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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 05-11-09, 09:35 AM   #1
davin1023
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Hand and elbow trouble

Over the past few weeks I've needed to move my seat post up about 2 inches. Since doing so, I've had much better legs, but I'm noticing that my hands are getting numb on rides of 30 minutes or more, which was not a problem before. I've also noticed some foot numbness since switching to clipless, and my elbow has ached since my 15 mile ride on Thursday.

I've had my LBS order me a stem riser (adjustable up to 3 inches) to put me a bit more upright and he thinks it will fix my hand issue. At least until I get my core strength up some more.

Do you guys think this is also a solution for my elbow and feet troubles, or should I look elsewhere?

I'm riding a 2009 Hardrock sport with flat bars.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:41 AM   #2
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Not knowing how long you've been riding I just have to ask how comfortable are you on th ebike. As in are you tense, locked elbows and death grip on bars will give same issues. My brother in-law had same issues right down to the foot numbness as he was so stiff on the bike.
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Old 05-12-09, 04:46 AM   #3
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Get a bike fitting. I had minor problems, then got fitted for my road bike.

I also agree with being stiff on the bike. I used to have a death grip when I rode my KTM dirt bike and had problems with my hands going numb and my elbows hurt. I wasn't loose enough on the bike.
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Old 05-12-09, 05:42 AM   #4
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I've been riding for about 3 months. while it is possible I'm not loose enough, these problems have only cropped up in the last couple of weeks as I've moved my saddle hieght up, and gone to clipless peddles.
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Old 05-12-09, 05:50 AM   #5
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I'm going to try and swap bars on my bike as I have numb hands no matter what gloves I wear. I simply have to have a different hand position. On the upside, my triceps were burning and bulging after my ride yesterday. Quite the workout for 'em. Like you I had to raise my seat and I also lowered the stem for a more aggressive ride. I'd rather hope a different bar would help more than raising the stem as I'm already a big enough sail

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Old 05-12-09, 06:26 AM   #6
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i have similar pains and trouble on mine as well. when i bought my new bike last fall they did a quicky fitting that got me on the bike and off i went. i had always rode mountain bikes before (when i say before i mean 20 years ago) from everything i have read the numb hands and elbows are from being weak in the mid section by having a low core strength. im not sure of your current condition but it took me a long time to reach my current weight of 330lbs it is going to take a while for me to strengthen my mid section to the point where it can support my weight instead of my hands.
my left elbow has a tendancy to lock after several miles of riding i believe if my core was strong enough maybe next year my hands and elbow will be pain free. but maybe im wrong and should go back to work now.
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Old 05-12-09, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davin1023 View Post
Do you guys think this is also a solution for my elbow and feet troubles, or should I look elsewhere?

I'm riding a 2009 Hardrock sport with flat bars.
I was having a lot of numbness and wrist issues when I started riding mountain bikes again. I eventually discovered that my handlebars didn't sweep back enough to put my hands in a natural riding position. To get comfortable, I was forced to lean forward and really stick my elbows out in order to get my wrists in a "neutral" position. Once I figured this out, I bought a flat handlebar with more "sweep". Most flat bars sweep back 6-8 degrees. I bought a Bontrager Race Lite Flat "Big Sweep" handlebar that swept back 12 degrees. Their website claims there's also a version with 17 degrees of sweep, though I haven't had any luck finding it. In any event, the bar with 12-degree sweep eliminated my wrist problems on all but the longest rides.

In addition to Bontrager, there are a number of other companies that make flat bars with more than average sweep: On One (e.g. Mary and Fleegle bars), Origin-8 (Space Bar), and PsycleStore (FUbar, FU2bar, NUbar).

Foot numbness may be related to cleat position; I haven't had any problems there so I don't have any real advice to offer...
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Old 05-12-09, 11:32 AM   #8
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I have similar problems when I don't move my hands around enough. Keeping my hands on the hoods too long is just not a good idea. I set up my bar and hoods so that I can move my hands around a lot while I ride. Remembering to do that when I ride is another issue...

Other things that help me include:
  • Always keep the elbows slightly bent, and loosen your grip.
  • Do abdominal and lower back exercises 2-3 times per week. Nothing major, just a few sets of stuff like crunches and planks do the trick for me. Think minutes. You don't need long grueling sessions to feel better on the bike.
  • Don't be afraid to move your seat a bit more forward. People that often feel like they want to move the saddle farther up and back, and usually shift as far back onto the saddle as possible when they push it, really need to move the saddle more forward. They are often really looking for a more secure purchase on the saddle. Moving your body farther back feels better when you are riding on a saddle that is placed too far back to begin with. Having the saddle in a more forward position relieves the need to want to scoot back in the first place, and takes weight off of your hands because you are less stretched out. This sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, it works.

Hope you find a solution really soon.

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