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Numb hands on road bike

Numb hands on road bike

27 Jan 2012 22:28

Every time I go for a ride after 10 - 20mins my hands start to go numb. Sometimes it can be one hand sometimes it can be both and they can alternate.

I do currently where gloves when I ride.

Most of my riding is sitting on the hoods.

I just wanted to find out what should I be looking at bike setup wise that could be a contributor to these issues?

Thanks for any advise

Matt
Gistane
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28 Jan 2012 00:15

it may not be starting in your hands. your shoulders or head position contribute.
check your entire position on the bike. good luck.
User avatar usedtobefast
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28 Jan 2012 02:12

concur with UTBF

shoulders and neck position contribute to numbness
User avatar Boeing
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28 Jan 2012 08:49

Yep, sounds like it's your bike fit. You are most likely leaning too heavily onto the bars. Best solution is to ask around a few bunches and find a fitter with a good reputation.

Chances are you have your seat too far forward and your bars too far away. Look at your saddle setback, you may have to increase it so that you are encouraged to put more of your bodyweight back onto the seat. This can benefit your riding anyway by encouraging you to use your glutes more.

Your stem may also be too long, forcing your bars away from you and encouraging you to put more weight onto your arms. You may have to consider shortening your stem and possibly also lowering your bars in order to relax your arm/shoulder angle without changing your back angle.

Sorry if any of this sound counter-intuitive, but these are mistakes that many people make when they are new (and not so new too) to the sport and have never had their bike fitted to them.
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User avatar 42x16ss
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28 Jan 2012 15:56

Also check the fit of your gloves.
They should pad your hands, but not bind or constrict nerves or blood flow, especially around the wrist area.

The angle of your wrists on the hoods can also make a big difference.
My experience is that adjusting the hoods so the wrist is in a 'neutral position' is most comfortable.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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29 Jan 2012 00:57

This issue is caused mainly by seat height-in your case-you need to lower it a bit-then check the saddle setback & the handlebar to saddle nose distance to find the proper position where your hands aren't bearing all the load from your upper body. As some folks here already mentioned-check how your hands & wrists are resting on the hoods-specially the angle. that's important when you're using that position the most while riding.
cheers.
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User avatar hfer07
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29 Jan 2012 03:46

42x16ss wrote:
Chances are you have your seat too far forward and your bars too far away. Look at your saddle setback, you may have to increase it so that you are encouraged to put more of your bodyweight back onto the seat. This can benefit your riding anyway by encouraging you to use your glutes more.


That's the first thing I'd check too.
richwagmn
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30 Jan 2012 14:40

Go see Steve Hogg.
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User avatar durianrider
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30 Jan 2012 21:21

When riding a bike, one should be able to rest their hands very lightly on the bars and flap their elbows all the way up into your shoulder 90+% of the time.

#1 check that the nose of the saddle is not pointing down. I see this one quite a bit.

#2 It's possible that the stem is too long. Once you know you are sitting in the saddle with lots of stability and it doesn't improve your comfort, then try a shorter stem. A higher stem might help depending on the frameset. But, try shorter first.

#3 It's possible the seat is too high. But sort out the nose/rear position first. You should sit easily in the saddle first.
User avatar DirtyWorks
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30 Jan 2012 22:06

Agree with most statements here. I had the same problem but after longer distances. After a professional fitting, it was determined the distance between the saddle and bars was too long. My saddle was horizontal and pushed as far forward as possible and I had the shortest stem I could get. I ended up buying a new bike based on my professional fitting and have not had a problem with numbness since.
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User avatar elapid
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30 Jan 2012 22:53

DirtyWorks wrote:When riding a bike, one should be able to rest their hands very lightly on the bars and flap their elbows all the way up into your shoulder 90+% of the time.

#1 check that the nose of the saddle is not pointing down. I see this one quite a bit.

#2 It's possible that the stem is too long. Once you know you are sitting in the saddle with lots of stability and it doesn't improve your comfort, then try a shorter stem. A higher stem might help depending on the frameset. But, try shorter first.

#3 It's possible the seat is too high. But sort out the nose/rear position first. You should sit easily in the saddle first.

Definitely more good points here. Do you slide forward on the saddle while you ride Gistane? This is something to be very wary of and tells you that your seat is angling downwards and/or your bars are too far away.

Most important thing is to check your stem length. Too many people simply flip their stem and point it upwards rather than spend $80-$100 on a new stem. This is how you get people riding around like they are pushing a shopping trolley....
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User avatar 42x16ss
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31 Jan 2012 00:36

JayKosta wrote:Also check the fit of your gloves.
They should pad your hands, but not bind or constrict nerves or blood flow, especially around the wrist area.

The angle of your wrists on the hoods can also make a big difference.
My experience is that adjusting the hoods so the wrist is in a 'neutral position' is most comfortable.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA


I have had issues with numb hands and think the gloves are part of the problem.

Went riding this morning, got numb hands about 30 minutes in. after 45 minutes (based on above comment), took gloves off and numbness stopped. still hand issues with slightly sore hands though. think it may be to do with bike position (although think i also have issues with small hands and braking while on hoods)

i had a bike fit last year which helped resolve some knee issues (do still have some knee issues but fairly sure these are caused by flexibility issues which i am working on) and reduced strain on my neck.

so am now worried that moving my saddle back may fix hands but make knees worse. May start out with some very small changes
User avatar daveinzambia
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31 Jan 2012 03:41

elapid wrote: My saddle was horizontal and pushed as far forward as possible and I had the shortest stem I could get. I ended up buying a new bike based on my professional fitting and have not had a problem with numbness since.

Good move, buying a bike that fits. I cringe any time I see a salesman pushing the saddle forward to shorten the reach on a bike that is too large. That's the last thing you want because it forces the rider to lean on the hands to support the torso and head.

Even though my bike's dialed, I occasionally get numb hands, usually when just starting out. That serves as a reminder to change my hand position for a while and do some arm, neck, and shoulder stretching exercises when I'm off the bike.
User avatar ustabe
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31 Jan 2012 04:57

daveinzambia wrote:I have had issues with numb hands and think the gloves are part of the problem.

Went riding this morning, got numb hands about 30 minutes in. after 45 minutes (based on above comment), took gloves off and numbness stopped. still hand issues with slightly sore hands though. think it may be to do with bike position (although think i also have issues with small hands and braking while on hoods)

i had a bike fit last year which helped resolve some knee issues (do still have some knee issues but fairly sure these are caused by flexibility issues which i am working on) and reduced strain on my neck.

so am now worried that moving my saddle back may fix hands but make knees worse. May start out with some very small changes

Just remember that if you increase saddle setback, you may also need to drop your saddle by a mm or two. If you need to make some fairly drastic changes to your position remember to take a week or two fairly easy so that you can adapt.
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evidence noun [U] uk /ˈev.ɪ.dəns/ us

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http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...itish/evidence
User avatar 42x16ss
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13 Apr 2012 04:38

I was under the impression that it was a carpal tunnel issue? As we get older the tunnel the nerves pass through gets smaller, causing them to get pinched. Usually most noticed training when you hold the same position on the handle bars for long periods, when racing you tend to move your hands around a bit more and it doesn't seem to happen as often. I found an extra layer of bar tape made a great difference, and I make concious effort to change my hand position.
User avatar 2beeDammed
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13 Apr 2012 15:52

2beeDammed wrote:I was under the impression that it was a carpal tunnel issue? As we get older the tunnel the nerves pass through gets smaller, causing them to get pinched. Usually most noticed training when you hold the same position on the handle bars for long periods, when racing you tend to move your hands around a bit more and it doesn't seem to happen as often. I found an extra layer of bar tape made a great difference, and I make concious effort to change my hand position.


Well bad position will make this worse too. Moving positions, often, helps. My stems have been getting shorter and higher too. On my MTB I actually had to go smaller frame, shorter stem, riser bar and less setback with a higher saddle. I had to really shorten the cockpit a lot.

Most of my issues are related to lower back tightness and weakness. These issues are related to me being generally sedentary. Except for riding my bike I hate exercise. I'd XC ski but the snow is 3 to 4 hours away so it is ride or nap and watch TV. Greatfully I do love to ride
User avatar Master50
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16 Apr 2012 17:28

I would suggest moving your hands into different positions every few minutes. If you develop a "death grip" on the hoods, your hands can begin going numb after 10 minutes. Try moving your hands an inch or two closer to the stem, for a while. Riding to tops can also give your hands a rest.
Another trick is to remove one hand from the bars and to shake it for a few seconds. (you'll see many riders doing this in the last five minutes of a Crit.)
User avatar MR_Sarcastic
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16 Apr 2012 17:50

Sometimes numb hands can be due to poor positioning on your bike. If you haven't had a professional fitting done, I would recommend it.
marathon marke
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02 May 2012 17:15

A bikefitter from Belgium has wrote a good article on his website about shoulder pain. Good position of your shoulders and neck can also reduce problems like numb hands.

Doing a bikefit can help you with a lot of problems. But recently I read a article in a bike magazine where they did 10 bikefits at different places and 9 out 10 gave a different result in settings. So make sure the bikefitter is good and search for reviews.
User avatar FrankvdV
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28 May 2012 18:49

I want to add a little clarity here. The first thing pointed out was the position on the bike. While this is a wise response, it is not the correct response. The responder noting "carpal tunnel syndrome" hit the nail on the head. What you are experiencing is carpal tunnel syndrome. Start from there. Might want to do a little google on that.

Now - back to the positioning on the bike: handlebar reach, saddle position, all that stuff DOES affect how much weight you put on your hands, and contribute to your problem. Better gloves can help, as can more bar-tape padding. I agree with the first responders though, check your positioning first. If you are reasonably smart, you can study up on this and get it pretty close by yourself. But, it is faster and easier to go to a local bike shop with a fitting system. From what you say, you may have already done that. If you got a proper fitting, I would NOT mess with the saddle position to try and fix this problem.

If you still have problems after that, there are plenty of gel padded gloves that might help. Try cork-type handlebar tape if you aren't using that. Or go to the foam-padding type of handlebar wrap if you still need something more. Increasing the strength in your wrists and hands can help, but this is a long-term response. If you had a bike-fit done, you are probably already changing your hand position too. You mention you think the gloves might be contributing. I would say that is a good indicator to try some other gloves.

I don't ride that many miles any more, but back when I did, I used to find that the best I could do was stretch the number of miles before I started having some numbness. After about 75-95 miles with the best setup I had, I would have some temporary loss of feeling. But it always went away shortly after getting off the bike. If it doesn't go away after a very short period of time (minutes, not hours or days), I would think you should still be searching for something to cut the numbness.
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