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Hand pressure and ab/back strength (new question)(4 posts)

Hand pressure and ab/back strength (new question)steves
May 11, 2001 12:10 PM
I read the thread way below and have a different question about excess pressure on one's hands and arms.

One poster mentioned weak abs and back muscles as a possible source of the trouble, stating that one should be able to hold the weight of their upper body and torso with just these muscles. In order to do this, the legs must resist this force, or your torso will drop, no matter how strong your abs and back are, because your rear is not bolted to the seat, and the mass of your torso and head are in front of your seat. When you use your legs to support your back to support your toro, this fouls with the pedal stroke. I've tried many times to do what was recommended, but it messes up my pedal stroke, turning it from somewhat round, to very square. This greatly increases the pressure on the soles of my feet, reducing my ability to lift at the back of the stroke. I see people doing this, and their torsos bob with every pedal stroke.

When I have experimented with holding my toro up without holding onto the bars(and using my legs to resist,) I slide forward on the seat, causing pain there. I cannot tilt the seat up enough to correct the sliding and still retain blood flow to my manhood.

I rest my body weight on the seat, and try to use my legs for pedalling only. This must be terribly wrong, because the pressure on my hands is quite painful.(Yes, I've tried all types of positions, and aside from a bike with a 60degree seat tube and a microscopic TT, my CG is in front of the seat, resulting in my body trying to rotate forward toward the bar, and placing all my weight on my hands.)

I really just want to enjoy being out on the road. Any suggestions?
As Sheldon Brown says, it's called a saddle, not a seat,bill
May 11, 2001 12:54 PM
because you don't sit in it. You kind of perch on it and pivot around it as one of your five contact points with the bike -- two arms, two legs, one taint.
With that in mind, you are right that you can't support all of your weight on the saddle and just use back/abs to sit on the bike. In my mind, the advice to use back/abs is more relative than absolute, to get you to avoid leaning too hard on your arms. You should keep your upper body loose and find the balance among your butt, your legs, and your arms. Keep at it, focusing on loosening your grip on the bars, keeping your elbows bent and loose, keeping your shoulders loose, and trying not to sink too far into your saddle. You'll get to a decent equipoise (although you may find that you have to adjust fit here and there as your stance changes). You'll find that your body mechanics are better and your entire bike balancing act is better, improving your bike handling. If you can't feel your bike under you as a mass balanced under you (rather than controlled by you in a death grip), than you aren't there yet. You'd be surprised at how much better the bike handles when you learn to trust it.
So when riding a horse, you don't sit on the saddle?jockey
May 11, 2001 9:16 PM
Wonderful. Do you have any other painfully masochistic hobbies?
re: Hand pressure and ab/back strength (new question)ScottV
May 12, 2001 8:10 AM
Yes there is a problem if have pressure on your hands. When I climb as an example unless I'm standing I usually just rest the palms of my hands on the bars. That is my trunk is supporting my body and not my arms. Good back and ab muscles are important in this regard but so is a good bike position. Without seeing you on the bike it's hard to make a recommendation.