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Old 12-21-09, 10:27 PM   #1
mthayer
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Question about numbness when riding

The last few times that I have went for a ride, my middle toes have been going numb on my right foot. I never experienced this till I started riding or 12 miles or so. I have been wearing Six Six One Expert shoes, with SPD pedals. I dont feel the numbness when I ride my 10 mile route. The numbness goes away quickly after the ride so is it something I should be really concerned with?
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Old 12-21-09, 10:41 PM   #2
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Yes it's something to be concerned about. That is usually a symptom that your cleat is too far forward on your shoe. Move it back(towards your heal) as far as you can get it. If that doesn't work, you may want to look at a larger platform pedal like Look or Time. Some people have problems with "small platform" cleats like SPD's.
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Old 12-21-09, 10:55 PM   #3
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Whew! I was expecting a post on crotch numbness. I was thinking, "now these pictures are going to be a litle harder to shoot"!
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Old 12-21-09, 10:59 PM   #4
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I wouldnt want to experience those pictures, sorry.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:08 PM   #5
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Mr. Beanz is kind of a unique "experience" all in all. That is what makes him a good poster, most of the time. He probably has some pictures he wants to post. That is scary!
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Old 12-21-09, 11:10 PM   #6
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Work on your form too. Don't press down hard and pedal in a circle, pulling up as well as pushing down. You can even relax one foot and pedal with just one.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:18 PM   #7
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Mr. Beanz is kind of a unique "experience" all in all. That is what makes him a good poster, most of the time. He probably has some pictures he wants to post. That is scary!
All you gotta do is say the word ,mockingbird!
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Old 12-21-09, 11:24 PM   #8
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It does sound like your cleat is too far forward, but you may want to try loosening the straps or buckles on your shoe first.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:33 PM   #9
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Not being snobbish but if you just started doing 12 mile rides, it may just be a matter of getting used to the shoes, pedals, riding etc. Heck , it takes me 10 miles before I can breath correctly!

I know a dude with a million dollar bike, $500 shoe cleat combo and complaining of hotspots. Sounded hellish till he mentioned he only rode twice a month.
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Old 12-22-09, 03:20 AM   #10
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Not being snobbish but if you just started doing 12 mile rides, it may just be a matter of getting used to the shoes, pedals, riding etc. Heck , it takes me 10 miles before I can breath correctly!
i dunno, that sounds about right to me. my first numbness problem last year was when I started riding about 15 miles. I've had numbness in wrists (really bad), ass, and once on genitals (thank god i was used to numbness issues by then or i would have freaked); all three times I had to adjust something to relieve the pain (change bars or my posture, seat position, even just move my bike shorts, etc.) I'm not an expert but I've never been able to cycle my way out of numbness, it just got worse. But I've only been riding longer distances for a year so I might be wrong.
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Old 12-22-09, 03:46 AM   #11
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i dunno, that sounds about right to me. my first numbness problem last year was when I started riding about 15 miles. I've had numbness in wrists (really bad), ass, and once on genitals (thank god i was used to numbness issues by then or i would have freaked); all three times I had to adjust something to relieve the pain (change bars or my posture, seat position, even just move my bike shorts, etc.) I'm not an expert but I've never been able to cycle my way out of numbness, it just got worse. But I've only been riding longer distances for a year so I might be wrong.
I have mentioned this before on these forums.
No you cant always get rid of a nerologlical issue by postioning alone.
Some nerve pathologly is not optium ,adjusting your postion may reduce the symptons, but may not address the cause.
I recommend you see a physiotherapist.They will be able to test and advise you on any nerve strecthing or postioning that would benifiet you generally.This is similar to stretching muscles. And also look to optimise/vary positioning.
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Old 12-22-09, 11:59 AM   #12
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Numbness is always a point for concern, especially for distances as short as 15 miles. As many have suggested, moving the position of your cleats may help; or changing to a larger platformed pedal system. It could be an issue with your shoes being too tight once you get warmed up into your ride. At a really slow pace, 15 miles could take 90 minutes. If your foot is expanding slightly over that entire time, you could be pinching some things.
I usually have to loosen up my shoes after the first hour into a long ride.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:23 PM   #13
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Biking is a great source of Cardio Vascular exercise. Your body is getting used to blood flowing at paces and in places that are new. Hopefully your body makes more and better room for blood flow. The other advice about lifting while pedaling, moving the cleat around and just get out and ride more is good. If the numbness persists, have you doctor do a "dobler" check on your blood flow. You may have a blockage. From what I've heard, that is not a good thing.
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Old 12-22-09, 02:25 PM   #14
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The numbness matchers a typical nerological pattern. IMHO it is much more likely to be a mild nerological issue. That is what pins and needles usually indicates. Have a "dopler" is you want to check this out ,but the aliment is best treated by a physiotherapist really.
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Old 12-22-09, 04:49 PM   #15
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I've experienced this same problem. Right toes go numb after about 10 miles. It's happened with regular platform pedals, my ultegra clipless with specialized shoes and the worst were the toe clips (i dont think they were adjusted right).
Usually it goes away by varying position, methods of pedaling, or wiggling my toes for a bit. If all else fails, stop and take a break.
I have a funny feeling its related to my back since I have lumbar/sciatica problems. Cycling has eliminated almost all those pains/aches so I have been living with the numbness. I do plan on seeing my phisician before spring.
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Old 12-22-09, 06:46 PM   #16
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The numbness matchers a typical nerological pattern. IMHO it is much more likely to be a mild nerological issue. That is what pins and needles usually indicates. Have a "dopler" is you want to check this out ,but the aliment is best treated by a physiotherapist really.
If it were neurological it most likely would persist. circulatory is much more likely. Generally, neurological problems are not a primary diagnosis because you have to rule out behavioral, environmental or other physical causes first. imagine going to a doctor and saying, "Last night I sat on my leg during a football game and it became numb, then I felt pins and needles. Then it went away." What do you think he would say? Neurological problems are real and big concerns (my mother suffers from FMS) but you should rule out circulation first. The dude just probably needs to adjust his shoes or wear thinner socks.
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Old 12-23-09, 04:46 AM   #17
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If it were neurological it most likely would persist. circulatory is much more likely. Generally, neurological problems are not a primary diagnosis because you have to rule out behavioral, environmental or other physical causes first. imagine going to a doctor and saying, "Last night I sat on my leg during a football game and it became numb, then I felt pins and needles. Then it went away." What do you think he would say? Neurological problems are real and big concerns (my mother suffers from FMS) but you should rule out circulation first. The dude just probably needs to adjust his shoes or wear thinner socks.
Yes I would most likely state from the information that it is a nerological condition, but A temporary easily treatable neurological problem.
For instance it may be likely that a nerve which is not sliding through its sheath properly. This can be addressed by positioning or by stretching done by a physio.
The suggestions you made,sitting on your leg and changing socks etc, will also affect the nerve. Yes one should not rule out circulatory issues, but these types of complaint are typically nerologicall in nature, like carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel for instance can be treated conservatory by gradually stretching of the medial nerve.

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Old 12-23-09, 04:52 AM   #18
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I have a funny feeling its related to my back since I have lumbar/sciatica problems.
Almost certainly correct.
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Old 12-23-09, 07:08 AM   #19
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Yes I would most likely state from the information that it is a nerological condition, but A temporary easily treatable neurological problem.
But this is likely to be easily treatable as it it likely that a nerve which is not sliding through its sheath properly. This can be addressed by positioning or by stretching done by a physio.
The suggestions you made,sitting on your leg and changing socks etc, will also affect the nerve. Yes one should not rule out circulatory issues, but these types of complaint are typically nerologicall in nature, like carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel for instance can be treated conservatory by gradually stretching of the medial nerve.

ok, i get what you are saying now. my bad.
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Old 12-23-09, 11:22 AM   #20
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Thanks.
I keep repeating this information, but perhaps I need to be clear than it not a serious life treating condition.
Just a factor than can be affected by the correct exercise or rest, but due to its more complex nature it is harder to assess and treat for the patient than many common mild complaints ie. having "tight hamstrings", for instance.
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Old 12-24-09, 05:19 PM   #21
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just a couple of points

I had a bike fitting and my fitter had me loosen my shoe straps-- he stated that your shoes should be loose enough to where it almost feels uncomfortable and then I bought the specialized footbed inserts and I have not experienced any numbness ever since
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