Contact Point Handlebar
The handlebar is the point of contact on which the cyclist’s hands rest, it is the point where the force of the shoulders, the forearms and the upper arms indirectly operate. However, the hands’ capacities as ‘load carrier’ is limited. The rider’s position on the bike is largely responsible for the intensity with which hands and arms are strained when cycling. When sitting rather upright, the pressure on the hands is hardly important. In this case, the handlebar serves as a slight support and is ultimately used to steer only. The other extreme is the grip in the handelbar’s drop on a road bike. In this position the hands need to carry a relatively large portion of the weight of the body’s upper part. Also in a triathelete’s position the bulk of the weight rests on the handlebar, while the hands are relieved through the additional pads supporting the forearms. But also in less extreme positions like the standard road biking position, the hands may be subject to high pressure. Through this punctually high pressure nerve vessels can be clamped, resulting in prickling or numb fingers.