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  1. #1
    Junior Member Lightdragon's Avatar
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    handlebar fatigue

    hello i was wondering if there was some way to keep my poor hands from getting sore on my handlebars i have a sleight problem with carpal tunnel from the amount of shovel handling i do during my work hours. it seems like after about a mile they start to hurt like hell, and after about 4 miles i have to head for home because they wont relax anymore. are there any tricks i should know that could help with this problem? and for those who think theres another thread open for this subject i apologise to the search function is not working for me

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    If your bike has been fitted to you correctly then your only choice is to ride more upright to get your upper body weight off your arms,wrist and hands.

    I find these bars , with a long Wald stem, to solve the pain problem 100% since , properly adjusted, your hands just lightly lay on the grips in a full upright riding posture.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nirve-Cruiser-...cle+handlebars
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  3. #3
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    What type of bars do you have?

    You might consider going into a bike shop you like and telling them your issue and asking for a bike fit. That is what helped me.

  4. #4
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    sounds like you may have too much weight on your hands. Are you able to ride without your hands on the bars? Also do you wear gloves or no?

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    For straight bars Ergon Grips offer a wide, flattish surface.. ,
    Drop Bars add more padding to increase the diameter + padded Gloves.

    I Double wrap mine with 'gel-cork' tapes ..
    in the past I used Grab on dense foam rubber tubes,
    taped over with Black Cotton tape. [UV of sun dries the rubber and it crumbles otherwise]

  6. #6
    Junior Member Lightdragon's Avatar
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    its just the stock flat bar that came on my raleigh m30, foam grips, no gloves, and not putting any weight on my hands, just hurts to grip stuff for too long i guess

  7. #7
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    Light: Not that I disagree or mean any disrespect but I bet there is some weight on your hands.

  8. #8
    c23
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    Tiny adjustments with saddle height, forward/backward saddle position, saddle tilt and handle bar height and tilt should fix this mostly or completely if you are lucky.

    I used to have same problems when I first got my bike, now I don't even use bar ends. About 2 miles in I would need to use bar ends to alleviate pressure/pain in wrists. Everyday I would move saddle forward or back and after one ride I realized I did not use the bar ends once. So I took off bar ends.

    Raleigh m30 appears to have slightly bent straight bars with no rise. If bike is fitted properly I would start by adjusting the tilt of the bars.

    I have been trying to make my slight riser bars as comfortable as possible without bar ends. First thing I checked was the tilt. The bars are not perfectly straight so different tilt positions would achieve different ergonomics. I held my arms out with wrist/hands and fingers completely loose and kinda placed them over the grips. I stood directly next to saddle doing this and tilted the bars until I my hands evenly "gripped" the grips while being completely loose and dead.

    Do not make a full adjustment and go. Make tiny adjustments seeing how each one feels on the road. Sometimes you need to go back to a section and re-adjust after adjusting something else. A slightly higher saddle might mean you need to tilt the bars slightly up more.

    Took me 2 weeks of daily slight adjustments to get a very nice setup. Then I fully realized I had a terrible saddle which forced me to stand on the pedals more often to alleviate saddle pains...which lead to numb toes. Bought a Brooks Flyer and started the tiny adjustment process all over, now without saddle pain.

    Once everything is perfect there is always going to be some pressure on the hands, unless you fully sit on the seat and cruise around like a beach cruiser. I have found many slightly different hand positions to use on "single" hand position handlebars. The 2 I use most are the basic normal grip where fingers grip around the bar, and one where my hand is more forward and I lay my fingers across the brake levers with just my thumb mostly in back of grip. The main pressure area between my hand and the bar is changed. Switching between these two grip positions I do not focus all the pressure on the same area constantly. I have gotten into the habit of switching these positions before one starts to hurt. The second position is a little less safe as the first since there is less gripping being done...so when the path is clear with no chance of something getting in my way I switch to it, when there may be an obstacle I use normal gripping position.

  9. #9
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I can't speak to bike fit, but I simply take one hand off at a time, let it hange strait down, shake it a little, open and close my fingers 10 times and switch arms.

    This seems to cure my wrist pain and numbness. Also riding helps. I have to do it now only about every 15 miles, and I had to do it every two miles when I started...I have never changed bars or stems etc.

  10. #10
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    I had severe carpal tunnel syndrome from long-distance biking without gloves or handlebar padding, back in the days before we ever heard of CTS. It lasted 25 years before I finally got surgery.

    Using a shovel definitely puts stress on the wrists. It sounds like you should see a doctor and get treatment for CTS.

    Straight bars are a problem. Stand up and let your arms hang naturally. Now swingly them slowly back and forth and notice the natural angle of your wrists. They turn inward a bit. Now pretend you're holding onto your handlbar. To do that, you have to turn your wrists at an unnatural angle.

    The solution to that, in my experience, is a handlebar that follows the natural angle of the wrist, which is about 60 to 80 degrees. Example: Nitto North Road http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/11/23/n...tto-albatross/

    Next, you need gloves. I recommend getting the thickest pair of gel gloves you can find. I have an old pair that are about 1/2" thick. I don't think anyone makes them that thick anymore.

    Also, soft grips.

    Finally, adjust the handlebar and seat so that your weight is evenly balanced or even shifted more to the rear. Use the most upright position that your style of riding will allow, to take as much weight as possible off your wrists.

    Many people with CTS wear a splint at night to keep the wrist straight. Sleeping with bent wrists will aggravate CTS. But don't wear it during the day because you will lose muscle tone. I.e., don't become too dependent on it.

    Really though you need to find out whether treatment is possible and if not, get the surgery. In the meantime, minimize everything that aggravates CTS, like using a hand can opener, any motion than involves gripping and twisting, and vibrating machines like a Weedwacker.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightdragon View Post
    hello i was wondering if there was some way to keep my poor hands from getting sore on my handlebars i have a sleight problem with carpal tunnel from the amount of shovel handling i do during my work hours. it seems like after about a mile they start to hurt like hell, and after about 4 miles i have to head for home because they wont relax anymore. are there any tricks i should know that could help with this problem? and for those who think theres another thread open for this subject i apologise to the search function is not working for me
    When i first started riding i had a death grip on the bar, i got a pair of leather riding gloves that were actually a little too tight, and prevented me from actually tightening my fist too tight, as soon as i stopped trying to squeeze water from my grips, i stopped having wrist and hand pain.

    Even though you may have flat bars, and grips, you should consider getting some gloves to ride with. If nothing else but to reduce some vibration and protect the palm of your hand from chaffing. Also some different grips can help prevent you from gripping the bar so hard as well. Both of those solutions can be had for less then $50.

  12. #12
    MAK
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    Two suggestions:

    1. As someone above already said, get a pair of cycling gloves. They will help relieve pressure on your hands.

    2. Since you have a flat bar, install bar ends. They will give you additional hand positions. Move to different positions occasionally and your hands won't cramp or get numb once you get used to them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member slowride454's Avatar
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    my hands are junk no matter which bike I ride. My MTB is a bit better especially if I road ride with the forks unlocked. I've been professionally fit on both bikes. Funny thing is I don't really have hand problems when I'm really working single track, but on the road bike I suffer from hardcore cramping and pain most of the ride. Even my 3.8 mile commute. Again, professionally fit and added 4 gel pads per side. 2 on top, 1 under the hood, and one on the drop then wrapped with decent foam tape. Good Bontrager foam gloves too. My right hand is worse than my left. Seat has been checked and rechecked. Handlebars have a full stack of spacers and the Ritchey Pro stem is flipped up. The bike frame is pretty stiff since it is aluminum with a carbon fork. Looking for any other advice. I have a century in a week and a half and then a 90 mile race 3 weeks after and then another century 3 weeks after that.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Lightdragon's Avatar
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    sorry its taken me so long to reply a recent storm knocked out the power supply on my computer so i had to fix it, thanks for all your advice ill look into riding gloves and bar ends or a new bar in the meantime at least the flexing helps im getting more distance before getting the pains

  15. #15
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Try the Ergon grips with bar ends GR2, GC2, or GR3 to give you both a wider surface on which to rest your hands and alternate hand positions. Adjust the flats so that your wrists are in a neutral position or have just a couple degrees of bend. When on sections of road where you don't need to be right on top of your brakes and shifters, move your hands to the bar ends which is very similar to riding the hoods on a drop bar. Find two or three variations that still allow you good control and alternate between them every few minutes. If you start to feel your hands get tingly or numb, take them off the bar one at a time and allow them to either hang at your side or rest them on your thighs for several seconds while wiggling your fingers or flexing your fist to get the blood flowing. I don't know your riding style, but I've seen riders who constantly have a death grip on the bar. This isn't necessary unless you are on bad terrain and will contribute to hand fatigue. Don't wait for the pain/numbness, prevent it if possible.

    Well designed gloves are another big boon to hand health. It isn't as much about how much padding there is as it is about the design. Good padding is firm enough to provide some support while proper design places a groove over the ular nerve to take pressure off of both the nerve and vessels where they pass through the wrist joint.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 07-22-12 at 11:56 AM.
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  16. #16
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    1 - cycling gloves, nothing crazy, just basic gloves from the bike shop
    2 - double wrap your bars with a good quality bar tape. ask your lbs for a good cork one as mentioned before. wrap it right over the other one.
    3 - while you're riding rotate your hand position along the bar. not as easy on a flat bar but possible.
    4 - get fit. you most likely need the saddle moved a touch forward and the bars up a notch.

    bottom line - your ass is too far back and your hands too low. you are leaning in towards the bars placing too much weight on them with the combination of vibration causing pain/discomfort.

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