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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find that a lot of the time that I am riding, I move my hands forward on the bars and essentially have the base of my palms on the grips instead of actually holding them. I don't do this while climbing, shifting, braking etc, but find that if I am riding on a steady line that I put my hands in this position.

I don't feel uncomfortable on my bike, and when I am in the saddle my arms have a slight bend to them, but I am wondering if I move my hands into this position because I like to be leaned forward a little more. So this has me wondering if I should look into a longer stem, I currently have the stock stem that came on my Rockhopper, and had been looking at a 120mm Raceface stem.

Any ideas? I don't ache anywhere when riding, don't feel like I am cramped or stretched out, just wondering.

Thanks.
 

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What kind of bars do you have? I wonder if it's not stretch you're looking for subconsciously, but rather a different hand position than the bar gives you. Maybe try bar ends, as AZ.MTNS suggested, different bars, or even some ergo grips (some of which also come with bar ends)? Another thing to look at is control position. The brake levers, shifters, or both could be keeping your hands from being where you want when you're riding.

If you say you don't feel like your torso is cramped it doesn't seem like you should need a longer stem.

David B.
 

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spec4life???..smh...
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120mm is a pretty long stem and currently the trend is going to shorter stems for a number of reasons...

there are a few things you can try...first maybe try fliping your stem, this will give you a longer reach and a more stretched out race oriented position...also you can rearrange your spacers on your steerer tube to lower your cokpit position...also try sliding our seat back as far as possible...these two are free so you can test them out...another thought is going to a flat bar instead of a riser which a assume came on your rockhopper...this will also stretch you out and give you that race position...

id try these few things first and then maybe bar ends (though im not a fan) or ergon grips and see if you can get what your lookin for before trying a such a long stem...
 

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Old man on a bike
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Spec site doesn't say what length stem is stock (or show a 09 Hardrock Comp Disc, altho there was one in 08), altho it does show it as a 10* rise for all the Hardrocks I checked, so don't know how big a jump a 120 is (and is that RF stem the same rise?). You might want to check out this chart that shows the changes in the length or the rise of the stem make http://www.habcycles.com/fitting.html.

I move my hands into various positions on my bars while riding, including the one you use; variety is a good thing. Trying different bars and stems is a good thing, but can be difficult to do (if your shop has some stems and/or bars for you to try and swap out, that would be a big help). You might even like a wider bar and leave the stem as is. You might like different sweep or rise on your bar. All of these changes conspire to put your hands/wrists in different positions, and sometimes you just have to find out for yourself...
 

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El Gato Malo
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Safe some money and experiment with other factors first such as saddle height, handlebar height and rise. I switched up to a 120 stem on my SC Superlight from the stock 90 because I thought it would help with the same things you mentioned. The longer stem put my arms in a relaxed, comfortable position but the longer stem also made the steering of the bike terrible especially during climbs. Went back to the 90 stem, got some ergon grips, played with the saddle height a little and the ride became a whole lot more predictable.
 

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As AZ said, moving your seat drastically may not be good for your pedaling. I also ride with my hands like that a lot during long rides. I would suspect that it's for comfort more than anything. Constantly gripping the bars can get tiring and perhaps you're just subconsciously looking to stretch them a bit.

I would argue that if your hand are uncomfortable-ish in your current position, stretching the bar further away from you will move your center of gravity forward and cause you to put more weight on your hands, thus fatiguing them more. I can never recommend bar ends (or as I call them, branch hooks) but there are some very nice little end cap style ones out there. They look like little bananas that are centered around your grip rather than the old style hooks.

If you don't have cycling gloves, get some, it will help for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the replies, I already have some bar-ends, and like the different hand positions that they give me. I also moved my saddle back some, and have played around with the position of brakes/shifters. I also do have gloves.

Maybe I just do it for a way to relax / stretch my hand some while on smooth stretches of a ride. I might try the ergon grips, I help some on a bike at the LFS and they felt very comfortable, might end up removing the bar-ends and putting ergon grips on instead.

Thanks again.
 

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naiku said:
Thanks for all of the replies, I already have some bar-ends, and like the different hand positions that they give me. I also moved my saddle back some, and have played around with the position of brakes/shifters. I also do have gloves.

Maybe I just do it for a way to relax / stretch my hand some while on smooth stretches of a ride. I might try the ergon grips, I help some on a bike at the LFS and they felt very comfortable, might end up removing the bar-ends and putting ergon grips on instead.

Thanks again.
There's a version of the Ergon grips that come with little bar ends on them, it's a very nice setup
 

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