Ask PB - Single Chainring with a No-Clutch Rear Derailleur and Hand Pain On Long Descents

May 4, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
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Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.





Single Chainring with a No-Clutch Rear Derailleur?

Question: pauldbrienkennedyasks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: Anyone ever tried their luck going to a single ring front setup without a clutched rear mech? I'd like to convert my SX trail to a one-ring set up. I have a brand new Shimano XT Shadow rear derailleur, and a new cassette and chain, so I don’t want to replace my entire drivetrain again. Cheers!

Oneup Components 42 tooth cog test review installed
I did a lot of early testing of various one-by components using this Pivot Mach 5 with a non-clutch Shimano XTR rear derailleur. I removed the MRP guide after switching to narrow-wide rings and hardly ever had a dropped chain, but I'd still suggest using a top guide for insurance.


bigquotesI have experience with a number of one-by combinations using un-clutched Shimano and SRAM rear derailleurs, and have had good luck keeping the chains on using narrow-wide chainrings from 34 to 30 teeth without the benefit of a chainguide. I used the shortest chain length I could to keep as much chain tension in the system as possible, and I made that measurement by shifting to the largest cog, removing the air from the shock and then running the suspension to the end of its travel to ensure that there was enough take-up in the derailleur cage to compensate for chain growth.

Using booster, 40 and 42-tooth cogs and ten-speed cassettes with Shimano XT, XTR, and SRAM X9 mech's, I rarely tossed a chain with three conversions on the Pivot Mach 5, and never on the Specialized FSR 29er comp that I often used for product tests. (my guess is that I was lucky, or that the Comp had longer chainstays.) The brand of narrow-wide sprockets did not seem to matter much.

That said: I'd suggest adding a small top guide as a security measure. You'll know right away if you are going to need one. During testing, if I lost the chain once a day, I'd add a top guide. Once a week, however, I would consider acceptable. On a side note, many people are riding clutchless without knowing it. The clutch tension of many early SRAM type-2 clutch derailleurs fades to almost nothing and many of those bikes are cranking out the miles without any chain issues today. Check your mech's. - RC




Hand Pain On Long Descents?

Question: scottneilson24 asks in the Fitness, Health, and Training forum: At the end of last season, I started to notice that my hands developed a good deal of pain during long & technical descents (>5 mins). It's like the type of pain that goes away after clenching/un-clenching my fists for a minute or so. I guess the cause is probably from death gripping the bars as I notice I do that when the going gets rough.

I was wondering if anyone with this type of problem has any ideas on how to stop it happening? Any specific grips or bar shapes or brake lever angle or even just technique changes? Also any ideas on how to train my hands to be stronger and have more endurance?



bigquotesIt won't be long before the bike park season is in full swing here in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing with it a sudden increase in the number of riders experiencing what I call 'Whistler Claw' or 'A-Line Hand.' It's an ailment that can affect anyone, but it's more typically experienced by visitors who aren't familiar with the high speeds and long runs found in the bike park, and by the end of the first day end up with hands that are locked into the shape of the letter C.

The culprit is the death grip that you mentioned - a too-tight grasp prevents the blood in you hands and arms from circulating properly, and before you know it you need to have a friend help you unwrap your fingers from your grips. Loosening your grip and riding with a more relaxed grasp on your handlebar is the easiest way to help alleviate this, but that's often easier said than done.

I'd start by evaluating your brake lever position. In your typical riding position, you should be able to easily reach the levers without any awkward bending of your wrist. A 45-degree angle is a good starting point, and you can adjust from there to suit your preference - if you typically ride steeper trails you may want the levers positioned even higher.

The point where your index finger contacts the lever is important too - when you're braking, you should be pulling from the slight curve that's found on the outer portion of the lever blade. That's where you'll have the most leverage, and thus, be able to apply the most power with the least amount of effort. Don't be afraid to slide your levers more inboard on the handlebar, away from the edges of your grips - that will help make it easier to find the ideal position.

Trying different grips can also help, but that comes down to personal preference rather than being directly related to hand size. If you're running really thick grips, maybe try something thinner, or vice versa. Finally, work on staying relaxed and breathing during those long runs. Pay attention to how tightly you're holding on, and when the trail allows, loosen your grip to allow the blood in your arms and hands to keep circulating unimpeded. Eventually, you'll find that bouts of hand and arm pump become much less common. - Mike Kazimer

Greg Williamson s Cube
Experimenting with different brake lever positions and grip styles can help alleviate arm pump.




Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


130 Comments

  • 225 18
 My girls hand is always in the shape of a C
  • 332 6
 why is she a crab ?
  • 29 1
 I don't know if I should +1 or -1. Had a good laugh though!
  • 45 2
 @bazegg: no, she's always calling him a wanker :-)
  • 8 0
 @JosHan: f..kin hell that made me laugh
  • 17 7
 While she's cupping her mouth to shout at you?
  • 2 1
 @bazegg: haha yes ^^
  • 28 2
 You can cure yourself of this terrible affliction by drinking Pineapple juice. Her hands will return to normal, enjoy Smile
  • 2 2
 @RollinFoSho: so true, this has worked for me 5 years running but it cant be stored bought or pasteurized.

The enzyme in pineapple that helps is called bromelain, this is cooked off during the pasteurization process.
  • 36 1
 Did you really mean to upper-case that 'c'?
  • 2 1
 @meesterover: No it belongs as a lower case c
  • 2 0
 If that's the only thing she's doing with that hand then you might need a new girlfriend.
  • 1 0
 @malathion: Maybe the left? I always feel like it is cheating on the right though.
  • 1 0
 @enduroelite:

true again, fresh, ripe and sweet Pineapples are best Smile
  • 20 0
 his girlfriend is a lego woman. awkward
  • 1 1
 little c or Capitol C? Honor rule now!
  • 1 1
 that be a lower case c
  • 110 1
 hand pain will go away when you switch to metric sized grips.
  • 4 24
flag t-turi-mullett (May 5, 2016 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 Neg prop because you are American and probably support imperial units
  • 1 1
 and duct tape
  • 7 4
 All these americans neg propping me. Go vote for trump or some other dumb shit you guys do.
  • 69 5
 Throw some no handers and you won't get arm pump!
  • 48 1
 Dear Hand Pain man - There is some good advice here, but if it's a serious amount of pain, go see a physiotherapist. I used to get really bad hand pain and everybody would chime in with suggestions, most of them "You just need to ride more". Physiotherapist pointed out I had weirdly flexible hands that tended to collapse on themselves and cut off the blood flow. She suggested some weird hand strengthening exercises (folding my thumb into my palm using exercise clay) and it made a huge difference. It might be set up. It might be conditioning. It also might be some weird physical quirk that you have and only a professional is going to be able to help.
  • 7 0
 I have carpal tunnel issues from typing. My hands get sore and tired from really rough sustained downhills. To compensate, I ride bigger diameter grips (Lizard Skin North Shore), gel padded gloves, and turned my levers down slightly so when i brake, my wrist stays straight and not bent. Too much braking will also contribute to the pain. More powerful brakes (especially with 203mm rotors) also help as you do not need to squeeze as hard.
  • 6 1
 If the brakes have good adjustment, and if they're sharp enough! Get them so they're working close to the grip, so your brake finger isn't stretched out. That and bigger diameter grips worked for my numb hands
  • 13 1
 @jdendy: I have small hands... (go ahead and insert your joke) and I always was getting hand pain or pretty much losing strength on long downhills. I ride at a reasonable level and come from a mx/ bmx background so I'm familiar with arm pump issues. Now I checked out Johanne Barreli's bike at a race and I noticed that they were putting their levers way up, maybe a 10-20 incline as opposed to RC's starting point of 45. So I thought I'd try it. turns out it was awesome, now when you are just riding around it feels funny but once the speed goes up and the steepness increases I feel this puts my hands in a more natural position for those areas when you are holding on for dear life and braking at the max. IMHO it was a help for me and its free to try.
  • 4 0
 I had hand numbing issues which developed after 30+ years of riding traditional 9 degree bend handlebars. Switched to some Alt bars: Answer 20/20's and they pretty much are responsible for allowing me to keep riding. As the name suggests, they have a 20 degree bend. Only potential drawback, they are 720mm wide, which for most bike park riders would be considered really narrow. Other than that, they've been great and I had zero issues adapting to the new hand position.

Also, ESI Chunky grips and gel pad gloves have helped.
  • 8 0
 @brownstone: Yeah I read somewhere that some racers were adjusting their levers higher for really steep descents since their bodies were back and low. I think it all depends what is causing the pain. Also it is like saddles; not all saddles are for everyone. No I will not insert a joke about small hands. I am not running for president of the United States. Shoot, I just inserted a joke!
  • 4 0
 @jdendy: i have the answer... Stop braking!!!
  • 2 0
 @mountaincross: ESI's helped me noticeably. Only problem being they dont take more than one or two decent crashes. Also, less brake lever angle seems to have helped.
  • 6 1
 ESI extra chunky grips and Spank Vibrocore bars helped with my hand pain.
  • 2 1
 @schofell84: wrap the last quarter inch of grip in black cloth "hockey" tape; prevents tears. Also, good aluminium bar plugs.
  • 1 0
 @jdendy: Geronimo is brutal! tup
  • 1 0
 Also if you ride with elbow pads, I experienced them to be causing hand troubles if too tight. Switched to a more comfy set (especially with arms bent) and problems be gone.
  • 3 1
 I'm surprised carbon bars were not mentioned , I'd of thought a bit of extra flex (like the Renthals) would help with hand pain
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: Good point.That's something I am researching. I have the stock low end aluminum bars on my bike.
  • 1 0
 @therealtylerdurden: no sheet! I ride a 160mm travel bike and stop to rest for a bit on the top of the short uphill before heading back down. That's why I commented on this post.
  • 2 0
 Consider the ESI Extra Chunky grips. I've found their regular grips wear in and compress after a few months so the extra chunky's end up more like the normal ones. Take the clamp from a ODI lockon grip and secure it to the end (you have to push the grips slightly inward). Then put a plug as you would normally and it will save your foam grips.
  • 2 0
 @jdendy: try the spank vibrocore bars I was having mad issues with my enve bar so gave the spanks a try and they solved the problem!
  • 42 1
 Dropping a chain once a week is acceptable? Wow. Seeing as there are products that keep it from virtually EVER happening, this is such a bizarre position. What else would you put up with falling off your bike just once a week? Your saddle? Pedals?

Hope it doesn't fall off, you don't notice, and you grab some pedals out of a corner. Your nuts deserve better.
  • 4 0
 So happy someone mentioned this...
  • 21 0
 Wider bars have helped my hand pain and trigger finger. If you're already running wide bars, then probs just cut off ur hands and ride with hooks yar
  • 14 2
 Hand pain guy - Be balanced over your pedals so you are only steering and not pushing or pulling on the bar from being too far forward or back. A bunch of us took some DH training at Whistler from Shaums March. This was one of his first lessons. He asked us if our hands hurt after a day in the park. He said if you're pushing or pulling on the bar then you're not centred and you're using you're gripping too hard to keep you on the bike and you get the arm pump. So now if I feel I'm putting a bit too much pressure on the bars, I shift my weight so I don't need to grip as hard. Dirt Merchant all day and no need to shake out the hands. Being balanced over the pedals has many other benefits too. Thank Shaums! Now if only I could grow some so I can do Crabapple........
  • 2 0
 I torn a ligament in my shoulder on the first day of riding in the bikepark last year. I thought about that video of a guy from UK riding one handed, so I decided to make the best out of Lee McCormacks shred fu on staying centered. With good stance I could even jump tabletops. But I still do get arm pump. Trying different grip thickness and lever adjustment is one thing but You can't really get around training the grip strength away from the bike. Home gym is good enough. Many coaches from all sorts of disciplines saygrip strength is one of the foundations of overall strength as it influences the combined strength of muscles of your whole arm. You can chin up more, you can deadlift more, all sorts of things.
  • 1 0
 +1, Shaums is a great rider and coach. Did a 2 day camp with him and it completely changed my riding for the better.
  • 14 0
 All the reviews on components on this site, and the first we hear about the sram clutch deterioration is just now... wow. THANKS PINKBIKE
  • 5 0
 I am hoping they will give detailed guidance on how to check if your clutch derailleur is actually clutching (working?)
  • 3 0
 @onemind123: push the mech with your hand when clutch is on\off, if it is working you will feel the difference.
  • 3 0
 With the early sram clutch derailleurs (mine came on a 2013 bike) you can pop off the little plastic cover over the clutch tension bolt and crank that sucker down to increase the clutch break-away resistance. I guess over time the friction material in the clutch will wear.

My understanding is that you don't have this option on the latest clutch derailleurs.
  • 9 0
 I'm surprised PB didn't mention lever reach. @scottneilson24 See those knobs on most brakes? That's to bring the lever inward to help from overextending your hand. This leads to overextending the muscles and causes fade on long descents. Bring those levers as close in towards the bar as you feel comfortable with and still have the power you need. You'll find your hands feel less fatigued. Most people run them at the default and now that I've worked on this it's so far away I can't even comprehend it. My friends think I'm crazy but I find it really helps on a long and rocky descent and rarely ever get arm pump.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I recently just switched bikes and the stock brakes don't come with reach adjust but I did have it, problem I found was the closer I had it into the bar, the easier it was to bottom the travel out on the grip. I guess I need a lever with a small amount of movement so that I can run it closer without actually touching the bar
  • 4 0
 @scottneilson24: Yes. I've found if it's really bottoming out to adjust it a bit more out and it's fine. If it's being erratic(as XT brakes are known to do) I do a full bleed and that seems to solve that issue. Brakes are something nobody should ever go cheap on in my opinion. Are you certain there's not a screw there that you can adjust? Knobs seem to be on the higher end brakes but there's usually a set screw you could back out.
  • 1 0
 @chezotron: to be honest there probably is, not really checked but I'm chucking some old xts on them when I get it back from the shop
  • 10 2
 I've been riding a 1x setup on an unclutched Shimano SLX 9 speed derailleur for nearly two years and very rarely drop a chain. Recently went from a 30t to a 28t narrow wide on the front and it still works like a charm. A tech at Dunbar tried to convince me I couldn't run 1x without a clutch derailleur and I just laughed.
  • 11 1
 F*ck Dunbar.
Those guys are so full of their high and mighty bs.
  • 2 0
 hard tail? on my VPP with a mid cage X0 type 1, the woof toof narrow-wide worked without a guide, then after a few months I was dropping chains on chunky trail in top gear. threw on a top guide and haven't dropped a chain since. Not sure if the tension in my derailuer dropped off or the chainring wore down or what.
  • 1 0
 @Spindelatron: Possibly both...
  • 6 1
 Hand pain guy- get a better fork. Switching from a fork that was particularly sticky to a nice, smooth fork with less HSC helped dramatically reduce my hand pain. I've switched very little else, but having a better fork (one that works properly!) completely eradicated hand pain the way no grips or bars could.
  • 2 0
 Yeah it's not this, I'm running a 2016 bike. Rides like butter
  • 2 1
 Can be fork setup too. I notice more tokens in my pikes generally leads to more arm pump
  • 2 1
 @Creg: I prefer more tokens and next to no lsc - gives superb small bump performance but still won't bottom out. The improvement in small bump makes you faster and less scared ;-)
  • 7 2
 Not bashing the guy asking about the 1x without a clutch. However, I have heard many younger riders and mechanics say you can't ride 1x with out a clutch. How do they think Slalom/4X/DH riders have been riding 1x for the last 20+ years? Bikes were a bit noisier and you needed some type of a guide. But it works just fine.
  • 7 0
 Well I think it went without saying that the guy's question was if he could run it without a chain guide.
  • 2 0
 I was regularly dropping my chain on a hardtail with a narrow wide and non-clutch derailler. I added a Bionicon C-guide and it sometimes still dropped to the pedal side. So then I added a bash ring and now I never drop it.
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: I was running an old Dura-ace (short caged road mech) on my hardtail for a while. I only dropped the chain a few times in 6 months so it does work. You just need to keep rhe chain as short as possible.
  • 5 1
 Running clutchless is not a problem what so ever. I used to ride FR/DH with a Shimano Sora and Tiagra for 4 years and just a front mech to keep the chain from spilling out. Worked like a charm, did not have a single chain drop. Noise was handled by an old inner tube on the chainstay. For my latest bike, I made myself a carbon fiber chain guide, weighing complete at 100g for 12,40€, so this can also be an option for you, plus it's great fun making it Smile
On hand paint, powerball and a squeeze ring Smile
  • 3 1
 my clutch broke some time ago, not sure when but I hadn't noticed until I inspected the rear mech. My shifting was much better though!
  • 3 0
 @enduroelite: I feel you, my previous Zee also somehow broke, but I never noticed a thing. A friend gave me his old one after he parted out his bike, otherwise I would have kept mine on. Also, I love the neg props on my comment, if someone hates it, I must be doing something right. Ride on!
  • 9 1
 Sorry... couldn't resist! Big Grin

www.pinkbike.com/photo/13453274
  • 3 0
 The biggest problem with riding without a clutch is not chain retention, but noise. Event with clutch, the bike can be noisy, because clutch wears with time. On shimano you can tweak clutch tension, but it affects suspension sensitivity in a negative way. So in my opinion there is still nothing better then a chain tensioner, but this is just an opinion Smile
  • 3 0
 +1 on the noise elimination. I remember someone said that the sound of a non-clutch Shimano drivetrain is like two skeletons boning on a piece of sheet metal! Made me chuckle for sure.
  • 5 2
 As for the handpain, which finger do you use for braking? It seems like quite a few people use the index finger for braking and if you shift the master lever assy inboard as recommended in the article, it is your only choice. But by using the index finger for braking, you're effectively narrowing your grip. Chances are you compensate by gripping harder. Instead use your middle finger for braking so that the index finger can stay on the handlebar. I think it works better. I got the idea from Dirt Mag (UK) editor Steve Jones in one of his articles, adopted it and never looked back. To make it work you have to go against some other advices given here though. You need the lever a bit more outboard so that your middle finger can reach it properly. Moreover you'll want to leave reach pretty far so that when you apply the brake, your index finger doesn't get stuck between grip and leverblade.
  • 5 3
 LOL
  • 1 0
 @StanMarsh: Tickled? You may find it works better with some brands than with others. I've ridden with Shimano (XT non-radial master) and I felt it indeed squeezed the index finger. The same probably goes with Avid/SRAM (haven't ridden those though) as they advertise that they have the pivot close to the handlebar for ergonomics reasons. And these ergonomics are apparently based around the idea that you'll be using the index finger for braking. So yeah, for those who prefer to stick with index finger braking the advice given in the article is good. My point though was that it is worth considering middle finger braking and to make that work, you'll have to change some other things as well. And there is one advice that will be easier to follow this way and that will be to release your grip.
  • 2 0
 Even with spades for hands I prefer thin soft grips to loosely/comfortably wrap my hand around and run very high brake lever position. Yoann barreli style. i get no hand fatigue on long descents compared to bigger grips and low brake levers my hands would ache. I think grips and lever position are the keys to no hand fatigue.
  • 3 0
 Lizard Skins North Shore grips are great for reducing vibration at a fifth of the cost of carbon bars, well worth a try, they helped me keep riding through tennis elbow problems last year.
  • 2 0
 The rebound has a lot to do in our hands, if the front is not runnning smooth it makes us grab it harder.My pain stopped when i changed my grips for biggest ones, fastest rebound,a bit less psi at my tires,closest breakpads and more relaxed body position.
  • 1 0
 I started using one of those hand strengtheners climbers are fond of and found it helped. I mainly use it over the winter to condition them for the upcoming season, but any time's a good time to start. This combined with the advise given above and thankfully the claw is a thing of the past for me.
  • 2 0
 I switched to Ergon grips on all my bikes about 5 years ago + it got rid of my hand pain and numbness. When going down hill I'm usually pushing down and out with my palms. Different things work for different people.
  • 1 0
 Just a narrowwide worked well for me. As for hands, I have only hit Silver Star a few times and my hands were screwed after a few days. I rode through the pain stupidly and I think it led to a ganglion in my finger next to the pinky on the left, and it flares up when I do a lot of hand gripping/weight lifting type stuff, and this is years later. DON"T RIDE THROUGH THE PAIN.
  • 2 1
 I don't know why so many people think backwards. Thicker grips reduce cramps. Three simple reasons: 1. A thicker grip places your fingers around the grip in less of a C shape as talked about above. 2. A thicker grip forces you to ride with a more relaxed grip. 3. A thicker grip has more padding.
  • 1 0
 Best answer to hand pain was, "throw more no handers!" Second was " Stop braking" but you could try a page out of Batty's last vid and try middle finger braking. The grip change should take some pressure off the heal of your palm in those death grip situations, but getting comfortable with that grip might take some time.
  • 1 0
 One thing: The older Shimano Rear Derailleurs will actually make contact with the larger range Cogs. I never had a chain drop issue with a Wolf Tooth Narrow Wide on trail riding - but when I put a wider range 11-40t cassette on the back, the arm where the cable mounts actually contacted the big cogs - even the 36t when moved inboard. Mine was the RD-M780 so it may keep the chain on, but it may not clear the cassette.
  • 1 0
 Oury! That's the grip that helps me as an arthritic stiff handed older rider. They cost less and last for years. Fatter, soft rubber helps get grip with less squeeze takes away the harsh ride that the clamp on type give to your hands and wrists. Going into third season with same pair.
  • 1 0
 In one of Guy Martins books he talks about how he used to get arm pump but now does a strange exercise before he races and doesn't get it at all any more. He has a short piece of broom handle about shoulder width long which has a piece of string tied round the middle, tied to the other end of the string is a house brick, you hold the ends of the broom handle with your arms held out in front of you then rotate the handle in your hands to wind the string up, when the brick reaches the handle you rotate the handle in the opposite direction to lower the brick back down to the ground. I think he says he does this about 10 times before each race and never has an issue. Hopefully that makes some sense to someone :-)
  • 1 0
 Interesting the point about clutch tension in early type2 mechs fading, I always thought my X0 mech felt like it had no more cage tension than a non clutch equipped Shimano mech
  • 1 0
 You can re-tension the clutch on those early type 2 SRAM mechs - that large plastic circular cover hides a Torx bolt which can be tightened..... On the newer 2.1 versions, however, this is not possible.
  • 1 0
 handlebar rotation is key! The more upright the sweep is, the more pressure is on the outside of your hands. I try and set mine to be flat against my palms while in the standing "ready" position on all my bikes (XC and AM).
  • 1 1
 As I just said in Shimano's STEC forum, the things people tell themselves to over look the inherently bad engineering it represents. 1x11 with a NW ring and clutch is supposed to eliminate dropped chains. Here you are saying dropping a chain once a week is ok. My 2x10 XT never drops the chain. If it did even once the bike would be on the stand for a look see. Once a week is completely unacceptable. Its also completely unacceptable to tell the owners of new 1x11 bikes that the chain dropping off the big cogs if you back pedal or cantilever is normal, to be expected and accepted with 1x11. These things are accepted only because they are unavoidable with 1x11 and that is just bullshit. A fool and their money are soon parted. No where is that more applicable than paying a premium for 1x11 and then accepting these inherent flaws as acceptable normal operating characteristics. My 2x10 works fine but when its time to rebuild it I'll be going 2x9 for a more durable and robust system with wider spacing on the cassette that suits our terrain out here better.
  • 7 5
 Remembering to ride with your elbows bent is prob one of the most helpful tips to relieve hand pain.
  • 9 5
 dude srsly?
  • 7 0
 @gtill9000: Yeah, seriously. When you are mobbing, especially early season, its easy to forget that your arms and legs take up as much or more suspension as your bike's suspension system. Keeping those elbows out activates your body's suspension, loosens you up, and gets you in the low attack position in the middle of the bike... all of which will take stress off your hands.
  • 3 0
 I think he was being sarcastoc because proper body positioning and form should really be the foundation a rider starts from.. Smile
  • 1 0
 @therealtylerdurden: Yeah, for sure... and I didn't really explain my comment too well at first. But really, everything in the original article is pretty damn basic, and proper riding position wasn't mentioned at all.
  • 3 1
 For hand pain all you have to do is inflate your grips! It always works, but just buy extra tubes!
  • 1 0
 wide carbon bars..., i have had nerve issues, tendon issues, you name it..., carbon bars and good grips (ESI or Ergon) make all the difference.
  • 1 0
 Ive been getting thumb pain a lot, I dont deathgrip at all. I have a feeling its the bar angle which is putting too much weight on the thumbs and not enough on the palms.
  • 1 1
 In regards to hand pain;
I went to a high quality carbon fiber bar like the Easton Havoc. I noticed an immediate difference.
The bar is stiffer but good carbon fiber is also more shock absorbing.
  • 1 0
 Death grip was a huge issue for me last season. New bike this season and after first day, seems to have gone away. Awful suspension setup last season perhaps?
  • 2 0
 Get yourself a powerball to strengthen your grip for arm pump relief.
  • 1 0
 raise your bar height and run your levers higher...also drop your heals more
  • 1 0
 @richardcunningham : thanks for the write up on 1x systems it was very well done..informative and helpful
  • 1 1
 "I have a brand new Shimano XT Shadow rear derailleur". I'm confused. Doesn't 'shadow' mean Shimano clutch system?
  • 3 1
 Shadow Plus is clutch I believe.
  • 2 1
 Shadow refers to the profile, meaning the derailleur sits further inboard than previous designs, and therefore somewhat out of harms way.
  • 2 0
 @yerbikesux: nine speed and less drive trains don't have clutch derailleurs
  • 1 0
 ^^^ this^^^
  • 2 0
 True, for what a top guide costs I think you can find 10 speed clutched mechs....
  • 1 0
 Just Brake like Emily Batty- Middle finger!
  • 1 1
 You want the hand pain to stop ? Ride smoother Big Grin lol in fact, ir changes nothing!!
  • 1 0
 What grips are those in the bottom picture?? I like that pattern.
  • 1 0
 nevermind found them
  • 1 1
 A $175 bar is a drop in the bucket compared to college expenses
  • 3 5
 Get a softer handle bar. I recommend a carbon ENVE bar they have a nice flex to the bar.
  • 14 2
 And a loan to buy it
  • 2 2
 @Travel66: nah. Just remortgage your house. Youll be fine...

But when you think about it, whats more important, your ENVE bars or your kids going to college?
  • 1 2
 Ergon grips and no more hand pain.
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