I'm having problems with my Peugeot from ~85. I get sore hands quite fast when I ride it and it really feels like the pressure on my hands are too much (compared to when I ride other bikes with flat bars).

enter image description here

This is my first bike with dropped bars (but I have been riding a lot on flat bar bikes before).

There are a million questions like. Are the frame too big? Or are there any other signs? What am I doing wrong? And how do I know :)

The frame is 60cm and I'm 187cm.

Thanks in advance and have a fantastic weekend!

  • 2
    A good part of this is just your core body strength. As you bike more, your abdominal and back muscles will strengthen so you'll be able to carry more of your weight there rather than on your hands.
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 8, 2017 at 20:21
  • 2
    Wear some biking gloves or re wrap the bar with some new tape and gel inserts. They may help a bit with the discomfort
    – Batman
    Jul 8, 2017 at 20:24
  • Position looks good from what I see. Try gel gloves.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 8, 2017 at 20:41
  • 1
    It looks totally fine - +1 for including plenty of info. One query - on your hands, is it the web between thumb and palm that gets sore, or the ball of your thumb, or the outside your palm (the chopping edge) or all of your hand?
    – Criggie
    Jul 9, 2017 at 0:34
  • 1
    While not authentic, gel bar tape makes a huge difference. Slightly wider/softer tyres might help too if you feel your hands are being pounded by vibrations.
    – Chris H
    Jul 10, 2017 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


A few thoughts/suggestions:

  1. Try wearing cycling gloves with some gel padding (perhaps you normally do but just were not for the photo)
  2. Check that your saddle is level - I find that if the saddle tilts down towards the front, then you end up sort of sliding forward and to stop that, you put more weight on your hands.
  3. Older style brakes are not well shaped for riding "on the hoods" as you demonstrate in the photo. If you look at modern Shimano, SRAM or Campag brakes (especially the high-end ones) you'll see that they present a wide and flat surface to rest your hands on when in that position. Older style brakes have a round (cross section) and often U shaped (long section) brake hood. I have that on my commuter and I agree it means for sore hands quite quickly if the road surface is rough.
  4. Good core strength will help. Can you ride with your hands off the bars, but right next to them? I.e. Still bent forward, but without being able to rest your hands on the bars? Actually that's probably too tough a test, and most cyclists who aren't racers can't do it. But you get the idea: if you can support your weight with your core/back muscles, then you wont get such sore hands.
  5. Compare the drop from seat to bars between your flat-bar bike and the Peugeot. If the drop is greater on the Peugeot (i.e. the bars are further below the seat than they are on the other bike(s)) then it may just take some time to get used to it.

Good luck - that's a great looking bike!

  • 1
    Some people find a slight upward tilt to be favorable for the saddle.
    – Batman
    Jul 20, 2017 at 2:59

Some more suggestions:

  • raise the handlebars with a high-rise stem (might require new cables)
  • add interrupter brake levers so you can spend more time with hands on cross bar
  • you can simply add another layer of bar tape - this would be easier than re taping with gel pads.

The easiest thing to try is to throw another layer of tape on there.

Of course most of this detracts from the classic looks of your bike.


I have sold this bike and bought another one but it turned out to be exactly the same problem (even though the measurements were different).

I have now tried flared drop bars and it seems to work much better for my wrists.

  • By the way the previous bike looked a little cramped (I.e., you needed a longer stem or top tube). Depending on how you hold your upper body this can add pressure to your hands. You push on the bars to bend you back to shorten your reach to match the cramped cockpit
    – Rider_X
    Jun 12, 2018 at 14:11
  • Thank you for the completion/closure. This suggests that you might benefit from a bike fit session at your local bike shop, or there could be some lingering physical condition. Have you ever damaged your hands/wrists/arms or even shoulders/spine with a bad lift or a fall or similar? Could be something from your youth that has been lurking for decades. There may be specific exercises which can help strengthen your wrists, like curls or hand compresses.
    – Criggie
    Jun 12, 2018 at 19:21
  • Thanks! There are both wrists and back problems in my medical history. I have actually just done a bike fitting :)
    – Ola
    Jun 14, 2018 at 6:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.