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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: Can't Ride No Hands--Newbie Q.
Date: 16 Aug 1998 01:58:15 GMT

Denavny (who?) writes:

> On my old Raleigh 3-speed that I had as a kid, and on my old
> 10-speed road bike, I could ride no-hands easily.  I recently
> purchased a high-end hybrid and find that I can't ride no-hands at
> all.  The front end is too sensitive or "twitchy."  My LBS guy says
> it's due to the front-end weight of my RST 802 shocks, but I think
> it has to do with the geometry of the bike.  I would like to be able
> to straighten up once and a while to relax the back muscles.
> Anybody have any thoughts on this phenomenom?

You didn't say what sort of bike or tires are involved.  Have you
tried to do this coasting downhill at 20mph or more?  If you have
knobby tires, these often "walk" randomly laterally and make no-hands
riding difficult.  At speed you should be able to ride no-hands enough
to asses whether the bike pulls to one side or the tires are squirrelly
knobbies.  Try sticking a smooth road wheel in the front and try it
again.  If the bike pulls to one side, you have either a bent fork,
frame or both.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: Fixed vrs. Floating Cleat Position
Date: 1 Feb 2001 01:01:14 GMT

Sheldon Brown writes:

> For somebody who learned on down-tube shifters, they're not a
> problem, but for a typical first-time road bike buyer, perhaps a
> reformed mountain biker, the idea of having to take your hands off
> the bars to shift seems truly bizarre, and absolutely unacceptable.

Yes, I know.  When I ask whether some guys bike rides straight
no-hands, I get an odd look and "I never ride no-hands, thats
dangerous."  Where have all the bikies gone, long long ago.  As my
riding pals retire, I begin to feel lonely remembering the old days
when we rode bike for fun instead of as a safety and exercise ritual.

Jobst Brandt      <>

Subject: Re: Riding no hands, something's wrong......
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 18:00:44 GMT

Tony Raven writes:

>> I'm interested because I have easily ridden a bicycle no-hands
>> without handlebars and stem (no weight out front other than the
>> offset of the wheel in the fork).

> I'm curious.  Did they come off in your hands?  Otherwise, how did
> you get started?

I was riding with an aluminum expander bolt when it broke while
accelerating standing.  The bars were free and swung from side to side
as I sat down and continued essentially no-hands having to hold the
bars pointing forward so that I could operate the brakes.  I rode more
than two miles across town to Palo Alto Bicycles where I put in a
steel binder bolt.

Jobst Brandt    <>

Subject: Re: How much glass don't we see?
Message-ID: <yzBBa.18127$>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 05:00:14 GMT

Amit writes secretively:

>> Besides, today most riders find pedaling with only one hand on the
>> bars foolishly dangerous.

> Yup you bet. It's only you old timers that have such exotic skills.

Oh, I wouldn't admit such ineptness.  Maybe you started riding at a
ripe age when quickness of hand and balance was atrophied, but riders
had no trouble mastering the art of bicycle racing in all its tricks
when they were in their teens.

>> That's how we got rid of downtube shifters, they required pedaling
>> dangerously.

> Yes, not having to ride for four decades before mastering the subtle
> art of shifting means we are soft.

Maybe you see it that way, and I believe it when I hear people on bent
frames, (who, when I ask whether their bicycle rides straight ahead
no-hands} reply, disgusted with the question, "I NEVER ride no hands."
as though I had suggested and immoral act.

I am often amused how OLD some bicyclists (and people in general)
behave, taking themselves and their bicycles so seriously.  I've seen
enough of them scoff when I jump a curb or ride down stairs with my
road bike.  "One doesn't do that sort of dangerous kid stuff... at
least not with MY titanium, carbon, magnesium bicycle.

Jobst Brandt
Palo Alto CA

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