If you're pretty sure your bicycle fits properly, any hand discomfort you experience may be related to how you ride and your equipment. Remember the most important rule of hand comfort: change hand positions often. Even if your bike is equipped with flat bars it's possible to move your hands around to grip different parts of the bar. Also, consider adding bar ends to provide additional spots to hang on.
Dropped Handlebars These are the bars found on many touring and all road-racing bicycles. As shown on the right, there are many places to rest your hands, which means you can change grips regularly to prevent any pain or numbness. Most riders use the positions they like best. For example, the top illustrations depict extreme positions designed for fighting headwinds or racing because they place you in an aerodynamic and powerful "tuck."
The middle illustrations show higher holds excellent for climbing when standing (fingers wrapped around the brake hoods) and when seated (fingers draped over the brake hoods). These positions are also nice for cruising the flats or over rolling terrain. And notice that you have easy access to the levers for braking in shifting here, too.
The bottom two drawings are more upright positions. These are good for sitting higher and opening your chest, which helps breathing and lets you look around without craning your neck. These are nice positions for steady gradual climbs and for when you're comfortably cruising along a nice road chatting with a friend. With practice you'll be able to quickly move to the levers to brake and shift as needed, though for safety, you always want your hands actually touching the levers when riding in traffic or dangerous situations.
Relax For comfort, relaxing your grip on the bars can't be overemphasized, either. With practice, it's easy to keep a controlled grip even though your upper body is relaxed. A trick that can help is regularly removing one hand at a time and shaking it out by your side to relieve the tension and revive the circulation to the palm and fingers.
Change The Grips Or Tape Some cyclists find that different grips or padding is the cure for hand problems. We offer many different types of bar tape and grips and experimenting with a change often helps. Sometimes, just changing the bar's diameter with the new grip or tape helps hands relax and ease discomfort.
Try Different Gloves Another thing to try is different types of gloves. If the pair you have is too tight it will prevent proper circulation. And some types provide more padding than others. There are even gender-specific styles and some with shock-absorbing materials in the palms. We have an excellent selection and will be happy to show you some.
If you're biking off-road, consider wearing long-finger gloves because these are better suited to protecting the entire hand from thorns and poison plants than short-finger models.