How to grip the handlebars of a road bike. Part 1: Hands on the brakes
How do you grip your hands on your road bike? Clearly, there are several options. The shape of the handlebars has been designed with this in mind and in fact the alternatives are more than one.
In particular, there are three:
- with your hands on the brakes
- with your hands on top of the handlebars
- with your hands in a low grip, on the curve of the handlebars themselves
It is true that the grip on the handlebars can also be influenced by the rider’s habits and posture, “how to feel more comfortable”, but also by the rider’s own choice. But don’t forget that there are some unwritten “rules” that must be respected.
Today we are going to analyse the grip on the brakes.
1. Gripping the handlebars with your hands on the brakes
The position is very simple and intuitive. It is undoubtedly the most common and probably the most comfortable and used grip, also because it is the only one that can be used uphill, straight and, in certain situations, also downhill. It guarantees a good compromise between aerodynamics and comfort, with the great advantage of always having the brakes close at hand.
This is the classic grip for pedalling in a straight line and on rides without too many climbs. When the gear increases you have to bend your elbows a little to get a more aerodynamic position.
If you watch the races on TV, you will notice that it is also the position most used by professionals when they are in a group, at not very high speeds, as it can be maintained for many hours without any particular effort.
It is uphill, however, that gives the best results: it allows you to have a comfortable position, with the rib cage open enough to facilitate breathing. In this way it is also very fast to get on the pedals without having to change the position of the hands and, in situations of greater effort, the action of the legs and torso helps.
Be careful, however, with the descent, here the situation changes slightly: if it’s a small slope and you’re approaching it in a relaxed way, then this type of grip still works, but if you’re going at full speed, you have to resort to the low grip.
2. In summary
You can use the position with your hands on the brakes:
- Climbing, seated or standing on the pedals
- On flats, even in a group, but not in a sprint
- Downhill, when there is no need to go downhill with speed
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