As relative newcomer (2 years, 3 months and 8 days:), I've found that not all cards are equal, and, like puppies, they need to be trained correctly......cards need to be flexible so that their natural stiffness/tension doesn't work against what you want to accomplish.
...I think that Bicycle Rider backs and Tallyho Circle backs are about the same in stiffness, and they truly need to be worked in before they are flexible. I find that if I do repeated (50-100X)tabled riffle shuffles, and bridge them back, as well as Faros with bridges - in both face-up and face down directions - they soften up quite a bit, yet still retain some slickness.... I'll also do repeated Springing, face-up and -down (this is a flourish where the deck is buckled into the curve of the hand, held by thumb, 2nd and 3rd fingers -then release the fingers gently, and catch with opposite hand - or pick up from all over the floor-), as well as Springing the long side.
...I've heard that some folks pull each card between the table and a ruler edge to remove a bit of the stiffness - I don't know anyone who actually does it, and it seems a bit extreme - but I've never tried it....
.... In watching the Brother John Hamman DVDs (thank you Mr. Kaufman:), I noticed that he uses Hoyles, and when I tried them, I found that they were almost too soft - but, for me, they certainly make 1st finger- and pinky-buckles much much easier. When I try that with Bikes, I find that the stiffness sometimes works against me (I haven't built up those muscles yet).
....I also noticed the way he holds his cards: very very gently , almost balanced between the tip of the 2nd finger and the crease at the base of the thumb - the thumb, on top, near the center of the leading edge, the 1st finger winding up below the thumb making a pinch. I am learning to hold them this way, and I find that some of the moves have become easier because there is less tension in my muscles, and the move becomes more natural, guiless, and (hopefully) less visible:)
... I hope this helps some of the newer card workers.... None of this comes easy - it requires hours and hours of work and guidance -- but dang, it sure is worth it when you perform a Triumph, an Ambitious card, a good Elmsley count, and the spectator says "...I know how you did that", and you think " Oh no - YOU REALLY DON'T :) "
Always Keep a Deck Nearby - Rich