Riding hands off

chriscdesign
chriscdesign Posts: 40
edited March 2010 in Road beginners
Hi there,

not that I would do this all the time but when I try and ride hands off my bike, the front wobbles like crazy and I have to immediately go back down on the bars. Is this a technique thing or this there something possibly wrong with bike. For now, I'll keep stumm on what bike I have.

Thanks!

Chris

Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Try practicing wheelies and skids first. Then riding with one hand then the other. Then build up to riding non-handed by clapping your hands. Increase the number of claps you can do and eventually you'll be able to ride non-handed all round the estate.

    That's how I did it when I was 6 on my Raleigh Strika anyway.
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,788
    Sounds more like the bike than you. Normally you vere off to the side beacuse you're not going fast enough but 'wobbling like crazy' sounds like you have a good speed (it's easier the faster you go) but there's something up with the bike. Had the same thing after a crash which was fixed when the rerar triangle was retracked.
  • Its more so that I can adjust clothing on the move or eat something, not to pose. I wouldn't be that inclined to pull wheelies and skid with my full carbon road bike. Hmm, I wonder if my wheels need looking at??
  • yeah right! Climbing over the Wicklow mountains on a unicycle!!
  • chaffordred
    chaffordred Posts: 131
    When you take your hands off the bars it wobbles like crazy?

    Don't you just hate that? Especially the bit when your arm goes crack.

    BTW Is this you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfrUkOCn2YA
  • careful
    careful Posts: 720
    Largely a matter of confidence - I could do it no problem when I was young and stupid. Now that I'm old and still stupid I have problems. It is easier if you sit upright. Incidemtally chriscdesign - I remember a couple of guys riding the Dragon on unicycles!!
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,101
    I found my old bike with a long stem and quite a big fork rake wobbles more than my current bike. That said I would seriously say don't ride without your hands on the bars, especially with the potholes we have at present. If it comes to taking off / putting on clothes just stop and do it, what will you do if you wobble when you are half in or out of a rain jacket? When eating you should be able to manage with one hand on the bars, if you struggle to open packets while moving, do it before you start and then re-wrap the food in loose foil. No hands riding should be left to posers on "fixies" unless you about to celebrate winning a race :wink:
  • blorg
    blorg Posts: 1,169
    Its more so that I can adjust clothing on the move or eat something, not to pose. I wouldn't be that inclined to pull wheelies and skid with my full carbon road bike. Hmm, I wonder if my wheels need looking at??
    Don't know why not, all the cool kids are doing it. Works even better with deep section carbon rims.

    _41812386_mcewen.jpg

    tdf09st21-fumy.jpg

    Seriously though, what you describe sounds like a "speed wobble."
  • careful
    careful Posts: 720
    Pross said
    would seriously say don't ride without your hands on the bars
    I completely agree.
    riding along a canal towpath near Bath yesterday, a young guy riding toward me (on the canal side of the narrow path) with his hands in his pockets. You could see from his expression that he was sh****g himself in case I made the slightest wobble. Tempting just for a split second but looking cool is important to some and I'm not malicious. Actually I admire his faith in strangers.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    careful wrote:
    Pross said
    would seriously say don't ride without your hands on the bars
    I completely agree.
    riding along a canal towpath near Bath yesterday, a young guy riding toward me (on the canal side of the narrow path) with his hands in his pockets. You could see from his expression that he was sh****g himself in case I made the slightest wobble. Tempting just for a split second but looking cool is important to some and I'm not malicious. Actually I admire his faith in strangers.

    As above. Why would you even do this??? Well, I know why, but still. After your showoff with no hands you might be able to showoff some really nice patches of ripped off skin or maybe a bone poking through. Cool. :wink::wink:
  • blorg
    blorg Posts: 1,169
    It is better to have a bike that will behave normally and proceed in a straight line with your hands off the bars. It is often necessary to take one hand off the bars to get at food or a bottle, etc. If the bike is stable with no hands it will be more stable with one hand. It is sometimes useful to take both hands off, to remove gloves or a jacket for example. OP- read these, it sounds like this is what you have:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_wobble
    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... bble-14776
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Its probably not speed wobble at that speed.
    First check your headset adjsutment incase it is a bit loose.
    Aply the front brake and gently rock the bike forward and back whilst feeling the headset bearing area for play.
    Once your confident your bike is ok have another go.
    If your just leaving the bars go, then it can wobble if your leaning forward, I find it much easier just to make sure I am doing over 8mph, (that means no uphill no hands) then I just sit up and upright, it is much more stable, takes a bit of confidence to do it as your instinct is to stay close to bars which actually makes it more difficult to balance :)
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    Make sure your headset is not pitted. If it does not turn freely then no hands is difficult.
  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    I'm not very good no handed but a lot of the guys I ride with are very comfortable riding no handed in the middle of a quick moving group taking tops off/getting food etc
    Certainly reckon its a handy skill
  • blorg
    blorg Posts: 1,169
    MikeWW wrote:
    I'm not very good no handed but a lot of the guys I ride with are very comfortable riding no handed in the middle of a quick moving group taking tops off/getting food etc
    Certainly reckon its a handy skill
    It is, but TBH riding no hands in the middle of a quick moving group is probably bad manners. I've seen a crash result from that, hedge ended, side wind, rider unstabilised and grabbing the bars went into the guy beside him. I would only do this off the back of a group personally.

    If I see someone take both hands off the bars my eyes are on them until both hands are back and I back off their wheel for good measure. With the guy above I managed to swerve around the crash only as I was paying extra attention.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    MikeWW wrote:
    I'm not very good no handed but a lot of the guys I ride with are very comfortable riding no handed in the middle of a quick moving group taking tops off/getting food etc
    Certainly reckon its a handy skill

    All I can say is make sure you're in FRONT of this no hands yo-yo. :roll: :roll:
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    This is a frame geometry thing too: more rake and steeper head-tube angles make the steering less stable; less rake and shallower head-tubes do the opposite. It's quite possible that your frame is simply of the less stable variety, rather than any natural lack of balance. (That said, you can train this!)
  • cj504
    cj504 Posts: 110
    Have a bash on a light downhill, decent speed and weight back/firmly on your saddle - works for me! Not something I'd try in the middle of a group though - do that stuff at the back and out of the way
    Thresholds, 60-80%, HRM's...I'll just go for a ride