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Hands hurt more with upright posture on touring bike

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Hands hurt more with upright posture on touring bike

Old 08-08-13, 08:29 AM
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Hands hurt more with upright posture on touring bike

So, my touring bike has been out of commission and I just fixed it. I have it set up with a more upright position (still with usual road handlebars) than my usual commuter bike (which is a road bike but less aggressive than typical road bikes). I notice in my around town ride, hands mostly on the hoods, my hands started to hurt more than they would with the more typical road bike. Can a more relaxed position lead to increased pressure on hands? Any other bike misfits I should be looking at?
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Old 08-08-13, 08:46 AM
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vins0010, How does the handlebar width compare between the two? The lever placement? How different are the hoods between the two?

You can rotate the handlebars to alter the lever placement, find where you like them and then relocate them on the bar in it's favored position.

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Old 08-08-13, 09:08 AM
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how did you wrap the bars, and what gloves have you tried?
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Old 08-08-13, 09:40 AM
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Seat position compared with stem length (overall cockpit length)? Shorter cockpit could equal increased hand pressure. Remember raising the bars shortens the reach.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:48 AM
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Uh, yeah. I ride all my bikes well stretched out. The further forward your hands are, the greater the lever arm, thus less pressure to generate the same torque. See DannoXYZ's ur-post on the subject:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12953035
The idea that a more upright posture is more comfortable is a myth. More upright equals more shock to the spine and butt and more discomfort for hands and arms. The standard road position isn't just about aero.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:50 AM
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The new position may be putting pressure on some nerves that the old position was not? Out of ideas otherwise.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
The idea that a more upright posture is more comfortable is a myth.
With age and stiffness, a more upright posture can certainly be more comfortable. Thousands can testify to it.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
With age and stiffness, a more upright posture can certainly be more comfortable. Thousands can testify to it.
Anyone can be stiff. There are remedies for that, like cycling and stretching. I don't go for age-ism, although I understand that one gradually loses enough sense of balance that biking becomes difficult at around 90. "Bad backs" particularly benefit from the standard road position.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Anyone can be stiff. There are remedies for that, like cycling and stretching. I don't go for age-ism, although I understand that one gradually loses enough sense of balance that biking becomes difficult at around 90. "Bad backs" particularly benefit from the standard road position.
This is my experience as well. I spent my formative years fighting chronic lower back pain (short people shouldn't take up dunking basketballs as a hobby). It was only when I began to put serious miles on my bike and do a bit of yoga that I was able to be completely pain free. I suppose I'll revisit that old back pain friend in a few decades, but until then I'll stay down in my standard road position, stretch and enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:34 AM
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Enjoying the ride is always position related. In the drops or sitting bolt upright, whatever works for the peddler. You will eventually find that stretched out is just not as comfortable as it once was. Heck, you may even resort to bent riding. If you're fortunant enough to live long enough.
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Old 08-08-13, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
Enjoying the ride is always position related. In the drops or sitting bolt upright, whatever works for the peddler. You will eventually find that stretched out is just not as comfortable as it once was. Heck, you may even resort to bent riding. If you're fortunant enough to live long enough.
See, in my view it's fitness related. Still about the same position at 68. Actually this year on our tandem I went from a 6 stem with a spacer to a slammed 17 stem that's 10mm longer. It's more comfortable and more like my position on my singles. I especially notice that my hands don't get as tired from shifting on long rides. Lots of shifting on a tandem. My riding buddies in their 70's still ride their same positions. I do see people sitting upright, but not very many. After this last bike tour, Stoker wants me to leave her aero bars on for touring in the future, even though they weigh more than her cowhorns.

Fitness does not have to decrease with age. That's been a major discovery in the medical field. They used to think that happened naturally. Now they think it happens from disuse, just like it would at any age. It's all about expectations. It's true that aerobic capacity goes down a little and recovery time increases a little with age, but both those things have work-arounds - slightly lower gearing and slightly more time off. In the past 15 years, I've dropped my lowest gear-inches 12%. Researchers say about 1%/yr. after 50 if training state remains the same, so that's in the ballpark for normal. I now take 72 hrs. to recover from a very hard workout instead of 48. I think that's pretty normal, too.
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Old 08-08-13, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy

Fitness does not have to decrease with age. That's been a major discovery in the medical field. They used to think that happened naturally. Now they think it happens from disuse, just like it would at any age.
Good points. And true for many. What you're talking about, disciplined training, takes motivation and lots of it. Most aren't willing to put in the time and effort, or push back from the table. I stay in condition with rides and gym workouts. Neither intense but very regular. Occasionally get back on the DF as a reminder of why I'm on the bent.

This thread on age and touring.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 08-08-13 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 08-08-13, 05:26 PM
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Thanks for the replies...In answer to questions, these are just standard handlebars that came with the Trek...so, early 80s road bars (not sure of the size, actually), wrapped in cheap cork/foam handlebar wrap with Origin8 break levers (essentially rebranded tektros). I do have the quill pretty high and the neck is very, very short (it is an odd stem, not sure where it came from originally). I'll try lowering a bit and see if that helps...if it does, I'll probably replace the stem altogether - probably with the same thing I have on my commuter bike since I don't seem to have the problem there. I hadn't thought about a shorter cockpit putting more pressure on the hands. Thanks for the help...
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