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Thread: My first ride

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    My first ride

    Hey guys -

    The first thing I'd like to say is thank you so much. After weeks of doing my homework and having you guys help me out, I finally made my first purchase--a Cannondale Q6. I took it out for my first ride this morning and had so much fun and regret not getting into cycling sooner. I seriously had moments of being a kid again, it was incredible.

    I did have one problem, though. My hands, particularly my palms and the fatty parts near my thumbs, were killing me. Is this something I just need to build a tolerance to? Or would gloves seem like a solid investment? Do gloves make a noticeable difference?

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    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Congrats on the purchase.
    What you describe is 'Cyclist palsy' which you can Google.
    Gloves, with gel in them may help but I've found the best way around the issue is just frequent hand position changes along with proper fit - read not all my weight on my hands.

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    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Gloves might help, but I find that my hands still go numb after a certain amount of time on a flat bar bike. Even so-called "ergonomic grips" aren't a big help. What helps most, for me, is taking one hand off the bars for a spell, maybe shaking a little to get the blood flowing again, and then doing it with the other hand. Make sure you can maintain control riding one handed. I rarely ride flat bars any more, but every so often, my wife and I might want to putter around on a bike trail, and I'll take the old cruiser out. And for as much drop bar riding as I do, my hands still go numb after about an hour. One of the big drawbacks of flat bars is that you're limited to that one hand position.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I have a Quick4. I had Ergon grips put on mine. That helped a lot. You can get them with or without bar ends. The bar ends give you even more hand positions, which is nice:


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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Also, do core strengthening exercises, which will help you in keeping weight off your hands. Like these: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/core-strength/SM00047

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    Wow. After googling cyclist palsy, I feel pretty discouraged. I'm worried that I was not properly fitted for a bike or that this injury will limit my time on the road. Not cool.

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    Without my motorcycle fingerless gloves I lose circulation at about 1 hour in. With them I'm good for about 6 hours. Padded/gel insert gloves help a lot. That and just getting the fit right in the first place. As you get lighther the load gets less and the problem goes away.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifford View Post
    Wow. After googling cyclist palsy, I feel pretty discouraged. I'm worried that I was not properly fitted for a bike or that this injury will limit my time on the road. Not cool.
    I had my Quick fitted for me a few months after I got it. So, you can do that now. When I had the fit the fitter chopped down my handlebars, added the Ergon grips, and adjusted the seat back and down. It really did help. So, don't panic yet!

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    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I have a Quick4. I had Ergon grips put on mine. That helped a lot. You can get them with or without bar ends. The bar ends give you even more hand positions, which is nice:
    I put some of those Ergon grips on my tandem. I looked at the ones with the integrated bar ends but decided to go with some profile design units instead of the integrated ones. I'm actually having more isues with numbness than on either of my single bikes, but I think it is that the bars are too far out and I need a shorter reach stem. I'm putting pressure on my hands differently. Of interest is that I have the least problems on my road bike, which has drop bars and the lowest bar height of all my bikes.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

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    NewKidInTown AmFaeEmbra's Avatar
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    Some have mentioned that the gel inserts in bike gloves help to prevent numbness in the hands while riding - and they do. Why I use bike gloves is on the off-chance that I part company with the bike. What's your natural instinct if you fall - you put your hands down first. That's when you need something between the oh-so-very-tender skin on your palms and the grit on the road.

    Always wear gloves!

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    I get numbness in mainly my right hand. I wear gloves and find most of the issue from putting too much pressure on my hands. I try to change hand position often to stop the numbness.

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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avance View Post
    I get numbness in mainly my right hand. I wear gloves and find most of the issue from putting too much pressure on my hands. I try to change hand position often to stop the numbness.
    Gloves help, moving hands helps, but what I have found most effective is loosening my grip and being more relaxed.

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    People keep mentioning numbness and when I google cyclist palsy, the nerves involved seemed to be the pinky and ring fingers. However, the area I noticed pain in was right along the thumb. Does still sound like CP?

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    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Rifford - take a look at your saddle tilt to make sure it's not 'nose down'. That will force you to slide forward thus putting even more pressure on your hands. Keep it as close to level as you can.

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    Good question Rifford - the links I saw for cyclist palsy seem to indicate that it's the nerve running up the last two fingers, but they talk about limited pinch strength. I've been getting severe numbness in my index and second finger lately, which I've partially attributed to riding early in the morning with insufficiently warm gloves (might be a total red herring too). I move my hands around a lot, and riding in the drops seems to be best for recovering from numbness (aside from a short break), but it can get so bad I have trouble shifting and braking.

    I put gel inserts on my handlebars (which also makes them feel larger in my hands, which is nice), have fancy gloves that supposedly unload that carpal tunnel etc.

    The numbness goes away within about a minute of stopping riding though, for me. Fortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmFaeEmbra View Post
    Some have mentioned that the gel inserts in bike gloves help to prevent numbness in the hands while riding - and they do. Why I use bike gloves is on the off-chance that I part company with the bike. What's your natural instinct if you fall - you put your hands down first. That's when you need something between the oh-so-very-tender skin on your palms and the grit on the road.

    Always wear gloves!
    +1

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    I notice that I am riding with more of my weight on my hands in the hoods. If I sit up, it helps. If i go in the drops it helps.

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