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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I'm brand new here and brand new to road biking. I am concerned about beginning with bad habits that I will have to work hard at overcoming later, so I'm trying to focus on my form now. Efficient peddling, knees and elbows in, adequate leg extension without rocking my hips - I am beginning to understand and employ these forms. But my grip is bothering me.

During rides my hands and shoulders tire much more quickly than my legs. And when I am putting away the bike my hands are cold like I have been gripping too tightly and all the blood has gone out of them. I could really use some advice.

What angle should my handle bars be at (they are the rounded type, like ram horns, what are they called?)? What is the best hand placement? Can I grip too tightly or loosely? How should I distribute my weight between my hands and seat? Or is this something I just need to ignore and will go away over time?

Lots of questions, I know. But I appreciate any advice you have.
 

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A correctly fitted bike will eliminate most of the problems that you mentioned, including hand and shoulder problems. I would suggest that if you are not sure how to make adjustment to make the bike fit you correctly, that you have a professional bike fit done. As for correct hand position, I think that most riders use the hoods, but that is a personal choice and should be what works best for you. I normally ride the hoods but I also use the drops quite a lot. Lately, I have been doing a lot of riding on the aero bars, if I'm not riding on the roads.
 

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First off your elbows should be slightly bent no matter where your hands are. Gripping the bars tightly will effect everything from your finger tips to your lower back, as well as making you less stable on the bike because every bump and vibration is going to run through your arms and into your torso and make you wobble. It is a good idea to periodically lightly drum your fingers to keep in the habit of keeping your hands loose. As far as where to hold the bars goes, keep shifting them from tops to hoods and onto the drops in order to reduce fatigue. Also periodically sit up as upright as you can to get all your weight off your hands and arms. Be aware of your shoulders and make sure that you are not hunching. Focus on keeping loose on the bike. Tingling, numbness, and cold in your fingertips is caused by pinching the nerves in your arms and shoulders (most often in your elbows) so not locking your elbows and hunching should eliminate that problem. And as the previous poster suggested none of this is possible unless your bike fit is correct. Here is one link for a bikeradar bike fit column http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/technique-quick-fit-fitter-883/
and of course if you google bike fit you will find all kinds of help. The best source for advice and help of course will be our local bike shop. If they can't or won't help you, get a different shop. As time goes on your position on the bike will evolve, as you become stronger and more flexible, so what may work now will change. Hope some of this helps. Keep riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. I'll admit that I had to look up what the "hoods" we're before going forward with any changes. The adjustments have been a great benefit. Thanks again.
 

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First off your elbows should be slightly bent no matter where your hands are. Gripping the bars tightly will effect everything from your finger tips to your lower back, as well as making you less stable on the bike because every bump and vibration is going to run through your arms and into your torso and make you wobble
I really used to have to concentrate on my grip. Now most of the time it's so loose that if I hit a good bump when I'm not ready my hands are bouncing all around. I've learned to be pretty relaxed if I'm just riding and not sprinting or something like that :D
 

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I'd say grip strength is a good part of it too. Like Noel said it effects everything. The best advice I can give you is really concentrate on it right now, before you know it you'll be resting your hands on the bars instead of actually gripping them.
 
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