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How can I ride 'no hands'?

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How can I ride 'no hands'?

Old 08-04-18, 06:47 PM
  #51  
Ronsonic 
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Run along pushing your bike next to you, give it a shove. It will roll in a straight line. Bikes do that. Don't mess it up when you ride no handed. Let / help the bike do it's thing.

Geometry does make a difference. Twitchy bikes are twitchy.

Alignment problems can be a factor.

Another is the headset. It needs to be smooth and well adjusted.
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Old 08-04-18, 07:11 PM
  #52  
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tire bulges, knots & any noticeable abnormalities within the wheel will make it difficult to track straight. Handlebar bags & other gear that is not positioned right with an offset of weight will also throw more problems to overcome. A tightly routed bar cable can influence it as well.
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Old 08-04-18, 07:17 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Metacortex
Talk about no-hands, some Incredible bike handling skills here:
Watch some Vittorio Brumotti video.
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Old 08-04-18, 07:38 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyCyclist
No matter how many times I've tried, my 'no hands' attempts have failed. Is it that I prefer a 'stretched out' position, making it difficult to balance given my long long top tube and long stem - plus my preference for a large saddle-to-bar drop? Or is it simply a fear to be overcome? Any pointers appreciated.
Honestly, the more relaxed you are, the easier it is. I just sit up, look far ahead, and keep a comfortable cadence. Don't stare at your handlebars or you'll probably do a lot of over-correcting.
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Old 08-04-18, 09:41 PM
  #55  
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Some bikes seem a lot easier than others. I donít have the mental energy to figure out the trail / rake / head angle geometry behind it, but I have found steeper head angled bikes like my road bike and mid-90s rigid mtb to be a lot easier to ride no-handed than a slack angled mtb.
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Old 08-04-18, 09:51 PM
  #56  
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One thing to note: If the bike is consistently pulling to one side when you let go of the bar, then you might have a frame alignment issue. On one of my bikes, riding no-hands required bending the fork until it was correctly aligned, not for the faint of heart.

I suggest doing it progressively: First learn to relax your grip so you are only holding the bar lightly. Next, ride with one hand. Then with one finger. And so forth.

I like being able to sit up and stretch my back and neck on a long ride, and just catch some breeze and cool off a bit. It's not vital, but adds to the enjoyment.
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Old 08-05-18, 09:43 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C
One thing to note: If the bike is consistently pulling to one side when you let go of the bar, then you might have a frame alignment issue. On one of my bikes, riding no-hands required bending the fork until it was correctly aligned, not for the faint of heart.

I suggest doing it progressively: First learn to relax your grip so you are only holding the bar lightly. Next, ride with one hand. Then with one finger. And so forth.

I like being able to sit up and stretch my back and neck on a long ride, and just catch some breeze and cool off a bit. It's not vital, but adds to the enjoyment.
OMG omg, went for a ride this morning after reading this no hands post. Tried a couple of times a few months ago, this morning I took the above advice First a couple seconds, then five or more. A quarter mile from home it happened went approximately a hundred yards. You all don't know how excited I was..... Haven't done that since I was 12 years old ..... Look ma no hands....... Awesome thanks everyone
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Old 08-05-18, 11:03 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by 308jerry
OMG omg, went for a ride this morning after reading this no hands post. Tried a couple of times a few months ago, this morning I took the above advice First a couple seconds, then five or more. A quarter mile from home it happened went approximately a hundred yards. You all don't know how excited I was..... Haven't done that since I was 12 years old ..... Look ma no hands....... Awesome thanks everyone
Very cool. Now of course it goes without saying that you still have to safely control your bike.
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Old 08-05-18, 11:13 AM
  #59  
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I think it was mentioned but the biggest impedement is your headset being to tight or sticky. Even a crooked bar, stem, frame can be easily subconsciously compensated for, it is very hard to overcome a sticky and tight headset. Even without attempting to ride no hands, I'd still research and verify proper headset setup as routine maintenance. In the opposite context, I can tell if my headset is too lose or tight based on my no hands riding experience.

Last edited by u235; 08-05-18 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 08-05-18, 11:22 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
It sometimes helps to first sit a little back on the saddle for some reason, sit straight up and concentrate on steering with just your hips. It's all 100% countersteering, moving the hips opposite the way you want the handlebars to turn to keep upright. If the saddle is too high that makes it difficult.

For the dissenters, "no hands" is necessary for when you need to take a jacket off, or put one on. It can be useful for a quick rest also. Or if you need both hands to adjust your headphones. Unwrap a cheeseburger. Unzip the pocket to answer the phone ... lots of reasons I think ...
What?!? Did you learn nothing from John Candy in 'Planes, Trains And Automobiles'?
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Old 08-05-18, 11:22 AM
  #61  
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practicing and a prefect road!
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Old 08-05-18, 11:50 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Troul
Pot holes will throw a wrench in the effort of no hands. Here its almost not possible for more than 5 bike lengths but thats contingent on the conditions
I read this and thought to myself, "Sheesh, what an exaggeration "

Then I looked at where you're from. I grew up in Michigan and still visit regularly. Nodded to myself somberly and said "yeah, that's about right."

Craziest damn thing, how the roads get noticeably worse when you cross over from Ohio. Never understood why the nation's car capital has the worst roads. Always wondered if it's a conspiracy to make people need new cars more quickly
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Old 08-05-18, 02:40 PM
  #63  
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When my son was about 6 we were out for a family ride to a local park. We were on a quiet, non-potholed street and I challenged my son to a no-handed riding contest. My wife, concerned for our first-born's safety (but tellingly, not mine) yelled at him to put his hands back on the handlebars. "What are you encouraging him to do that for?!?"

My dear, if he doesn't learn how to ride no-handed, how's he going to be able to stuff a copy of La Gazzetta down his jersey after coming over the top of the Gavia?

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Old 08-05-18, 03:34 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
I do it all the time. I sit up and stretch out a bit on longer rides.
It's not safe in some situations, but perfectly fine in others.

Back in the day of shoelaces, I was in a race and my shoe came untied.
Rather than stop, I coasted no hands with my foot on the top tube and retied my shoe.

Comes in handy sometimes.
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Old 08-05-18, 04:03 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
sometimes it feels good to just rest your hands and wrists for a little bit.
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Old 08-05-18, 04:49 PM
  #66  
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Riding no hands is crucial for posting and texting.... (putting my phone back in my jersey now)
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Old 08-05-18, 06:45 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
Riding no hands is crucial for posting and texting.... (putting my phone back in my jersey now)
Now if you post half of a response we'll know exactly what.... Ouch!
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Old 08-05-18, 08:41 PM
  #68  
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It depends on the steering of your bike. Mostly I think it has to do with wheel flop. It’s not a matter of headset angle or trail alone (although these combine together to produce flop).

Flop is the tendency for the wheel to turn because of gravity. It makes it easier to steer by shifting your weight, but makes the bike less stable. On my Bianchi with low wheel flop I can easily ride no hands, pedal, and even corner. I can even shake my hips back and forth it’s so stable. On my Schwinn with massive wheel flop, I have to concentrate to ride no hands just going straight.

Unless you have a really nice bike, or are exceptionally athletic, you probably cannot sit up slowly. Too much weight is on your front wheel and it wants to turn. You have to push yourself off the bars (carefully) and sit straight up. The further back your weight is, the easier it is. Sit on the back of your saddle or lean your shoulders back a bit.
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Old 08-05-18, 09:22 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
Some bikes seem a lot easier than others. I donít have the mental energy to figure out the trail / rake / head angle geometry behind it, but I have found steeper head angled bikes like my road bike and mid-90s rigid mtb to be a lot easier to ride no-handed than a slack angled mtb.
Seems that way to me too. Makes sense when you think through how the steering works.
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Old 08-05-18, 10:10 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyCyclist
No matter how many times I've tried, my 'no hands' attempts have failed. Is it that I prefer a 'stretched out' position, making it difficult to balance given my long long top tube and long stem - plus my preference for a large saddle-to-bar drop? Or is it simply a fear to be overcome? Any pointers appreciated.
Do me a favor, when you master this, try to not be as obnoxious as these guys...


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Old 08-06-18, 01:57 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by GailT
The rake actually reduces trail compared to a straight fork, but there are probably other differences in the frame geometry that give it more tail even with the raked fork. The Dave Moulton blog post that I linked to above explains this in more detail.
It's got to be the difference in geometry between the two bikes. The mountain bike is easy to ride no-handed, but my skinny tire hybrid is very difficult for some reason.
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Old 08-06-18, 01:59 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
It's got to be the difference in geometry between the two bikes. The mountain bike is easy to ride no-handed, but my skinny tire hybrid is very difficult for some reason.
Trail... HOW DOES IT WORK?!
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Old 08-06-18, 02:00 PM
  #73  
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Well obviously my hybrid has less trail.
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Old 08-06-18, 02:07 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by caloso
My dear, if he doesn't learn how to ride no-handed, how's he going to be able to stuff a copy of La Gazzetta down his jersey after coming over the top of the Gavia?

La Gazzetta? Where is the pink newsprint?
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Old 08-06-18, 02:21 PM
  #75  
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One of the first things I learned to do as a kid was ride "no hands." Hey Mom, check me out! These days I do it maybe once or twice per year.

Riding no-hands is a great way to see if your saddle is too high; the rocking hips from a too-high saddle will cause the front end to sweep back and forth.


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