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Do you ride handsfree?

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, the stupid tricks thread got me thinking about riding no-handed. I'm not that good at it, but I don't think of myself as a poorer rider because of it. When I was a kid I did it all the time, but for some reason that compact frame is just a bit too twitchy for me right now. Sure I can do it for short distances (mainly when coasting), but I haven't practiced doing in for longer distances. There's no way I would do it around others though, I'd probably run them off the road. Some of the guys I ride with can do it quite well, holding a great line at that.

I can hold a line, ride in a pack, and draft without raising an eyebrow with the people I ride with. Am I really missing out because I can't ride handsfree? It's not like I'm grabbing feedbags out on Rec rides...

Not that this will change my opinion or habits, just curious about how many others do this regularly.
 

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I am no Guide
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I have found that as my bikes have gotten more sophisticated (read exspensive) riding with no hands has become more difficult and as I have gotten older a much less desireable thing to do.

So you are not the only one who finds your bike too twitchy to ride no hands.
 

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bikes are inanimate objects...

anthrax said:
I have found that as my bikes have gotten more sophisticated (read exspensive) riding with no hands has become more difficult and as I have gotten older a much less desireable thing to do.

So you are not the only one who finds your bike too twitchy to ride no hands.

they are only as twitchy as the person riding them....
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bahueh said:
they are only as twitchy as the person riding them....
I debated using the word twitchy for this very reason. Perhaps "responsive" would have been a better choice. When comparing my Masi to my Cross Check, there is a definite difference. When I'm on the Cross Check I make semi-conscious efforts for change of motion, with the Masi (and other bikes of similar geometry I've ridden) it becomes second nature... if this makes any sense.

Cars are inaminate objects as well, but I'll take a Ferrari over a Fire Engine on a downhill mountain road with tons of switchbacks any day of the week. YMMV...
 

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I can ride with no hands on my road bike forever, but on my mountain bike I can't do it for very long. I suspect that it has to do with how quick your steering is, which I believe is related to head tube angle, fork rake, etc. Fast steering is not very forgiving of twitches.

No hands riding is definitely a skill you should have, because you don't have to stop to remove clothing (or put it on if you are really good), clean your glasses, or rip open a power bar.
 

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I ride no hands to take off/put on a jacket all the time. If I'm with a group I'll wait till I'm at the back unless I know them really well. I won't do it if there's a gusting cross wind or I'm on a narrow road with traffic. Gotta be careful not to let the jacket dangle; it could get caught in the back wheel.

When I was younger if I had on a long sleeved jeresy under my regular jersey and it got too warm, I'd take the long sleeved jersey off while riding. First you take the helmet off and strap it to the bars, put glasses in the helmet, then take off the outer jersey, then hold it while you take off the inner long sleeved jersey, then hold that and put the outer one back on, then put the jersey you took off into a pocket and put the glasses and helmet back on. Then you chase down your training partner who attacked while your hands were full.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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On a bike with a long drop from saddle to bars, I can't ride no-hands steadily. On my Kirk, which has a pretty small drop, I can do it all day. I always assumed it had to do with center of gravity or some such thing.

I don't make a habit of riding with no hands, though. I usually try to do things one-handed on the bike, eating and whatnot, though if I absolutely have to, I can take off a jacket while riding one-handed.
 

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Still On Steel
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I chose the second option, but there arguably should have been a "depends on the bike" choice, as others have suggested. I could probably ride no-hands for about as far as I wanted to on my old Allez, but on my new LeMond, which is a bit more twit^H^H^H^H responsive, I can maybe manage long enough to get a PowerBar unwrapped and that's about the limit.
 

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bahueh said:
they are only as twitchy as the person riding them....

Not true, I am noticably more comfortable riding with no hands on my CAD3 dale than my Look KG271. My guess is the more angled seat tube on the LOOK puts me a little further back and it isn't as stable.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good point, I really didn't think of that until a few post had come in. Unfortunately I didn't see an option to edit the poll.
 

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depends on the bike i'm riding and how balanced i feel that day, but more often than not, on my roadie i can ride as long as i want no handed. my only fear is hitting unexpected rough pavement. i've even gotten to the point that i can take off or put on a rain jacket or arm warmers while riding. or i can just stretch my shoulders/back out no handed.

also, i find it much easier to pedal no handed than coast no handed. not sure why but i do.

on my FS mtb i can't ride no handed. the bike is just twichier (probably a steeper head tube angle than my roadie) and i can't find the sweetspot to control the bike with no hands.

rt
 

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Chris H said:
Cars are inaminate objects as well, but I'll take a Ferrari over a Fire Engine on a downhill mountain road with tons of switchbacks any day of the week. YMMV...
Yes, but you could still get the Fire Engine down the hill!!

I ride no hands to get food open or remove a jacket or so. I also have been know to sit up a little on long rides to stretch out the back. :thumbsup:
 

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Headsets vary, too.

Even a slightly crusty headset makes it tougher and a truly indexed one makes it damned near impossible for me to keep a straight line. It's also a lot harder when I commute with one pannier and have lots of stuff in it.

I ride no hands frequently, just to stay comfortable doing it and check my headsets. It's nice to be able to use both hands on a zipper or take off my arm warmers without getting off the bike.
 

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Chris H said:
I debated using the word twitchy for this very reason. Perhaps "responsive" would have been a better choice. When comparing my Masi to my Cross Check, there is a definite difference. When I'm on the Cross Check I make semi-conscious efforts for change of motion, with the Masi (and other bikes of similar geometry I've ridden) it becomes second nature... if this makes any sense.

Cars are inaminate objects as well, but I'll take a Ferrari over a Fire Engine on a downhill mountain road with tons of switchbacks any day of the week. YMMV...
I'm in agreement with you Chris. Lenght of wheelbase and amount of Rake make a big difference. I wouldn't be suprised if Slack comes into play as well.

Scot
 

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As a kid my friends and I would have contests to see who could go the longest. I agree with the posters who say that the bike makes a differance. I can do it on all my bikes, but some are definatly easier than others.
 
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