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Danger of riding with hands on top of the bars...

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Danger of riding with hands on top of the bars...

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Old 06-03-13, 03:19 PM
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NOS88
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Danger of riding with hands on top of the bars...

I almost always ride with my hands on the hoods. Yesterday, I was cruising along with my hands on top of my drop bars and the thumbs hooked down underneath. A cat darted in front of me, and as I reached for the brakes, my left thumb was injured. I didn't clear the bar cleanly. Now I've got grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament tear in my thumb, and it's been put in a cast. Not sure how it will workout trying to ride this way. Anyone have this injury and any sense of how long for it to heal? MD says it could be "a few weeks".
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Old 06-03-13, 03:35 PM
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Don't know about the healing time.

Interrupter brake levers work well and install easily. I put them on my son's and daughter's bikes. I'd use them on my own bike if I ever rode on the tops, but I virtually never do that - nothing wrong with it. I'm just not in the habit.
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Old 06-03-13, 04:52 PM
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I did that playing basketball. I took 2+ weeks off from work & went on a bike camping trip so I wouldn't be tempted to play more ball. So it was a week to get the time off almost 3 weeks riding & another week of avoiding the courts. So 5 weeks later I was fine.
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Old 06-03-13, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Interrupter brake levers work well and install easily. I put them on my son's and daughter's bikes. I'd use them on my own bike if I ever rode on the tops, but I virtually never do that - nothing wrong with it. I'm just not in the habit.
I probably only ride on the tops around 20% of the time, but I sure wouldn't want to be without the interrupter brakes. Minimal cost -- a tiny bit of weight, less space for other things on the bar -- and a much lower cost than the potential costs of needing to brake suddenly while riding on the tops.

I especially love the option of being more upright going downhill when I want more wind resistance to slow me down so I use less brakes. I can do some braking while being upright and also be ready for an emergency where some stupid animal darts in front of me or something else unexpected happens.

Did I mention I love my interrupter brakes?
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Old 06-03-13, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
I almost always ride with my hands on the hoods. Yesterday, I was cruising along with my hands on top of my drop bars and the thumbs hooked down underneath. A cat darted in front of me, and as I reached for the brakes, my left thumb was injured. I didn't clear the bar cleanly. Now I've got grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament tear in my thumb, and it's been put in a cast. Not sure how it will workout trying to ride this way. Anyone have this injury and any sense of how long for it to heal? MD says it could be "a few weeks".
I feel like the guy who says, "See? See? If he'd had his seat belt buckled, he'd've died in the ______!"

Why do I say so? Because I couldn't help chuckling as I read this, and stole a loving glance at my bike, with it's SunTour stem shifters and Shimano "suicide-lever" brakes.

I can get you a good deal on 'em.
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Old 06-03-13, 06:07 PM
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I ride on the tops a lot on long slow climbs . . . which is because slow is the only way I go up long climbs. Not likely to see a cat up in the mountains around here; unless its a dangerous kind (Bobcat, Mountain Lion) but those are pretty rare. I see lots of lizards, but they dart around so much I don't even try to miss them. I ride the hoods on the flat bits and the drops when descending. It's all good. Rick / OCRR
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Old 06-03-13, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
I ride on the tops a lot on long slow climbs ... I ride the hoods on the flat bits and the drops when descending. It's all good. Rick / OCRR
Same here, Rick.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:12 PM
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Sorry to hear about your injury, NOS. Hope you heal up quickly.

When I ride with my hands on the tops of the bars I don't usually have my thumbs underneath--that's not comfortable for my hands. But mostly they're closer to the hoods or in the drops.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:17 PM
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Sorry to hear about the injury.
I would have run over the cat. Better than a bike injury any day.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
Now I've got grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament tear in my thumb, and it's been put in a cast.
At least you were smart enough to get to a doctor in time to save it.
I sprained my thumb badly years ago, and it was never the same.
Finally, I showed it to a hand surgeon.
I had totally severed the ligament, and had to have a reconstruction using a tendon from the opposite arm.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:36 PM
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Sorry to read about your injury. Never had that happen so I have no helpful information.

I ride with a Profile Aerobar and rest on the arm pads quite often. A little awkward but really helps the back at times.

Good luck for rapid healing.
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Old 06-03-13, 08:12 PM
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Anyone have this injury and any sense of how long for it to heal? MD says it could be "a few weeks".
since I know nothing about orthopedic medicine, and have never seen you..

I can of course say with authority 6 weeks , because I ride by the front door of a Holiday Inn on the way home.
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Old 06-03-13, 09:18 PM
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NOS
I had a thumb joint injury a couple years ago and it took nearly a year for it to 100% heal. It was 90% okay in a month to six weeks but moving it the wrong way gave me a little discomfort for a long time. Can't be sure it's the same exact injury of course so YMMV.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:12 PM
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I casually had my hands resting on the tops, hit a stone that was a perfectly blended with the road while distracted by car traffic next to me. Almost laid it down in the traffic lane, my hands came off the bars and I had to steer it back to my line with my forearms. Some close crap, I am a good deal more cautious about light-handing the bars now.

Note: I walked back to the stone, chucked it in the creek.
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Old 06-04-13, 05:35 AM
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I forgot to mention that I took a page from the king of electric guitar, Les Paul. When he had is arm broken to told the doctors to set it so he could still play guitar. They did. I asked them to shape my cast so that I could still use my fingers to squeeze the brake lever. Checked the fit this morning and it looks like it might just work. Maybe tomorrow I can test it out in an empty parking lot nearby.
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Old 06-04-13, 05:53 AM
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What a freakish injury for how it happened! Good luck with the recovery. I had a similar injury on my finger from getting kicked while playing basketball in college. All I know is like everything else at 50+ it just seems to take longer to get better. Maybe some riding with increased activity and HR could speed things along???? If you need some acupuncture points I'll be happy to ask my wife!
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Old 06-04-13, 11:47 AM
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sorry about the injury...but me and the cat thankyou.......
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Old 06-04-13, 02:45 PM
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Shows how necessary the opposable thumb is. I ride the way you describe quite often, never considered the possibility of the kind of injury you have. Now I'm concerned. Get well soon.
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Old 06-04-13, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
I would have run over the cat. Better than a bike injury any day.
Then you'd have a dead or injured animal plus a bike injury as you almost certainly would have dumped!
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Old 06-04-13, 04:54 PM
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Ouch!

It could have been much worse. You could have turned out to be the kind of guy who runs over the cat.

Best wishes for a smooth and full recovery.
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Old 06-04-13, 05:14 PM
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Here's a comment about interrupter (inline brakes): I decided they are not really necessary, since one can brake from the hoods. They are more work any time you change handlebars or decide to move the brake levers.

True, it may take you a moment to move over there (and might injure your thumb) in an emergency.

But here's the thing: Once you go to inline brakes, it will be hard/dangerous to wean yourself off them. That is, if you take them off, you might still reach for them in an emergency, and crash.

I removed the rear, then rode for six months with tape on the front brake, so I was sure that I didn't use it. Then I removed it.
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Old 06-04-13, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's a comment about interrupter (inline brakes): I decided they are not really necessary, since one can brake from the hoods. They are more work any time you change handlebars or decide to move the brake levers.

True, it may take you a moment to move over there (and might injure your thumb) in an emergency.

But here's the thing: Once you go to inline brakes, it will be hard/dangerous to wean yourself off them. That is, if you take them off, you might still reach for them in an emergency, and crash.

I removed the rear, then rode for six months with tape on the front brake, so I was sure that I didn't use it. Then I removed it.
I've had them for 12 years. Why would I take them off? I love them. They suit my style of riding to a "T".
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Old 06-05-13, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's a comment about interrupter (inline brakes): I decided they are not really necessary, since one can brake from the hoods. They are more work any time you change handlebars or decide to move the brake levers.

True, it may take you a moment to move over there (and might injure your thumb) in an emergency.

But here's the thing: Once you go to inline brakes, it will be hard/dangerous to wean yourself off them. That is, if you take them off, you might still reach for them in an emergency, and crash.

I removed the rear, then rode for six months with tape on the front brake, so I was sure that I didn't use it. Then I removed it.
My commuter bike is a fixie with brakes only on the tops. It came that way and it's convenient, so I left it that way. Of course, my road bike has brakes in the usual location. I admit that whenever I switch bikes I do have to pay a little more attention, but no accidents so far. And then, when I've been on the road bike for a while and switch to the fixie, I do sometimes forget that I have to keep pedaling
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