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No hands?(11 posts)

No hands?Elena
Jul 13, 2001 12:47 PM
I've ridden with a couple of people in the past month, and I was really impressed that they both are able to ride "no hands" even on descents and around curves. I never learned this as a kid, and it would definitely come in handy on long rides when I start getting stiff. (it also looks dorky in my imagination when I win the TdF and can't raise my hands as I cross the line). Can you ride no hands? How/when did you learn?

rollers. rollers. rollers.bill
Jul 13, 2001 1:00 PM
To ride no hands, you first have to try to ride no hands. I found that it was not nearly as easy as it was when I was thirteen on my first ten-speed, but you just have to do it, trusting the bike. Bikes want to go forward in a straight line at an even speed. We mess them up. A bad stance, too, can make it more difficult -- if you are too used to keeping your weight on your hands, you're not going to be able to unclench your sweaty fists from the bar.
The best way to learn to trust the bike is with rollers. If you can balance and smooth your stroke out enough for rollers, you will learn scads about controlling the bike with little weight shifts, and no-hands is no-problem.
Rollers? Ugh!Kristin
Jul 13, 2001 1:21 PM
I swore I wouldn't buy rollers--I dread indoor excercise. Perhaps its something to reconsider. I quickly began learning to balance hands free after I bought my road bike. I would tool around a parking lot at the end of my ride and practice. However, I think the thing that's helped more is just time on the bike. The more miles I put on, the better my balance. I can sit up breifly now--no pedaling. I can also ride with just my fingertips on the bars--which feels good at around the 25 mile mark.

How long does it take to become well balanced on a road bike? Hopefully this isn't another one of those genetic things! :-)
Rollers? Ugh!Jay H
Jul 13, 2001 3:31 PM
I grew up riding a Ross compact 10-spd and I used to ride everywhere w/o hands.. dunno it's just something that kids do I guess. It takes a bit of trust I guess but after the first 10 minutes or so, it becomes fairly natural. Like riding with your hands on the handlebar, you still have to keep your upper body relaxed. When you are riding no hands, you should also keep the body a little relaxed and not so stiff, you've got to be comfortable to steer with your weight (obviously your hands aren't on the bars!). Sounds like your making good progress though.. I think I actually find it easier to pedal when I'm with no hands on the bars...

You'll find that no-hands riding is great for jerseys with hard to pull zippers (like alot of those "invisible zipper" jerseys) or if you have to open up a powerbar wrapper or peel a banana...

Rollers? Ugh!Lone Gunman
Jul 13, 2001 4:07 PM
Rollers can add a whole different dimension to your cycling for the winter. If you have never done them, they take work to get used to. Need to learn to relax while riding them and after that the skill seems to translate well to road riding like holding a line while riding, balance in bad roads or off road (berm). Can also be frustrating at first, I still ride them with tennis shoes on and they smooth out the pedal stroke.
Rollers? Ugh!JohnG
Jul 13, 2001 4:53 PM
Have you tried no hands while on the rollers??? It's actually quite easy.... but make sure you are cruising at a good pace. If that isn't enough challange try shuting your eyes for a few seconds at a time. You might be amazed at how long you can ride "blind" with no hands. Needless to say this WILL force a smooth pedal stroke!@ :)

good rides JohnG
re: No hands?Tahn
Jul 13, 2001 6:25 PM
Here is my own experience.
You have to keep your upper body relax and don't lean forward. I know this is hard if you have never done it before (Just like downhill skiing, you don't lean backward even when going down a steep slope). Also physics dictates that you must also have enough speed. It's very hard if you're going too slow. I also found that by peddling at the same time I can keep my balance checked.
Once you can go no hand, you can turn/steer the bike using your hip/bump to "push" the saddle sideways. That should turns the bike.
Now for the ultimate (and do not attempt this on the street. You'll get yourself killed). Try to ride your bike cross handed!
re: No hands?Jim Burton
Jul 13, 2001 6:35 PM
I actually find it much easier to keep pedaling while riding no hands. This, for some reason, seems to force me to balance. It was the same when I was a kid on my BMX. I had to keep pedaling to hold a line while no hands-ed. Of course, then it was to eat my ice cream while drinking my coke and pouring Pop Rocks into my mouth! Now it is to, like another post said, unzip a stubborn jersey or open a snack.
re: No hands?LC
Jul 13, 2001 10:13 PM
Ahh that's what I need, some Pop Rocks! To bad you can't find them any more.
re: No hands?RandyMH
Jul 14, 2001 5:43 AM
Man Jim your lucky to be here didn't you ever hear the story (urban legend) about the kid who poured a whole bag of Pop Rocks in his mouth and chased it with a coke and his stomache blew up. Count yor blessings :)

LC Micheals craft store still sells Pop Rocks.

I used to be able to ride no hands standing up. I haven't tried riding with no hands since I've had my bike, but of course now I have to try. Don't think I will be trying the standing up part.
Develop your stomach muscles >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 14, 2001 9:17 AM
this will help take the weight off of your hands. It also will make it easier for you to raise your body from the tucked position and easier to sit up for a no-hands ride. I practice riding no-hands when going up hill. It helps to round out the pedal stroke. It forces you to spin rather than mash. To do this you need to lean a bit father forward with your upper body to keep your weight centered. On flat ground you want to sit right on top of the saddle with your sit bones planted comfortably over the wides part of the seat. Your knee position is more pronounced when riding no-hands. I have noticed that people that ride with their knees pointed outward have a tougher time of it. Keep your knees tucked in and the spin is more even.