Pain in the hands when trying out bikes

Mrtennis Posts: 153
edited August 2013 in Road general
Some of you may have read my other post about my visit to Halfords in an attemp to try out a boardman bike, which didn't go to plan.
Well I also went to Evans and tried a Cannondale Caad8. Having never ridden a road bike before, I found I was getting a lot of pain in my hands, like they were taking all my weight and they were straining a lot.
The guys there were very helpful, with quite a few of them taking a look at my riding position and tweeking that saddle here and there. They all agreed though that I looked to be in the right position. In the end we all came to the conclusion, myself included, that I'm just not used to the position of a road bike and that I would get used to it.
I would want to be using a road bike from anything between 50, and hopefully if I get fit enough, 100 mile rides. But 10 minutes riding round the block and I got the feeling that my hands would just crap up after hours in the saddle if the pain didn't improve.
So is it a matter of getting used to it or the bike not being the right fit? (think I am going to go back to try a synapse as it's supposed to be more upright, and therefore hopefully put less pressure on my hands)


  • cesco
    cesco Posts: 252
    I definitely felt more pain in my hands when I started out than I do now. Eventually you'll find the right set up, a riding position that feels comfortable, and yes, you will get used to it.

    Same for my back actually.
  • frisbee
    frisbee Posts: 691
    It shouldn't feel that unnatural, certainly not to the extent that you are feeling pain after a few minutes. Sounds like its somehow pressing on nerves.

    If you ride in a climbing position, gripping the flats of the bar near the stem, its not that different from a mountain bike position.
  • GGBiker
    GGBiker Posts: 450
    It's a subconscious mind control effect implemented by your wife to stop you spending money.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    You could try lowering the bars. When I first switch to road from MTB I found everything too cramped and low. After about 6 months I have adjusted it to make it smaller. Your other option of course is to run some aero clip ons. Personally gloves make a big difference. I only use specialized bg gel gloves and mits and have found nothing else gets close to them for comfort.
  • Mrtennis
    Mrtennis Posts: 153
    GGBiker wrote:
    It's a subconscious mind control effect implemented by your wife to stop you spending money.
    Could have been right if I had a wife, or even partner that could be making me feel this way :D
  • Mrtennis
    Mrtennis Posts: 153
    oxoman wrote:
    Its all about position / bike fit. I have noticed a lot of new riders trying to ride on drops all the time so could it be down to this. Double bar tape or gel pads under the bar tape in key places will help. Bar position / reach also saddle height and again reach from the saddle all play a part in hand comfort. Yes its uncomfortable to start with until you find the perfect position. As diy mentions decent padded gloves are a must. Try not to grip the bars to hard as well. Suspect something in GGBikers statement may be correct as well.
    It may have been this. It was hard for me to stay really relaxed, especially when I felt like I was putting more effort in I felt like I put more pressure through my hands.
    Diy mentions that maybe the bars need lowering. Surely that would just put even more pressure on my hands if I'm leaning on them more?
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    On a traditional sit up and beg bike this would be true, but you are already way past the angle that will make a difference. Lower bars or higher seat (fit allowing) will make your lower back do more work. Also frequently changing hand position will help. Evans or cyclesurgery sell spesh gloves.

    Show them this link ... gel_gloves

    And they will price match. Cyclesurgery have a better policy than evans but it will save you paying 25 quid.
  • The position/angle of the brake hoods may also be making a difference. If you're having to bend your wrists or stretch your hands in order to brake/change gear that might be contributing to the discomfort?

    It might also be worth trying a bike shop with a more thorough approach to bike fitting than chains such as Evans or Halfords. A good bike shop won't sell you a bike that doesn't fit you.

    As someone else mentioned, you do see a lot of new cyclists (some not-so-new!) permanently riding in the drops - that can't be comfortable!
  • RDW
    RDW Posts: 1,900
    Steve Hogg really does know his stuff. If you want advice then do not go to Halfords

    He might be right about bars, but after reading this nonsense I find it a bit hard to take him seriously: ... are-of-it/
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,245
    I think your hands start hurting as a warning in case you want to reach for the wallet... :wink:
    left the forum March 2023