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Sore hands when riding on the hoods(8 posts)

Sore hands when riding on the hoodsGreg Tepley
May 10, 2001 11:19 AM
I have a new road bike and I find that i constantly shifting hand positions because the area between my thumb and index finger hurts after a few mins. I switch my position to the drops when i really shouldn't be in the drops. Any suggestions? this should be a comfortable position right? I have tried with or without gloves to eliminate the gloves as an issue. It could be my riding style...old mtn biker here. should I angle my handlebars? I don't see other with their handlebars turned up or down so I assume it isn't a good fix.

BTW - raising handlebars - if i had too - is that difficult?
re: Sore hands when riding on the hoodsJon Billheimer
May 10, 2001 11:29 AM
First,check your length from your seat to your stem. If you're too stretched out and/or if your seat's a little too far forward that can place more weight on your hands. Second, if your fit is okay, try angling your handlebars up a couple of degrees. Sometimes very small adustments make a big difference.
re: Sore hands when riding on the hoodsOstimu
May 10, 2001 12:34 PM
This worked for me. My LBS set the seat height for me, but didn't adjust the forward/backward position or seat angle. Adjusting the seat forward (sliding it closer to the handlebars while maintaining the same seat height) relieved my hand pain.
A stem length that is too short can overweight your hands.bill
May 11, 2001 7:06 AM
A bit counterintuitive, but, when you think about it, it makes some sense. If your cockpit is too short, you are pushing against your hands. You have little opportunity to use your back and abdominal muscles, because your weight is perched on your hands, which are more underneath you, supporting your weight. More stretched out, and you can't support your weight on your hands. You have to use back and abdominal muscles.
re: Sore hands when riding on the hoodsUnderdog
May 10, 2001 11:33 AM
I use aero-bars. They're a lot more comfortable as well as aerodynamic.
re: Sore hands when riding on the hoodsMrCelloBoy
May 10, 2001 2:51 PM
I have the same problem (more and more), especially on my tandem, which demands a bit more upper-bdy strngth. I fear that part of the issue is getting older and needing to strengthen specific muscles in my hands. I DO notice that full fingered gloves are MORE compfortable than my regular ones, as the short fingered ones tend to get bunched up between my thumb and index finger.
lot's of bad advice....dave
May 10, 2001 4:04 PM
Adjusting the saddle fore-aft position is for positioning the knee in relation to the crank, not adjusting the reach to the bars - that's what different length stems are for. The saddle should also be set pretty much level. More than a degree or two of downward tilt will place more weight on the hands.

Read up on fit at, to at learn what knee-over-pedal (KOP) is all about, first. After KOP is set to at least a starting point, stem length can be evaluated. Beginners often use a stem that is short enough to cause some knee to elbow overlap when riding in the drops with your hands in reach of the brake levers. More experienced riders may have 1-3cm of clearance.

The vertical height of the bars is typically 6-10cm below the top of the saddle. Too much height difference can be a problem.

The portion of the brake hoods where your hands rest should be angled a few degrees upward for more comfort. Some riders prefer angles up to 10 degrees. Changing the angle often has to be done by untaping the bars and moving the levers up further. You shouldn't rotate the bars upward more than a few degrees.

The last reason many people suffer too much hand pressure is simply weak abdominal and back muscles. If you can't hold yourself up, with little help from your hands, you will suffer discomfort.
re: Sore hands when riding on the hoodsSTEELYeyed
May 10, 2001 9:09 PM
I just started riding a road bike this year also,after years on MTB and Hybrids,I had to fit myself because the 2 LBS here know little to nothing about road bike fit, KOP is the place to start,I started out with a 80mm stem and kept the bars at seat hieght until my back and ab muscles are stronger then I will stretch out and lower bar height gradually. I think upper body strength is very important to achieve a good road position,I was 20lbs. overweight and weak,I have been lifting light freewieghts high reps,front and back crunches on the bench,you don't want to build bulk or mass just tone and strengthening,I ride 60-100miles/week and I have noticed my comfort level on the bike increases as my upper body strength improves. Do alot of reading,and sift through the advice you get, as everyone that rides or sells bikes has their own opinion.