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  1. #1
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    Handlebars/grips noob question

    Hi all, i currently own a 2019 Giant Fathom1 that i love.. but i get fatigue most time in my palm! Could that be because handlebar are almost flat?Or my grip i put on ( ODI Rogue lock-on ) might be to thick?
    I was thinking getting new riser bar like 20 or 25mm.. wonder if that would help that problem or change grip. I ride mostly flat with few hills etc.. but nothing major. Since iím bored waiting winter to be done, i start slowly getting tools, accessories etc.. for this summer

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Probably bar height. Grip test will be cheaper if I'm wrong. But if I'm right, you wasted money on grips.

  3. #3
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    No. Its unlikely that changing the bar or grip with help much. If you are new to the sport, and ride hard, it may take time for your body to adapt.

    However, Rogues are one of the thickest grips going, and if your hands were very small... well, I suppose that might be an issue, but even then I doubt it.

    Save your money, and "run what you brung".

  4. #4
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    I will throw this in. Everyone is different, and what works for me may be a complete fail for you.

    I have pretty large hands. Long and lean, like the rest of my body. I take anywhere from a L to an XXL glove size, depending on brand.

    Consistent with my hand size, I used Rogues for a decade. My hands got pulverized over that time.

    Counterintuitively, in 2015 I tried thin grips instead, together with the most minimalist gloves I could find (as well as focusing on letting up on my pit bull death grip on the downs). I have never looked back. Problem solved, again, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

    Grips are inexpensive, and a quick swap. Try it.

  5. #5
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    Not to mention, if you're going to change things, do one thing at a time. Add too many changes together and you won't know which of those things is responsible for any improvements or reductions in comfort.

    I got my road bike fitted professionally after I'd ridden it for a couple hundred miles to feel how it worked for me and get used to it. I was having shoulder pain. Turned out, my seat was too high, and my upper body pitched too far forward to the bars. That's not to say that your problem will be your seat height. Just that your hand issues might not specifically be your grips or handlebar height. Like mtnbkrmike mentioned, he counterintuitively found that THINNER grips were more comfortable for him. I have long fingers (but not especially wide hands), and I need a fat grip to be able to wrap my fingers comfortably. Too thin, and my fingertips hit my palm when I wrap them around the grip.

    For me, with mtb bars, the correct rise to the bar is less about comfort and more about getting the optimal front/back weight balance. Bar SWEEP is something that I find affects comfort. Bars will typically come with backsweep and upsweep, and you can rotate the bars to tweak grip position. I like my grips fairly level, so I rotate my bars toward the saddle to achieve that. I also like some backsweep. Bars too "straight" (not enough backsweep) just aren't comfortable for me. Bars with TONS of sweep are comfier to me, but getting lots of backsweep with the width I want is tricky...the bars that hit it are super expensive. Right now, my bars have a moderate amount of backsweep and they're comfortable enough if I adjust my body position a bit to accommodate them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    ...Like mtnbkrmike mentioned, he counterintuitively found that THINNER grips were more comfortable for him. I have long fingers (but not especially wide hands), and I need a fat grip to be able to wrap my fingers comfortably. Too thin, and my fingertips hit my palm when I wrap them around the grip...
    Mine do as well, but I think that this has forced me to let up on my death grip. I'm pretty sure that it's not the grips per se that have been the direct cause of anything bad or good. But indirectly, the thinner grips have forced or allowed me to relax my hands hands and ride with confidence more loosely.

  7. #7
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    You may be riding with a bit of a 'death grip' that will relax a bit over time. I know a couple really experienced riders that like those grips with the flat shape for the palm (sort of like in the link below). I still like the old round Grab-ons, but there's some softer foam silicone grips from China that are super light and less than $1.50 on ebay.

    I do find that if I put my palms on the outer ends of my bars when I'm climbing (and won't need brakes), it changes things enough to minimize some fatigue.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ergonomic-R...5d4:rk:25:pf:0


    cheap chiner grips that I use. I put them on with my kids strong hairspray, and they stay put. I think there's other listings for even cheaper of what look to be the same thing.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1Pair-Bike-...72.m2749.l2649
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  8. #8
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    Has anybody mentioned carbon bars? They absorb chatter. <That, and Pearl Izumi gloves with gel packs in the palms. Used in conjunction and youíll never have that problem again, <in my best George Zimmerman voice.

    Easton: Best carbon bars on the market.

    Pearl Izumi: Best gloves with gel packs.

    / Thread

    Bars:
    https://www.bicyclebuys.com/easton-e...SABEgL-R_D_BwE

    Gloves: https://www.rei.com/product/892708/p...SABEgLV4fD_BwE
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Has anybody mentioned carbon bars? They absorb chatter. <That, and Pearl Izumi gloves with gel packs in the palms.

    Easton: Best carbon bars on the market.

    Pearl Izumi: Best gloves with gel packs.

    / Thread

    Bars: https://www.bicyclebuys.com/easton-e...SABEgL-R_D_BwE

    Gloves: https://www.rei.com/product/892708/p...SABEgLV4fD_BwE
    IMHO, the use of gel gloves is not addressing the root cause of the problem. In my case, I have been much better off with minimalist gloves and thin grips because they remind me to quit gripping the bar so tightly.

    I suspect that a death grip is the most obvious cause of hand issues for a lot of victims. Thick grips and gel gloves only encouraged me to grip as hard as I could, like my life depended on it. As soon as I got rid of them, its been loosey goosey and good times ever since.

    But again, that's me. That said, grips and gloves are inexpensive, disposable items. Easy to try. Could be a fix.

    I have no doubt that carbon bars assist significantly with damping. Not as inexpensive though. And like Harold said, one thing at a time when addressing the issue.

    I would start with grips, then gloves, grabbing the thinnest and most minimalistic and giving them a shot. Who knows...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    IMHO, the gel glove thing is not addressing the root cause of the problem. In my case, I have been much better off with minimalist gloves.

    I strongly believe that a death grip is the most obvious cause of hand issues. I have to remind myself constantly to let up on my grip. Thick grips and gel gloves only spurred me on to gripping like my life depended on it.

    As for carbon bars, I haven't ridden anything but carbon since 2006, so not sure. I suspect though that they assist significantly with damping.
    Well you addressed your problem. The ďdeath grip on the barsĒ. Hand pump, very common in motocross with a 250lb bike and more HP than any mortal could handle.

    Mountain biking is so similar. A gel pack glove in combination with a carbon bar that absorbs the vibration. Both absorb the vibration. In conjunction I bet the problem will be solved.

    I rode dirt bikes MX for 20 some years. Had the same issue, switched over to mountain biking and started off with carbon bars some 19 years ago. Not much issue but a little. I switched to Pearl Izumi gel pack gloves in conjunction with Easton carbon bars and ZERO issues since. That was 15 years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Well you addressed your problem. The ďdeath grip on the barsĒ. Hand pump, very common in motocross with a 250lb bike and more HP than any mortal could handle.

    Mountain biking is so similar. A gel pack glove in combination with a carbon bar that absorbs the vibration. Both absorb the vibration. In conjunction I bet the problem will be solved.

    I rode dirt bikes MX for 20 some years. Had the same issue, switched over to mountain biking and started off with carbon bars some 19 years ago. Not much issue but a little. I switched to Pearl Izumi gel pack gloves in conjunction with Easton carbon bars and ZERO issues since. That was 15 years ago.
    All true. But like I said, gel gloves and thick grips encouraged me to grip more fiercely.

    I can't remember what it's like to ride an alloy bar. I have been using a carbon bar since 2007, beginning with my Ransom LTD.

    Handlebars/grips noob question-fullsizeoutput_20.jpg

    Note the Rogue grips...

  12. #12
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    The thing you can do for free is play around with bar width. Move everything in a bit and go for a ride...if it gets better try to dial it in and then trim the bars. A lot of shops have a bunch of stems around for loan to experiment with bike fit. It's worth asking around, and will be a cheaper way than trying out different bars.
    I had very good luck running ergo grips ( the ones from Specialized, but I don't think the brand matters a ton) to help me keep my wrists straight when getting fatigue. They're not for everybody.


    Keep in mind that, the thing that helps me, or any one else here offering advice, may or may not be the thing that helps you...no one here has the one correct answer on these sorts of issues. Best luck
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  13. #13
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    Great points MOJO.

    Iím on 32Ē riser bars, always have been. This new wide bar thing could be the problem. The old rule of thumb was shoulder width to let your lungs work. Todayís extreme wide bars, although better for leverage and hauling ass across wide open terrain. In the tight single track itís a problem.

    Off course there sorry, a narrower bar may be the ticket for a more comfortable tendon arm pump.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    ...The old rule of thumb was shoulder width to let your lungs work.....
    Shoulders pivot outside of the rib cage and arm position had little to no effect on breathing. An example is time trialists and hour record holders who ride with their elbows nearly touching.
    Do the math.

  15. #15
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    I say drop bars, and be done.
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  16. #16
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    umm did you change the stock bars because that bike comes with 20~mm riser bars from the factory?

    blah blah.. with my anthem I wasn't comfortable at all I had 20mm~ riser bars on it... sadly I don't see them for sale anymore.. but I found some Answer 810 3" riser bars on bikewagon for $25~ (Clearance) and I love it...

    I'm very sensitive to hand fatigue..etc..I have raynaud's and it makes my hands go numb super easily with vibration from riding bikes..etc I also have Ergon GA1 grips..

  17. #17
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    Thanks all for the reply! I will try changing grip 1st.. as i found my ODI Rogue are a bit thick! Maybe that could be the problems! If that doesnít work iíll cut my bar to 760 if still same then 740.. if still same then iíll get new bar with 38mm rise since i can play with spacers OR maybe i hold my bars for dear life also like someone said he did also haha i have to remind myself try not to hold those grip so tight..

    Was looking at Ergon GE1 or GA2 for grips.. i use Large size gloves but very thin gloves for summer, padding gloves might be to hot for summer for me

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snooky35 View Post
    Thanks all for the reply! I will try changing grip 1st.. as i found my ODI Rogue are a bit thick! Maybe that could be the problems! If that doesnít work iíll cut my bar to 760 if still same then 740.. if still same then iíll get new bar with 38mm rise since i can play with spacers OR maybe i hold my bars for dear life also like someone said he did also haha i have to remind myself try not to hold those grip so tight..

    Was looking at Ergon GE1 or GA2 for grips.. i use Large size gloves but very thin gloves for summer, padding gloves might be to hot for summer for me
    DON'T cut your bar.

    Install any one of a number of lock on grips with no attached bar end plug/cover. Move your brakes and shifter inboard and outboard, together with your grips, and experiment with various widths.

    I cut a perfectly beautiful SixC bar once without enough thought. I have never cut a bar again. What a waste.

    Just be careful to not impale yourself, riding with no bar end plugs. I wouldn't recommend any balls to the wall epic rides while experimenting with bar widths. But make sure you do it on dirt, and not on the street in front of your house.

    Once you are 100% certain on width, cut, using one of those cutting guides. But make 100% sure the bar width is the cause of your hand issues, BEFORE you cut. Especially if you are running an expensive carbon bar.

    PS - bar width has never been the cause of any problems I have had. The wider the better for me. I run 800mm on my bikes. The one bar I cut, was cut to 760mm. Horrible mistake. Thankfully I sold the bar with the last bike I sold.

  19. #19
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by snooky35 View Post
    If that doesnít work iíll cut my bar to 760 if still same then 740..
    Don't cut the bars right away! With the lock-on grips, you can slide everything in and ride it like they are shorter without cutting them.

    None of us mentioned playing with damping settings on the fork or draining the tires a few psi.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by snooky35 View Post
    Thanks all for the reply! I will try changing grip 1st.. as i found my ODI Rogue are a bit thick! Maybe that could be the problems! If that doesnít work iíll cut my bar to 760 if still same then 740.. if still same then iíll get new bar with 38mm rise since i can play with spacers OR maybe i hold my bars for dear life also like someone said he did also haha i have to remind myself try not to hold those grip so tight..

    Was looking at Ergon GE1 or GA2 for grips.. i use Large size gloves but very thin gloves for summer, padding gloves might be to hot for summer for me
    If your bike isn't a 35mm clamp, you can probably find cheap bars to use as a cutting experiment. If the reduced width doesn't help, you will still have your stock bars to fall back on, and I think an inexpensive bar to experiment with may be a cheaper option then replacing bars with an equal quality bar.

    I think cutting should be a last resort though. Try other things like bar height on the stem, rolling the bar back or forward (changes the way you lean on the bike, and the wrist angle. Maybe even saddle adjustments. Of course you want the bike to fit properly so don't make too many adjustment to get you into a poor fit just to save your hands.

    Maybe in time your body will adapt. Maybe not. I know people that have painful rides most of the time because of body limitations. Usually neck/shoulder muscle tension.

    Good luck with your troubleshooting. Small adjustments, one at a time and you'll hopefully get the problem solved.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    ...None of us mentioned playing with damping settings on the fork or draining the tires a few psi.
    Agreed. Great points.

    My hand issues were also relieved a great deal by removing the tokens from my old Pike. And tire pressure on my old Range was critical. A 2 psi swing could move things from reasonably smooth, to retina detaching rough.

  22. #22
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    OP, any chance your saddle has down tilt?
    "You can be clipped in and be boring or ride flats and have a good time." - Sam Hill

  23. #23
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    I had a similar problem. I found that the Ergon GP1 gave a flatter, more comfortable platform for my hands. I had them on my old bike, and when I got a new bike I decided to try the OEM grips for a few rides. I hated it and immediately moved back to the Ergon's. People either seem to love or hate them though.

    I had a pair of Pearl Izumi's with gel padding. The gel created uncomfortable pressure points on my palm so I ended up cutting them out. I'm not sure if that was just my hands, or if they didn't work well with the Ergon's though.

    Carbon bars were definitely more comfortable. But it was a different kind of comfort than what the Ergon's provided.

    At some point I would like to try a thicker normal shaped grip to see how it works. The problem with thin grips is that my long fingers wrap all the way around the bar and dig into the palm of my hand on the other side. This makes it harder to grip the bars well, and it causes pain in the tips of my fingers and palm of my hand. Larger grips like the Ergon's stop that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    Don't cut the bars right away! With the lock-on grips, you can slide everything in and ride it like they are shorter without cutting them.

    None of us mentioned playing with damping settings on the fork or draining the tires a few psi.
    Good idea.. iíll play with all those options for sure before cutting them

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    OP, any chance your saddle has down tilt?
    When i got the bike i felt it was more tilt from back.. i level it

  26. #26
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    Get a riser bar & play with rotation backwards & forwards...



    'Born to ride!'
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  27. #27
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    No mention of OP's size which could be relevant. If you are a tall geek like me (6'4"), bikes come with fork steerer tube pre-cut. Combine that with a 36" inseam and that puts my 'dropper extended' seat height way above the bars. There is no room for more spacers under stem and you end up with excessive pressure on hands/wrists during times when seat is extended. I ended up getting 40mm risers and that made the difference.

    OP says he rides 'mostly flat with few hills'...do you have a dropper and is it being used much or do you typically have seat at 'fully extended' position? With seat in fully extended position does this put you in a body position that puts excessive pressure on hands/wrists? Do you have any room under stem for a spacer or two?

    Don't know what came stock for bars but if you are thinking different bars, consider the 'backsweep' angle as well as 'rise'.

    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...-buyers-guide/
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Get a riser bar & play with rotation backwards & forwards...



    'Born to ride!'
    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    Don't know what came stock for bars but if you are thinking different bars, consider the 'backsweep' angle as well as 'rise'.

    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...-buyers-guide/
    Yep, endless positioning options over flat bars. Nothing wrong with flat bars if you have no issues like the OP but there is so many positioning options with a back sweep riser with just a slight rotation of the bars it changes drastically.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  29. #29
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    Sorry i shouldíve put more info.. iím 6í 1/2Ē, 275lbs, inseam 32, and all my spacers are under the stem. I do have droper post but never got a chance really play with since mostly flat & few hills.. i usualy have my seat height where my legs ďalmostĒ straight on pedals,
    Here is the specs for my bike.. doesnít say much for the handlebars

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/fathom-1-2019

  30. #30
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    Padded gloves and thick grips do the same thing to me as what the OP is dealing with, and I'm looong past the MTB 'break-in' period.

    Try some thinner grips and if your gloves have padding in the palm, try some without it.
    Rogues kill my hands; grips like the Lizard Skin logo versions work perfectly.
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  31. #31
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    I've found in the beginning of the riding season for me my palms hurt also. I think it comes down to core strength and leaning all your weight from your torso down to the grips.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  32. #32
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    I used to get quite a bit of fatigue and hands going numb over the last 2 -3 years of riding. I ended up finding out that I had double carpal tunnel. Also, I realized that my ODI Rogue grips were not the right thing for me. They are very grippy and large, but I had issues holding on to the bar when I was descending. My hands are really big but it's possible that these grips were just too big for me. I ended up swapping them out for another set of custom grips (Evergreen MTB Alliance style!!). They have a much smaller gripping surface on them and I stopped having issues with hand fatigue. It also helped that I engaged my core much more.

    Last night, I decided to give Rev Grips a try and placed an order for a pro series medium set. It's suspension tuning for grips. It seems that they sell out a lot on Jenson and people give it good reviews. I'm always down for trying out new components so I will see how these work out. I actually got $13 off the sticker price ($76 after discount) going through Jenson.

    If you are interested in them, here they are: https://revgrips.com/
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  33. #33
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    Watch out, Ninji will along shortly to recommend a bike with different geo and a better body position. Though it will take 500 words to do it.
    What a perfect waste of time

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackWare View Post
    Watch out, Ninji will along shortly to recommend a bike with different geo and a better body position. Though it will take 500 words to do it.
    Yeah, he needs to take all of that to YouTube or maybe Pink Bike's forum instead! I don't know why he wastes so much time typing out thesis paper rebuttals to everything that is said no matter how minor. I guess he is a "sports physiologist" considering he knows so much about trying your hardest to climb during a race.
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