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Discussion Starter #1
Though I definitely prefer relaxing to being tense and a light grip to a tight one, when I'm not paying attention to it I find my grip being tight. I think the reason is that I don't want some surprise, like the 4 inch wide seam between two slabs of concrete on an off-ramp I took yesterday to jerk the bars out of my hands. Anyone else have this problem? My hands get numb from it.
 

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It's a very, very common problem. Every rider goes through this.

A large portion of the people who complain bitterly about ergonomics or handlebar vibration for any given bike are simply wearing themselves out with this perpetual death grip.

I'd suggest reading "A Twist of the Wrist 2" by Keith Code for some in-depth psychological and physiological explanations of why this happens and what do do about it.

Of course, there's lots of other info besides that will make you a better rider... :hurray:


Here's a small preview -- Lesson 4 - "Be a Good Passenger" is most relevant.
Superbike School :: This Man Will Teach You to Ride Better

By using a death grip, you are actually not allowing the bike to do its job -- if there is a sudden problem like that seam, your slow biological overreactions are going to cause far more trouble with unneccessary input.
 

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The more often we intentionally relax, the more often we'll find ourselves already relaxed. Relaxed hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/neck/face/body allows us to very quickly react to things like the gap in the pavement. Rigid hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/body would cause that wrenching motion to throw our body around, the shaken body makes new unintended input to the bars through the rigid arms, making it more difficult to recover.
 
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