Mountain Biking - Numb Hands...need some advice...
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08-01-02, 11:05 PM
I just recently started riding a lot lately after a two year break and have noticed that my hands get numb very quickly these days...I've tried new grips, bar ends, and adjusting my saddle back and forth to distribute my (considerable) weight differently. Nothing seems to help...could it be my bar (stem) heighth or length?
FWIW I'm 6'1" 205lbs and ride a "Large" (19.5") 2000 Fisher Mt. Tam with RS SID forks...it's pretty much stock except for the Serfa grips. I know that the Genesis hardtails had admitedly short stems for quicker steering, so I'm wondering if a longer stem might help...maybe being "crunched up" may be putting too much pressure on my hands...
any thoughts appreciated.
08-02-02, 12:40 AM
If your seat is tilted nose-down, that can tend to slide you forward onto the nose of the seat, forcing you to push back with your hands... could that be a factor?
The Fisher Genesis geometry built more of the stem length into the top tube, so the reach should not really be shorter than normal even with the short stem. I have a Genesis-type '98 Gary Fisher Paragon, same size as yours in fact. Because I have very long arms for my height, I use a 150mm stem plus the long Genesis top tube to get the arm reach I need. Steering's not ideal, but I manage somehow :)
08-02-02, 03:58 AM
You never said any thign about your gloves. You may just need a good pair of gloves. That was my problem!
08-02-02, 05:48 AM
Numb hands is usually a sign of an ill fit or bike setup. The problem, your weight is too far forward. Other replies give good possible fixes. Other possibilities could be the length of the top tube or stem. There have been many articles written on bike fit that will give you most all the possibilities. My brother was colmpaining of the same think and after watching him ride I had him raise the seat. It worked for him.
08-02-02, 08:38 AM
I also experience numbness after about 1/2 hour of riding. I think the issue is if you just have the standard straight bars. Depending upon how your frame works out and how you like to ride, your wrist maybe bent at an uncomfortable angle for a long time. My friend has suggested getting an aero bar so that the I can change riding positions as one gets to be fatiguing.
Hope this helps.
First and cheapest, get a pair of Oury grips. Very plush on the hands. Next, as other people have said, bike fit may be the issue here. I'd suggest trying a riser bar that will put you in a more upright position and has a sweep that is more natural for your hands. Next might be a shorter stem so you aren't so stretched out. See if a friend has one you can try before investing in one.
Also, vary your riding position. When climbing, don't sit the whole time and don't stand the whole time, alternate between the two.
Check out this article on position, good read even though it's geared more towards road riding.
I installed a stem riser so the handle bars are higher and I sit somewhat straighter.
Thick foam pipe insulation on the handlebars helps a bunch to cushion my hands and prevent numbhands.
I had the same problem. I'm 6'2", 250 and thought it was simply a matter of carrying too much weight. I realized that small changes in the geometry help immensly. I'd recommend; gloves (I've got the Specialized with gel on the palms), OURY grips, shortening/raising your stem (I reduced mine by 10 mm), as well as rocking your seat back so it's roughly perpendicular to the post/seat tube (not paralell to the ground for example-putting all the weight on your shoulders/wrists). You'll find this takes quite a bit of that hand-numbing pressure off of your hands, placing it more on the saddle, and for me, alleviating the excruciating neck pain it got on longer rides. I find that it helps with control too.
08-07-02, 09:31 PM
Probably wouldn't hurt to try a friends bike if someone with the right size will let you borrow it. If you experience the same thing on his, it's probably not your bike's geometry.
Regarding the suggestion for plush grips. I admit I am new to biking, but I know from working with tools, a lot of cushioning can make my hands go numb faster, because I can't adjust my grip properly as I work. The cushioning tends to distribute force too evenly rather than to the strong points in my hands. Look at your saddle for example. Most Mtb saddles are pretty firm to allow the rider to distribute their weight in a way that works for them.
Which, of course, is not to say that better grips wouldn't do it, and they are pretty cheap.
08-07-02, 11:41 PM
Bike fit may be the key here. But it didn't help me, I found this funky looking seat called ergo-the seat which has no horn on it when I switched to it the circulation problems cleared up (everywhere I might add) and no more sore but. I have done 3 metric centuries and 2 centuries with it and I could walk when I was done
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