How Much Weight Should The Hands Bear?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by qvogiteman, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. qvogiteman

    qvogiteman New Member

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    I had thumb surgery last year, so I ride with a PUSH brace on my right hand (Push Braces Ortho Thumb Brace CMC - to treat thumb osteoarthritis pain | Vivomed.com States).

    My left hand is fine with just cushioned tape, but my right hand goes numb after a few miles. I've been working on this and noticing that I may be putting a lot of weight on my hands, especially since I switched to a Brooks Imperial saddle, which won't go anywhere near as far back as my old Fizik (f*** their spelling) Aliante. IIRC, my right hand went numb with the Aliante, too, just not as quickly. (Obviously, I need to call the surgeon to see if he still insists I wear the d***ed brace.)

    Before changing anything, I'd like to know how much weight should be born by my hands. Is there a rule of thumb that I should look for?

    Maybe I should just ride more. I've got about 175 miles in so far this year.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    It depends somewhat on your weight and the condition you are in. To use a blanket statement, you should have very little weight on your hands and your upper body should be relaxed to some degree. I assume you are talking about tempo riding and not sprinting on climbing out of the saddle. Your elbows should be bent and relaxed.
     
  3. Totalarmordestine

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    For starters, I like to put the saddle in the forward most position that allows the rider to lift his hands off of the handlebar and maintain the torso position without strain. You should not feel like you're about to fall forward when you lift off the handlebar. If it makes no difference to your back muscles whether you have your hands on the bars or not, you know that you aren't using your arms to support your upper body. If you are, your arms and shoulders will surely get tired on a long ride. But this is a starting position. Remember that bicycle fit is a series of compromises.
     
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  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    the More Upright your posture and further back the Saddle, Setback, the less weight on your hands .

    maybe you're done with road bikes .. if the down on all 4s posture is no longer working for you..

    race bikes 40%/60% is a common balance, your arms pulling up increase the effort you can put into the pedals.
     
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    In MY opinion; for me.... I don't really want any weight on my hands at all. Even a little is fatiguing after a while, and any weight on your hands is weight not being used to counterbalance against the fulcrum of the hip - you're wasting energy to hold yourself up that could be going into the pedals instead.

    Like Mr. White, I'd suggest finding that balance point where you can take your hands off the bars in your forward/go-fast position without falling off the front of the saddle. Saddle angle can GREATLY affect how secure you feel on the saddle hands-free, so be cognizant of that. Nosed up, the saddle can give you a false forward center of gravity, for isntance.
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    This is the ideal, and I can start every ride with practically no weight on the hands.

    Truth be told, after a couple hours of riding, the back muscles start to fatigue, the upper body starts to sag, and I have to think of ways to get my back back into it. Changing hand position and short out-of-saddle jumps usually does it.
     
  7. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    Set saddle to level or very slightly nose up. A nose down saddle causes you to slide forward and use your arms/hands to push yourself back. A nose up saddle places your weight toward the wide rear of the saddle, using the pelvic bones rather than the soft bits.

    Brooks saddles have short rails which limits their adjustability. A more set back seatpost may be your only option for a more rearward saddle position, if you need that.

    How much weight should you have on the hands/arms? Whatever amount allows you to ride without pain, fatigue, numbness. It will differ between individuals.

    175 miles in 6 months is less than 30 miles/month or 7 miles/week. You are basically not riding, so you don't have any acclimatization or strength built up. Probably need more riding and might want to work on core strength.
     
  8. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    Maybe relevant, maybe not, but hand positioning can also inflict numbness. Ensure the pressure is on the "heel" of your hand, not in the more "hollow" spots. Think "where the pressure is when doing a pushup." Otherwise it's fairly easy to affect blood flow and squeeze nerve channels, both leading to numbness.
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    My saddle is set with about a 10 percent down slope. Anything above that is painful.
     
  10. sbatz72

    sbatz72 New Member

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    Wow, I never realized that cycling could cause such strain on our muscles. I have never heard of this and am glad I am finally hearing of it. I think maybe you should want to go back to the doctor. Perhaps, there is another issue that goes deeper than the need for the first surgery. I am not trying to offer any medical advice, nor a diagnosis, just throwing out the prospect.
     
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