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Whenever landing from a bunny-hop or jumping a couple of stairs, my hands strain just above the wrist. How can this be remedied?

Things I have tried:

  • Warming up before going out.
  • Position the handlebars, so that the hoods are parallel to the ground, so that my writs are straight. This results in extremely uncomfortable drops position (wrist rotate at an extreme angle if I want to clear the brakes).
  • Staying relaxed on impact. Absorbing as much as possible with the legs.
  • Keeping the wind away from my joints.

Things I haven't tried:

  • carbon forks
  • gel gloves
  • lower tire pressure (35x622 tires @ 7bar)
  • landing back tire first

Meta: This is no question, whose answer can not be verified quickly. I have upvoted all the answer and will, or will not, accept one as 'best' some day.

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    It’s technique. You need to land both wheels at the same time and time copious elbow bend at the moment of wheel touch down – Rider_X Feb 9 '18 at 3:54
  • I'm confused. Aren't the hoods supposed to be roughly parallel to the ground? And why are you bunny-hopping so much? Bunny hops on a road bike are for getting out of emergencies: you should get better at avoiding those emergencies so you don't need to bunny-hop out of them. I've been riding my new bike for a month -- I don't think I've bunny-hopped it yet. – David Richerby Feb 10 '18 at 9:56
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    @DavidRicherby To each their own, I bunny hop my road bike all the time, especially over railway tracks. I keep getting people on club rides reminding me this isn’t cross... what? Everywhere is cross! – Rider_X Feb 10 '18 at 16:58
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    The OP mentions 35mm tires, I'm not sure if it's a road bike as we know it. – ojs Feb 10 '18 at 16:58
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    Back wheel first is definitely the way to go, especially for higher hops. In any case your legs should absorb most of the landing. So even if you land both wheels at the same time it's not your wrists which should be taking most impact. If you look at slow-motion videos of bmxers (or any rigid bike) doing huge drops you should get an idea of the proper technique. – stijn Feb 10 '18 at 19:07
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I used to experience this when I switched from doing a lot of mountain biking to BMX - you really have to learn precisely how to absorb the impact. I thought I was doing it right until I no longer had a suspension fork. Simply absorbing with your legs isn't all there is to it.

You want to land flat and carefully set the bike down. What I mean by that is extending your limbs - just like suspension travel on a full suspension bike would extend once airborne. As you land, the bike needs to touch down the front and rear wheel simultaneously, or ever so slightly tail heavy (touch much and it will slap the front down though, and that's no good!) And the moment before impact your should already initiate absorbing the impact; this is the "careful set down" part. As for the absorption part, we're talking 95% in the legs. Get your weight back. The picture below really shows what I mean. If your weight is way back, the front wont impact as hard. Yes, the rider would've landed very tail heavy to absorb the initial impact of a drop of that magnitude, but the point here is shifting your weight back. His hands/arms are not in a position to absorb much of anything, rather, they're a pivot in the suspension system that is his body.

Of course, you've always got the disadvantage of the road bike geometry and proper riding position. But, you can also see in the photo how much space is available in the cavity between the rider's body and the frame. There's plenty of space for a road frame in there!

Hope this helps you!

Danny MacAskill during his Drop and Roll Tour

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    If you could find that picture as a short video might help convey the meaning. Welcome to SE! – Criggie Feb 10 '18 at 20:57
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Two things:

  • Learn to absorb the impact. Just before the bike hits the ground need to start retracting your hands and feet. Google "youtube street bmx" and see what they do with their bodies when they land to flat ground.
  • Your body should be supported 90% by your feet and 10% by your hands.
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Sounds like your wrists are taking too much impact.

Try placing the bike on the ground rather than slamming it down. Reducing the violence of the landing will help all round.

Gloves are a great idea but won't really help much with this.

Your hand/hood position might benefit from a review too - I personally have my knuckles quite vertical, and the wrist moves in the direction of the thumb and little finger.

At the other end my ankles rotate, after the initial push-off, and only then would I flex my elbows and legs to raise the bike, to gain height.

You might get benefit from doing some hand/forearm exercises too, to increase the control inside the wrists. Hand crunches (those squeeze things) might be a good start.

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