Remember that there can be three ways to grip the handlebars of a road bike and they are as follows:
- with your hands on the brakes
- with your hands on the top of the handlebars
- with your hands in a low grip, on the curve of the handlebars themselves
After having analysed the hand grip on the brakes, here we are to talk about the second grip option on the handlebars.
Many people think that it is a trivial subject, or that it only serves those who are taking their first steps in this world. This happens because often, due to superficiality or carelessness, even the most experienced cyclists do not adopt the most suitable grip for the various stages of pedalling. So, let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of high grip hands.
1. Hands in a top grip position
In this case the hands are placed on the top of the handlebars, just to the side of the stem.
The main advantage of this grip is comfort: placing your hands closer to your body keeps your back straighter and your torso at a less pronounced angle than your hips. On the other hand, obviously, the aerodynamics worsen considerably.
Leaving aside the aerodynamic aspect, which may be of interest up to a certain point, it is a position that is totally inadvisable when the speed increases, as it is not safe.
Why is it unsafe?
- First of all, because you don’t have your hands on the brakes.
- Secondly, because in this position the hands are closer together and this reduces manoeuvrability, e.g., in case of emergency steering.
The perfect time for this grip is when we are pushing on a slope, where the road is less complicated, speeds are lower and there is no need to use the brakes. Sometimes you can concede on the flat, perhaps to relax your arms and back quickly, but only pedalling alone and without traffic.
However, there is one exception; in case you find yourself pedalling on the cobblestones, the high grip is definitely recommended because your hands can
absorb vibrations and maintain a very firm grip. Keep this in mind when taking on the Northern Classics.
Absolutely avoid this grip if you are standing on the pedals: the centre of gravity rises too high for your hands.
Finally, always remember to wrap your thumb around the handlebars like a tennis racket, otherwise even a small imperfection in the ground can cause you to lose control.
2. In summary
The position can be used with the hands in a high position:
- Rising from a seated position
- Flat, but only for short distances. Avoid when cycling in groups or in crowded areas.
All cycling products can be found at Deporvillage