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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 05-15-11, 05:12 PM   #1
gbg
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Hand pain/numbness!

I think it is all about core strength.

Even though I ride all year round, 2-3 hour rides, 2-3 times a week in up to -30C conditions in the winter, I gained more pounds than I wanted over the winter. Also a herniated disc has been acting up the last 3 months or so.

So it has only been the last 4-5 weeks that I have been riding on a pretty well daily basis of 25-35 miles. At the beginning I noticed my hands went numb fairly soon and often. However the more I rode the lighter my grip seemed to be on the bars. I am sure this is because my core is strengthening (and I lost 15lbs, but am still way too heavy). I really make a point now of having a very light grip on the bars, almost barely touching them, just enough to have control of the bars. I thought this would put more stress on the back but it seems once your core gets stronger it is a very natural position and easy for your body to be in this position, even for 2 hours.

Even though I ride quite a lot, I am tempted to try core specific exercises to see if it adds significant improvement.
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Old 05-15-11, 06:24 PM   #2
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Get your weight OFF OF YOUR HANDS/WRIST then see how it goes.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:05 PM   #3
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Sure, but how? I'm just now getting more into riding so how do you take the weight off other than adjusting seat and handle bar height?
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Old 05-15-11, 07:51 PM   #4
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Sure, but how? I'm just now getting more into riding so how do you take the weight off other than adjusting seat and handle bar height?
Strengthening your core muscles. The idea is to get to the point where your core muscles support your upper body more than your hands/wrists/shoulders.

I should be stronger than I am, but I find core exercises to be some of the least pleasant experiences you can have while working out. Plus, having lower back issues to begin with, I have to be extremely careful in what I choose to do for exercises and how I do them. Without a full-time trainer there with me it can be difficult to do them properly and effectively while avoiding injury.
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Old 05-15-11, 08:35 PM   #5
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I always had issues with my right hand going numb also. I found that I would always have to keep repositioning my hands to keep them from going numb. I ended up wrapping a whole roll of bar tape, over the existing tape, from the brifters to the stem. Once I did that, all the numbness and pain went away. YMMV on doing it though. I have heard of poeple just double wrapping the whole bars, switching bar tapes, putting inner tubes under the bar tape to take care of some hand issues. Just putting it out there for you.
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Old 05-15-11, 09:41 PM   #6
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Sounds like that may be similar to getting the right kind of gloves.
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Old 05-15-11, 10:13 PM   #7
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Sure, but how? I'm just now getting more into riding so how do you take the weight off other than adjusting seat and handle bar height?
You want to, of course, first make sure your seat is at the correct height. Not doing so will lead to other problems. Then set your fore/aft seat position, with the seat being more or less level.
The fore/aft is roughly the KOPS method, although nothing is written in stone.

You can raise the handlebar height which should promote a more upright riding position, placing more weight on your seat. If you are already as high as you can go, you can try a stem that is shorter, which will cause you to not reach forward as far, once again moving the weight more towards the rear. There is also changing to a more severe angled stem, say 17 degrees from a 6 degree, for example. Which would raise and bring the handlebars slightly closer.

This will also change your bike posture, resulting in being less stretched if you will.
However, changing the stem length and or angle will change the handling characteristics, so it is best to "try" before you buy.

The other way is to become more aggressive in your pedalling. This will result in more down force and will take weight off of your hands as well as your seat. That's the hard way.

As CraigB noted, once your core gets strengthened up and used to supporting more weight it will help a lot.

Don't be afraid to experiment as no two cyclist are the same and what one is comfortable with may be torture to the next.
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Old 07-06-11, 06:26 PM   #8
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bike fit key to wrist pain

I agree with adjustments. A proper bike fit is key. Your hand can go numb from improper saddle position or height, or bar rotation or height. If you feel you are being slid forward on to your hands and find yourself sliding back in the saddle or pushing up with your hands, a good bike fit may be the answer. I just changed to a new saddle and my hands went numb after 15 miles of riding. Changing saddle position/tilt and having the owner of the LBS do a quick look at me on a trainer put me back in correct position and hand numbness is gone. Good luck.

Core strength is important too. I use a core ball in place of my office chair at my desk. Of course you have to use it and not just sit on it. Base miles also build core strength. Just think back to the 1st century or big ride you did this year, your core was pretty sore.
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