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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-06-08, 09:10 AM   #1
cod.peace
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Oh, the pain...

My Trek 520 is causing severe wrist pain. I conquered a lot of nerve compression pain with my new Specialized gloves and new Cinelli cork bar tape. Then I found out I had another simultaneous problem: the weight on my wrists is really, really hurting. I'm limited to about 45 minutes of cycling before the pain gets too much to bear. I've had typing/mouse related pain for years which ergonomics mostly fixes, but I wonder if I am more sensitive to weight on the wrists due to long-term problems there. I've been having so much fun getting back into cycling that I've been trying to ignore this problem, but I must deal with it. I want to start commuting but I think the wrist pain after a few days of 2x/day rides would cripple my hands! Speaking of which, I need to call my doc, methinks.

I test rode a pair of recumbents yesterday, a Bacchetta Giro 26 and a Tour Easy. Wow, no pain (or saddle chafing, another issue entirely) there! I'm pretty certain a 'bent is in my future, but the cheapest path-of-least-resistance is to try to fix my 520 first.

I have a new 75mm stem (profile design boa) mounted on the bike that I haven't tested yet - the old one was 90 mm. I will be moving the seat back once I use liberal amounts of Liquid Wrench on the corroded seat clamp. The seat is level with the handlebars.

If these steps don't relieve the pain, am I right that the next step would be to try different handlebars like moustache or albatross-style? I'm hesitant to do that since my bike has Dura-Ace STI shifters (the prev. owner splurged a bit) that would require replacement with bar-ends, adding more to the cost. I don't want to be throwing money down a pit here, you know? I could also get fitted to the bike, but I'm not sure how much more they could do. Perhaps the frame is a bit too large for me. That would require selling the bike...
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Old 09-06-08, 09:31 AM   #2
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I will be moving the seat back once I use liberal amounts of Liquid Wrench on the corroded seat clamp.
Those two parts always get seized together. I just use a junk screwdriver and a hammer and pound them apart, then I put a thin coat of grease on the teeth to prevent this from happening again.

Sorry to hear about your wrists but it sounds like a 'bent is just what you need.

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Old 09-06-08, 10:31 AM   #3
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Wife had a flatbar bike and wrist pain. Looked into new handlebars and just ended up getting a road bike with drops. Instantly, no more pain. (Oh, you've got drops, nevermind).

Last edited by f4rrest; 09-06-08 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Whoops, didn't realize the 520 is a tourer...
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Old 09-06-08, 11:24 AM   #4
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You're supporting too much weight with your arms. The shorter stem may help, may not. You might be better off borrowing an adjustable stem from your LBS so you can experiment with different positions before purchasing a stem.

Also, where are you doing most of your riding...on the tops, hoods or drops. My guess you are on the hoods...you might consider changing the position of your brakes/brifters as well, to ensure your wrist angle isn't causing the problem.
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Old 09-06-08, 12:57 PM   #5
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Also, where are you doing most of your riding...on the tops, hoods or drops. My guess you are on the hoods...you might consider changing the position of your brakes/brifters as well, to ensure your wrist angle isn't causing the problem.
I am definitely putting too much weight on my hands. I vary my hand position quite a bit. Sometimes every 30 seconds to try to find relief! I rotated the bars upwards recently which helped a bit. I'm going to investigate the state of my hands medically. I wonder if years of keyboard/mouse use and associated pain are now manifesting as a bigger problem.
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Old 09-06-08, 01:08 PM   #6
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Definitely try tilting your saddle nose upward a bit. That can make a big difference in helping to shift your weight onto your saddle instead of your arms.

Also, very few of us have good core muscle strength, and bicycling depends on your core heavily. Start doing crunches at least a few times per week if you aren't already.

My first season of road biking was last year, and I used to get hand numbness that remained for days after my longer rides. I found it very disconcerting. I made an effort improve my core strength, did a lot of fiddling with my bike fit, and this year have never had numbness last after I get off the bike.
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