Cycle Oregon Training Tips: Hands

Hands can say a lot, but unfortunately most of ours don’t get a lot of attention while we’re riding our bikes. When you’re on a quick five-miler to the store or even a 35 mile weekend adventure, this might not be a big deal.

But when it comes to riding a multi-day distance ride like Cycle Oregon, your entire body will thank you for giving your hands a little TLC.

Top Four Tips for Hand Positions While Riding a Bike

1. Don’t make your hands do all the work

It’s easy to rest on our hands, but that’s not really fair to the little guys. Strengthen your core to lighten the load on your wrists and hands. [read our tips here]

2. Alter your hand positions

You might have a favorite hand position, and chances are it has formed out of habit, not pure body comfort. Be sure to move your hands around as you ride to vary which muscle groups are being used. Even just slight shifts in position can make a big difference.

3. Know when to be where

When you climb, do you alter your hand position? Most of us don’t think about it, but where our hands are on the bars can make a big difference in how we approach different course elements, such as descents and hill climbs.

When you’re climbing and won’t need to shift or brake for extended periods of time, grab the top bar. This is a natural and comfortable position for your hands.

4. Keep your wrists straight

Ensure your wrists are in a nice straight line as you lightly grip the bars. If you see creases in your wrists, they’re not straight enough.

Do your fingers go numb when you’re on your bike for a while? Keeping your wrists straight allows your arms to help pitch in and alleviates strain on your wrists and may eliminate problems with your fingers going numb.

Watch the video

We’re running a series of Cycle Oregon Training Tips all season long. Cycle Oregon’s week-long ride is September 12-19 and the weekend ride is July 10-12. Sign up today at

Read more tips on preparing for a multi-day ride here >>

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