly on the hoods or deep inside the curve, where I can grab the brakes securely and quickly (in either of these positions).
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Old 06-10-18, 07:35 PM
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Two or three fingers below, thumb on top...shake well when done.
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Old 06-10-18, 08:04 PM
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For me it depends on the bike, mostly head tube length and shape of h'bars. On the larger Austro Daimler with tall head tube + narrow bars, the drops are soooo nice. On a smaller frame with shorter proportions the hoods may be most comfy, so less drop to the drops on the h'bars is good.

A significant point is that comfort comes from relaxing and that can be a learned sensation as well. So learn to relax and loosen the grip/weight on the bars when terrain&conditions permit.

The correct answer, as previously stated is = move those hands around a lot.
Same should be said of saddles and more than one position.
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Old 06-10-18, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious
"I move around" is not an answer
Yes it is. The whole point of drop bars is that they offer various positions for various circumstances.

As far as how to measure reach, there really isn't an easily-portable answer if you're wondering about particular contact points. Different bars have different geometries, different brake levers have different geometries, etc. If you want to know how far you're reaching in a particular posture... measure the distance and angles on your setup.

On-the-whatever position isn't even a very useful statement. If my hands are in the drops, I might be relatively reclined with my arms outstretched, cruising along easily. Or I've got my hands a bit more up into the hooks and my forearms level and I'm quite aero and probably really hammering hard. Or perhaps I'm on the rivet and my upper arms and torso are all slammed together, as I try to form a low enough profile to blow someone off my wheel in a 30+mph sprint.

How much time I spend in any particular kind of hand position depends on the bike and the ride.
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Old 06-11-18, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
. The correct answer, as previously stated is = move those hands around a lot.
Same should be said of saddles and more than one position.
+1 At "my advanced state of decay" moving my hands around is imperative to avoid discomfort and numbing. I even ride at times in an Apolo Ohno speed skating position - one hand behind my back. Rests that hand and practices balancing one handed so I can shift, scratch my ear, fiddle with my computer, pull my water bottle, signal a turn, etc nicely while holding the line.

As to "reach" I set my own standard, one that is all day comfortable then use that for each bike. I use the distance from where my sit bones contact the back of the saddle to a line just behind the hoods. I have that marked off on a wooden measuring stick (a 'story stick'). I rest another thin stick across the bars, just behind the hoods to check how a bike compares to my reach standard. As I have several frame sizes I select stems that deliver the reach I want. All my bikes have very similar contact point dimensions and all are all day comfortable.

Then I move my hands around a lot, use all 6 drop bar positions.
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Old 06-11-18, 05:23 AM
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Is there an English translation for this poll?
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Old 06-11-18, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious
... "I move around" is not an answer, surely everyone has their preference.
​​​​​​That's both why I didn't take your poll, and why I don't use integrated shifters. The only way for me to avoid sore hands is to move my hands around, pretty much constantly. This is good practice on every ride and absolutely essential on long rides.

What's a long ride? I was on the bike ten hours last Saturday, and that was a short ride compared with the week before
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Old 06-11-18, 06:36 AM
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Old 06-11-18, 07:09 AM
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Hoods , then drops, flats when just cruising. Others as needed (descending, aero.. ) I adjust to the hoods, get bars with drop depth for your fit.
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Old 06-11-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious
So where should I be measuring reach from? My most common position?
Reach, stack, etc. from Howard Zinn.
As a teenager, it was elbow at the nose of the saddle and finger tips grazed the back of the bars. We slid our saddle for or aft to adjust. After all, the stem that came on the bike couldn't be adjusted . Theses days, my saddle is in the middle of the rails with a slight adjustment for seat tube angle but I've never been able to measure/calculate that angle accurately. Then there is maybe 4cm between the bars and my finger tips on all my bikes and the tops obscure the front hub from the hoods or the drops.

I hold on to the grips if there are grips. If there are no grips I am moving around trying to determine if there were grips, where would they be?
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Old 06-11-18, 10:22 AM
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How duz I holdz it?

Usually between the legs: I grab onto the downtube (which keeps my hands by the, um... shifters), & steer with my chin, using my shoulders for braking control. It's not for everyone, but- hey: excitement!

-
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Old 06-11-18, 11:08 AM
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Nice.
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Old 06-11-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime


Reach, stack, etc. from Howard Zinn.
As a teenager, it was elbow at the nose of the saddle and finger tips grazed the back of the bars. We slid our saddle for or aft to adjust. After all, the stem that came on the bike couldn't be adjusted . Theses days, my saddle is in the middle of the rails with a slight adjustment for seat tube angle but I've never been able to measure/calculate that angle accurately. Then there is maybe 4cm between the bars and my finger tips on all my bikes and the tops obscure the front hub from the hoods or the drops.

I've seen pictures of this modern method of measuring 'reach' and it find it somewhat nonsensical. Why use the rear of the tire for a reference? It's kind of irrelevant, and dependant on chainstay length, which has nothing to do with bike fit. I guess it may help people to measure more accurately?? (IME most people are really bad at measuring)

Yeah, the elbow to fingertips method was only a rule of thumb to get you started. I usually had my bars an additional cm or two when I was a teen. Pretty common for racers to push this a bit BITD. Now my bars are spot on at my fingertips. Going fast all the time is no longer a priority.

Forgot to mention the other vintage reach method, but you did. The handlebars should block your sight of the front axle.

With vintage sizing methods, ideally you set your saddle fore and aft position with the plumb line from the base of the kneecap through the pedal spindle method first. When that was set, then you had to purchase, trade, or otherwise acquired a stem in the right length. Or make do till you could.
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Old 06-11-18, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
I've seen pictures of this modern method of measuring 'reach' and it find it somewhat nonsensical. Why use the rear of the tire for a reference? It's kind of irrelevant, and dependant on chainstay length, which has nothing to do with bike fit. I guess it may help people to measure more accurately?? (IME most people are really bad at measuring).
The wall and floor are used as a simple apparatus to facilitate precise measurement. It's hard to get spot-on values if you're just holding a tape measure to empty space.

The rear wheel gets cancelled in the subtraction, it's not being used as part of the fit measurement.
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