Handlebars for arthritic hands

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
RodT
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Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby RodT » 23 Jun 2019, 7:20pm

Asking for a friend...she’s got arthritis between thumb and forefinger and it’s beginning to be a real handicap. She’s tried bar ends on straight bars and I’ve suggested butterfly bars. I’d be glad of any observations.
Apologies if this is a health and fitness issue and should be elsewhere.

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NUKe
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby NUKe » 23 Jun 2019, 7:27pm

I have a couple finger where the first knuckle has limited mobility. I find traditional swept back bars are easy on the hands as the position is more natural. Not saying they would work for your friend just something to think about.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby Cunobelin » 23 Jun 2019, 7:38pm

A company caller "Ergon" that does a series of grips with flat "palm holds" they are in many different shapes.


Image

Could they be an answer?

RodT
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Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby RodT » 24 Jun 2019, 7:58pm

Thanks, Cunobelin, these look very interesting. She’s looking at the website as I write this. Traditional swept-back bars might also help.

pwa
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby pwa » 24 Jun 2019, 8:22pm

I've had a couple of different pairs of Ergon grips and don't really rate them. I think they are based on a faulty concept. They rely on the notion that it will feel better if some of the weight on the hands is on the padded part of the hands close to the wrist, but in practice that area soon aches if it has weight on it. So that extended flatish part of the grip is not as useful as one might imagine.

Butterfly bars or swept back bars look like a better option to me, and raised high enough so that the user can sit up a bit more and put less weight on the hands.

LollyKat
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Location: Scotland

Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby LollyKat » 24 Jun 2019, 8:38pm

I used to use these when I rode a flat bar bike:

Image

They are made of layers of soft rubber and absorb shocks really well. I found them really comfortable and preferred them to the Ergons above, which didn't have enough 'give' in them for me.

reohn2
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby reohn2 » 24 Jun 2019, 8:41pm

Planet X Geoff bars are a revelation:- https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBOOGBV2/ ... -handlebar
I'm using them with these grips:- https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ESI-XXL-Extr ... 2749.l2649
Last edited by reohn2 on 24 Jun 2019, 8:44pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Jun 2019, 8:43pm

RodT wrote:Thanks, Cunobelin, these look very interesting. She’s looking at the website as I write this. Traditional swept-back bars might also help.

My wife who also has quite severely arthritic hands(fingers in particular) finds that style of grip very helpful. Be aware that there are Ergon copies at much lower cost to try first.

reohn2
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jun 2019, 10:04am

pwa wrote:I've had a couple of different pairs of Ergon grips and don't really rate them. I think they are based on a faulty concept. They rely on the notion that it will feel better if some of the weight on the hands is on the padded part of the hands close to the wrist, but in practice that area soon aches if it has weight on it. So that extended flatish part of the grip is not as useful as one might imagine.

And I thought it was just me :wink:

Butterfly bars or swept back bars look like a better option to me, and raised high enough so that the user can sit up a bit more and put less weight on the hands.

I find somewhere around 45degree or more of backsweep is more of a natural hand position and therefore less stressful on the hands particularly joint at the base of the thumb,if the reach is correct the lower arms,wrists,elbow joints and shoulders are much more relaxed.
Jeff Jones IMO really hit on something good with his loop handlebar design which offers a wide variety of hand positions .

EDIT:- just remembered,if you don't like the idea of a loop there's the PlanetX Mike bar:- https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBOOMB/on ... -handlebar. Which is a copy of the JJ bend.
Jeff Jones evolution videos:- https://youtu.be/YGwBvzvIhhs
https://youtu.be/Ndt8Di_TjJE
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reohn2
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jun 2019, 10:19am

Barends on flat handlebars have been mentioned up thread,my problem with them is the lack of quick access to brake and gearlevers.
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resus1uk
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby resus1uk » 25 Jun 2019, 5:10pm

I am using North Road bars one my upright trikes and bike to replace flat bars. Less strain on arthritic hands

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Cunobelin
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Jun 2019, 8:06pm

pwa wrote:I've had a couple of different pairs of Ergon grips and don't really rate them. I think they are based on a faulty concept. They rely on the notion that it will feel better if some of the weight on the hands is on the padded part of the hands close to the wrist, but in practice that area soon aches if it has weight on it. So that extended flatish part of the grip is not as useful as one might imagine.

Butterfly bars or swept back bars look like a better option to me, and raised high enough so that the user can sit up a bit more and put less weight on the hands.



It is entirely a personal choice.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Jun 2019, 8:08pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
RodT wrote:Thanks, Cunobelin, these look very interesting. She’s looking at the website as I write this. Traditional swept-back bars might also help.

My wife who also has quite severely arthritic hands(fingers in particular) finds that style of grip very helpful. Be aware that there are Ergon copies at much lower cost to try first.


Absolutely.... it was just that the website provided a single source for the information

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Cunobelin
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Jun 2019, 8:13pm

pwa wrote:I've had a couple of different pairs of Ergon grips and don't really rate them. I think they are based on a faulty concept. They rely on the notion that it will feel better if some of the weight on the hands is on the padded part of the hands close to the wrist, but in practice that area soon aches if it has weight on it. So that extended flatish part of the grip is not as useful as one might imagine.

Butterfly bars or swept back bars look like a better option to me, and raised high enough so that the user can sit up a bit more and put less weight on the hands.


My wife has used butterfly bars with Ergon grips.

The thing to remember is that moving hands is fine, but at some period with a technical route, pedestrians, traffic, you will spend some time with your hands on the position where you are able to apply the brakes

Her setup was similar to this:

Image

pwa
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Re: Handlebars for arthritic hands

Postby pwa » 25 Jun 2019, 8:40pm

It is going to be a personal thing. Ergon grips make my hands ache but I accept that they work for some people. Do they still come in smaller diameter versions for smaller hands?