Friday, December 2, 2011

Practice Good Body Mechanics At The Bar

Next time you ride your bike, notice how you hold your handlebar. Is your hand wrapped so tightly your knuckles are white? Is your wrist bent?

If so, it's probably time to consider good body mechanics. Try keeping hands, wrists, and forearms level and straight. Avoid bending the wrist, which increases pressure on sensitive tissue.

Awkward handlebar positions can cause hand fatigue and pain. They stress the ulnar and median nerves, both major structures that run through the arm into the hands.

Compression or squeezing of the ulner nerve, for example, can lead to neuropathy, also called handlebar palsey. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition involving compression of the median nerve where it passes through the wrist.

Numbness, tingling, or weakened grip are a few symptoms of irritated nerves in overstressed hands.

Head off  potential problems with proper body mechanics, wrapping your handlebar with shock absorbent tape or grips, and wearing supportive bike gloves.


  1. It would also be useful to have a handlebar that allows you to move your hands a bit. Being able to change position also helps to resist neuropathy and carpal tunnel. Road riders use drop bars (those underslung bars that many riders turn up for a more upright position), but there are a number of other types available. And if you're not going to change the bars, you might want to improve your grips. The Bikeman sells a number of grips that are soft on the hands, and have the added benefit of a cool color accent.

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  3. Hi Jim, pardon the typo above. What I was writing was that you're right about changing hand positions being helpful in preventing discomfort. Keeping the wrist straight, is key too, even with drop-down bars.