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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When into riding it seems to me that it's totally natural to keep my hands heavy on the bars. I know I'm supposed to try to stay light on the hands heavy on the feet. But unless I'm really focusing on putting my weight back, I'll unconsciously shift forward and place a lot of weight on my hands. So much so that my fingers will begin to get numb (which tells me to back off).

If I lower my seat it's easier to stay light on my hands, but the seat is too low to ride comfortably. At the proper seat height my seat is just level with the bars.

Can I raise the handlebars a few inches to compensate?

Or is it just a matter of practice?


Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
 

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A good call would be to get a basic bike fit, alternately sounds like you could easily go with a shorter stem which will push you back a bit and put less burden on your core muscles for support and if more is needed you can go with a higher rise bar or put more spacers under your stem.

However bike fitting over the internet is bad idea. Best bet is to check with other local riders and find a bike shop that does bike fits. They can help you fit the bike better and they are certified to do so. That way you don't just swap one problem for another. Most bike fits can run from about $30 to >$100 depending on the level of fit, a lot of times they will give a discount on parts to help the fit however or even, depending on how new your bike is and it is the same shop you got it at, a swap program.

Check it out, I will be definitely worth your money and will keep you from throwing money at the problem until it is better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ive been considering that. I know there is a shop nearby that does fitting for the road guys, will that work for MTB as well?

Does anyone in San Diego have a suggestion for a place to visit for a fitting?


Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
 

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Ive been considering that. I know there is a shop nearby that does fitting for the road guys, will that work for MTB as well?

Does anyone in San Diego have a suggestion for a place to visit for a fitting?

Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
That is a good! Just make sure to tell them how you ride, what you ride etc and the problems you have been having. A certified bike fit specialist should be able to fit you to whatever bike you have and whatever riding style you have. Good luck!
 

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The first step in fitting your cockpit is to get the seat height correct. A good rule of thumb is to set it so your leg is straight when your heel is on the pedal and the pedal is at 6 o'clock. This will give you max pedaling power, but you will likely want to lower the seat for better handling and balance in downhill/techy sections. Experiment to see what works for you.

For fore/aft seat adjustment, set it around the middle of the rails to start.

2nd rule of thumb: have the tops of your grips approximately level with the top of your seat. This works for most riders and types of riding. Again, you can tweak to find what works best for you. So, if your grips are currently lower than your seat, you can raise them two ways: get a stem with a steeper angle, and/or get riser handlebars. Also, as suggested by rockcrusher, shortening the set will also make you a bit more upright, but only do this if you also want a shorter cockpit.

An experienced bike fitter can help guide you thru this, and trying one may help a lot.
 

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B.Ike
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I have a pair of gloves that work great on my ht, but make my hand numb on a long decent with my rigid. Bikes fit the same btw. Do you have this feeling all the time or just when you are "white knuckling it"?
 

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Bike fit as others have said. In addition to the obvious, check saddle tilt angle and angle of the brakes. If my saddle nose is a little too far down, I find myself with more weight on the bars. If your brakes are at the wrong angle, your wrists might be bent and that can worsten the numbess problem.

Some people like the ergon-style grips. I don't use them but I use a relatively 'cushy' grip (ODI Rogue).
 

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Fix your fit. Heavy hands on the bars means saddle tilt and/or stem length is off. The only frustrating aspect of this sport is the many "dial-in" procedures required, before everything suddenly becomes blissfully sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the help everyone. I got a shorter and taller stem and it's helped tremendously. I'm looking into the ergo grips and repositioning my controls.


Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
 

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Thanks for the help everyone. I got a shorter and taller stem and it's helped tremendously. I'm looking into the ergo grips and repositioning my controls.

Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
Sounds good....

Next step to riding light....

Find the flow in the trail, let the bike roll....swoop the edges...hop the rough stuff

Riding smooth is all about attitude.
 

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Thanks for the help everyone. I got a shorter and taller stem and it's helped tremendously. I'm looking into the ergo grips and repositioning my controls.

Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.
Hmmm, I'm having the same problem you were. I feel like my hands are supporting way too much of my weight.

I got some gloves with a little padding and put on some ODI Rogues, but that will only mask the problem. I was thinking a shorter stem might help.

Do you know what length/rise your old stem was? And your new one?
 

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Hmmm, I'm having the same problem you were. I feel like my hands are supporting way too much of my weight.

I got some gloves with a little padding and put on some ODI Rogues, but that will only mask the problem. I was thinking a shorter stem might help.

Do you know what length/rise your old stem was? And your new one?
You may not want to use what worked for him as a guide to what will help you. Rather, look at your own set up and consider:

Is you seat height correct?
Is the seat fairly level? (Forward tilt will push you into the bars)
Have you played with the front/back seat position?
Are the tops of your grips about level with the top of you seat?

After the first 3, then consider the fourth item. If needed, you can raise your grips with a riser bar or with a different stem, and possibly shorten the cockpit at the same time. As for shortening the cockpit, you can try that at no cost by moving your seat forward, although if that moves you too far over the pedals it may not be a good long term solution, but will at least give you an idea if you like being closer to the bars.
 

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Just Ride
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I need to stay light on my hands too. I find myself resting on the bars way to much, which leads to numbness.
 

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When I had the bike assembled, they adjusted the seat to my height. With the peddle at the bottom, I have a very slight bend in the knee. On flat ground I can stand on my toes, but when trail riding, if I feel like I'm going to fall or trying to get a start from a dead stop, I tend the lean the bike over a bit to get on and start peddling.

I do notice my back and arms/wrists get sore. I believe my hand grips are too low. I'm considering taking it to the bike shop this week and see if they can raise the hand grips. The soreness only happens if I'm mainly riding on the road to get to the trails, once on the trails, it doesn't seem to affect me as much.

I posted a picture of my bike.
 
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