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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 06-02-13, 10:40 PM   #1
tjax
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I'm such a N00B...

I went for a very casual non stressful/pushy ride today. half way through I noticed my hands were going numb. At the end of my little trip my fingers were numb for several mins. What causes this? It isn't pleasurable, is there a way to fix it?

You might need more info so I'll tell you what very little I know.

I ride mostly with my hands on the black things on top of the grip bar (hoods?) and when I go uphill I move my hands to the curved part with the brake. Today I hardly met any hills so I stayed on the top not the curve.

I was fitted for my bike, everything is setup as far as I know of.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-02-13, 11:15 PM   #2
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Yeah, it happens... usually means you are putting too much weight on your hands. You can raise your bars, get better gloves, get padded bar tape, move your seat back, tilt your seat back, improve your core strength, ride more... what am I missing?

if you have a road bike with integrated brake/ shifters then yes, the rubbery grips around the brake housing are called hoods and that's where a lot of road riding takes place. The top part of the bars are called the flats and the curved parts below the brakes are called the drops. Moving your hands around is also a good way to alleviate numbness. Ride no handed every now and then and shake the dickens out of your hands, if you can. You can also stop briefly and work your fingers to get circulation going again. Whatever works for you is perfectly good.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:25 PM   #3
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how long have you been riding? Seems pretty normal for new riders or new bikes. Body has to get used to the new angle.
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Old 06-03-13, 12:33 AM   #4
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Yeah, it happens... usually means you are putting too much weight on your hands. You can raise your bars, get better gloves, get padded bar tape, move your seat back, tilt your seat back, improve your core strength, ride more... what am I missing?

if you have a road bike with integrated brake/ shifters then yes, the rubbery grips around the brake housing are called hoods and that's where a lot of road riding takes place. The top part of the bars are called the flats and the curved parts below the brakes are called the drops. Moving your hands around is also a good way to alleviate numbness. Ride no handed every now and then and shake the dickens out of your hands, if you can. You can also stop briefly and work your fingers to get circulation going again. Whatever works for you is perfectly good.
Thanks I'll work on all of those, and find myself some gloves.
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Old 06-03-13, 12:34 AM   #5
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how long have you been riding? Seems pretty normal for new riders or new bikes. Body has to get used to the new angle.
A couple weeks off and on. So yes I am very much a noob.
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Old 06-03-13, 09:35 AM   #6
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Keep in mind any numbness you may experience should go away RAPIDLY when you get the weight off your hands. if your numbness persists well after your ride then you have a more serious problem.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:13 AM   #7
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I just started riding a week ago. I've gone about 44 miles in total so far. I notice around 5 miles in or so that my index and middle fingers will go numb. At that point I ride one handed for a minute or on each side and it stops. Currently my trips are 7-9 miles in length.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tjax View Post
I went for a very casual non stressful/pushy ride today. half way through I noticed my hands were going numb. At the end of my little trip my fingers were numb for several mins. What causes this? It isn't pleasurable, is there a way to fix it?

You might need more info so I'll tell you what very little I know.

I ride mostly with my hands on the black things on top of the grip bar (hoods?) and when I go uphill I move my hands to the curved part with the brake. Today I hardly met any hills so I stayed on the top not the curve.

I was fitted for my bike, everything is setup as far as I know of.

Any ideas?
You're putting too much weight on your hands.

Solutions may include one or more of wearing padded gloves, moving your saddle forwards, lowering the saddle, raising the bars, building the strength in your lower back, and just getting used to cycling. You can vary your hand positions so you're not putting all your weight on your hands all the time.

If you've had a proper bike fit then changing the position of the saddle and handlebars may help with this problem but will most likely cause other issues with riding comfort for you. So that leaves you with the options of using padded gloves, building the strength in your lower back, and dealing with it.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:41 AM   #9
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I've been riding for about a month also, and notice the same thing starting somewhere in the 15 to 20km range. I find that as soon as I switch my hand position, even a little bit, it goes away. I just attribute it to getting used to riding again, and the need to continue to build my core strength.

Last edited by jdfriesen; 06-03-13 at 10:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-03-13, 12:11 PM   #10
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Yeah, it happens... usually means you are putting too much weight on your hands. You can raise your bars, get better gloves, get padded bar tape, move your seat back, tilt your seat back, improve your core strength, ride more... what am I missing?.
Death grip on handlebars.
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Old 06-03-13, 02:09 PM   #11
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Death grip on handlebars.
Good point. I find that I can do this if a road is particularly rough. Then an elbow might lock up and I have trouble straightening my arm. I have to remind myself to relax.
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Old 06-03-13, 02:21 PM   #12
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A couple weeks off and on. So yes I am very much a noob.
Once you get a good pair of gloves and more experience, that will go away. When I was a newbie, even with gloves, I'd unconsciously grip too hard, even with gloves, so it will do you well to pay attention to how hard your grip is and/or how hard you're resting your palms or other parts of your hands against the bars.
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Old 06-03-13, 02:29 PM   #13
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A quick test to see if it is a strength issue, as your riding if you can take your hands off the bars without having to move your torso then its not a issue of too much weight on your hands due to core strength. When doing the test, do it in a safe place not in traffic (not like I did) and you only need to take your hands of a inch above so you can qucikly get your hands on fro braking and balance (not like I did)

Change it up, thats why drop bars (the 10 speed/ road bike bars) are preferable, you have umpteen hand positions and hand widths to choose from. I on long rides will even have my hands in a position that looks like i am doing a barbell curl for about 10 minutes the switch back to my comfortable spot. Same with the butt, stand to pedal every once and a while, slide a bit forward, slide a bit back all during one ride helps the legs on long rides from going numb too.
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