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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 06-03-09, 08:50 PM   #1
jennytomorrow
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my hands have been getting numb

my hands have been getting numb. do you think this has to do with position of my handlebars? i have had carpel tunnel in the past and a tendon issue in my hand/wrist. i have just started to wear gloves too. its bumming me out! should i raise the bars?

thanks
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Old 06-03-09, 08:54 PM   #2
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Jenny,

There are those on the forum that will be able to answer your question more technically. I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I have had some hand numbness also, especially when I hit the 30-50 mile rides. I have gloves with Gel support and I am about to re-tape my handlebars with gel/cork tape and an underlayer of extra gel from bontrager to try help. You will want to post what type of bike/handlebars you have so they can answer the question better with youe type of bike in reference.
Steve
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Old 06-03-09, 09:12 PM   #3
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right on.
i have a gary fisher hybrid. the napa. just looking at my bike (nothing technical here) it appears as though my handle bars are a little higher then my saddle. i am no way near the miles you ride. i have a nice 7mile round trip i have been doing this for about 2 weeks (thats when i got my new bike). i have finally played with the seat position enough to get comfortable.
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Old 06-03-09, 09:49 PM   #4
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Is your bike a flat bar bike? If so you might consider barends to offer some additional hand positions.

Hand numbness tends to be due to excessive pressure on your arms and hands, meaning you still might have some fit tweaking to do. Being able to change hand positions every now and then might help though.
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Old 06-04-09, 12:13 AM   #5
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I use to get numb hands, than I tried some buzzkills? No more numbness.
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Old 06-04-09, 12:16 AM   #6
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I'm no expert on the matter but I've been there too. Here's how it all worked out for me:

I compressed the ulnar nerve in my left hand and ended up with a half numb hand for several days. I took my bike to a LBS and one of the techs there went over everything with me. The handle bars were too low, not by the 'accepted standard' mind you, but in that I was putting way too much weight on my hands while riding. He suggested a good pair of riding gloves and a rewrap with some added padding (a couple extra strips of gel bar tape) strategically placed under some fresh gel handle bar tape.... he told me to forget the stem and bar that I was going to buy which would have made them a whole lot more money. Oh, and he suggested that I wasn't moving my hands around enough. Needless to say, that guy impressed me and definitely earned my respect.

I'm at about 250miles in the past month and I've only experienced a minor tingle after a couple 40 mile rides... I'm sure a little more tweaking will help sort that out.

Synopsis: For me it was a matter of raising my handlebar, adding some good padded gloves, re-wrapping and padding the bars, and getting in the habit of moving my hands around.

Keep in mind too that if the numbness shows back up after you make some adjustments it may be a matter of needing more time to heal and recover and doesn't necessarily mean that the changes you have made aren't going to help or aren't enough.
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Old 06-04-09, 12:30 AM   #7
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thanks for the info. i think i may have to go see my LBS and get an adjustment. i'll keep you posted.
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Old 06-04-09, 07:47 AM   #8
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That what sportbike riders complain about all the time and the solution is to support your self with your abdomen and muscles in your mid section, but damn does that get tiring.
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Old 06-04-09, 08:06 AM   #9
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As an aside, about how long should it take for my thumb strength to return to normal, seeing as I apparently compressed the ulnar nerve (or one of the nerves, anyway) back on Monday's ride? It does seem to be SLOWLY getting a little better - Tuesday I could barely turn a key in the ignition, grip a zipper, etc.

Went ahead and raised the stem of my bike up about an inch - that's as far as it can go though. Gonna ride up to an LBS close by (not the same one I got the bike at), and see if they got anything handlebar wise that'll fit? I won't be able to buy it till next pay day, but I'd like to see if they're any more interested in helping solve my fit problems than the other shop, which just seems to want to take my money and see me disappear.

I know for sure more places to put my hands would help. If I can get this problem solved and the toe pain (toe box on my shoes too narrow, I think) I could definitely pedal a long ways a lot more often

Tom

PS: Never mind, I found a pretty good answer on page 4. thread called 'cyclist's palsy' with a good link inside. http://highperformancesports.blogspo...-palsy-or.html

Last edited by FZ1Tom; 06-04-09 at 08:12 AM. Reason: added postscript
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Old 06-04-09, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
Hand numbness tends to be due to excessive pressure on your arms and hands, meaning you still might have some fit tweaking to do. Being able to change hand positions every now and then might help though.
This is definitely true for road bikes with drop handlebars. I'm not convinced that it applies to flat bar bikes, however. My experience with flat bar bikes is that your hands can go numb even when there's very little pressure on the bars. The problem, for me at least, is that many flat bars force me to rotate my wrists at an odd angle because they don't sweep back enough. Even though I put very little weight on the bars, I eventually end up with numb hands.

The solution, for me, has been one of two things: 1) bend forward at the waist, into the so called "attack position", or 2) buy handlebars that sweep back more; bars with a 12-17 degree sweep seem to work best for me.
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Old 06-04-09, 10:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FZ1Tom View Post
PS: Never mind, I found a pretty good answer on page 4. thread called 'cyclist's palsy' with a good link inside. http://highperformancesports.blogspo...-palsy-or.html
Thanks for posting the link to that Tom, very informative.
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