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Hands free riding(10 posts)

Hands free ridingwhygimf
Jul 23, 2002 10:27 AM
Seeing O'Grady on a descent, 70+ klicks, around a corner, so relaxed... with no hands! I watch TdF cyclists pedaling uphill, even STANDING on the pegs with no hands!

So I try - straight line, low speed, higher speed, flat, slight grades, no pedaling, smooth surface, and... NO CAN DO! 20 feet maybe...

Any experiences or suggestions?

And...TdF Prediction Stage 19: Armstrong unleashes in the ITT. No need to conserve for later stages. Yeah, he'll be a bit conservative on the descent, but his performance in this stage will define his dominance. "Absolutely Hammering...."
re: Hands free ridingtronracer
Jul 23, 2002 11:28 AM
I've never seen someone ride no hands standing up. What did you mean on the pegs? THAT's a feat, but ultimately, the faster you go, the easier it is to balance w/out hands. No one can explain how to ride with now hands, its just a matter of balance. Me? I started riding when I was 5 and never stopped, so it just comes natural. Try leaning back a bit, that makes it easier to steer the bike w/ no hands for me. Course, if you're clipped in, that could be scary if you're new to it. Practice makes perfect.
It also depends on the bike, to a certain extent...JBurton
Jul 23, 2002 11:47 AM
My stepdad's twitchy tri-bike is near impossible to ride hands free. My road bike's geometry is a bit more relaxed and is very stable no-hands, even at slower speeds.

The previous poster is right in that it just takes practice. What makes it worse is the harder you try, the harder it is. You really have to relax and trust the bike to go where it needs to. Riding with no hands can come in handy when unzipping a stubborn jersey, opening a power-bar, or retrieving that extra water bottle from the jersey pocket. It's a good tool to have, in my opinion.
the bikeDougSloan
Jul 23, 2002 11:51 AM
My track bike (Bianchi Pista) rides no-hands extremely easy compared to my EV2 or C40; the P3 is darn near impossible. This seems backwards.

the bikewhygimf
Jul 23, 2002 12:09 PM
Why do you think they differ in no hands handling for you?

I ride a Merckx ti ex with 43mm rake Look fork - very relaxed. Haven't tried another to test the skill.
how big a role does stem length play?ET
Jul 23, 2002 1:10 PM
That is, is it true that ceteris paribus, for a given effective top tube + stem length, the longer the stem, the less twitchy the steering and the easier the no-hands thing? Is it also true that if you are more into long distance riding that ease in riding no hands is an appealing feature as it will lead to less hand and other fatigue?

Finally, Doug, I think I recall you saying your C40 is a size 54 (is that a 53.9 TT?), your EV2 a 55 (55.5 TT?). What size stems are on each? I presume the C-40's is longer. Between the two, which seems better at no hands?
but nothing is holding the stem/barsDougSloan
Jul 23, 2002 1:17 PM
I don't see how the stem could matter much when riding no hands. I think it must have more to do with head tube angle and rake.

The stem on the C40 is 1 cm longer than the EV2. But then, the "twitchiest" bike is the P3, with its integrated bars/aerobars (Profile Carbon X). The Pista is around a 120 quill.

I think we had this discussion once beforeET
Jul 23, 2002 1:24 PM
I claimed all it would take is slight undulations in road surface, the kind seen everywhere always. But I believe others didn't buy that argument.

What are the stem lengths? Also, are you center of rails on your bikes?
I think we had this discussion once beforewhygimf
Jul 23, 2002 1:39 PM
Head Tube Angle 73.5
Quill Stem 110mm
re: Hands free ridingIwannapodiumgirl
Jul 23, 2002 7:01 PM
Professional riders spend more time on their bikes than anywhere else - trying to compare road skills with them is like comparing your driving skills to Rally Drivers.

It easier to ride hands free when you are pedelling smoothly and at a steady speed, usually above 25 to 30 km/h (not sure what that is in mp/h - sorry) Sit up straight, drop your hands by your sides and steer with your hips. AND RELAX. Also, do not try this for the first time in traffic, perhaps a near by car park. Try it with a pair of running shoes as locking into pedals could phase you?

It may also be a good time too look at your headset - if there is play, it will cause the bike to deviate to one side (it is easier to blame your bike sometimes!!!)

I think riding hands free is as important as bunny hopping!

Hope this helps.