Training & Nutrition - Handle Bar Ergonomics - Nerve Issues?
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07-03-05, 07:52 PM
I have been riding for the last 2 months on a "converted" Diamond Back Sorrento mountain/hybrid bike. The conversion is simply a pair of performance slicks and bar tape wrapped around the bar ends. Using the bar ends is more comfortable than using the bar and puts me in a lower position. The problem with the ends is that after the ride, my hand cannot grasp with enough force to use an eye dropper and I cannot move my pinkie away from my ring finger. This all happens only on my right hand. I am right handed so I imagine that I lean more on it. I ride for 1.5 hours about 20 miles per day. When I buy a real bike I would like to get one that will last me a while (apx $2k). For personal reasons, I would like to keep as much money in the bank as possible right now and hold off buying. I would like to buy something in about two months. Questions: Has anyone had similar symptoms? Should I be concerned? Should I speed up my plan to buy a road bike?
07-03-05, 09:13 PM
Wow, I get numb hands sometimes, but not as bad as what you're describing. Do you wear padded cycling gloves?
I make sure I move my hands around on the bar and bar-ends a lot. That helps. Also, about 20 years ago I broke my right wrist and it doesn't bend as much as it should, so my right hand gets that nerve-numbness much easier than my left.
What kind of bar-ends do you have?
07-03-05, 09:38 PM
I wear some inexpensive sette (pricepoint) gloves. They have leather in the palms but no padding that I can tell. The bar ends are Bell (Walmart). I am ashamed of buying bike parts at walmart but I thought aluminum bar ends were pretty straight forward. I saw some Pearl gloves with "gel" and house brand carbon ergo bar ends at performance. Maybe this is the right direction. I am a tightwad however, so the $75 total would definitely hurt in a different way.
07-03-05, 09:47 PM
No padding in the gloves at all? Maybe you could try some with padding.
About the bar-ends I mean are thay the kind that look like bull-horns when you put them on, like that curve around at the end a little? Or are they the kind that are kind of stubby and that have no hook to them?
07-03-05, 10:02 PM
They have some slight hook to them. Do you think stubbies are better for this?
07-03-05, 10:07 PM
I checked the gloves. There is a patch of padding near the wrist. About 1x1.5" (2.5x3.5cm) in size. I will definitely try the Pearl Izumi's to see if that helps.
this can get worse. Much worse.
1) take a break
2) find a way to ice your wrists down twice a day. Take it easy on your wrists for a while.
3) Go to a bike shop and tell them what's going on and that you need a better fit. Likely you will need shorter and/or steeper stem.
4) the worse this gets, the longer it will take to heal. You can make it days or years. Your call.
07-03-05, 10:48 PM
Hi, I've had that happen to me once. After a 4 1/2 hour ride, my left hand was useless to me. The only thing I could think of was I was wearing a camel back, and maybe the strap was pinching a nerve.
07-05-05, 12:57 PM
I have similar problems with my wrists and hands (partially due to tendinitis from too much time at the keyboard). The problems are slightly better (a) with gel-padded gloves (I've had several different pair, ranging from expensive Pearl Izumi's to cheap Performance brand--they all seem about the same), and (b) varying where I locate my hands on the handlebars periodically. These don't completely fix the issue, but it's notably better when I remember to shift my hand position frequently (every minute or two).
MTB handlebars don't offer a lot of possibilities for varying your hand position; bar-ends help a little bit (especially if you move your hands from the bar ends to the regular hand grips occasionally). I do better with the standard road bike, curved handlebars, so that would be one reason to move to a road bike. As someone above mentioned, you can get bar-ends for mountain bikes that have varying degrees of curve to them; I've even seen companies that sell bar-ends that curve down, converting your straight MTB handlebars to something that looks sort of like a road cycling handlebars.
People I know with aero bars on their road bikes (the long, oval shaped bars that stick out horizontally from the front of the bars near the stem) say that while they're useful for going into an aero position during time trials or in heavy wind, their biggest benefit for casual training is that it gives you yet another set of options for hand placement on the handlebars. So I think the big trick is to vary your position as much as possible to avoid having your hands (and your posture, for that matter) in exactly the same stressful position for long periods of time.
07-05-05, 03:59 PM
I have some Specialized gloves and they have thick padding around the nerve area and they say it is specifically for your hand so it doesn't go numb. Good Luck.
07-10-05, 09:45 PM
I bought some Pearl Izumi padded gloves and ergo bar ends. I also took a 5 day break. This seems to have done the trick. Thanks everyone for the help.
07-10-05, 11:29 PM
I have a friend that has that problem and his solution was to raise the stem height and change to a multi-position bar via Nashbar http://www.nashbar.com/profile_moreimages.cfm?category=92&subcategory=1049&sku=9756&brand=
This bar gives him the position he needs to be able to ride.
07-13-05, 04:17 PM
I have all types of nerve problems and to honest with you padded gloves make it worse. If you have too much pressure in a particular the idea is to relieve the pressue. IF you wedge anything between the area of pressure your going to create more pressure. Try some gloves with padding in the area with the least amount of pressure. This will slightly lift the high pressure area away from the bar. If I could find a pair of old straight Profile BMX bars I'd be all set. Good luck.
Take this for what it is worth, but I have had hand, shoulder and arm pain. I think the problem has been located. My handle bars are too wide. When riding on the hoods, or drops my arms are at an angle pointed outward. Just a thought.
07-14-05, 10:38 PM
I made the big switch from MTB to road also and I also had wrist and hand pains before.
Gloves with gel or padding will help somewhat. The road bars on a roadie are way better for longer rides though I think.
As one poster said above the pain will get worse if you do not let it heal!!! I know it sucks but stay off the bike for 3 or 4 days or even take a week off if you can.
I had an inflamed ligement in my left leg after being run over by my buddies SUV (long story but I am a stud and it wasn't broken) and it took nearly a year before I could run any real distance without intense pain in my chin. I heard someone say bones heal like 4 times quicker than muscles and nerves do.
07-16-05, 10:01 AM
When I buy a real bike I would like to get one that will last me a while (apx $2k). For personal reasons, I would like to keep as much money in the bank as possible right now and hold off buying. I would like to buy something in about two months. Questions: Has anyone had similar symptoms? Should I be concerned? Should I speed up my plan to buy a road bike?
If your looking to save money, forget the new fancy bikes and go with a 1980's steel bike (Schwinn), loads of comfort, easy to fix if you need/want to do your own work and you can probably get a good shape one for less then a hundo. Check out the "clasic and vintage" branch of postings on this site to hear more good things about these old bikes.
as far as finger numbness goes, I am having similar probs, I started wearing gloves for a bit of help. also having drop handlebars is nice.
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