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Hi. When riding on the flats during normal conditions I usually place my hands on the tops of the bars. I feel, however, that this places too much weight on my rear end.

Lately, I've been trying to ride more with my hands on the brake hoods, distributing more weight on my hands to take pressure off my seat.

Even though this initially does not feel more natural, I feel in the long run it might be a more comfortable, efficient position. Of course, when conditions change I move my hands around. For example, going uphill, I put my hands back on the tops of the bars.

Where is the best place to place your hands when riding? What is the wisdom about this?
 

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It depends a lot on how fast you are riding. At 30+ speeds, My hands are usually grabbing someone's jersey for a tow.
15-18 tops
19-21 hoods
22-23 hoods with elbows bent @ 90
24-26 drops

Everyone is different. Just make sure that you keep moving your hands to different positions.
 

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In group riding, you should have your hands in the hoods. Typically if a problem arises, you will not be able to stop in time if on the top bar. Climbing is good for the tops, you are going at a slower speed and this gives you leverage. Descents are for the drops, this gives you good control for cornering and high speeds.
You don't want to descend on the tops...too unstable.
Moving your hands around from time to time on long rides will prevent them from getting numb.
 

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I sometimes ride with my hands on the tops when I am climbing. On the flats I put them on the hoods (not too many flats here). I seldom ride in the drops. If you ride on the tops, and are going a good clip, you take the chance of losing control if you hit a road hazard..

If you find yourself riding with your hands on the tops because of comfort, you might be a candidate for a shorter stem..that is an indicator for me...
 

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I generally go with the hoods. On decents or fast efforts on flat ground ill go with the drops and I like to climb on the flats. Sprinting I actually like the hoods... although that could be because im in need of a shallow drop bar
 

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I really like the new bars with the flat tops. Sooo much more comfy then the skinny round bars of a few years ago. Bought a new pair of Truvativ Roleur bars this year and love them. Lot's of people like the shallow drop bars, eazier to get into the aero position and spend more time in the drops.
 

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I normally ride in the drops even when just spinning on the flats (which is the only kind of landscape in Western Australia ;) ) is this a problem and could this be from some other problems, like seat too far back or whatever?
 

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I actually do feel at times that riding on the hoods is a tad more stable in crosswinds vs the drops for some reason. Weird? :idea: Not sure though.

Normally, I ride on the hoods but I've picked up the habit of riding Jens Voigt style in terms of grabbing the brake hoods of my Shimano brifters wih my entire palms.

Lately, I've also draped my forearms over the tops of the bars too just to vary it a little.

The tops - for some climbs or when I just wanna ease up a little perhaps or when I'm really struggling with neck/back pains etc after a long time off the bike.
 

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Haridic said:
I normally ride in the drops even when just spinning on the flats (which is the only kind of landscape in Western Australia ;) ) is this a problem and could this be from some other problems, like seat too far back or whatever?
WHAT!?!?!? You use your bike as intended? What kind of silly thinking is that?

Tops are handy for stabilizing the ride when reaching for a bottle, removing a jacket, etc., and aren't bad for sitting up in a climb Hoods are a reasonable in-between position for JRA, when you're not attempting to actually make time, need to stretch, etc. The drops are where we were meant to ride most of the time.

Unfortunately, the prevalance of sti/ergo led to a trend of riding predominantly on the hoods, which over time changed what folks think of as 'proper' fit. Bar-to-saddle drop has increased and reach decreased to the point where the drops are often only useful for short periods, and often can't be used as intended without sore backs, flared elbows, or stiff-armed riding that's neither comfortable or agile. You could saw the drops off of 90% of bikes and their riders would never notice. I'm half surprised it hasn't turned into a trend.

End rant. BTW, I love ergo levers. They simply have had some unfortunate and unintended consequenses on the wonderful versatility that is drop bars.
 
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