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  1. #1
    Yen
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    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
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    Gloves for ulnar compression

    I've narrowed down the recent numbness in my right 4th and 5th to ulnar compression while I'm riding. Since this is not occurring in my troublesome left hand, I'm assuming it's because I wear a brace on that hand which provides additional padding. I NEVER had ANY of this type of numbness before.

    This is NOT the typical type of numbness that is common while riding and quickly disappears upon moving or removing the hands from the bars. This lingers for days.

    Has anyone had any success with a particular type of glove, with or without padding, to relieve ulnar compression?
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
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    I have a problem with my right hand, but it's not the type that lingers for days. I've tried the Specialized gloves, supposedly designed for the problem. It was worst. Over the years I've evolved away from any padding at all.

    I use Fox gloves for both road and off road which have no padding and fit perfectly. It's not as bad with zero padding, but it hasn't totally gone away.

    I use very soft grips on my mountain bike and soft, plush tape on the road bike. There is a molded pad designed to go under the tape for drop bars. I may try those. Padding the bars works better for me than padding the gloves.

    Al

  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    I've narrowed down the recent numbness in my right 4th and 5th to ulnar compression while I'm riding. Since this is not occurring in my troublesome left hand, I'm assuming it's because I wear a brace on that hand which provides additional padding. I NEVER had ANY of this type of numbness before.

    This is NOT the typical type of numbness that is common while riding and quickly disappears upon moving or removing the hands from the bars. This lingers for days.

    Has anyone had any success with a particular type of glove, with or without padding, to relieve ulnar compression?

    Best I've found is a Spenco Ironman, Yen. Better than Pearl Izumi Gel-Lite, or the Louis Garneau ErgoAir, or any of several cheap string gloves or REI brand. The Spenco works well for both me and Mrs. Road Fan, although she really prefers her Terry girl-gloves and says they're even better. I don't know what makes them girl-gloves.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post

    This is NOT the typical type of numbness that is common while riding and quickly disappears upon moving or removing the hands from the bars. This lingers for days.
    I hate to say it, but mine has lingered for years. It started suddenly in my left hand/arm--at first I thought it was a heart attack! Most of the time it's a barely noticeable numbness, but once in a while it aches slightly for a few days. I have visible atrophy of the hand muscle proximal to the pinky finger also.

    My internist discouraged surgery because it doesn't always help. I think he gave a 50 % probability that it would help. He suggested keeping my arm straight when I'm sleeping, and that does help some. Cycling gloves haven't helped, but it feels better if I keep it warm.


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    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Agree with Road Fan that the Ironman is a great cushioned glove. I dropped mine because I got tired of the fingerless design. Just as good with the craftsman gloves from home depot, for about 1/2 the cost.

    Now, this is not gloves. You need to adjust your fitting. Too much weight is on your hands. You need to change your seat position, your handlebar settings, where you are placing your hands, etc. Something is wrong with what you are doing and wearing double cushion gloves will not solve the fit problem. Triple check that your alignment of hand to arm is as straight as you can get and not bent.
    Hi 'o Silver away

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Now, this is not gloves. You need to adjust your fitting. Too much weight is on your hands. You need to change your seat position, your handlebar settings, where you are placing your hands, etc. Something is wrong with what you are doing and wearing double cushion gloves will not solve the fit problem. Triple check that your alignment of hand to arm is as straight as you can get and not bent.
    I agree that bike fit is important. I also change hand position frequently. I also elevate and shake each hand for 30 seconds every 10 miles or so.

    But my ulnar nerve problem came on before I even started riding, and riding doesn't seem to affect it very much. Of course the OP's problem might be very different than mine.


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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I like the Ironman gloves too. My LBS recommended them specifically for this problem and they haven't entirely eliminated the problem, but it's gotten better by about 98%. And as some others have said, when I first started riding, it was bad; my fingers would go numb after about a half hour every time I rode. Now if I forget to grab the gloves, I don't get the numbness.

    For a full-fingered option I picked up a cheap pair of Western Safety mechanics' gloves at Harbor Freight. The padding isn't as good, but the comfort is still there. They have a neoprene palm and are cloth on the back of the hand. They're good down to about 32 F (my fingers were cold but not frozen this morning).
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Since this is not occurring in my troublesome left hand, I'm assuming it's because I wear a brace on that hand which provides additional padding.
    Oh--I missed this. You have a problem with your other hand also?

    This suggests another possibility. You might be protecting or "babying" your bad left hand, by putting more weight and pressure on the right hand. You might even be overusing your right hand because you can't use the left as much. This might be contributing to the ulnar nerve compression.

    I currently have a severely injured right (dominant) hand. I can't use my right hand at all, for anything. The ulnar nerve problem in my "good" left hand is worse now because I'm using the left hand so much more. Other parts of the left hand and arm are achey also. I probably shouldn't be doing all this one-handed typing!

    Do you find that it's kind of scarey to have a problem with your only good hand? I do.


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  9. #9
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    My problem is more at the base of my thumb. I went with larger, softer, ergo handlebar grips and Louis Garneau BioGel gloves and the combination helped a lot. Along with raising the height of my handlebars.

    On my recumbents, I can ride for hours without the slightest hand/thumb pain. Don't even bother to wear gloves.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    When i first got a road bike- I only had MTB gloves that in general have no padding. On the road bike- I had problems. Then Finally I gave up. On a ride and when the hands were still hurting I went into a shop that carried a good array of manufacturers and types of gloves. They must have had around 50 different pairs.

    I tried on all the gloves till I found a pair that put padding where my hands hurt. Then I tried them on the bars and bought that particular pair. They were Pearl Izumi but it could have been any glove. What did surpridse me was the variety of Position of the padding- even from one model to another within just one make.The other point was that many of the gloves I tried on felt of poor quality. Lightweight- stiching in the wrong place and even a couple of pairs that were falling apart taking them out of the packet.

    Still have that pair of gloves- and none others are as comfortable.
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    Senior Member sojourn's Avatar
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    I lowered my seat and it's helped a bunch!

  12. #12
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sojourn View Post
    I lowered my seat and it's helped a bunch!
    Wait a minute, this is BikeForums. You can only solve problems by raising the seat!
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Agree with Road Fan that the Ironman is a great cushioned glove. I dropped mine because I got tired of the fingerless design. Just as good with the craftsman gloves from home depot, for about 1/2 the cost.

    Now, this is not gloves. You need to adjust your fitting. Too much weight is on your hands. You need to change your seat position, your handlebar settings, where you are placing your hands, etc. Something is wrong with what you are doing and wearing double cushion gloves will not solve the fit problem. Triple check that your alignment of hand to arm is as straight as you can get and not bent.
    I agree, the root cause is that Yen is putting too much weight on her hands, as I wrote in a different thread where she was talking about this problem. It's not easy for us to prescribe which of the many possible bike adjustments will help, because there are a lot of possibilities. For my hand pressure problem I started with moving the saddle back 5 mm at a time, lowering it just a smidge each time to restore the preferred leg extension. As I moved it back farther my center of gravity moved back until I was nearly balanced over the BB. Then I wasn't leaning so hard on the handlebar. It gave some relief.

    Alignment of hand to arm to be straight: this is what I meant by having your arm and wrist in a handshake position.

    These are real fine points of fitting - I don't know if most shop fitters look at these sorts of things. One of mine did, and Mrs. Road Fan's did not.

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