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How can I ride 'no hands'?

Old 08-03-18, 02:54 PM
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JohnnyCyclist
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How can I ride 'no hands'?

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.
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Old 08-03-18, 03:03 PM
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No idea. I have no memory of not being able to ride with no hands. I can pull off a wind vest or arm warmers and stick them in my jersey pocket while pedaling at a normal pace and I've seen people having trouble grabbing a water bottle.

This might help

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Old 08-03-18, 03:05 PM
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depends on which bike. My cruiser, I can never do it. On my folding bike, it's like it has auto-pilot.
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Old 08-03-18, 03:05 PM
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Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
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Old 08-03-18, 03:07 PM
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It's a test to see how good is your bike skillz.
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Old 08-03-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
To throw your arms up in victory when you win the Cat 6 race against the guy who had no idea he was "racing".
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Old 08-03-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
It's like being a kid again AND it's cool!!!
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Old 08-03-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
It's a test to see how good is your bike skillz.
Things like cornering, braking, reading the traffic, riding on ice or snow, hill climbing, riding over rough terrain etc are bike skillz, riding no handed is just for goofing around and showing off, and it's a really foolish thing to do on the road when other traffic is around.
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Old 08-03-18, 03:16 PM
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Different bikes (and wheels) react differently. On my twitchy road bikes, anything more than a light crosswind, I get nervous if I let go of the bars for an extended period, or until I get that first unexpected shove to the side. But on my gravel bike I can ride forever no handed if I want to, due to the fatter tires, lower pressure, longer wheelbase, etc.

If you want to practice, go faster. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the higher the speed, the more the gyroscopic effect will keep the wheel from wobbling.
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Old 08-03-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Things like cornering, braking, reading the traffic, riding on ice or snow, hill climbing, riding over rough terrain etc are bike skillz, riding no handed is just for goofing around and showing off, and it's a really foolish thing to do on the road when other traffic is around.
Are you a hall monitor?
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Old 08-03-18, 03:33 PM
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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 ...
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Old 08-03-18, 03:41 PM
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Like others said it's probably just the rake/trail of your bike. My mtb I can no hand for miles. The road bike gets iffy with both hands on the aerobars if I space off.

​​​​
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Old 08-03-18, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
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Old 08-03-18, 03:57 PM
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But can you guys do this?

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Old 08-03-18, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
Because when I am on my fifth hour and in my sixtieth miles, I might want to stretch for a bit without getting off the bike completely?

Heck, same goes for the second hour and twenty something-th mile.
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Old 08-03-18, 04:01 PM
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Riding no hands can instantly diagnose if your headset needs a repack, is to tight, or is brinelled.
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Old 08-03-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
But can you guys do this?

Crocs for the win.
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Old 08-03-18, 04:04 PM
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Sitting up with no hands is good way to stretch and relax your muscles on a long ride. You can also steer the bike no hands by leaning into curves. It is easy and perfectly safe if you are on the right type of bike (high trail). Dave Moulton has a blog post that explains trail here.
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Old 08-03-18, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
To be prepared. What if you need to flip off two drivers at once? It would really suck if you crashed while teaching them a lesson. Safety first!
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Old 08-03-18, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
To be prepared. What if you need to flip off two drivers at once? It would really suck if you crashed while teaching them a lesson. Safety first!
Awesome!
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Old 08-03-18, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Riding no handed is a stupid thing to do, why would anybody want to do that ??
how else is one to fistgrip two fourloko's when riding? beer hats don't really support the tallboys.
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Old 08-03-18, 05:39 PM
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Ah, yes, the good ole "look ma! No hands!" Chestnut...

Big fat "no duh" coming from y'all but that was one of the things I had to give up when I went with a hornless saddle... The nose of a saddle really does give a lot of feedback and stability when you off load, alas, here I am noseless...

Now that's just on Fritz and Feathers! Junker on the other hand? He's not had the rhinoplasty that others have endured and I find that once I'm deep in my cups I get bold enough to sit back, extend my arms and "fly"!

Yes, I've heard it many times...
"Bike like no one's watching, dork!"

Ah well, for total dork factor, move your arms like you're running, the ladies LOVE it!
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Old 08-03-18, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Things like cornering, braking, reading the traffic, riding on ice or snow, hill climbing, riding over rough terrain etc are bike skillz, riding no handed is just for goofing around and showing off, and it's a really foolish thing to do on the road when other traffic is around.
You must have been a seriously protected child. I guess I want to show off for myself when I ride alone in the country and sit up to stretch my arms and back or pull my arm warmers off without having to come to a complete stop like a newbie. Somehow I've survived my foolishness on the bike since 1987, but thanks to your more educated lecture I will no longer engage in that silly behavior.
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Old 08-03-18, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyCyclist View Post
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.
You get to no-handed riding the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. It's certainly not a saddle-to-bar drop issue. I've got ~15cm on both of my bikes.

Scoot back in the saddle, sit straight up, with your fingertips on the bar tops. Then slowly take your hands away from the bars.

It's easier than you think (provided, as mentioned before, that the headset is not too loose or too tight) as the bike really wants to stay upright all by itself. It is us who make it fall over.

It's much easier above 15mph. You have to practice quite a bit to get used to doing it at slower speeds.
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Old 08-03-18, 06:26 PM
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I need to take my vest off.
Can you hold this? Thanks.
OK ready.
No, wait I put my vest in the pocket with my gels.
That won't work.
OK ready.
Hey, where did everyone go?"
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