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Weight on hands

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Old 03-06-18, 08:50 PM
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Lenkearney
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Weight on hands

I am 5'8" and 210 lbs, I have had a professional bike fit. I struggle with too much pressure on my hands - I spoke to the mechanic - his only suggestions was I do more core exercises. I exercise regularly and am a little top heavy.

I asked about moving my seat back and he just suggested situps.

when i am moving at about 16 MPH and 80 RPM - if I take my hands off the handlebars i immediately am falling forward. the only way for me to hold off for a few seconds is to curve my back and crunch - and that only delays falling forward for a few seconds.

If i understand correctly- i should be moving the seat back until i can balance on the seat, while stroking, and should not need to put excessive weight on my hands- correct?

thanks for any suggestions...Len
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Old 03-06-18, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenkearney View Post
I am 5'8" and 210 lbs, I have had a professional bike fit. I struggle with too much pressure on my hands - I spoke to the mechanic - his only suggestions was I do more core exercises. I exercise regularly and am a little top heavy.

I asked about moving my seat back and he just suggested situps.

when i am moving at about 16 MPH and 80 RPM - if I take my hands off the handlebars i immediately am falling forward. the only way for me to hold off for a few seconds is to curve my back and crunch - and that only delays falling forward for a few seconds.

If i understand correctly- i should be moving the seat back until i can balance on the seat, while stroking, and should not need to put excessive weight on my hands- correct?

thanks for any suggestions...Len
You are correct and the mechanic is an idiot. Or maybe he's a good mechanic but not a bike fitter. But situps don't do anything.
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Old 03-06-18, 10:35 PM
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The "core" will get stronger with more time on the bike.

However, I think you're right, setting the seat back a little may help relieve some of the hand pressure. It is usually an easy adjustment with a set of Allen wrenches. Each seatpost is a little different, but essentially figure out how to unclamp the rails, and push the seat back, then retighten.

I believe that moving the seat forward requires a higher post, and back a lower post, so you may also have to adjust the seat post a touch.

If you're new with the adjustments, then it wouldn't hurt to take some photos and careful measurements of your current configuration so that you can always go back to where it was if you wish.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:47 AM
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^That's a good point about the adjustment. There are 2 kinds of seatposts. You want a setback seatpost (google if you don't know what that is).
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Old 03-07-18, 10:51 AM
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It definitely takes time and you can help it along. When you are riding, become conscious of your posture. Suck in your stomach and hold it tight and force your body to rely on your trunk to hold it up; don't let your arms do the work. Hold as long as you can, then relax, then repeat over and over for longer times. If your abs are tight and your hands are relaxed you will know you are in the proper position even if it's only for a couple minutes. Practice and it will improve dramatically. If you move your seat back (and down on the post as needed to match height), just do it as little as you can to help with the above exercises. And mark where you "should" be for future reference to move back towards.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:56 AM
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yea, Move saddle Back, Ideally, it's level.. and the bars higher? set back seat post.. https://paulcomp.com/shop/components/tall-and-handsome/

( note: that's only in 27.2 )

maybe shorter reach stem ..

You don't say What kind of bike ? road, hybrid, MTB?







...

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Old 03-09-18, 11:26 AM
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The nice thing is you can always try it out and see if it works for YOU. Bike fit methods are just a compilation of rules that generally work for the average person.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:48 AM
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I learned many years ago the fastest and easiest position for this long, thin, non-aero body was one where my back was low and straight and I didn't have too tight an angle between my thighs and torso. In other words, seat relatively far forward, seat nose a little down from level. Nice healthy reach forward and down. And plenty of weight on my hands.

The key to making this work? Focusing on have very comfortable hand positions. Handlebar and brake lever both shape and orientation. The gloves I wear. Building up calluses in key parts of my hands, esp on my palm, dead center width-wise and 1/2" from my wrist. (Late summer, this will be horse saddle thick - well almost )

I find relatively deep, conventional bend handlebar drops give me that nice place to put real weight for long periods of time and I make it a point to set all my bikes up first to get the drops right, then adjust the levers to dial them in (Using cloth tape I can unwrap and re-wrap as many times as I need until I know I have everything dialed in. Rides carrying the wrenches and stopping as needed to tweak.)

Then I ride. And as I ride, my conditioning comes up, the core strength comes up and everything gets better. But the good thing about this approach is that the bike still works when I have take a couple of months off and have lost all that.

Edit: another plus for me that I have been doing in recent years is a specific set of shoulder exercises that take a couple of minutes. I do them for the health of my abused shoulders, each of which has seen two collarbone breaks and a real soft tissue wrecking crash. (I basically have no connecting tissue holding my left arm in; it's all done my the muscles.)

My routine is bench presses on an inclined bench, curls, rows (lifting the barbell from thighs to Adams apple, lifting dumbbells with straight arms out front from level to vertical then the same with my arms to the sides and a repeat of the bench presses with the bench level. I go from 10 reps and slowly build to 20 over a few weeks, then add a little weight and start over at 10 reps. I also do "door pull-ups", lifting myself using a strap from the door to to a handle and pulling myself up until I have the handle close to my chest. Length of strap dictates intensity. I do my best to squeeze my shoulder blades together as I do the lifts. PT for my posture as well as offsetting the front emphasis of my lifting.

This routine has helped my riding a lot! Just sitting on the bike is easier. (And a radical help on the fix gear which most of you know is my true love.)

Ben

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Old 03-10-18, 03:30 PM
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Sounds like from the way that you describe it that when you ride no handed that your weight pitches forward, sound like your seat is tilted down. A downward tilted seat is a hand killer as is angling your weight onto your hands. Flatten that puppy. (seat)
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Old 03-13-18, 01:45 PM
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I tinkered with my fit allot
Seat all the way fwd & back as I ride.
Bar, up / down & angles
Moved Cleats / shifters/ brakes,
Weíre all a tad different geometry
With different riding styles.

Takes time
& a small adjustments
can make a big difference.

I donít adj much till after 15-20 miles.
Unless I feel way off.

If you were fitted, you are probably close,
Now Experiment
youíll find what works for
your bike & style.
AND
Itís dynanic
as you ride more & as you age
You may need a tweak here & there

Rode a friendís bike the other day a few miles ......
Wow was I happy to get back on mine
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Old 03-14-18, 12:47 PM
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I had the same thing.

In the end I swapped out by 100mm stem for a 120mm stem and this has really helped the issue.

The shorter stem meant my heavier, than my arms, torso was further forwards relative to my arms, which put more weight on my hands. The longer stem means my torso is further back relative to my arms therefore taking some of the weight off...

Moving the seat back should have the same effect as it will increase your reach, but don't compromise your riding position relative to the pedals as that can affect your legs, give you cramps etc...
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Old 03-15-18, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ccinnz View Post
I had the same thing.

In the end I swapped out by 100mm stem for a 120mm stem and this has really helped the issue.

The shorter stem meant my heavier, than my arms, torso was further forwards relative to my arms, which put more weight on my hands. The longer stem means my torso is further back relative to my arms therefore taking some of the weight off...

Moving the seat back should have the same effect as it will increase your reach, but don't compromise your riding position relative to the pedals as that can affect your legs, give you cramps etc...
What's going on there is leverage about the hip joint = force*distance. Increasing distance decreases force if one is holding leverage constant. I.e. longer reach puts less apparent weight on your hands, exactly the opposite of what people commonly expect.

Moving your saddle fore and aft does change the range of motion for muscles in the legs and hips somewhat, but one quickly gets used to that. One can be comfortable in the legs though quite a large range in saddle fore-and-aft position. However effective torso positioning is in quite a narrow range. I.e. don't worry about your legs other than saddle height. Deal with your torso issues through both saddle and hand positioning.
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Old 04-10-18, 09:05 AM
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I don't really see how improved core strength would help reducing weight on hands, but I have some personal experience from some sort of connection between core strength and reduced hand problems. When I was a newbie on the bike I had problem with pressure on my hands. I stopped riding, but after a few seasons of kayaking and other sports strengthening my core I got back to cycling again, the same fit, still newbie but with much less problems with my hands. Was this due to better core strength? Maybe. I don't know.

What I do know has an effect though is that if you put out more power the core stiffens up to keep the body stable and weight on the hands are reduced as a side effect, so a general increased fitness can make you more comfortable on the bike. You can try this on the bike, ride along and feel how much pressure you have on your hands, then shift to a harder gear and start putting out significantly more power, you will notice how the weight on your hands is reduced.

Fit-wise I recommend to experiment, as sometimes what seems counter-productive has a positive effect, like lengthening the stem instead of shortening it, or lowering the handlebar instead of raising it. As you suggest moving the seat backwards is one of the first things to try though.

It's personal how much pressure we can deal with, so when someone makes a bike fit for you they can't know for sure if they put too much pressure on your hands or not. It's not just about the static pressure in a bike fit rig, but how long we ride, how hard, our style of riding etc. Bike fits always needs some longer term evaluation of the rider, so don't be afraid to adjust on your own.
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Old 04-10-18, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenkearney View Post
I am 5'8" and 210 lbs, I have had a professional bike fit. I struggle with too much pressure on my hands - I spoke to the mechanic - his only suggestions was I do more core exercises. I exercise regularly and am a little top heavy.
Then you have a professional fit, it's just not a good one. Too much hand pressure could be saddle tilted forward, saddle too far back, bars too high, bars rotated too far back (if they are drop bars,) among other things. If the shop tells you the fit is your problem, either go to another fitter, or take matters into your own hands. I've never had a professional fit, and gotten to where I am through pure trial and error. It's not that difficult. Just takes time.
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Old 04-11-18, 04:39 PM
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To be clear, reducing weight on hands requires that the saddle move back, not forward.
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Old 04-19-18, 02:45 PM
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Core strength enables you to keep weight on your spine and pedals instead of hands and saddle. Sometimes you can reduce hand pressure by lowering the handlebar because that forces your core to carry the weight of your upper body. A big gut can be an obstacle to going lower though. You can experiment moving your saddle backwards to see what effect it has. Moving the saddle back might create a more relaxed posture at the expense of reduced power which you might notice on long steep climbs.

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Old 04-23-18, 07:02 PM
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[/QUOTE]
Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Sounds like from the way that you describe it that when you ride no handed that your weight pitches forward,
correct

Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
sound like your seat is tilted down. A downward tilted seat is a hand killer as is angling your weight onto your hands. Flatten that puppy. (seat)
agree- at one point i tried a slight upward tilt, that did NOT work well! now set at level


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Old 04-23-18, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ccinnz View Post
In the end I swapped out by 100mm stem for a 120mm stem and this has really helped the issue.

The shorter stem meant my heavier, than my arms, torso was further forwards relative to my arms, which put more weight on my hands. The longer stem means my torso is further back relative to my arms therefore taking some of the weight off...
What?? moving the handlebars away from you reduced the pressure on your hands? I cant get my head around that...
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Old 04-24-18, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenkearney View Post
What?? moving the handlebars away from you reduced the pressure on your hands? I cant get my head around that...
Simple. What one experiences in the typical road position is a torque about one's sit bones, created by one's upper body. This torque is resisted by counter-torques provided by the feet and hands. A torque is force X distance from the center about which it acts. So increasing the distance between your butt and hands and keeping the torque the same reduces the force necessary to create said torque. It's all true. A more stretched position reduces weight on the hands. And not only weight, but it also reduces shock forces on one's hands because the forearms are more nearly at right angles to the direction of said shock forces. Plus then the shock forces don't travel up the arms to the shoulders so much. It's more comfortable, but it does take some getting used to.

In the same manner, moving the saddle back increases the distance between butt and pedals and thus increases the counter-torque provided by the pedals.
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Old 06-15-18, 11:44 AM
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My hands don't feel heavy on the handlebars, but the base of my palms gets sore after every ride on my Neko 3 hybrid despite 1) lightly padded Casselli gloves, 2) handlebar riser, 3) changed to swept back bars to open shoulder joints, 4) Ergo cork grips. I went into the bike store to see what else I should try. They insisted on a $275 fitting scheduled weeks out. After reading this thread, I'll try adjusting the seat position back.
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Old 06-15-18, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Simple. What one experiences in the typical road position is a torque about one's sit bones, created by one's upper body. This torque is resisted by counter-torques provided by the feet and hands. A torque is force X distance from the center about which it acts. So increasing the distance between your butt and hands and keeping the torque the same reduces the force necessary to create said torque. It's all true. A more stretched position reduces weight on the hands. And not only weight, but it also reduces shock forces on one's hands because the forearms are more nearly at right angles to the direction of said shock forces. Plus then the shock forces don't travel up the arms to the shoulders so much. It's more comfortable, but it does take some getting used to.

In the same manner, moving the saddle back increases the distance between butt and pedals and thus increases the counter-torque provided by the pedals.
The key though here is that this requires sufficient core to keep the torso at the same angle. For people especially top heavy with weak cores increasing reach almost always corresponds with a lower back position and more weight shifted to the hands because all the supporting is done by the hands. If you watch the average rider their arms are locked out and their shoulders are tense whereas more experienced riders have bent arms and relaxed shoulders
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
In the same manner, moving the saddle back increases the distance between butt and pedals and thus increases the counter-torque provided by the pedals.
This IMO is the better way to address the issue, along with saddle tilt. Then adjust the stem length to accommodate a normal torso position that is comfortable.
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Old 06-15-18, 03:21 PM
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This is what I'm talking about being overreached BTW
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Old 06-15-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
This is what I'm talking about being overreached BTW
https://www.instagram.com/p/BjwNybeB6aS/
Not over-reached. Note that upper arms make the appropriate right angle with torso before the adjustment. The right angle is important to reduce shoulder stress. The problems in the photo are that the saddle is too far forward and the back is rounded, Reach before adjustment is correct. Bars of course would have to move aft the same amount as the saddle is moved. Especially considering the weight of this torso, the saddle should probably move aft a good bit. Shortening reach and ruining torso and arm angles is not how we reduce weight on the hands.

Besides that right angle, another good check for appropriate reach is that with forearms horizontal, elbows should be in front of knees. Weight on hands should be reduced by saddle position until the hands can be lifted from the bars without sliding forward on the saddle. Hands should be light on the bars. Then bye-bye shoulder, arm, and hand pain.

Note how little the rider's back angle is changed by this shortening of reach. Therefore clockwise torque in the video has not been reduced and my statics analysis of torque around the saddle is correct

Also, it's not the back muscles that should support the torso. It's the lats. Simple test: stand ~3' away from a table. Put your hands on the table with elbows well bent, no pressure. Your back is supporting your torso. Now push down with your hands while relaxing and straitening your back. Your lats are now under tension and you are now in the correct cycling position. Riders get sore backs, not from supporting their torsos, but from the tension in the whole posterior chain. The harder you hammer, the sorer the back. Now one could argue that the torque around the saddle provided by hammering has reduced the weight on the hands and allowed the torso to be supported by the back, not the hands. That's the same thing I just said, but looking at it another way.. It's the same thing. Really, if you're going very hard, you should have to pull up on the bars.
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Old 06-15-18, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fourwinds View Post
My hands don't feel heavy on the handlebars, but the base of my palms gets sore after every ride on my Neko 3 hybrid despite 1) lightly padded Casselli gloves, 2) handlebar riser, 3) changed to swept back bars to open shoulder joints, 4) Ergo cork grips. I went into the bike store to see what else I should try. They insisted on a $275 fitting scheduled weeks out. After reading this thread, I'll try adjusting the seat position back.
So did that work for you?
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Old 06-16-18, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by torger View Post
What I do know has an effect though is that if you put out more power the core stiffens up to keep the body stable and weight on the hands are reduced as a side effect, so a general increased fitness can make you more comfortable on the bike. You can try this on the bike, ride along and feel how much pressure you have on your hands, then shift to a harder gear and start putting out significantly more power, you will notice how the weight on your hands is reduced.
.
I did try this - i was doing about 40-50 RPM and it did reduce the weight on my hands, but was burning up my legs.. - but there is no way I would last more than ten minutes if i had to ride like that. thanks for the suggestions...
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