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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-07-14, 12:17 AM   #1
MikesChevelle
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Sore and numb hands

Did a twenty mile trip today and noticed after about mile six or seven my hands were getting numb. What is the best way to analyze what is yielding this, I'm sure it's a combination of getting used to it, better riding techniques, maybe switching to a more padded bar tape, and adjusting to seat and bars for better riding posture.

Just curious how to analyze everything and start working on a fix.

I'm planning on ridding to work (10 of those twenty miles) and don't want to start my day of with numb hands, then wok at a computer for eight hours.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:48 AM   #2
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its all about fit. you are perched up on the bike incorrectly. I cant tell you specifically how but that is your problem. there are many online sources as to how your body should be when on your bike. or your lbs can give your position a look and probably help although they will charge you if you want a quantitative/qualitative analysis.

your issue, assuming the frame is the right size for you, will be solved by the correct fore/aft positioning of your seat and stem length combination. you are putting too much pressure on your wrists/hands.
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Old 07-07-14, 01:51 AM   #3
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its all about fit. you are perched up on the bike incorrectly. I cant tell you specifically how but that is your problem. there are many online sources as to how your body should be when on your bike. or your lbs can give your position a look and probably help although they will charge you if you want a quantitative/qualitative analysis.

your issue, assuming the frame is the right size for you, will be solved by the correct fore/aft positioning of your seat and stem length combination. you are putting too much pressure on your wrists/hands.
what he said. Also get padded gloves.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:30 PM   #4
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In addition to the replies above, if you have a flat or riser style bar it may be time for a change. Either adding bar ends or switching to a drop or trekking bar would allow you to use multiple hand positions which helps a lot in my experience.

However if you have a serious fit issue that should be the first thing you figure out.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:35 PM   #5
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Here is my current set up, waiting on a new seat post to correctly adjust the Saddle I just put on

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Old 07-07-14, 12:46 PM   #6
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Search for images of drop bars first. Match.
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Old 07-07-14, 02:10 PM   #7
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what he said. Also get padded gloves.
What they said ... also be mindful of how you're riding.

For me, I experience it in the morning, when I'm still a bit sleepy and I'm just sort of grinding along until I start to wake up. And I know that I'm "riding heavy" on my handlebars because I'm not being attentive to bike posture. I'll ride a few miles and realize I haven't switched my hand position. In the afternoons, when I'm more alert and aware, I make sure I plant my butt firmly on the saddle and then concentrate on riding "light" on the handlebars. And I don't experience the numbness.
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Old 07-07-14, 02:20 PM   #8
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Converted mt bike to drop commuter? Reach and frame size ok? It looks like the flat part of your bar needs to be level and then bring in the hoods closer to your hands. I like my bars 2" higher than my seat. Got a good bike shop to help with fit? Running a nitto stem?
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Old 07-07-14, 02:39 PM   #9
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Seat height is good and the bars can't go any higher stem wise. I may look for a shorter reach stem
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Old 07-07-14, 02:41 PM   #10
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Here is my current set up, waiting on a new seat post to correctly adjust the Saddle I just put on

If the reach forward doesn't feel too stretched already, you could slide your seat back a bit on it's rails. That shifts your body weight back so it is more above your feet rather than your hands. However, if it already feels like a long stretch to get your hands to the bars, you could try raising the bars a bit if the stem allows it. (EDIT oops I see you said the stem is already up all the way.)

What is the situation with needing a new seatpost?
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Old 07-07-14, 02:46 PM   #11
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Also, if it feels like you are sliding forward on your seat and continually pushing yourself back, you could raise the front of the saddle a tiny bit. If you look for images of bikes with Brooks and similar saddles, you will see they often have the nose up a tiny bit. It keeps you on the back half of the saddle where you are supposed to be. Obviously you don't want the nose so high it crushes your manhood, but a slight upwards tilt could work to your advantage. That way you won't be pushing back with your hands all the time.

Last edited by cooker; 07-07-14 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-07-14, 03:14 PM   #12
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Don't use your hands to hold up your body, use your core. Using your core sucks bigtime until you build it up, but it will take the pressure off your hands. Also, fit as already discussed.
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Old 07-07-14, 03:20 PM   #13
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take a hand off the bars shake it a bit and let the compressed tissues get a bit more blood,

and let the nerves in the palms get a break ..
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Old 07-07-14, 03:47 PM   #14
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The seat came with the non integrated seat post connection that I removed to use on my integrated post, it's kinda loose as the rails don't fit snug in the post I have
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Old 07-07-14, 04:02 PM   #15
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Well one thing that wasnt helping was that the shocks were dead flat. So I must have been riding around bottomed out.

Talked to my local LBS and they filled them back up to 40 PSI, well see how that goes
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Old 07-07-14, 04:04 PM   #16
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The seat came with the non integrated seat post connection that I removed to use on my integrated post, it's kinda loose as the rails don't fit snug in the post I have
You could probably shim them by wrapping a thin sheet of metal around them.
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Old 07-07-14, 04:37 PM   #17
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Never have that issue any more on my recumbent.

Padded gloves help, but really, taking your weight off your upper body by supporting yourself with your core is the real key.
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Old 07-07-14, 05:20 PM   #18
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There are three points of contact between your body and the bike: feet, hands, and butt. One sure way to reduce pressure on hands and butt, is to put more constant pressure onto your feet, i.e. ride harder.
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Old 07-07-14, 05:35 PM   #19
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Well I rotated the bars a little more forward and scooted the seat up a tad, Got a 8 mile ride tonight so we will how that helps, be more aware of my core too
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Old 07-07-14, 05:39 PM   #20
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Well I rotated the bars a little more forward and scooted the seat up a tad, Got a 8 mile ride tonight so we will how that helps, be more aware of my core too
Weirdly enough scooting the seat forward can put more weight on your hands even though your body is more upright. It's a balance thing. Seat further back shifts your center of gravity further back towards your legs and hindquarter.

Note that steeper seat tubes (which is what you're doing) are considered race-y while shallower angles are considered more relaxed.
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Old 07-07-14, 05:44 PM   #21
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So I have heard, only trying this way since I already had the seat back
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Old 07-07-14, 05:56 PM   #22
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Well I rotated the bars a little more forward
Good start with this, in the picture you posted the bars are angled up dramatically. It seems to me like that would be much less comfortable than the typical way (road) drop bars are mounted - tops parallel to the ground.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:14 PM   #23
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If you take the time to use a fit calculator it will get you close and you will have more time to try close guesses then dial them in than guessing and going.

Established ratios and proportions exist because they work. You're not inventing anything, you're adjusting a bike and it's been done many times before with great success. If you follow existing guidelines to get close it will make things a lot easier. You're not likely to score any goals swinging at a tetherball with a football bat.

This is an accepted quality fit calculator.

Get a helper to assist in taking measurements. Measure three times and use the average, most find metric easier to work with (plus they translate to bikes easy). Plug your numbers into the fit calculator and adjust your bike accordingly. You should be very close at that point.

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Old 07-08-14, 04:41 AM   #24
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See How to Fit a Bicycle
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Old 07-11-14, 11:28 PM   #25
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Alright so I did the fit calculator and the big difference was about 4-5 cm of reach further than I can adjust the bike to, other than that all else I was able to get very close, should I look for a shorter reach stem?
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